Program Details

M.A. degree program in community health
HEGIS code 1214
NYS SED program code 78495

The master of arts degree in community health serves both national and international students who are pursuing a career in health promotion/disease prevention. Many of our graduate students are in practice in the field and come to Brooklyn College for advanced training and professional development.

The program has two concentrations: community health education and thanatology. The community health education concentration develops professionals who design, conduct, and evaluate activities that help improve the health of individuals and communities. Graduates typically find employment in public health departments, community-based organizations, hospitals, and clinics as patient educators, health coaches, community organizers, public health educators, and health program managers.

The thanatology concentration focuses on the development of expertise in the area of dying, death, and bereavement. Graduates hold a variety of positions including that of hospice program director, hospital bereavement coordinator, hospice volunteer coordinator, funeral aftercare counselor, and bereavement counseling program director.

Program Heads

Office Hours
Balk, David Professor 718.951.5000 x1232 4110 (A) Ingersoll Hall dbalk @ E-mail for Appointment


Admission Requirements

Department Health And Nutrition Sciences
Fall Application Deadline March 1st
Spring Application Deadline November 1st - rolling admission
Supporting Documents for Matriculation:
Submit the following documents to the Office of Graduate Admissions: transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, two letters of recommendation.
Submit essay on academic interests and goals with application. Refer to instructions at .
TOEFL (paper, computer, internet) 500, 173, 61


Matriculation requirements
Applicants must offer at least 18 credits in acceptable health-related courses at the undergraduate or graduate level and a minimum GPA of 3.0. Experience in a health-related field is required for the thanatology concentration. One year of relevant experience in the field may be accepted in place of up to 18 credits for students in the community health education concentration.

Degree requirements

Thirty-three to thirty-six credits are required for the degree. Students must complete one of the following two concentrations of study: Community Health Education (36 credits) or Thanatology (33 credits).

Community health education concentration

Required courses (33 credits): Health and Nutrition Sciences 7110X, 7120X, 7140X, 7141X, 7150X, 7163X, 7170X, 7171X, 7925X, and 7930X.
Elective courses: 3 credits

Thanatology concentration.

Required courses (27 credits): students must complete 24 credits from the following courses: Health and Nutrition Sciences 7180X, 7181X, 7182X, 7183X, 7184X, 7185X, 7186X, 7187X, 7188X, 7901X.
Students must also complete Health and Nutrition Sciences 7930X (3 credits) and elect one of the exit requirements (see below), either of which requires two courses (6 credits) for a total of 33 required credits in this concentration.

Students with advanced preparation may substitute other courses for required courses with the permission of the deputy chairperson.

As part of the selected required concentrations ("Community Health Education" or "Thanatology"), students have the option of completing a specialization in Maternal, Child, Reproductive, and Sexual Health (MCRSH) by taking 9 of their 36 or 33 degree credits in courses designated as MCRSH, completing their fieldwork placement (HNSC 7925X or HNSC 7901X) in a MCRSH-related project, and (if applicable) writing their master's paper (HNSC 7940X, HNSC 7950X) or master's thesis (HNSC 7935X, HNSC 7999X) on a MCRSH-related topic. Six of the 9 credits of MCRSH coursework must consist of HNSC 7300X and HNSC 7310X. All MCRSH coursework and requirements are subject to approval by the deputy chairperson. MA students wishing to pursue the MCRSH specialization should notify the deputy chairperson in writing within their first two semesters of coursework.

Exit requirements:
Students matriculated in the community health education concentration are required to submit an acceptable capstone project at the culmination of HNSC 7925X.

Students matriculated in the thanatology concentration are required to submit either an acceptable thesis or an acceptable master's paper.

Students in either concentration electing to submit a thesis must complete Health and Nutrition Sciences 7935X (3 credits) and 7999X (3 credits). Information about the thesis is in the section "Academic Regulations and Procedures" of the Graduate Bulletin.

Students in the thanotology concentration electing to submit a master's paper must complete Health and Nutrition Sciences 7940X (3 credits) and 7950X (3 credits) with a grade of B or better. The student is not allowed to take 7940X more than twice. The grade for Health and Nutrition Sciences 7950X will be the same as the grade for the master's paper. The student must earn a grade of B or better for a master's paper to be acceptable.

Note that Health and Nutrition Sciences 7930X is a prerequisite for Health and Nutrition Sciences 7935X and for Health and Nutrition Sciences 7940X.

Courses in the Health and Nutrition Sciences Department offered toward the degree must be 7000-level courses.

Community Health Education students interested in national certification as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) may take the examination administered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.

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