Public Health Psychology Graduate Programs

Public health psychology graduate programs are for students who want to contribute to a healthier society through researching causes of and creating treatments for psychosocial issues that affect a community's well-being. Schools offering Community Health Education & Advocacy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Information for Public Health Psychology Graduate Programs

Public health psychology graduate programs focus on the systems and programs that are intended to address the psychological and social issues that impact the health and well-being of groups and individuals. There are a number of these programs specifically for public health, but in some instances, they are simply health psychology programs with public health classes as part of the curriculum or as a specialization. Public health psychology grad students can find programs that offer M.A., M.S., Ph.D., and PsyD degrees.

Health Psychology

A public health psychology graduate program will include a course in health psychology as part of its core curriculum. In this course, students will be provided with an examination of the contemporary theories and research that define the specialized study of how behavior can affect health and illness. The topics learners will find might include the various psychological factors that can affect disease, the impact of illness on the psychological well-being of individuals as well as society as a whole, and the different psychotherapeutic interventions available.

Bases of Behavior

A study in bases of behavior will commonly be found in the core of classes offered to learners in a public health psychology graduate program. The typical approach for these courses is to give students a knowledge foundation that helps them understand how cognition affects human behavior and the ways thinking and feeling relate to each other. Topics to be considered will often include current studies in information processing, attention, memory, and the processes of reasoning and decision making.

Health Behavior Change

Classes focused on the theories and techniques for changing health behavior will be included in most public health psychology grad programs. These are courses that look at the contemporary strategies for health behavior change, preventing diseases, disease management, and prevention of relapse. There will also be a focus on issues like dietary needs, the use of tobacco and drugs, safe sex, and managing stress.

Health Promotion/Coaching

As part of a public health psychology graduate program, a class on techniques for promoting healthy lifestyles will be a part of the curriculum. Health promotion courses, sometimes called health coaching, will give an overview of the psychological strategies that can be used to modify individual and group behavior to improve overall health and prevent disease. Some common coaching techniques discussed will include goal setting, identifying personal obstacles, and using support networks.

Health Disparities in Aging

A class examining the way age affects health will look at the theories and research that comprise the base of knowledge on growing older and how aging affects human biological functions. For public health psychology grad students, these classes will increase their awareness of the issues that affect an aging population as well as the various sub-groups in that category. Common themes will include physical and cognitive changes that come with age, maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the elderly population, and changes in socioemotional functions as people grow older.

Research Design

A research design class teaches learners the fundamentals that go into the various methods used in psychological experiments and statistics. Usually, a research design course will be a core part of any public health psychology graduate program. Sometimes, these classes will have multiple parts that stretch over more than one semester. Students will learn of the quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches used to create research projects as well as the pros and cons of each when applying them to health psychology. As part of the study of research design, learners will also be given an overview of the ethics and skills required for conducting research.

Public health psychology graduate programs prepare students for careers in the field of psychological research that investigates the ways psychosocial factors, as well as individual thinking and behavior, can impact the overall health of a society. Coursework in these programs include topics focusing on health promotion, strategies for effecting public health changes, and methods for designing programs for research.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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