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Master of Science (MS): Public Health Degree Overview

A Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) provides the skills required to collect and analyze health data gathered in a community to make effective high-level policy decisions in the best interest of the public. See program details and job outlook.

Essential Information

Students considering MSPH programs should have a solid understanding of mathematics and science prior to enrollment. Although a health-related major isn't generally necessary for admission, those students with majors outside of the field may be required to complete prerequisite coursework. In addition to holding a bachelor's degree, applicants will need to submit GRE scores and meet a specified minimum GPA.

Once accepted to these 2-year programs, students may be able to choose a specialization like health policy, epidemiology, biostatistics, health management or environmental health, among others. Some programs offer internship opportunities with research facilities for professional experience.


Master of Science in Public Health

Although master's degree programs in public health typically emphasize research and thesis courses, many curricula also highlight theory development. By doing so, students learn how problems arise in public and community health, and what the common barriers are to implementing new policies. Courses in this program may include:

  • Data management
  • Biostatistics
  • Social and behavioral medicine
  • Health service management
  • Health care law

Popular Career Options

Graduates from an MSPH degree program can find employment opportunities either in research or in the implementation of healthcare policies. They can work in government, private industry or academia. Some possible job titles include:

  • Health policy analyst
  • Healthcare program director
  • Community healthcare advocate
  • Research consultant
  • Government policy specialist

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has employment outlook information for professions that require master's degrees in public health, including health educators and epidemiologists. These professions had respective job growths of 12% and 6% from 2014-2024. In 2015, the BLS reported that epidemiologists earned a median salary of $69,450, while health educators earned $51,960 as a median wage.

Continuing Education

Graduates interested in an advanced graduate degree can pursue a Ph.D. degree in public health. An advanced degree could lead to higher-level management positions in hospitals and research facilities.

A Master of Science in Public Health focuses on science, math and research in the field of health care. Positive job growth as health educators and epidemiologists is expected for graduates of the program.

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