Community Health

Department of Kinesiology & Community Health
Department Head: Amy Woods
Director of Graduate Studies: Steven Petruzzello
Graduate Office: Julie Jenkins
906 South Goodwin Ave
112 Freer Hall     MC-052
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 333-1083

Major: Community Health
Degrees offered:  M.S., Ph.D.

Major: Public Health
Degrees offered: M.P.H.

Major: Rehabilitation
Degrees offered: M.S.

Master of Public Health and Master of Urban Planning

The M.P.H. can be earned jointly with the Master of Urban Planning, M.U.P. Joint degree programs provide the opportunity to complete two degrees in a compressed time frame. For the joint program, at least 40 hours must be in Urban Planning, including all core courses and capstone requirements. The two programs must total a minimum of 88 hours, however the M.U.P. program may at its discretion count up to 8 hours of Urban Planning courses as electives in meeting its degree requirements as long as students are required to take no fewer than 40 additional hours in the M.P.H. program. Students must be in residence in Urban Planning for at least two semesters. Consult the department's M.U.P. joint degree web page for more information about the admissions process and joint degree requirements. For additional guidance, please contact the Director of the M.U.P. Program.

Master of Public Health and Master of Business Administration

The M.P.H. can be earned jointly with the Master of Business Administration, M.B.A. Joint degree programs provide the opportunity to complete two degrees in a compressed time frame. For students interested in blending their interests in business with a passion for public health, they can pursue the MPH-MBA Joint Degree Program. The student could apply for the joint degree prior to beginning their MPH or after completing the first year of the MPH program. To receive both degrees, MPH and MBA., students must complete a total of 108 hours of graduate-level coursework, including a minimum of 48 hours of public health courses and 60 hours of business courses. To satisfy the requirements of the Graduate College, students must be enrolled for at least three semesters  in each of the two programs within the joint degree. Additionally, the first two semesters of the MBA program must be taken consecutively beginning in the fall.

Graduate Degree Programs

The Community Health Program in the Department of Kinesiology & Community Health offers programs of study leading to the Master of Science in Community Health, Master of Science in Rehabilitation, Master of Public Health (M.P.H.), and Doctor of Philosophy in Community Health degrees.

The Chronic Disease, Disability, and Society specialization prepares graduates for advanced research or as health specialists who are well versed in social determinants of health. Graduates from this specialization will have a strong foundation related to health disparities, chronic disease and disability. The specialization in Epidemiology prepares students for the analysis of disease occurrences and problems in populations and instruction in the various methodologies, statistical techniques and designs for obtaining such understanding. The Global Health specialization focuses on international health from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students in this concentration may take courses that provide a broad view of global health contexts from various departments across campus. Finally, the specialization in Health Policy and Administration prepares students for the examination of management principles related to health care institutions and in procedures and methods for the analysis of health policy development, implementation and evaluation.

The M.S. in Community Health has specializations in Chronic Disease, Disability, and Society; Epidemiology; Global Health; and Health Policy and Administration. The M.S.P.H. program is not currently accepting applications, and individuals interested in pursuing a Master’s degree in public health are encouraged to apply to the M.P.H. degree program. The M.P.H. degree is a professionally focused degree designed to prepare students for a career in public health practice.  The M.P.H. degree offers an area of concentration in health behavior and promotion. The Ph.D. program is designed to prepare graduates for positions of leadership in teaching, research, and service in universities, industries, and private and government agencies in the United States and in other countries.


Applications for all degrees except the Master of Public Health (MPH) are due on January 15 for fall admission.  Applications for spring semester are due October 1. Applications for the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree are only accepted for Fall admission until April 1.

The Graduate College admission requirements apply for all applicants. Candidates for admission to master’s degree programs should have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (A = 4.0) for the last 60 semester hours of their undergraduate degree work (excluding fieldwork, student teaching, and physical activity courses). In addition, satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are required. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in a health or disability-related discipline and/or a strong background in social and biological sciences and quantitative methods. A statement of education and career goals, and three letters of recommendation are required. All degree programs with the exception of the Master of Public Health (MPH) require one example of professional writing with the date of its completion.

Admission requirements for the Ph.D. program include the following: a grade point average of at least 3.0 (A = 4.0) for the last 60 hours of undergraduate degree work (excluding fieldwork, student teaching, and physical activity courses), a GPA of 3.6 for master’s degree work with thesis, and acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination. Candidates are encouraged to have a personal interview with the coordinator of graduate studies or other representative of the department. Preference is given to students who have had at least two years of professional experience.

Applicants for all degrees whose native language is not English, or who have not obtained a university degree from an institution in a country where the native language is English, are required to submit the results of the TOEFL or IELTS as evidence of English proficiency. Applicants submitting TOEFL scores must obtain a minimum score of 600 on the paper-based, 250 on the computer-based, or 100 on the internet based (iBT) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants submitting IELTS scores must obtain a 6.5 on all sub-sections. Applicants whose native language is not English and who are seeking a teaching assistantship must provide evidence of spoken English language proficiency by meeting minimum score requirements specified by the University (see

Medical Scholars Program

The Medical Scholars Program permits highly qualified students to integrate the study of medicine with study for a graduate degree in a second discipline, including Community Health. Students may apply to the Medical Scholars Program prior to beginning graduate school or while in the graduate program. Applicants to the Medical Scholars Program must meet the admissions standards for and be accepted into both the doctoral graduate program and the College of Medicine.  Students in the dual degree program must meet the specific requirements for both the medical and graduate degrees. On average, students take eight years to complete both degrees.  Further information on this program is available by contacting the Medical Scholars Program, 125 Medical Sciences Building, (217) 333-8146 or at

Graduate Teaching Experience

Although teaching is not a general Graduate College requirement, experience in teaching is considered an important part of the graduate experience in this program.

Faculty Research Interests

Faculty research interests cover a wide range of subjects, including global health, health education, community health development, health behavior, health policy, health planning and management, rehabilitation and disability studies, chronic disease, epidemiology, biostatistical and epidemiologic research methodology, health economics, evaluation research, and aging studies.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available on a competitive basis to qualified students in the form of teaching and research assistantships, as well as tuition and service fee waivers.

Graduate course experience in public health and statistics with grades of B or better is expected prior to admission. Before admission to the Ph.D. program, students may be required to take up to 12 hours of additional coursework to remedy deficiencies.  The candidate is required to pass written preliminary examinations covering disciplinary and professional aspects of community health, the literature and theoretical perspectives in the major area of study and methological perspectives and research techniques. Students must also pass an oral preliminary examination on the area of specialization and dissertation proposal; and to pass an oral defense of dissertation research.

Doctor of Philosophy in Community Health

Advanced research methods/statistics4
CHLH/KIN/SHS 565/RST 560Teaching in the Professoriate4
CHLH 591Seminar8
Two courses in an area of specialization8
Additional research methods/statistics8
CHLH 599Thesis Research32
Total Hours64

Other Requirements1

Other requirements may overlap
Approved Masters Degree Required for Admission to PhD? Yes
Qualifying Exam Required: No
Preliminary Exam Required: Yes
Final Exam/dissertation Defense Required: Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required: Yes
Minimum GPA: 3.0

CHLH Class Schedule

Community Health Courses

CHLH 501   Issues in Health Education   credit: 4 Hours.

Analyzes current developments, trends, and controversies in health education with emphasis on developing student competencies for intervention planning, implementation and analyses; and examines issues affecting the health educator in various work settings, including patient care, public health, school health, and higher.

CHLH 510   Public Health Dev   credit: 4 Hours.

Advanced study of the principles, practice and current issues of public health at the local, state, national and international levels, including the relationships between public health departments, voluntary health agencies, and other community organizations.

CHLH 527   Statistics in Epidemiology   credit: 4 Hours.

Description and application of quantitative issues and statistical techniques prominent in the analysis of classification data arising from epidemiologic cohort or case-control aetiologic studies; studies of preventive public health; and therapeutic clinical interventions. Practice using available computing software for implementation is stressed. Same as ENVS 527 and PATH 525. Prerequisite: CHLH 474 and minimum of two statistics courses covering multiple regression and correlation.

CHLH 540   Health Behavior: Theory   credit: 4 Hours.

Analysis of social science theories and perspectives that comprise the foundation of health education theory and practice. Includes development of a conceptual frame of reference for understanding, predicting, and facilitating change in health behaviors. Same as KIN 540. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

CHLH 550   Health Policy: United States   credit: 4 Hours.

Comprehensive analysis of the policy process in health care in the United States; systematic and critical review of health policy development, implementation, and evaluation; impact of government at all levels and the role of providers, industry, labor, and consumer in health policy. Prerequisite: Admission to graduate program in community health or the MBA Administration Program; CHLH 429; or consent of instructor.

CHLH 569   Systematic Review and Meta-analysis   credit: 4 Hours.

The goals of this course are to: (1) Deepen understanding on the key concepts and essential methods in systematic review and meta-analysis though lectures and reading assignments; (2) Master basic skills on conducting systematic review and meta-analysis through hands-on exercises and projects; and (3) complete a publication-quality systematic review and/or meta-analysis of a student's own choice as the final project of this course. 4 graduate hours. 4 professional hours.

CHLH 570   Intro Public Hlth Practice   credit: 1 Hour.

An introduction to principles of public health practice, covering a range of topics including history of public health, determinants of health, structure and function of the public health system, ethics, and public health approaches to prevention and to improving population health. Approved for S/U grading only. Prerequisite: MPH student or consent of the instructor.

CHLH 572   Principles of Epidemiology   credit: 4 Hours.

Advanced course designed to provide an introduction to the fundamental concepts and principles of epidemiology and demonstrate their applicability in the field of public health. Emphasizes the use of epidemiologic data and research to a) describe the pattern of diseases in communities, and b) identify risk factors for diseases and for health disparities. Prerequisite: Completion or concurrent enrollment of basic statistics course is encouraged.

CHLH 573   Biostatistics in Public Health   credit: 4 Hours.

Introduction to fundamental topics in biostatistics in public health, covering univariate and bivariate statistics as well as basic topics in multivariate analysis. Including practice in analyzing health data through computer laboratory sessions.

CHLH 575   Chronic Disease Prevention   credit: 4 Hours.

Advanced course in population-based approaches to chronic disease prevention, with emphasis on policy and environmental strategies affecting lifestyle risk factors. Provides an understanding of common diseases, screen tests, community assessment, systematic evidence reviews, and evidence-based community interventions. Prerequisite: MPH students or consent of instructor.

CHLH 577   Health Program Evaluation   credit: 4 Hours.

Use of research methods and theory for evaluation of initiatives and programs in public health and medical care. Emphasis on acquiring skills in evaluation and conducting evaluations whose results have impact on public health practice. Covers different theories and perspectives on health evaluation. Review of published evaluations used to illustrate research methods and practical issues in program evaluation. Prerequisite: MPH student or consent of instructor.

CHLH 578   Applied Epidemiology   credit: 4 Hours.

Advanced epidemiologic analysis of disease problems. Covers research designs including cohort, case-control, and intervention trials; methods of analysis including multivariate adjustment for confounding and description of effect modification; and application of statistical computer software with emphasis on chronic diseases. Same as PATH 520. Prerequisite: CHLH 474, PATH 517, or equivalent and advanced course work in statistics through multivariate analysis.

CHLH 579   Cultural Competence in Public Health   credit: 4 Hours.

Cultural competence education increases public health professionals' cultural awareness, knowledge of self and others, communication skills, attitudes, and behaviors. This course will examine theoretical models in public health and explore community-based programs as they relate to cultural competence and health promotion. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit. Prerequisite: Restricted to MPH Graduate Students.

CHLH 585   Community Health Internship   credit: 4 Hours.

Observation, study, and practical work in student's area of specialization under supervision in professional field situations; student works for a minimum of 12 weeks in a University-approved agency or site. Prerequisite: CHLH 429, CHLH 474 and CHLH 510; or graduate standing in community health; or consent of the department.

CHLH 587   MPH Applied Practice Experience   credit: 1 to 4 Hours.

Provides MPH students with planned, supervised and evaluated field experience in a public health practice setting where students will synthesize knowledge and skills acquired through the course of MPH study. Approved for letter and S/U grading. May be repeated up to 4 hours in separate terms. Prerequisite: Completion of all Core MPH Courses.

CHLH 589   MPH Integrative Learning Experience   credit: 2 Hours.

Provides MPH students an opportunity to synthesize, integrate, and apply knowledge and skills acquired in MPH coursework, through work on a project relevant to public health practice. Generally offered for MPH students in their last semester of study in the MPH program. Prerequisite: MPH student.

CHLH 591   Seminar   credit: 1 Hour.

Lecture, discussions, and critiques on kinesiology and community health related subjects by faculty members and visiting professional leaders; presentation and criticism of student research. Approved for S/U grading only. May be repeated in subsequent terms as topics vary.

CHLH 593   Special Projects   credit: 2 to 4 Hours.

Independent research on special projects. May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: EPSY 480, KIN 501, and CHLH 540 or equivalent.

CHLH 594   Special Topics   credit: 1 to 4 Hours.

Lecture course in topics of current interest; specific subject matter announced in the Class Schedule. May be repeated.

CHLH 599   Thesis Research   credit: 0 to 16 Hours.

Preparation of theses in community health. Approved for S/U grading only. May be repeated to a maximum of 16 hours.

REHB Class Schedule

Rehabilitation Counseling Courses

REHB 501   Rehabilitation Research   credit: 4 Hours.

This course has been designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in rehabilitation and disability research. The course will cover major topics of research methods and techniques used in rehabilitation and disability research. A review of experimental designs and methods, human subject research, and disability related funding agencies will also be covered. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

REHB 520   Psycho-Social Aspects   credit: 4 Hours.

Study of the social and emotional adjustment of individuals with disabilities; evaluation of effects imposed by societal attitudes; analysis of the implications for rehabilitation professionals in dealing with individuals who have a disability; review of relevant research. Same as SPED 520.

REHB 536   Assessment in Rehabilitation   credit: 4 Hours.

Theory and practice of vocational evaluation techniques for persons with disabilities. Reviews basic psychometric instruments and adds practical experience with work samples and computer-based testing. Includes hands-on experience in the evaluation of disabled clients. Prerequisite: REHB 401 or one basic course in testing.

REHB 583   Counseling Internship   credit: 4 Hours.

Development of individual counseling skills in a rehabilitation setting; emphasis on vocational evaluation and placement skills as developed in case management and planning experiences as well as adjustment to disability, vocational choice, and job placement techniques. May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: REHB 401, REHB 520, REHB 536, and consent of instructor.

REHB 585   Rehabilitation Practicum   credit: 4 Hours.

Practical experience in a major area of rehabilitation; discussion/laboratory sections cover such practicum topics related to administration, counseling, or supported employment and other rehabilitation services. Prerequisite: REHB 301 and consent of instructor.

REHB 593   Special Problems   credit: 2 to 4 Hours.

Independent research on special projects. Open only to majors. May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: REHB 401; consent of instructor.

REHB 594   Special Topics   credit: 1 to 4 Hours.

Lecture course on topics of current interest; specific subject matter announced in Schedule. May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: Will be determined for each topic and will be indicated in Schedule; REHB 401; consent of instructor.

REHB 599   Thesis Research   credit: 0 to 8 Hours.

Preparation of thesis in rehabilitation. Approved for S/U grading only. May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: Satisfactory standing in the master's program.