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New York City Public Health Universities with Program Overviews

Feb 06, 2019

The New York City area has 15 colleges and universities that offer public health programs. To make an informed education decision, learn about the degree options, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools located within ten miles of downtown.

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Public Health Schools in New York City

Those who aspire to build careers in public health can find undergraduate and graduate program options at institutions less than 20 minutes away from the center of New York City. This article highlights the courses and field opportunities available in three colleges' programs. It includes a table of facts and figures on the featured schools, as well as details on a few other colleges in the area.

  • Students seeking a public school option can attend CUNY Hunter College, which offers several Master of Public Health and Doctor of Public Health program specializations. The campus is around two miles from downtown NYC.
  • Those wishing to attend an Ivy League school can do so at Columbia University, which is located roughly five miles from central New York City. Students at this school can also complete several master's and doctoral programs in a public health specialty, such as health policy and management, population and family health, epidemiology and environmental health sciences.
  • Situated less than two miles from the city's downtown area, New York University (NYU) is the largest school on the list. It offers several bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in the field.

Comparison of Schools

Use the table below to get some quick facts about the featured schools, including details on graduate tuition and fee rates. The info may help you decide which institution best fits your educational needs and preferences.

CUNY Hunter College Columbia University New York University (NYU)
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 23,005* 30,454* 51,123*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Graduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $10,758 for in-state;
$19,628 for out-of-state*
$46,956* $43,848*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

CUNY Hunter College

Hunter College was founded in 1870 and is the largest college within the CUNY system. Students can choose from among several graduate programs available through the School of Public Health at this campus. A few master's-level programs in public health are also available at CUNY's Brooklyn College and Lehman College. Listed are some of the public health specializations available at the Hunter College campus.

Master of Public Health in Community Health Education

The Council on Education for Public Health has accredited this program since 1972. Students learn how to promote health education programs in urban settings. Through classroom lectures and supervised fieldwork, students can prepare for career opportunities in areas such as health administration, public health nutrition or public health research. Topics covered in this program include program planning and funding, health promotion and disease prevention, health assessment and health intervention.

Master of Public Health in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Students in this program can complete coursework that covers a broad scope of environmental and occupational health issues or focus their studies in industrial hygiene. Course offerings for the program include environmental chemistry, environmental remediation, hazard evaluation and toxicology. Students also complete 210 hours of work in the field and a capstone project. A Master of Science can also be obtained through this curriculum.

Master of Public Health in Public Health Nutrition

Students entering this program with no dietetic internship experience must show proof of completion of 12 credit hours of biology and chemistry courses that include food, nutrition and statistics lab hours. Those who've completed a dietetic internship must show proof of completion of an accredited didactic program. The program offers a curriculum for each background. Both curriculum options include core courses, such as environmental health, biostatistics, healthcare policy management and community health assessment. In addition, students with no previous dietetic training must complete at least 210 hours of fieldwork.

Doctor of Public Health

The CUNY Graduate Center at Hunter College offers this degree program with six specialty areas: community, society and health; environmental and occupational health; health policy and management; community health and health policy; environmental and planetary health sciences; and epidemiology. Students complete coursework that combines study in behavioral and natural sciences, social work and public health. Training provided is aimed at preparing students for managerial, research or teaching roles in the urban community.

Columbia University

Founded in 1754, this private school is New York State's oldest university and is among the universities in the Ivy League. Through the Mailman School of Public Health, students can earn a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in a traditional 2-year or accelerated 1-year format. The MPH is offered in six areas of specialty, including health policy and management and population and family health. Students can also earn a doctorate in one of five areas of study. Among them include the Doctor of Public Health in Epidemiology or in Environmental Health Sciences.

Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management

This program is designed to prepare students for positions in healthcare delivery and management. The program is offered in full-time, accelerated and executive formats. The full-time management track option can be completed in 16 months and includes a practicum, while the accelerated MPH is completed in one year. The executive program runs for two years and emphasizes study in three main areas: health policy and public health, health systems and organizational leadership.

Master of Public Health in Population and Family Health

This degree program can be completed with a track (awarded as a certificate beyond the general studies) in family health, public health and humanitarian assistance, sexuality and reproductive health, human rights and research methods. The family health track offers coursework in areas such as child and adolescent health. The humanitarian assistance track focuses on humanitarian actions and health intervention in emergencies. For the sexuality and reproductive health track, students receive training in areas such as reproductive health, gender and human rights. Similar coursework is found in the human rights track. Finally, the research track provides study in epidemiology and health program evaluation.

Doctor of Public Health in Epidemiology

This degree program is designed for practicing public health practitioners who want to gain advanced research skills in the field. Applicants must have a master's degree in public health and at least three years of experience. The program consists of four components: the dissertation, a DrPH seminar, an individual work program and the study of research methods. The Mailman School of Public Health also offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology with a similar curriculum.

Doctor of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences

This advanced degree program offers in-depth research training to prepare students for leadership positions in academia or environmental advocacy and policy. Students must have an MPH prior to enrolling in the program. Environmental hazard interventions, environmental health program management and the reduction of exposure to environmental hazards are among the topics addressed in these studies. Students can choose a thesis option in this program.

New York University

Established in 1831, NYU is one of the largest privately funded universities in the country. The university has its main campus in the Greenwich Village area of Manhattan, as well as campus locations in other countries. NYU offers public health degree programs with many different areas of specialty.

Bachelor of Science in Global Public Health

Through the College of Global Public Health, undergraduate students select a joint major that focuses on a specialized area of the field. Students can select from one of 11 majors, including global public health/applied psychology, global public health/nursing or global public health/social work. The degree in global public health includes six core classes. Students then complete other coursework relevant to their area of study, along with electives and a foreign language course. To earn the degree, students are also required to study abroad for one semester at one of the university's global sites.

Master of Public Health with a Concentration in Community Health Science and Practice

Applicants to this program must have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Students complete 46 credit hours of coursework and a two-part internship experience. The program focuses on preparing students to address health issues among populations in the developing world. Students take core public health classes such as community health needs interventions, epidemiology and environmental health. For the concentration, students complete nine credits from coursework on topics such as women's health, public health policy and global issues in nutrition.

Master of Public Health with a Concentration in Global Health

Students need at least a master's degree to apply to this program. The goal of the program is to prepare graduates for positions that involve developing health programs, working with varied cultural groups and working with domestic and international organizations to address health concerns. Students take 15 credit hours of elective courses from those addressing emerging diseases, communicable disease, health and human rights, program analysis and migrant health. The degree culminates with an internship.

Master of Public Health with a Concentration in Public Health Nutrition

The program consists of 46 credits, which includes 18 credits of core public health classes and 18 credits for the concentration. Courses for this concentration include nutrition epidemiology, global nutrition issues and food metabolism. To successfully complete the program, students must participate in at least 180 hours of internship experience.

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health Policy and Management

Students interested in pursuing advanced research in public health may apply to this doctoral program. The program is geared towards applicants who have prior graduate experience in public health. The program is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in health policy or academic research. Concentration coursework covers policy research, advanced public health policy and organization theory.

Other Schools

Located about four miles from downtown is the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Students at this school can complete a Master of Public Health program in a specialty such as health promotion and disease prevention, global health or healthcare management. Another option is Long Island University - Brooklyn Campus. The school is located at approximately three miles from downtown Manhattan. The university offers a 42-credit Master of Public Health general program.

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