Master of Science (M.S.) Major in Public Health Education and Promotion (Thesis Minor Option)

The M.S. in Public Health Education and Promotion program prepares students for advanced careers in community and public health education settings in one of the fastest growing career sectors in the U.S. Graduates can pursue employment in public health departments, state and federal health agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other community health organizations working in areas including disease prevention, substance abuse prevention, adolescent health, and many other areas. Students are prepared to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist exam offered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.

Application Requirements

The items listed below are required for admission consideration for applicable semesters of entry during the current academic year. Submission instructions, additional details, and changes to admission requirements for semesters other than the current academic year can be found on The Graduate College's website. International students should review the International Admission Documents webpage for additional requirements.

  • completed online application
  • $55 nonrefundable application fee

        or

  • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials
  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 2.75 GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
  • Statement of purpose (500 words, double-spaced, computer-generated) addressing the following:
    • Why public health education and promotion is an interest area for the applicant
    • How will the applicant use a graduate degree in Public Health Education and Promotion to reach career goals
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons best able to assess the student’s ability to succeed in graduate school
  • Resume

Applicants should refer to the Graduate College website for additional information regarding the admission process.

TOEFL or IELTS Scores

Applicants are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores that meet the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0

This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science (M.S.) major in Public Health Education and Promotion Thesis option requires 36 semester credit hours, including a minor and a thesis.

Course Requirements

Required Courses
PH 5310History and Philosophy of Public Health Education and Promotion3
PH 5315Applied Behavioral Statistics in Public Health Education and Promotion3
PH 5321Advanced Health Behavior Theory3
PH 5346Research Methods in Public Health Education and Promotion3
PH 5350Advanced Public Health Program Planning and Evaluation3
Prescribed Public Health Electives
Choose 6 hours from the following:6
Grant Proposal Writing in Public Health
Writing for Public Health Professionals
Foundations of Public Health
Ethical Principles in Public Health Education and Promotion
Health Disparities
Public Health Education and Promotion Leadership
Public Health Issues in Human Sexuality Education
Independent Study in Public Health Education and Promotion
Internship in Public Health Education and Promotion
Global Public Health
Minor
Choose a 9 hour advisor-approved minor9
Thesis
PH 5399AThesis3
Choose a minimum of 3 hours from the following:3
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Total Hours36

Comprehensive Examination Requirements

All candidates for graduate degrees must pass one or more comprehensive examinations.

If a student elects to follow the thesis option for the degree, a committee to direct the written thesis will be established. The thesis must demonstrate the student’s capability for research and independent thought. Preparation of the thesis must be in conformity with the Graduate College Guide to Preparing and Submitting a Thesis or Dissertation.

Thesis Proposal

The student must submit an official Thesis Proposal Form and proposal to his or her thesis committee. Thesis proposals vary by department and discipline. Please see your department for proposal guidelines and requirements. After signing the form and obtaining committee members’ signatures, the graduate advisor’s signature if required by the program and the department chair’s signature, the student must submit the Thesis Proposal Form with one copy of the proposal attached to the dean of The Graduate College for approval before proceeding with research on the thesis. If the thesis research involves human subjects, the student must obtain exemption or approval from the Texas State Institutional Review Board prior to submitting the proposal form to The Graduate College. The IRB approval letter should be included with the proposal form. If the thesis research involves vertebrate animals, the proposal form must include the Texas State IACUC approval code. It is recommended that the thesis proposal form be submitted to the dean of The Graduate College by the end of the student’s enrollment in 5399A. Failure to submit the thesis proposal in a timely fashion may result in delayed graduation.

Thesis Committee

The thesis committee must be composed of a minimum of three approved graduate faculty members.

Thesis Enrollment and Credit

The completion of a minimum of six hours of thesis enrollment is required. For a student's initial thesis course enrollment, the student will need to register for thesis course number 5399A.  After that, the student will enroll in thesis B courses, in each subsequent semester until the thesis is defended with the department and approved by The Graduate College. Preliminary discussions regarding the selection of a topic and assignment to a research supervisor will not require enrollment for the thesis course.

Students must be enrolled in thesis credits if they are receiving supervision and/or are using university resources related to their thesis work.  The number of thesis credit hours students enroll in must reflect the amount of work being done on the thesis that semester.  It is the responsibility of the committee chair to ensure that students are making adequate progress toward their degree throughout the thesis process.  Failure to register for the thesis course during a term in which supervision is received may result in postponement of graduation. After initial enrollment in 5399A, the student will continue to enroll in a thesis B course as long as it takes to complete the thesis. Thesis projects are by definition original and individualized projects.  As such, depending on the topic, methodology, and other factors, some projects may take longer than others to complete.  If the thesis requires work beyond the minimum number of thesis credits needed for the degree, the student may enroll in additional thesis credits at the committee chair's discretion. In the rare case when a student has not previously enrolled in thesis and plans to work on and complete the thesis in one term, the student will enroll in both 5399A and 5399B.

The only grades assigned for thesis courses are PR (progress), CR (credit), W (withdrew), and F (failing). If acceptable progress is not being made in a thesis course, the instructor may issue a grade of F. If the student is making acceptable progress, a grade of PR is assigned until the thesis is completed. The minimum number of hours of thesis credit (“CR”) will be awarded only after the thesis has been both approved by The Graduate College and released to Alkek Library.

A student who has selected the thesis option must be registered for the thesis course during the term or Summer I (during the summer, the thesis course runs ten weeks for both sessions) in which the degree will be conferred.

Thesis Deadlines and Approval Process

Thesis deadlines are posted on The Graduate College website under "Current Students." The completed thesis must be submitted to the chair of the thesis committee on or before the deadlines listed on The Graduate College website.

The following must be submitted to The Graduate College by the thesis deadline listed on The Graduate College website:

  1. The Thesis Submission Approval Form bearing original (wet) and/or electronic signatures of the student and all committee members.
  2. One (1) PDF of the thesis in final form, approved by all committee members, uploaded in the online Vireo submission system.  

After the dean of The Graduate College approves the thesis, Alkek Library will harvest the document from the Vireo submission system for publishing in the Digital Collections database (according to the student's embargo selection). NOTE: MFA Creative Writing theses will have a permanent embargo and will never be published to Digital Collections. 

While original (wet) signatures are preferred, there may be situations as determined by the chair of the committee in which obtaining original signatures is inefficient or has the potential to delay the student's progress. In those situations, the following methods of signing are acceptable:

  • signing and faxing the form
  • signing, scanning, and emailing the form
  • notifying the department in an email from their university's or institution's email account that the committee chair can sign the form on their behalf
  • electronically signing the form using the university's licensed signature platform.

If this process results in more than one document with signatures, all documents need to be submitted to The Graduate College together.

No copies are required to be submitted to Alkek Library. However, the library will bind copies submitted that the student wants bound for personal use. Personal copies are not required to be printed on archival quality paper. The student will take the personal copies to Alkek Library and pay the binding fee for personal copies.

Master's level courses in Public Health: PH

Courses Offered

Public Health (PH)

PH 5199B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollments. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no-credit (F) basis.

1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

PH 5299B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollments. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no-credit (F) basis.

2 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

PH 5305. Grant Proposal Writing in Public Health.

This course provides the fundamentals of writing grant proposals in the social sciences. Instruction covers how to package a successful proposal from start to finish, including defining program objectives, selecting approaches and a plan, and preparing a program evaluation and budget.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

PH 5310. History and Philosophy of Public Health Education and Promotion.

This course is an intensive study of historical and philosophical contributions to public health education and promotion program development. Current political issues, public health issues, and influential cultural changes are examined. Focus is placed on developing a professional philosophy of practice in public health education and promotion practice.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

PH 5312. Writing for Public Health Professionals.

This course provides a systematic approach to improve technical and professional writing skills. Specifically, theory-based methods for establishing a productive writing habit, generating and editing text, and self-identifying and self-correcting writing problems are presented. Writing for and application of public health research are emphasized.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

PH 5315. Applied Behavioral Statistics in Public Health Education and Promotion.

This course focuses on the study of introductory and intermediate statistics and procedures commonly used in public health education and promotion. Emphasis will be placed on application of statistical models, analysis software, and interpretation of findings.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

PH 5320. Foundations of Public Health.

This course is an in-depth study of past and current public health programs. The course focuses on the examination of public health programs, policies, and systems that have impacted health status in different populations. A collection of current case-studies will be examined.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

PH 5321. Advanced Health Behavior Theory.

This course focuses on the presentation and critical analysis of the role of theory in health behavior, the description of different theories being utilized in health research and interventions, and the application of these theories to interventions and research.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

PH 5325. Ethical Principles in Public Health Education and Promotion.

This course provides an in-depth analysis of ethical standards, principles, and behaviors related to the field of public health education and promotion. Students will explore how to apply, monitor, and model ethical standards in the profession.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

PH 5330A. Health Disparities.

This course explores social determinants of health and health disparities in the U.S. and globally. Students explore past and existing public health initiatives to address health disparities in various U.S. communities.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing|Topics
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

PH 5335. Public Health Education and Promotion Leadership.

This course covers structured experiences for developing administrative leadership for public health education and promotion programs. Included are leadership philosophy, staffing, programming, budgeting, public relations, facilities, and evaluations.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

PH 5345. Public Health Issues in Human Sexuality Education.

This course provides for in depth study of sexuality education as a lifelong process of acquiring information and forming healthy attitudes, beliefs, and values regarding sexuality. Students analyze information and educational resources for implementing and advocating for sexuality instruction through health courses, sexuality education courses, and programs.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

PH 5346. Research Methods in Public Health Education and Promotion.

This course focuses on research models used in public health education and promotion. Students learn how to design research studies using accepted research methods in the social sciences. In addition, students write the introduction, literature review, and methods sections commonly accepted in public health research.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

PH 5347. Independent Study in Public Health Education and Promotion.

This course allows for independent study of one or more problems in public health education and promotion that hold special interest for a student or offers opportunity for professional improvement and growth. Open on an individual basis by special arrangement with the Program Coordinator. Repeatable once with a different emphasis. Prerequisites: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

PH 5350. Advanced Public Health Program Planning and Evaluation.

Students examine social ecological influences on population health in the context of public health program development. Students explore the use of epidemiological data to assist in developing health education and health promotion programs. Concepts include needs assessment, strategy selection, coalition development, implementation plans, and evaluation approaches.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

PH 5360. Internship in Public Health Education and Promotion.

This 240-hour internship provides students with professionally related experience. Students may work with diverse target audiences in public health settings. Internship is approved and supervised by Program Coordinator or assigned faculty. Prerequisites: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 20 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

PH 5374. Global Public Health.

This advanced course focuses on principles of international health with global populations. Emphasis is placed on assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating prevention strategies. Students explore roles of health educators collaborating with providers of health services to diverse populations. Prerequisites: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

PH 5399A. Thesis.

This course represents a student's initial thesis enrollment. No thesis credit is awarded until the student has completed the thesis in PH 5399B. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no-credit (F) basis.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

PH 5399B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollments. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no-credit (F) basis.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

PH 5599B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollments. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no-credit (F) basis.

5 Credit Hours. 5 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

PH 5999B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollments. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no-credit (F) basis.

9 Credit Hours. 9 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit