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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 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, transformational research, creative partnerships, and policy-change advocacy. Health issues are of universal interest and relevance, transcending the boundaries of race, religion, culture and national origin.

Degree Programs & Careers


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 alums' career paths:

  • 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

Master's in Health Promotion Management


Faculty and students discuss what sets this program apart.


Student news

Greta Gatlin, PUBH '20, Mary Katherine Fogarty, PUBH '20, Guadalupe Mabry, PUBH '20, and Samar Khalil, BIO '20, participated in the NAM’s 2019 DC Public Health Case Challenge on October 18.

Three student groups will present their work on the Public Health Scholars Lab at the Service Learning and Civic Engagement conference at UMD on November 16.

Faculty In the Field

  • Professor Katie Holton and Elizabeth Brandley attended the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research conference in London, during which Holton chaired the opening session, moderated a symposium, and gave a talk about improvements in anxiety and PTSD observed in Gulf War veterans on a low glutamate diet.
  • Professor Jody Gan is excited to present "Engaging Promotores de Salud in Transformative Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Efforts in Atima, Honduras" at the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting, and at the Health Systems Research Conference. 
  • See more Health Studies News.


A child gets their arm swabbed by a physician

Department Spotlight ·

American University’s Public Health Program Receives Prestigious Accreditation

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

126 Students, faculty, staff, and volunteers working with us

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