MPH Elective Course Option: Program Planning and Evaluation


MPH@GW’s program planning and evaluation elective courses are designed for students interested in assessing, implementing, managing and evaluating health promotion and education programs. Courses in this area of public health may be of interest to the analytical, observant and strong communicator.

Professionals with a public health program planning background strategize, document, review and assess reports and data related to health promotions, interventions and training. They relay this information to the public and communicate their findings to other health professionals.

Elective Courses

With MPH@GW, you will complete 9 to 11 elective credits. Interested in program planning and evaluation? Consider choosing the following elective courses to match your interests:

  • Researching Violence Against Women and Girls (2 credits)
  • Design, Monitoring and Evaluation of Sexual and Reproductive Health Programming in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (2 credits)
  • Social and Behavior Change Communication in Middle- to Low-Income Countries (2 credits)
  • Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health (2 credits)
  • Social Marketing: Theory and Practice (3 credits)
  • Marketing Research for Public Health (3 credits)
  • Cost Effectiveness in Health Promotion Programs (3 credits)
“I decided that I wanted to address the broad issues that affect the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities and societies — both now and for generations to come. Technology continues to evolve in terms of speed and availability; it’s fascinating to find ways to innovate and create value in the public health space.” —Vivian Berni, MPH@GW Graduate ‘17

What Can I Do With Program Planning and Evaluation?

Public health program planning is rooted in social and behavioral approaches, and evaluation should be done scientifically, which requires students to eliminate any biases they have about the subject or information under evaluation.

If you choose to take program planning and evaluation elective courses, you can expect to discuss and research a range of public health issues, including disease prevention, women’s reproductive health, domestic and child abuse, mental health awareness and more.

You will hone your skills in the following areas:

  • Qualitative Research Methods — Explore the philosophy, goals and basic methods of qualitative research as applied in public health (i.e., behavioral research, program development and health policy).
  • Social Marketing — Apply a range of marketing strategies in a real-world setting in order to impact the behavior of people, populations and policy makers.
  • Marketing Research — Improve program design, implementation and effectiveness by using marketing research techniques to better understand clients of public health programs.

Career Outlook

Skilled public health professionals must evaluate the effects of public health actions, including, but not limited to, the spread of infectious disease, violence, chronic disease, pathogens and threats of bioterrorism.

Employment of market research analysts is expected to grow by 23 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations1. With advancements in technology, companies are constantly trying to adapt and find cost-effective solutions.

Professionals with a background in program planning and evaluation, who also want to make a difference in public health by providing trustworthy data and resources, will be in high demand as this trend continues.

1 (2017) (Accessed March 2, 2018)Return to footnote reference