Masters of Public Health Programs in Chicago, IL with Course Info

There are more than five schools within 30 miles of the Chicago area that have Master of Public Health degree programs. Read an overview of the programs, requirements and admission info for two schools that are found within the city and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Chicago Schools with Master of Public Health Programs

There are several schools in the Chicago area that offer master's degrees in public health, and this article examines two of these institutions and the programs they provide. Prospective students can refer to a table of facts about each school, such as size, tuition and campus setting, to help them make a decision on their education. At the end of the article are some facts on a few more nearby schools that offer Master of Public Health (MPH) degree programs.

  • The University of Illinois at Chicago offers five different MPH programs - in community health sciences, environmental and occupational health sciences, epidemiology, biostatistics and health policy in administration. The university is a little more than a mile from downtown Chicago.
  • DePaul University is less than a mile from the city center. It offers an MPH program with concentrations in community health practice and social epidemiology.

University of Illinois at Chicago

The School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago offers Master of Public Health degree programs for students who want to understand how to best deliver health services to people. There are five types of MPH degrees offered, and some of the courses can be taken online. Students who have previous public health experience can enroll in specialized degree programs, which can be completed in a shorter amount of time. In general, all MPH students will learn about biostatistics, epidemiology, public health management and research methods. Regardless of the degree concentration, all students are required to engage in field experience and complete a capstone project so that they can apply public health theory to the real world.

Master of Public Health in Biostatistics

This program is designed to teach students the quantitative methods used in public health. Students will learn how to gather and read data that relates to public health, which can be helpful in developing policies and programs to serve communities. Within the degree program, students choose an enrichment area that varies between environmental and occupational health sciences, community health sciences, epidemiology and biostatistics, and health policy and administration. Students who earn this degree can work in government, pharmaceuticals and academia.

Master of Public Health in Community Health Sciences

Courses in this program cover public health planning, administration, health education, community assessment and public health policy. This degree includes an online option and an abbreviated version for students who have previous public health experience. Students have many options within this degree program. For example, optional tracks include global health, population health, and community-based research methods. Additionally, students can elect an optional concentration in maternal and child health.

Master of Public Health in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

The degree option is for students who want to learn about exposure and risk assessment as it relates to public health. Students will take classes in water quality management, industrial hygiene and occupational diseases. There's also the opportunity for students to declare a concentration within the degree that includes industrial hygiene, environmental and occupational health policy, occupational safety and water quality and health. Much like the MPH in Community Health Sciences program, students with prior experience in the public health industry can earn their degree at a quicker pace.

Master of Public Health in Epidemiology

The Master of Public Health in Epidemiology program gives students a broad understanding of public health with a focus on the causes and contributing factors of diseases. Courses within this program include epidemiology of infectious and chronic diseases, epidemiologic computing and current literature in the field. There's the option for students to concentrate on maternal and child health epidemiology, which covers family health, community assessment and public health policy. This degree program also includes an abbreviated option for previous public health professionals.

Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Administration

Students in this program will learn about the development of public policy and the principles of public health. The program is meant to prepare future policy analysts and public health managers. Its curriculum should give students an overall understanding of the public health field, as well as the ways in which they can become effective managers. Classes can cover social ethics, law, public health advocacy and health care budgeting. This school also offers an online option for a master's degree in health informatics and joint degree programs in which students may earn an MPH along with another degree in a shorter period of time than the norm.

DePaul University

The Master of Public Health program largely concentrates on community health practice and gives students an overall understanding of public health research, issues and trends. The degree program admits working professionals, and classes are offered during evening hours. In general, the program teaches students about public health theory and then encourages them through practicums. The classes are taught by public health practitioners who have hands-on experience in the field.

Master of Public Health

This degree program teaches students ways to promote public health in communities and to serve people in need. Classes cover epidemiology, environmental health, ethics, public health administration and program development. There's also an emphasis on research methods and statistics so that students can understand public health data and how to connect statistics to program development and evaluation. Students also choose a concentration in either community health practice or social epidemiology. By the end of their studies, students are required to take part in a capstone seminar where they apply what they've learned in a thesis. Graduates can apply their skills to careers in community practice, policy, research and administration.

Comparison of Schools

The following table contains information about these two schools that can be helpful to individuals who are deciding on where to study for their master's degrees.

University of Illinois at Chicago DePaul University
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; private; not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 30,539* 22,769*
Campus Setting Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $13,704 in-state; $26,560 out-of-state* $39,010*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 84%* 96%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 77%* 72%*
Retention Rate (2017) 80% for full-time students* 84% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate (for students who began studies in Fall 2011) 57%* 71%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Other Schools in the Area

A handful of other schools in the Chicago area offer Master of Public Health programs. For example, Loyola University-Chicago is 7 miles outside of Chicago, while Benedictine University is about 24 miles away.

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