The MPH is a science-intensive program that is designed to improve the public's overall quality of life through preventive measures, ongoing education and reactive health services. Enrolled students might develop the communication and managerial skills needed to solve organizational problems in the public health field; they could also gain an understanding of the factors that influence social policies.
Typical prerequisites for an MPH include a bachelor's degree, submission of standardized test scores (GRE, MCAT, or GMAT), and letters of recommendation. Students can take advantage of online courses and programs, in addition to selecting a program specialization such as epidemiology or biostatistics. Following completion of a MPH degree, students may elect to pursue a Ph.D.
Master's Degree in Public Health
Most public health positions require that candidates possess related graduate degrees. Students who are interested in working in the public health field as researchers, administrators and policy enforcers may consider earning a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. The curriculum for a master's degree in public health generally includes the following subjects:
- Environmental science
- Behavioral sciences
- Communications and informatics
- Public health biology and management
Popular Career Options
This degree program prepares graduates to hold leadership positions in a variety of health care settings. Potential career positions include:
- Food safety inspector
- Health inspector
- Public health advisor
- Director of health
- Health communications specialist
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Employment outlook for public health professionals is expected to be strong for most jobs in this field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov, with health educators projected to see the greatest growth. Salary varies based on field and geographic location. Occupational health and safety specialists earned a median annual income of $70,210 in 2015 while epidemiologists earned $69,450 and health educators brought in $51,960 per year, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
Students may consider pursuing a doctorate in public health if they desire a role in academia or upper management. Those with a Ph.D. are also qualified to work with national organizations (such as the American Red Cross) or government agencies.
After graduation, MPH students may pursue a Ph.D. or start their career as an epidemiologist, health educator, or occupational health and safety specialist. All 3 careers are expected to have positive employment growth over the next decade.