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Making a Difference With USC's Online MPH Program

The career options with an online Master of Public Health in Health Promotion, Education & Behavior - Professional from the University of South Carolina are plentiful.

A case in point is Joshua Peake, a 2017 online graduate who also earned an undergraduate degree from USC. While enrolled in the online MPH program, he became manager of population health at Palmetto Health in Columbia, South Carolina. Prior to that, Peake was director of cardiac rehabilitation at Fairfield Memorial Hospital in Winnsboro, South Carolina, for more than three years.

"My father struggled managing his diabetes, and it ultimately led to renal failure and heart disease, so I had the opportunity to work with my father as a patient in cardiac rehabilitation until he passed in 2012," Peake said. "Witnessing the struggles of so many patients who had preventable and avoidable circumstances motivated me to begin an occupation that focused on chronic disease prevention."

Designed for working professionals, the online MPH program is an interdisciplinary field of study that prepares students to lead in every aspect of improving public health through behavioral and social sciences in a wide variety of settings. Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior (HPEB) is one of six departments in the Arnold School of Public Health.

The online MPH curriculum consists of five public health core courses, five HPEB core courses, three HPEB focus courses and two practicums, all of which total 45 credit hours. The program holds accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health and takes 24-26 months to complete.

Dr. Lucy Annang Ingram, USC associate professor and online MPH director, said, "During the time that I have been at USC, I have had the pleasure of teaching and mentoring undergraduate, master's and doctoral students in a variety of online and what we affectionately call 'terrestrial courses."

Three of those online MPH program courses are:

  • HPEB 700: Concepts and Methods in Health Promotion: a review of the fundamental principles and practices of health education and health promotion.
  • HPEB 702: Planning Health Promotion Programs: an overview of health promotion planning frameworks and issues in planning, implementing and evaluating health promotion programs in a variety of settings.
  • HPEB 547: Consumer Health in Contemporary Society: an exploration of the relationships between consumerism, health and education in the hopes of preparing individuals to make informed decisions about health products and services that will have a direct effect on their health.

The courses are an example of the depth of knowledge and insight the online MPH program provides to help current health practitioners build highly transferable skill sets.

Dr. Ingram says that she is dedicated to ensuring that the student experience in the master's program is one that is rewarding, informative, on the best days is transformative, and ultimately of great benefit to students in their public health careers.

That mission was accomplished with Peake, who was fully prepared to become an even bigger agent of change in his career as a public health professional.

"I would highly recommend the program to those who may be considering applying," he said. "This program has been a great learning experience for me and has equipped me with numerous tools that I feel will be helpful as I progress in my career."

Learn more about the USC online Master of Public Health in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior - Professional program.

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