As Oregon’s first and only accredited college of public health and human sciences, we are thinking about public health in new ways. Being a new college means we’re positioned to look beyond the traditional ways of doing things, and it allows us to fast-track our vision of becoming a pre-eminent college of public health and human sciences.

In fact, we are on the leading edge of a national movement to integrate our MPH curriculum by bringing together public health and the college’s rich tradition in the human sciences and ensuring that our globally minded students meet the health needs of the next generation.

In addition to creating a modern curriculum, we are holistically addressing the big issues that affect health across the lifespan – chronic and infectious disease, injury, obesity, health policy, aging, occupational and environmental health, nutrition, physical activity, lifestyle and behavior, and preparing children for success.

As a diverse community of problem-solvers and through teaching, research, outreach and collaboration across our college, university, state and world, we are leading the change in how people think about and ensure the health and well-being of every person, family and community in Oregon and beyond.


Here’s why it matters.

Accreditation literally puts us on the map and in good company with the nation’s 50-plus accredited schools and colleges of public health. That raises our visibility and reputation, ensures the quality and value of our students’ education and degrees, increases our ability to attract committed students and world-class faculty, and helps us secure the resources to support the things we do that are most important. This includes educating the next generation of globally minded pubic health and human sciences professionals, researching and learning new ways to ensure health across the lifespan, and finally bringing that knowledge to our partnership with the public to improve their lifelong health and well-being.

As an accredited college of public health and human sciences, we are positioned to:

  • Enhance and build the health professions workforce, fending off a predicted shortage of public health professionals
  • Apply human sciences such as family science, nutrition, human development and exercise science to public health issues
  • Expand our outreach network of local health departments, health providers, environmental organizations and health Extension programs in nutrition, family and community health and 4-H
  • Bring critical research to bear in solving problems and informing public policy
  • Grow the economy, benefiting the state and region
  • Apply interventions to help manage chronic disease
  • Ensure lifelong health and well-being for every person, every family and every community across Oregon and beyond

Read All in for healthier lives to see how the CPHHS is improving health in Oregon and beyond.

CPHHS by the numbers

Three times the number of current public health graduates is needed to meet the health challenges of the future, and we’re helping to close that gap. Not only do we offer the MPH and PhD in public health, we also are one of only a few colleges of public health that offers a public health undergraduate degree. We also offer a comprehensive range of degrees in the health sciences.

OSU Extension Service has been our expressway to the community for more than 100 years

In fact, of the nation’s 50-plus accredited schools of public health, we’re the only one with community outreach built in. Because we believe in local solutions, more than 105 PHHS Extension and Public Health Practice faculty work hand-in-hand with our communities across the state to explore new ways to collaborate and leverage resources to improve health.

$4.8 million grant will help prevent rural childhood obesity

Two College of Public Health and Human Sciences faculty received a $4.8 million grant to develop an obesity prevention program for children in rural Oregon.

Project directors Deborah John and Kathy Gunter were awarded $4,878,865 to start the program, called “Generating Rural Options for Weight-Healthy Kids and Communities.” Deborah and Kathy hold faculty positions in the college and OSU Extension Family and Community Health.

“Rural populations, particularly rural children are often faced with fewer personal choices to support healthy lifestyle behaviors – fewer places to walk or bike ride safely, buy fresh, healthy foods and snacks, participate in organized physical activity and/or sport programs, and possibly less time in the day for families to share healthy, nutritious meals and play actively together, “ Deborah says. “The result is an energy equation that is out of balance – too many calories in, not enough calories burned.”

Cooperative Extension in Oregon and six other Western states will develop a plan to prevent obesity among rural children and field test it in rural communities within three Oregon counties: Clackamas, Columbia and Klamath. The grant is awarded through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).

The team used the assessments to begin an obesity-intervention program in September 2012 to improve the body mass index among rural children aged 5-8 years old.

$4.7 million USDA grant will help Oregon teens stay healthy

College of Public Health and Human Sciences Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist Siew Sun Wong and Professor Melinda Manore were awarded $4.7 million by the USDA to start the program “WAVE~Ripples for Change: Obesity Prevention for Active Youth in Afterschool Programs Using Virtual and Real-World Experiential Learning.”

About 500 active teens ages 14 to 19 will engage in three different life skills programs, including a real-world scenario where teens learn about growing their own food, cooking and preparing healthy, inexpensive meals at home, and staying active.

The other two programs use cutting-edge technology to create virtual environments where teens will practice these same skills but as an avatar in a 3-D virtual world. One virtual world will be “realistic,” based on the real environment; the other will be a fantasy world where anything is possible.

At the end of the five-year project, researchers will examine the data to see which of the three programs resulted in better outcomes. The goal is to see how teens who are already physically active due to involvement in team sports can develop lifestyle skills that will stay with them past school age.

“These youths are active now, but what happens when they don’t have a team sport to motivate them?” Melinda says. “Many parents of active teens allow their kids to eat unhealthy food, because they don’t worry about their weight. This is about building healthy behavior that becomes part of their life.”

The project’s OSU team members include faculty from nutrition and exercise sciences, engineering, Information Services, Extension, SNAP-Ed educators, KidSpirit and 4-H programs. Other participants include Bob’s Red Mill, Cooking Matters at the Store, Marion-Polk Food Share, the University of Arizona and San Diego State University’s Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health.

Endowment to increase healthy eating, whole grain education

Renee Carr is new Moore Family Center endowed outreach coordinator

A relationship dating back nearly 20 years has evolved into a partnership that will help increase healthy eating awareness in the community, state and nation.

As part of a gift to Oregon State University’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences (CPHHS) from Bob and Charlee Moore of Bob’s Red Mill, CPHHS’ Extension Family and Community Health specialist Renee Carr has been named the Moore Family Center (MFC) endowed outreach coordinator.

Renee, who serves on multiple statewide nutrition committees and manages the SNAP-ED program for low-income youth and families (Portland POWER-UP Program), will work in partnership with Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health Endowed Director Emily Ho.

“This position with the MFC increases our capacity to do outreach and enhance some of the projects we are currently working on,” Renee says. “For example, in our work with – making half of your grains whole grains – we’ll be able to teach youth ways to cook whole grains including hands-on experiences seeing whole grains up close and feeling their texture with samples.”

Renee and her team will begin implementing whole grain messaging with 20 K-8 schools in the Portland/Metro area in 2014. This whole grains pilot will later be shared through the statewide and national Extension system.

Did you know? Oregon State's two largest grants live in our college and total nearly $10 million.

They include:

Grow Healthy Kids and Communities is a five-year, multi-level, $4.8 million research project designed to inspire children, families, schools and communities to create opportunities to eat healthy and be physically active most every day. It partners with OSU Extension and Extension Services in six Western states to explore obesity in rural environments and develop strategies that lead to healhty lifestyles.

Led by Assistant Professor Siew Sun Wong and funded by a $4.7 million USDA grant, WAVE~ Ripples for Change is a five-year, skill-building program to determine the effectiveness of virtual and real-world learning environments on obesity prevention in active youth ages 14-19.

Portland outreach

Endowment to increase healthy eating, whole grain education

In Portland, a collaboration between the college and Bob's Red Mill sprouted new growth with the addition of new endowed PHHS Extension and Community Health Specialist Renee Carr. Renee will begin implementing education around whole grains and healthy eating with 20 K-8 schools in the Portland metro area in 2014.


The college’s four research centers collaborate across disciplines, the college, the nation and world to create solutions that ensure health and well-being across the lifespan.


Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health

The Moore Family Center uses connections among research, education and outreach to bridge the science of whole foods and nutrition to its practical application in the community and to train the next generation of nutrition educators. Through three research cores – Healthy Diets and Food; Food, Nutrients and Preventive Health; and Community Nutrition and Public Health Practice – the center provides mechanisms for researchers and students to learn and train in food and nutrition research in a multidisciplinary environment. We also offer experiential learning experiences for students and future educators, research services in dietary assessment and human dietary studies, and practical applications that can assist individuals and communities through educational opportunities, classes and service offerings.

"through nutrition, we're helping communities tip the balance toward better health."

Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families

The Hallie E. Ford Center is a lively hub where scholars from multiple disciplines work together on research that promotes the development and well-being of children and families by generating, translating and sharing research-based knowledge. The center provides synergy for collaboration and focused strategic research in four core areas and is home to funded research and outreach projects, as well as grant-writing and publishing workshops, writing groups, colloquia and public events related to research, policy and practice. Our four core areas of research reflect our greatest strengths and some of the most pressing topics for science, policy and practice in the years from birth to young adulthood. They are Healthy Lifestyles and Obesity Prevention, Parenting and Family Life, Early Childhood, and Youth and Young Adults.

"We have a real passion for children and families."

Center for Global Health

The college’s newest research center, the Center for Global Health is dedicated to improving the lives and health of diverse families and communities and is committed to protecting health at home and preventing disease, death and disability abroad. Our expertise includes rural and migrant workers' health, water and environment, health systems, occupational health and safety, aging across the world, food security and community nutrition, global mental health, and adolescent, reproductive and sexual health. We are a community of learning and service that generates knowledge to promote equitable and sustainable community ownership of health and well-being and address current and future global health challenges with respect for human dignity and self-determination.

"It was an opportunity to really do public health on the front lines."

The Center for Healthy Aging Research

People age 65+ are expected to be 19 percent of the population by 2030, and addressing their health and well-being – and how we age across our lifespan – is the work of the Center for Healthy Aging Research, or CHAR. Established in 2005 and built on Oregon State’s distinguished Program on Gerontology and PHHS Extension programs, CHAR attracts innovative scientists who explore aging through a multidisciplinary approach in all its facets – from cellular and biological aspects to social and environmental factors that impact how we age. More than 45 faculty members are actively engaged in four core areas of research – Diet and Genetics, Psychosocial, Musculoskeletal, and Gerotechnology – which will lead us to the discovery of new methods for preventing disease and ensuring healthy aging.

"Living longer isn't always as important as living healthier."

Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health

Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families

Center for Global Health

Center for Healthy Aging Research

We are the visionaries, the scholars, the doers. And we need you.

This is the right place and the right time to be part of the future of public health. You can support our work in teaching, research and outreach in a number of ways.

Find out how you can make a difference by contacting Heather Brust, Senior Director of Development, OSU Foundation, Division of Health Sciences, at 541-737-9330.


You always have a home here at Oregon State and within the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. We offer a number of resources to stay connected.

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