There are a number of different avenues students can take to earn a graduate degree in public health, depending on their career goals. In this article, you can better understand public health graduate degree options, as well as learn about several schools offering recognized public health programs in the state of Georgia.
Graduate Programs in Public Health
Master of Public Health
The Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) is a practice-based graduate degree designed for public health professionals. This degree can typically be earned in two years of study. Courses may include biostatistics, epidemiology, and environmental health. A practicum allows M.P.H. students to apply their knowledge to a real-world setting. Admission requirements for M.P.H. programs may include a personal statement, resume, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and GRE scores. At least one undergraduate course in mathematics and natural sciences is typically expected.
Master of Science in Public Health
The Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) is an academically-oriented degree designed for students seeking careers in research or preparation for doctoral study. The degree can usually be completed in two years. Students take similar courses to those for the M.P.H., but they have a more intensive focus on research theories and statistical analysis. A thesis is a required component of earning this degree. Application requirements often include a personal statement, resume, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and GRE scores.
Doctor of Philosophy
Students who wish to pursue a career at the highest levels of research in this field may consider a Ph.D. in Public Health. This degree typically takes four years to complete. Ph.D. studies focus on various areas within the public health field, such as epidemiology or environmental health. Courses may include public health research and proposal development. Typically, coursework, comprehensive examinations, teaching experiences, and a dissertation are required components for the Ph.D. in Public Health.
Some programs require applicants to hold an M.P.H. or other master's degree, while others consider applicants with a bachelor's degree demonstrating success in mathematics and the sciences. Transcripts, GRE scores, recommendations, a statement of purpose, and a writing sample should be submitted for consideration for the Ph.D. It is recommended that applicants identify a faculty member with aligned research interests.
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Graduate Public Health programs in Georgia
At Emory, students can earn the M.P.H. or M.S.P.H. degrees through the Rollins School of Public Health. Focus areas for the M.P.H. and M.S.P.H. degrees include global epidemiology, biostatistics, and environmental health, among a range of other options. Students may also add specialized certificates to their degree program, such as injury and violence prevention, religion and health, and mental health. As a component of their degree, students are expected to complete an extensive practicum to apply the knowledge they have gained in their coursework to a public health setting. Students must also complete a culminating experience, such as a thesis or capstone seminar.
Emory also offers a Ph.D. in the public health sciences through the Laney Graduate School. Program concentrations include behavioral science and epidemiology. Students begin their program with two years of coursework and participation in research rotations. Participation in the Teaching Assistant Training and Teaching Opportunities program provides experience working with undergraduate students as a course instructor or assistant. A comprehensive exam evaluates students' understanding of research methods and public health topics. The dissertation requires students to make a unique contribution to research in the public health field. Emory also expects students to complete a comprehensive program in ethics, entitled the Jones Program in Ethics.
Emory also offers a range of dual degree programs, including a J.D./M.P.H. and M.B.A./M.PH.
University of Georgia
At the University of Georgia, students can prepare for careers in public health by earning the M.P.H. degree. Concentration areas include disaster management and gerontology. An internship allows students to apply their knowledge to an outside setting and a capstone paper showcases their research abilities. Dual degrees include the M.S.W./M.P.H. and D.V.M./M.P.H.
The University of Georgia also offers the Ph.D. in several public health fields, including epidemiology and health promotion. Students must take a set of core courses and then focus on their area of specialty through electives and research.
Students can earn an M.P.H. at Mercer University. Mercer's M.P.H. is a generalist curriculum, focused on health disparities and health equity. Students learn from a range of public health specialists, including epidemiologists, social workers, and attorneys. Dual degree programs include a Pharm.D./M.P.H. and Psy.D./M.P.H.
Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern's Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health offers students the opportunity to earn an M.P.H. Georgia Southern also offers a Doctor of Public Health (D.P.H.) option for those who wish to pursue leadership opportunities in this field. Students can focus their studies in fields such as community health education or biostatistics. The Center for Public Health Practice and Research offers students the opportunity to engage in program development and research public health programs affecting rural and underserved communities. Students who are especially interested in biostatistics may learn about clinical trial support and computational biomechanics at the Karl E. Peace biostatistics center.
Morehouse School of Medicine
At the Morehouse School of Medicine, students can earn an M.P.H. degree. The program is a generalist program focused on underserved populations, with a goal of increasing opportunities for underrepresented groups in the public health field. Students can gain practical experience in an area known as the Atlanta Promise Neighborhood. Learning communities help students to establish connections with students in affinity groups, such as a mature learners community or parents community.
Graduate programs in public health enable students to gain knowledge, research skills, and practical experience in the field. The state of Georgia offers opportunities for education in this discipline at both the master's and doctoral level.