Posted on February 7, 2023 by Amanda Cerreto

M.S. in Health, Community and Policy

M.S. in Health, Community and Policy

FEBRUARY 7, 2023 — The UTSA College for Health, Community and Policy (HCAP) has launched a new master’s program. The interdisciplinary M.S. in Health, Community and Policy will address the market’s need to strengthen the professional community and public health workforce by preparing individuals with specialized knowledge and analytical skills in the development and evaluation of health promotion programs and policies aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the population.

The new graduate degree, offered by the UTSA Department of Public Health, will prepare students for jobs in the health care industry and in local, state and federal health agencies and community-based organizations. It is ideal for students who have a strong desire to serve the community through programs that emphasize health at the individual level, with emphasis on nutrition and physical activity, as well as the community and population level, with emphasis on advocacy for health policies that address health equity issues related to creating healthy environments and promoting access to healthcare and other health resources. The master’s program requires the completion of 30 semester hours, giving students the opportunity to complete their degree at a more rapid pace and a lower cost than similar programs.

Students will take courses in a variety of disciplines, including public health, public administration, psychology, sociology and nutrition. Specific coursework will include health and public policy; program planning, implementation and evaluation; research methods and quantitative analytical methods; community and population health; epidemiology; and nutrition and physical activity.

“This is a unique program because it draws on multiple disciplines, including public health, demography, sociology and public administration,” said Jeffrey Howard, associate professor of public health. “It prepares graduates for careers in many different health-related settings, all within a large, diverse metropolitan environment.”

Graduates will enter a job market for medical and health services managers anticipated to grow 31% in the next 10 years, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Students can choose from the following four specializations:

  • Health Promotion: This pathway is focused on community-based health promotion efforts and trains students to develop health promotion programs/interventions, with an emphasis on nutrition and physical activity, program implementation and evaluation. This specialization is available as a fully online, asynchronous program.

  • Policy: This specialization trains students to formulate, determine and implement public health policies. Students will learn valuable leadership and process management skills that can be applied to public service and nonprofit settings.

  • Society, Community and Health: This pathway will focus on the social determinants of health and the importance of community input in shaping long-term health policy. Students will learn how social and structural issues relate to health and health disparities, and how to mitigate these disparities and advocate for health equity.

  • Health Data Analytics and Population Health: Students opting for this specialization will learn how to apply advanced statistical and analytical methods to health and population data to identify and understand trends and patterns in health risk factors, behaviors and outcomes at the population level. Students will learn how to work with large, electronic health databases, including health surveys and Census and medical claims records, and how to analyze and transform this data into useful insights to inform health policy, intervention and decision-making.

Explore HCAP’s Department of Public Health.

UTSA is committed to creating the next generation of leaders who will impact public health and policy. The master’s in health, community and policy speaks directly to UTSA’s urban serving mission to tackle society’s grand challenges through world-class education and research programs.

“The College for Health, Community and Policy was designed to build programs just like the new interdisciplinary master’s degree,” said Lynne Cossman, dean of the college. “We are training a 21st century workforce who will look at health and health disparities from many perspectives rather than a singular perspective. That transdisciplinary lens always makes both the understanding of problems and development of solutions more creative.”

— Amanda Cerreto