Specialized Studies

Concentrations/Tracks Overview

Community Health Sciences allows students to  focus their studies in any one of eight concentrations or tracks: Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health, Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology, Behavioral Science and Health Promotion, Gerontology, Gender and Women’s Studies, Global Health, Survey Research Methodology and Women’s Health. All concentrations/tracks are available to all CHS students and all degrees. On this page you will find a brief overview of each area of study.        

Behavioral Science and Health Promotion

This track provides training in social and behavioral sciences to address public health problems in urban settings. Students learn to use social and behavioral theories and methodologies to understand health, illness and disease, and to develop health promotion programs. Emphasis is placed on community-based interventions in an urban context. For more information about this concentration, please visit the MPH Student Handbook 2014-2015 .


This track provides training in research, practice and policies related to aging populations. Students learn to use public health and life course perspectives to understand and address health and healthcare issues in aging societies. Emphasis is placed on identifying factors that contribute to the health and well-being of aging populations and developing, financing and managing health promotion and integrated healthcare programs that promote healthy aging. This track equips students to design, implement, evaluate and disseminate interventions and programs for older adults and their families, in both public and private sectors. For more information about this concentration, please visit the MPH Student Handbook 2014-2015 .

Gender and Women’s Studies

The School of Public Health partners with the Gender and Women's Studies Program at the UIC to offer this concentration. GWS courses allow students to critically examine issues of women and gender, as well as their complex intersections with race, class, ethnicity, and sexual identity, providing a rich, interdisciplinary focus. Once admitted to SPH, students may apply to the GWS Program for admission to the concentration. Please visit the Women's Studies website for additional information.

Global Health

The Global Health concentration attracts students at the masters level who are interested in preparing for international careers in government, with international NGOs and health care agencies, industry, and academic institutions. Foreign students who undertake the concentration will be prepared to return to their home countries to work in the country’s ministry of health, with international governmental agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other health care organizations. Visit the Global Health Initiative website for additional information.

Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health (CoE in MCH)

The Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health (CoE in MCH)at UIC is one of twelve MCH programs in the country funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Through collaborative research activities, coursework, and field-based learning, MCHP students help to improve the health and well-being of women, children, and families, particularly in Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) Regions V and VII. Our partners include: state and local health agencies, welfare and education agencies, not-for-profit advocacy organizations, and community-based health and social service organizations. For more information about this concentration, please visit the MCH website.

Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology

The Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Program at UIC is a collaborative effort between the Maternal and Child Health Program/Community Health Sciences division and the Epidemiology and Biostatistics division. Students in this concentration combine the assessment, planning, and analytic methods of CHS with epidemiology training from the Epidemiology and Biostatistics division. Because this program focuses on the application of epidemiologic and other analytic methods to current MCH problems, students are required to work with state or local health agencies for their field practicum (MPH) or dissertation (PhD). For more information about this concentration, please visit the MCH website.

Survey Research Methodology

Students who complete the interdepartmental graduate concentration in Survey Research Methodology will be prepared to apply a variety of survey research methodologies to problems in basic and applied research.This concentration was established through the sponsorship of the following UIC academic units: Community Health Sciences; Political Science; Public Administration; and Sociology. Visit the Survey Research Methodology website for additional information.

Women’s Health

The concentration in Women's Health is co-sponsored by the UIC College of Nursing, the School of Public Health, and the Gender and Women's Studies program. This concentration, housed within the College of Nursing, is designed for students who plan to pursue careers in women’s health administration, research, health care, teaching, and program and policy development. The program provides graduate students with scientifically grounded, state of the art knowledge and skills in the multidisciplinary field of women’s health. For a complete description of the concentration, including its target audience, course requirements, and designated and affiliated faculty, visit the College of Nursing website.

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