What is a Master of Public Health?

Master of Public HealthIf you want to pursue a leadership position in public health administration or policy, you may want to review the program overview of the Master of Public Health degree program. This professional, inter-disciplinary graduate degree program will help you build an advanced level of knowledge on five core areas of public health which include: biostatistics, epidemiology, health policy and policy management, environmental health and behavioral sciences. All of this is taught in an effort to prepare graduate students to assess the strengths and needs for healthcare in a community so that new interventions and promotions can be planned and implemented. Read on, and find out more about the MPH program and what types of curriculum you can expect to take.

What Curriculum is Required When you Take a Master of Public Health Program?

When studying for an MPH degree, you will complete traditional coursework and also some practical training that will help you integrate the knowledge that you have earned throughout the semesters. While the actual core curriculum will vary from school to school and public health department to public health department, many accredited programs have similar course requirements. Here is a breakdown of the classes you can expect to take:

  • Public Health Statistics
  • Environmental Health
  • Health behavior
  • Foundations in Public Health
  • Principles of Epidemiology
  • Leadership and Administration
  • Practical Skills in Public Health
  • Health Policy and Ethics
  • Healthcare Safety
  • Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • Health Education and Communication

How Long Does it Take to Complete an Master of Public Health Degree Program?

Not all Master of Public Health programs are the same. In most cases, an MPH program consists of between 45 and 60 credit requirements which can be completed in a period of 18 to 24 months. If you cannot study full-time or if there is a capstone project requirement, you can expect delays. Some part-time students spend between three and five years earning a master’s degree. Be sure that you understand that enrolling full-time means that you are committing to study and participate around 36 hours per week on your degree coursework.

How to Choose an Master of Public Health Program?

The very first step to finding the right school where you will earn your Master of Public Health is by researching accreditation. When you work in a field like public health, it is crucial that the school and the program is accredited by an agency that is recognized by the Department of Education. Finding these programs will protect you if you want to apply for licensure or if you want to earn a credential later down the line.

It also ensures that your credits will be acknowledged by employers and by other schools if you need to transfer. It is best that you look for schools accredited through the Council on Education for Public Health to protect your interested and to get the best education.

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Now that you know what the MPH is and how long you will spent studying for the professional degree, it is time to decide if it is the right degree choice. With your MPH, you can land several different positions in public health, according to Careers in Public Health. Some of these titles include: Public Health Professor, Biosecurity Specialist, Researcher, Chief Medical Officer, Disease Analyst, Director of Medical Services, Health Administrator and more. Start to compare different programs and then you can decide when the right time is to study for your Master of Public Health.