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Department of Health Studies

Offering programs in health promotion, nutrition education, and public health.

Department of Health Studies

The mission of the Department of Health Studies (DHS) is to educate and empower future leaders in the field to improve the health status and wellbeing of individuals, communities, organizations, and societies. This mission is achieved through innovative education, creative partnerships, policy-change advocacy, and transformational research. Health issues are of universal interest and relevance, transcending the boundaries of race, religion, culture and national origin.

Degree Programs



Our graduates put their expertise to work promoting health outcomes, policy, and research locally, nationally, and globally. Here are just a few recent examples of alum career paths:

Health Promotion students in front of the Capitol building

  • Research Associate at National Institute of Health
  • Nutrition Educator at Maryland Snap-Ed
  • Program Associate at Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
  • Wellness Coordinator at NFL Players Association
  • Assistant Fitness Director at Sport & Health
  • Health Communications Specialist at USAID
  • Senior Director, Customer Engagement at Cigna
  • Research Associate at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
  • Lifestyle Educator at Kaiser Permanente
  • Education Specialist at the Capitol Area Food Bank
To the Point logo and photo of woman running on beach

Science ·

To the Point: How Exactly Does Exercise Affect Our Brain Function?

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The Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities lab's $2.8 million grant from Novo Nordisk to address food insecurity in DC and support local Black farmers was featured in a story by The Eagle.

Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health award three AU Public Health students the innovation award.

Anastasia Snelling (Health Studies) received a $40,000 grant from DC Central Kitchen for the project "Healthy Corners Program Evaluation."

Elizabeth Cotter received a $142,743 grant from the NIH for “Reducing Maternal Stress to Improve Obesity-related Parenting Practices.”

Public health alumna Maeve Alterio is first author on A Geospatial Analysis of Abortion Access in the US after the Reversal of Roe v. Wade. Maeve is a medical student at Washington State University.

Health faculty discuss the US Farm Bill and national food and nutrition programs:

See more Health Studies News.


Food Matters team, front to back:  Jessica Yamamoto, Caroline Krekorian, Brooke Wayne, Matthew Bond

Student Life ·

Food Matters: DC Ward 7 Shoppers Spin-to-Win for Better Health

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Various fruits and vegetables.
Credit: Getty Images

Announcement ·

Transforming the Food System to Serve All

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To the Point logo and Ozempic injection pens

Science ·

To the Point: What Do We Really Know about Ozempic and Wegovy?

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Number of grants awarded to our department to promote health in Washington, DC


Students, faculty, staff, and volunteers working with us


Number of publications, reports, and presentations to disseminate this work