The Masters In Public Health (MPH) degree is a very prestigious professional degree for students interested in leadership positions in public health. The MPH is a very demanding degree program, which emphasizes problem solving and will teach students the skills necessary for the practice of public health. The MPH degree does not focus on research or teaching, but instead focuses on public health practice.
The MPH is a two year program, which can be pursued either part time or full time. There are certain core courses that must be completed. The core disciplines that students will be exposed to are: social and behavioral sciences, epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy and health administration, and environmental health. Some of the core courses that are required include: Introduction to Epidemiology, Social and Behavioral Basis of Public Health, Fundamental Methods of Biostatistics and Administration of Health Care Organizations. Students can then complete courses that will allow them to explore their desired area of concentration. Concentrations can include clinical effectiveness, health care management and policy, global health and health and social behavior. In addition, students will take coursework in leadership, program planning and diversity and culture. This multidisciplinary approach will prepare students to face public health challenges by applying scientific knowledge, competencies, leadership skills and teamwork to solve public health problems. The program concludes with a practical experience or internship.
Most applicants to the MPH program hold a doctoral degree in medicine, dentistry or some other related medical field. Applicants with a master’s degree in social work, nursing or public health who also have at least 3 years of experience in the health care field will be considered for the program.
Students who have completed an MPH program will have gained a wide range of public health knowledge. They will be able to apply their knowledge they acquired from their coursework to solve public health problems. They will be able to use research, statistics and strategies to address issues of public health. They will be able to collaborate with individuals from diverse backgrounds. They will be able to evaluate health care systems, financing and health policies.
The MPH program will prepare students to face health challenges such as, infectious diseases and pandemics, the health of the elderly, food and water safety, chronic disease issues and disaster threats including bioterrorism. Positions are available for Graduates of an MPH program in all levels of government, at universities and in the private sector. Some positions that a holder of a MPH degree can hold include, Epidemiologist, Medical Officer, Director of Clinical Trials, Infectious Disease Director and Director of Health Education.