Graduate Studies

Public Health

“While studying for the Master’s degree in Health Education at the Department of Health Sciences of WIU, I gained a lot of new knowledge and managed to develop many new skills. Each and every class I took during my study made its unique contribution to my professional development and to my ability to meet various competencies, which any health educator should possess.” – Aziz Nabidzhonov, MS, 2010


  • Public Health
  • School Health

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

Program Overview 

Public Health is an interdisciplinary field aimed at promoting health and preventing disease, disability, and premature death through education-driven behavior change activities designed for individuals, groups, and communities. Graduate-level health educators are generally hired as directors of health education/promotion programs in a variety of settings.

Why Choose Health Education at WIU? 

Departmental faculty members have served in leadership positions in such organizations as the American Public Health Association, the American School Health Association, Society for Public Health Education, American Association for Health Education, National Safety Council, and the Illinois Sex Education Task Force. This wide variety of professional preparation and strong commitment to serving students enables the department to provide a rich breadth of courses and research opportunities leading to the comprehensive and thorough training of its graduates.

Recently, graduate students have collaborated with faculty in research studies involving such areas as binge drinking on college campuses, drug knowledge and awareness among young adults, sleep patterns of undergraduate students, methamphetamine surveillance, disaster planning for the homeless, and the impact of bullying in primary and secondary schools. These research endeavors also provided students with opportunities to make paper presentations at state and national health education conferences as well as co-author peer-reviewed publications in leading journals.

Our Faculty

Thirteen faculty members holding advanced degrees from 21 universities across the United States provide course instruction and research mentoring to graduate students. Efforts are made to provide a faculty mentor who matches each student’s interests. Faculty have expertise in the following areas: women’s health; program evaluation; risk assessment; needs assessment; community development; emergency preparedness; bioterrorism; health behavior theory; environmental health; sexuality education; health services administration; alcohol and drug prevention; health risk appraisal; diabetes education; geriatric health; eating disorders; and spiritual, emotional, multicultural, and occupational health.

Possible Public Health Career Paths

(Click here for a more complete listing of potential public health careers) Adapted from 101 Careers in Public Health by Beth Seltzer

  • Community Health Education Specialist
  • Epidemiologist
  • Public Health Advisor
  • Public Health Specialist
  • Health Promotion Program Coordinator
  • Injury Prevention Specialist
  • Community Health Worker
  • Biostatistician
  • Hazardous Waste Inspector
  • Health Physicist
  • Emergency Preparedness Specialist
  • Program Evaluator
  • Local Health Department Administrator
  • Area Agency on Aging Administrator
  • International Programs Manager

Quick View

Degrees Available:

  • M.P.H.


  • Quad Cities
  • Macomb

Required GPA:

  • Cumulative: 2.75 or
  • Last 2 years: 3.0

Admission Requirements:

  • Transcripts

Interesting Facts: Fall 2023

  • Currently enrolled: 96
  • International: 78
  • Minority: 10
  • Students with Assistantships: 19

Department Contact Information:

Stipes Hall 402