Physical Activity

Master of Public Health Option

What can you do to promote physical activity in communities?

   Request info

Applications reviewed on Dec 1 (Priority), March 1 & June 1 (Final).

Physical activity is vital to the health of individuals and communities

It seems simple – our bodies are designed to move, and movement is good for us. But there’s more to that statement than you might think.

What motivates people to move? What obstacles do communities have to engage in physical activity? How does a lack of physical activity affect different populations?  

Go deeper into the science of physical activity and its application in populations. Prevent disease, prolong life and promote human health.


With an MPH in physical activity, you’ll address activity at the community level to create environments that make the healthy choice the easy choice.

Learn how to promote physical activity in communities.

As a student in our college, you will have access to leading scholars and practitioners in the field of physical activity, as well as many hands-on opportunities that will further prepare you for your future career.

You may choose to become involved with on-campus opportunities, or work with public or private organizations to increase physical activity in the community.

Vanlena Le

Vanlena Le
MPH: Physical Activity student

MPH Ambassador

"Having experienced the benefits that exercising brings to my physical and mental well-being, I knew I had to be in a field that gives me the platform to promote physical activity.

"An MPH means I have a seat at the table to improve community health outcomes by reducing health disparities and physical activity barriers. Not only has this program deepened my interest for public health, but it has also introduced me to the most supportive people." 

MPH curriculum and coursework

The Oregon State MPH – Physical Activity program requires 60 credit hours of coursework (approximately the equivalent of 40 semester credits).

This includes 12 credits of integrated core coursework, 27 credits of option-specific coursework, 15 credits of elective coursework and a 6-credit internship.

The program does not require a thesis; rather, it culminates with an integrative learning experience (ILE). Each MPH option has its own distinct ILE, created by program faculty to assess students’ mastery of program competencies.

See which courses you'll take as a physical activity student.
Option-specific handbooks

What you'll learn as an MPH student.
Learning competencies

How you'll apply your knowledge.
MPH internships

Promoting physical activity career options

An MPH in physical activity will help you prepare for a variety of careers that include developing, implementing and evaluating community-based programs designed to promote physically active lifestyles.  

You may find work in state, local and federal health agencies, state and local health departments, prevention research centers, worksites, schools, and professional, commercial or nonprofit organizations.

Sample careers:

  • Corporate wellness consultant
  • Community health coordinator
  • Physical activity specialist
  • Program director
  • Research manager

Professor Kathy Gunter, Ph.D.

“If we can take the focus off of individuals and stop telling them ‘you need to move more and eat better’ and instead focus on creating environments that make the healthy food choice, or the active option easy and ultimately, the default, we may be able to stem the tide of obesity.”

We’re here to help

For information on assistantships, your investment and more visit the main MPH program page.

We’re happy to connect with you by email, phone or virtual meetings.


For questions about the application process and requirements, contact CPHHS graduate admissions.


To talk about curriculum and life as an MPH student, contact MPH Administrative Director Hanako Justice, MPH, MSW, CHES.


For academic or professional information specific to the Oregon State MPH physical activity program, please contact Program Director John Schuna, Ph.D.


In 2014, our college was accredited by the Council for Education in Public Health – the first in Oregon. This distinction provides our students with more resources, more opportunities to engage in research, and faculty experts who specialize in a variety of public health topics.