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Public health programs train students to work with public and private groups in health assessment and policy development. In Illinois, the Master of Public Health (MPH) program is most common, but one school also offers a Master of Science (MS) in Public Health. These programs range from 43-66 credit hours. Depending on the school, concentrations may be available in health promotion and disease prevention, biostatistics, environmental health, public health policy or health services management. Many public health programs allow students to complete courses online. Read on to learn about nine of the schools in Illinois offering master's-level public health programs.
Benedictine University in Lisle has a graduate population of 2,489. The school's 66-credit MPH program educates students as public health generalists, and the core curriculum covers social and behavioral aspects of public health, epidemiology, management, policy, biostatistics, and environmental health. There are many electives to choose from, allowing students to tailor the curriculum for a specific career path. This program may be completed on campus or online.
Chicago State University
Located in Chicago, Chicago State University (CSU) has a graduate population of 1,299 and offers an MPH with concentrations in either health promotion and disease prevention or health services management. CSU's public health program focuses on studying the causes, effects, transmission, and prevention of disease in minority populations. The 48-credit program includes core courses (15 credits), concentration courses (24 credits), an elective course (3 credits), and a field practicum with a thesis or capstone project (6 credits).
DePaul University is located in Chicago and has a graduate population of 7,646. DePaul's MPH program consists of 56 credit hours covering epidemiology, environmental health, research methods, health administration, and policy, among other topics. To complete the program, students must plan, write, and present a capstone thesis. They're also expected to work for 9 months in a supervised community health setting during the final year of the program. Students can opt to earn their degrees in 2, 3, or 4 years, and all classes are offered in the evening.
Located in Chicago, Loyola University offers an online MPH program with a concentration in public health policy and health management; some classes can be taken on campus. There's also an epidemiology concentration that's a hybrid of online and campus attendance. Each program includes classes such as biostatics and epidemiology. Students are required to complete a practicum and a final project.
Northern Illinois University
About 5,176 graduate students attend DeKalb's Northern Illinois University. The school's MPH program has a concentration in health promotion and another in health services management. Both concentrations have a thesis or non-thesis option. Students who take specific electives in the health services management track can take the Illinois licensure exam for nursing home administrators.
The curriculum for both tracks covers community health planning, the American health system, biostatistics, and applied research methods. An internship is required as well. The non-thesis program length is 43-46 credits, and the thesis option requires an additional 6 credits.
This Evanston-based college has a part-time evening MPH program, which typically takes 2-4 years to complete. The curriculum includes classes in biostatistics, behavioral science, epidemiology, management, and environmental health sciences. Many of these courses are offered only on Northwestern's Chicago campus. The program culminates in a field experience and a final research project.
University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago offers an MS in Public Health and an MPH. Students in either program can choose from 5 concentrations: biostatistics, community health sciences, environmental and occupational health sciences, epidemiology, or health policy and administration. The MS program prepares students for research careers or matriculation into PhD programs. The MPH tracks in community health sciences and health policy and administration can be completed on campus or online. In addition, MPH students can pursue a joint master's degree in anthropology or nursing.
University of Illinois at Springfield
The University of Illinois at Springfield's MPH program is offered in both online and on-campus formats. Core courses explore biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental and occupational health, policy development and community health; there's also an internship. There are 2 available concentrations within the program: a general concentration and an environmental health concentration. The student's concentration determines which electives fulfill the required 20 hours. In addition, students may jointly pursue the MPH and a master's degree in public administration or public health and human services.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
This university's Champaign campus has a 48-credit MPH program that can be completed in 2 academic years. The curriculum includes 24 credit hours of core courses that cover epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy, health behavior, and public health practice. A health behavior and promotion concentration consists of 15-16 credits, and all students must complete the concentration. Electives, a practicum, and a capstone project make up the rest of the coursework. A 5-year joint Bachelor of Science/MPH program is also available.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Degrees Offered||Average Graduate Tuition and Fees For Academic Year (2015-2016)|
|Benedictine University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Master of Public Health||$16,695*|
|Chicago State University||4-year, public; large city||Master of Public Health|| $8,320 in-state*
|DePaul University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Master of Public Health||$18,420*|
|Loyola University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Master of Public Health||$18,886*|
|Northern Illinois University||4-year, public; small suburb||Master of Public Health|| $12,362 in-state*
|Northwestern University||4-year, private not-for-profit; small city||Master of Public Health||$49,064*|
|University of Illinois at Chicago||4-year, public; large city|| Master of Public Health,
Master of Science in Public Health
| $16,527 in-state *
|University of Illinois at Springfield||4-year, public; midsize city||Master of Public Health|| $10,532 in-state*
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||4-year, public; small city||Master of Public Health|| $18,041 in-state*
Source: *School websites.