Master of Public Health in the Field of Physical Activity in Public Health

Program Director L. DiPietro

Mission Statement

The sedentary lifestyle and its consequent metabolic and cardiovascular complications now assumes a considerable public health burden in the United States. Indeed, the promotion of physical activity for people of all ages has become a top priority on public health agendas around the world. The mission of the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree program in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences is to develop and train graduate students to integrate physical activity into the core of public health practice. The program encompasses an ecological perspective to the role of physical activity in the etiology, prevention, and treatment of chronic diseases at the community, national, and global levels. The program is designed to train students as public health scientists and practitioners in order to assist public and private agencies with program development and evaluation with regard to physical activity, health promotion, and disease prevention.

Goals

The goals of this M.P.H. program in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences are to ensure that graduates:

  • Understand the pathophysiology of selected chronic disease processes.
  • Understand exercise physiology and the role of physical activity and exercise in health promotion and disease prevention.
  • Develop skills in physical activity assessment using state-of-the-art technology.
  • Utilize epidemiological methods to develop and test hypotheses pertaining to physical activity and health and disease outcomes at the population level.
  • Develop skills in designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions for improving physical activity at the community level.
  • Appreciate the role of public health policy in altering physical activity patterns at the community level.

Program Specific Competencies

Upon completion of the MPH in Physical Activity in Public Health, students will possess the following functional competencies:

Integrate evidence-based knowledge of the relation of physical activity to health and function across the life-span.

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the pathophysiology of selected chronic disease processes. [Cognitive: levels 1 and 2]. 
EXNS 6202Advanced Exercise Physiology I
EXNS 6203Advanced Exercise Physiology II
EXNS 6208Physical Activity: Physiology and Epidemiology
EXNS 6212Exercise in Selected Chronic Diseases
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the role of physical activity in the health and function of the general population. [Cognitive: levels 1 and 2]. 
EXNS 6202Advanced Exercise Physiology I
EXNS 6203Advanced Exercise Physiology II
EXNS 6208Physical Activity: Physiology and Epidemiology
EXNS 6212Exercise in Selected Chronic Diseases
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of various physiological and psychosocial mechanisms that mediate the relation between physical inactivity and chronic disease morbidity and mortality. [Cognitive: levels 1 and 2]. 
EXNS 6202Advanced Exercise Physiology I
EXNS 6203Advanced Exercise Physiology II
EXNS 6208Physical Activity: Physiology and Epidemiology
EXNS 6212Exercise in Selected Chronic Diseases

Utilize social and behavioral theories in designing physical activity and other health promotion programs.

  • Students will apply various theories of social and behavioral change in patterns of physical activity adoption and maintenance. [Cognitive: level 3; Affective: levels 3 and 4]. 
EXNS 6208Physical Activity: Physiology and Epidemiology
PUBH 6014Practicum
PUBH 6015Culminating Experience
Additional relevant courses for students in the Program Design and Evaluation option
PUBH 6500Planning and Implementing Health Promotion Programs
PUBH 6501Program Evaluation
  • Students will demonstrate skills in the design of physical activity interventions that are consistent with these social and behavioral theories. [Cognitive: levels 3-5]. 
EXNS 6208Physical Activity: Physiology and Epidemiology
EXNS 6212Exercise in Selected Chronic Diseases
PUBH 6014Practicum
PUBH 6015Culminating Experience
Additional relevant courses for students in the Program Design and Evaluation option
PUBH 6500Planning and Implementing Health Promotion Programs
PUBH 6501Program Evaluation

Integrate physical activity within the core functions of public health.

  • Students will demonstrate skills in physical activity assessment using state-of-the-art technology. [Cognitive: level 3; Affective: level 3; Psychomotor: level 4]. 
EXNS 6202Advanced Exercise Physiology I
EXNS 6203Advanced Exercise Physiology II
EXNS 6208Physical Activity: Physiology and Epidemiology
PUBH 6014Practicum
PUBH 6015Culminating Experience
  • Students will apply epidemiological methods to develop and test hypotheses pertaining to physical activity and health and disease outcomes at the population level. [Cognitive: level 3].
EXNS 6208Physical Activity: Physiology and Epidemiology
EXNS 6212Exercise in Selected Chronic Diseases
PUBH 6014Practicum
PUBH 6015Culminating Experience
Additional relevant courses for student in the Epidemiology option
PUBH 6247Design of Health Studies
PUBH 6249StatPackages/DataMgt&DataAnlys
PUBH 6252Advanced Epidemiology Methods
  • Students will design and evaluate interventions for improving physical activity at the community level. [Cognitive: levels 3-6]. 
EXNS 6208Physical Activity: Physiology and Epidemiology
EXNS 6212Exercise in Selected Chronic Diseases
PUBH 6014Practicum
PUBH 6015Culminating Experience
Additional relevant courses for student in the Epidemiology option
PUBH 6247Design of Health Studies
PUBH 6252Advanced Epidemiology Methods
  • Students will appreciate the role of public health policy in altering physical activity patterns at the community level. [Affective: levels 3 and 4].  
EXNS 6208Physical Activity: Physiology and Epidemiology
PUBH 6014Practicum
Additional relevant course for students in the Program Design and Evaluation Option
PUBH 6500Planning and Implementing Health Promotion Programs

Work with other public health professionals in promoting physical activity research, practice, and policy at the community, state, and federal level.

  • Students will integrate the science and practice of exercise science and public health in promoting an active lifestyle in the workplace, the school system, and within the community. [Cognitive: level 5; Affective: levels 3-6].
EXNS 6208Physical Activity: Physiology and Epidemiology
PUBH 6014Practicum
Additional relevant courses for student in the Program Design and Evaluation option
PUBH 6500Planning and Implementing Health Promotion Programs
PUBH 6501Program Evaluation
PUBH 6503Introduction to Public Health Communication and Marketing
  • Students will appreciate the role of both traditional and non-traditional public health partners in physical activity promotion. [Cognitive: level 2; Affective; levels 3 and 4]. 
EXNS 6208Physical Activity: Physiology and Epidemiology
PUBH 6014Practicum
  • Students will design public health policy that can alter physical activity patterns across multiple settings. [Cognitive: levels 3-5; Affective: levels 3 and 4]. 
EXNS 6208Physical Activity: Physiology and Epidemiology
PUBH 6014Practicum

Course Requirements

All GW SPH, MPH students who select the Physical Activity in Public Health program enroll in core courses (15 credits), program-specific courses (20 credits), and electives (6 credits). Program-specific courses include options to focus in epidemiology or program design and evaluation. The 45 credit degree program includes a practicum (2 credits) and a culminating experience (2 credits).

Program Requirements 

Prerequisites:
EXNS 2111Exercise Physiology I
Required core courses:
PUBH 6001BiologicalConcepts/PublicHlth
PUBH 6002Biostatistical Applic for PubH
PUBH 6003Prin & Practice/Epidemiology
PUBH 6004Environmental and Occupational Health in a Sustainable World
PUBH 6006Mgt & Policy Approaches to PH
PUBH 6007Social&BehaviorAppr-Pub.Hlth
Required department courses:
EXNS 6202Advanced Exercise Physiology I
EXNS 6203Advanced Exercise Physiology II
EXNS 6208Physical Activity: Physiology and Epidemiology
EXNS 6212Exercise in Selected Chronic Diseases
Required program-specific courses:
Select Option A or B
Option A: Epidemiology option
PUBH 6247Design of Health Studies
PUBH 6249StatPackages/DataMgt&DataAnlys
PUBH 6252Advanced Epidemiology Methods
Option B: Program design and evaluation option
PUBH 6500Planning and Implementing Health Promotion Programs
PUBH 6501Program Evaluation
PUBH 6502Practical Data Analysis: PCH
PUBH 6503Introduction to Public Health Communication & Marketing
Sample electives:
6 elective credits (5 credits in EXNS or PUBH):
EXNS 6242Nutrition Throughout the Life Cycle
PUBH 6260Adv DataAnalysis-Public Health
PUBH 6262Intro-Geog Information Systems
PUBH 6536Workplace Health Promotion
PUBH 6556Maternal & Child Nutrition
PUBH 6560School Health and Safety
Practicum and culminating experience courses:
PUBH 6014Practicum
PUBH 6015Culminating Experience

Graduation Requirements

  1. Graduate credit requirement: 45 graduate credits
  2. Course requirements: Successful completion of core and program-specific courses
  3. Grade point requirement: 3.0 (B average) overall grade point average
  4. Time limit requirement: The degree must be completed within four years.
  5. Transfer credit policy: Up to 12 graduate credits that have not been applied to a previous graduate degree may be transferred to the Master of Public Health program. Up to 18 credits may be transferred to the Master of Public Health from the SPH graduate certificate. Credits must have been earned from an accredited institution in the last 3 years with a grade point of 3.0 or better.