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  • Master of Science and Master of Public Health programs


    Welcome to the Master of Science in Community Health Education Program

    The Master of Science in Community Health Education prepares professionals to administer and develop health education programs, to implement health education processes and concepts, to understand current health issues, and to hone skills appropriate to current or projected career goals. The program provides latitude for candidates to select a health-related focus along with a number of courses which will prepare them with aligned skill sets. Candidates are encouraged to tailor coursework to their particular interests and the health issues specific to their professional responsibilities. This is a non-thesis degree in which a student completes a four-credit "Graduate Project in Health Education" (HED 798) related to a focused health education/health promotion issue.

    Welcome to the Master of Public Health in Community Health Education Program

    The Master of Public Health in Community Health Education (MPH-CHE) prepares health and human service professionals to work in various settings where community health education approaches are employed to improve health and well being. This practitioner-oriented program addresses behavioral theory, communication and motivational processes, community intervention strategies, and evaluation procedures for community health promotion and primary prevention.

    The first degree of its kind in the UW System, the MPH-CHE has had ongoing accreditation by the national Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) since 1992. It was ranked 6th in the Nation in the 2004 US News and World Report of the Best U.S. Graduate Programs in Community Health.

    CEPH Accreditation badgeAccreditation and Recognition

    The MPH-CHE program at UW-La Crosse was initiated in 1991 and has been CEPH accredited since 1992.  The first MPH degree offered in the University of Wisconsin System, every student who has graduated from the MPH program has graduated from an accredited program. 

    Accreditation Reports:  During 2014, the MPH and BS-CHE programs were nationally re-accredited through the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) for the full seven-year period until December 31, 2021.  The final Self-Study document and the final Accreditation Report are available upon request by contacting The Department of Health Education and Health Promotion.

    For more information on the CEPH accreditation please visit the CEPH website:  Council on Education for Public Health.

    Program Mission Statement

    The mission of the Public Health Unit reflects the departmental mission with the inclusion of a public health focus: The mission of the Public Health Unit at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is to prepare population-based practitioners using entry-level and advanced-level health education competencies and the public health core areas who will advocate and address health promotion and primary prevention strategies in a variety of community and work-site settings, engage populations in the processes of health education programming, and address secondary and tertiary prevention educational needs as appropriate. 

    Program Statement of Values

    The program is guided by the values below, in that it:

    • has an inherent Community Health Education focus which draws from the social and behavioral sciences;
    • treats with equity and respect all constituents and stakeholders aligned with the MPH-CHE and BS-CHE programs, to include, but not limited to, the candidates in the program, faculty, staff, administrators, community members, staff of other agencies and organizations, and those who seek additional information about the program;
    • is guided by professional preparation frameworks which enable it to be current and relevant for the challenges and opportunities experienced by its candidates;
    • prepares practitioners who are able to deliver health-related services, engage stakeholders in health enhancing activities, and guide advocacy-based endeavors;
    • highlights primary prevention and health promotion perspectives whenever feasible;
    • emphasizes quality of life improvements;
    • fosters community-based participatory research;
    • addresses workforce development as an inherent responsibility of those associated with the program;
    • and advocates for credentialing, specifically to include certification and accreditation, due to the value added to the individual and the program. 

    Program Goals

    The MPH-CHE and BS-CHE program goals align with the context of “community health education” which is defined as “a theory-driven process that promotes health and prevents disease within populations," (AAHE, 2001, p. 97). This perspective interfaces with the “Health Education Profession” which is defined as “a profession that uses evidence-based practice, and behavioral and organizational change principles to develop, plan, implement and evaluate interventions that enable individuals, groups, and communities, to achieve personal, environmental, and societal health,” (AAHE, 2012, p. 12).

    Our approach to the preparation of graduate and undergraduate candidates in Community Health Education involves processes by which individuals are educated (at the advanced level for graduate preparation and entry level for undergraduate preparation) to assess, plan, implement, evaluate, coordinate, and communicate health education activities, while serving as a resource person, along with a comprehension of research practices, administrative principles, and the advancement of the profession.

    These responsibilities address the prevention and resolution of health problems by both encouraging positive individual behavior changes and creating supportive environments to enhance the overall quality of life.

    Overall goals of the program are to: 

    1. prepare candidates at the entry and advanced health education and public health competency levels to become skilled Community Health Educators through quality instruction, Preceptroship, and culminating program experiences.
    2. prepare Community Health Educators who will work with a variety of population demographics, settings, and cultural perspectives within the primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention domains of health education and health promotion.
    3. conduct research in health education and health promotion which contributes to the quality of the learning experiences in the program and advances the art and science of the quality of life and living.  
    4. engage in service endeavors which contribute to the advancement of the health education profession and the collaboration among other aligned disciplines for improved quality of life and living. 

    The Lattice current issue

    You may also view past issues through the following links: 


    Download the MPH Program Brochure

    Download the 2013-2014 Graduate Student Guidebook (pdf)

    Graduates Are Prepared To:

    • assess individual and community health needs
    • plan effective health education and health promotion programs
    • implement and evaluate educational experiences
    • coordinate and manage the provisions of health education services
    • serve as a resource in health education
    • communicate health and health education needs, concerns and resources
    • conduct health education and health promotion research

    Graduates Are Employed In:

    • public health agencies
    • voluntary and private agencies
    • hospitals and other health care settings
    • local, state, and national governmental agencies
    • business and industrial settings
    • global health-related organizations
    Kate Noelke is a 2014 MPH-CHE graduate who is open to communications from prospective students and wished to share the following sentiment,
    "Dive in and connect with your peers, your instructors, your community members and the issues of the world around you. Reach out: the connections I made during my MPH experience enriched my education in ways I never imagined. Public health is action and interaction, so get busy!"


    Dr. Gary D. Gilmore
    Professor and Director, Graduate Community Health Programs
    Mitchell Hall 201

    Phone  608.785.8163
    Or the Department 608.785.8162

    FAX 608.785.6792