Community Health Science & Policy is focused on promoting wellness, preventing disease, and improving the quality of life among marginalized communities and populations by focusing on systems, equity, and policy impact. Our program advocates the use of a socio-ecological approach to identify and understand the social, cultural, and bio-behavioral determinants affecting health. Using this understanding, this program works to improve personal and population health through planning, implementation, and operating effective and community responsive programs and organizations. The diversity of our faculty’s areas of expertise affords students a broad range of perspectives for designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions to address the most pressing public health issues.

Using an interdisciplinary curriculum, this concentration encompasses historical perspectives, policy analyses, research driven practice, implementation science knowledge, public health skills development, data science application, and public health centered abilities for impactful communications. Students will be introduced to the practices and policies which create, or have disrupted, health equity, justice, and disparities. They will explore the science of health behavior change and evaluate innovative technologies created to address it.

Students will acquire skills in community engagement, policy analysis, risk and protective factor assessment, communication, intervention evaluation, and health impact assessment.

Students will be able to use these skills to evaluate the impact of community practices and policies on public health, social justice, health promotion, and economic opportunity; propose sustainable solutions and strategies to promote community resilience; and, advocate for more equitable policies and practices on behalf of disadvantaged and underserved communities.

This program prepares students for jobs in public health leadership such as program or project managers, community advocates in government and non-governmental agencies. Students can also explore careers as policy analysts, evaluation scientists, community change facilitators, health educators, health promotion specialists, health information system managers, medical and health services managers, prevention coordinators, public health advisors, quality management coordinators, and research assistants.

Program contact:

Stephen Phillippi, Jr., PhD, LCSW, CCFC
Program Director and Professor
Phone: 504-234-3899; Email: 

Admissions Contact:

Stephen Phillippi, Jr., PhD, LCSW, CCFC
Program Director and Professor
Phone: 504-234-3899; Email:

Ashley Wennerstrom, PhD, MPH (she/her)
Associate Professor
Phone: 504-568-5723