Public Health Degrees in Los Angeles, CA with Course Descriptions

Oct 04, 2018

Los Angeles Public Health Schools

Students interested in obtaining a public health degree in the Los Angeles area have a few options. Read about the practica and coursework at three universities within 30 miles of the city, and then review a table of facts and figures on each school. Some info on a couple of other academic options in the area is included, too.

  • University of Southern California (USC) is located just three miles from the heart of downtown LA and has a Master of Public Health program, along with several dual degree programs.
  • Another option is the University of California - Los Angeles, which offers a master's program in public health and a PhD in Community Health Sciences. The campus is about 16 miles from the center of the city.
  • California State University - Northridge, which is located roughly 28 miles from central LA, has a master's degree program in public health.

Comparison of Schools

All of the profiled schools have similar enrollment numbers and campus settings, but they differ quite a bit when it comes to tuition and fees. Get the details on these facts by checking out the table.

University of Southern California University of California - Los Angeles California State University - Northridge
School Type Four-year, private not-for-profit Four-year, public Four-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017)* 45,687 44,027 41,319
Campus Setting* Large city Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)* $44,013 (graduate rates) $13,003 in-state,
$28,105 out-of-state (graduate rates)
$6,875 in-state, $18,755 out-of-state (undergraduate rates)
$8,309 in-state, $17,813 out-of-state (graduate rates)

Source: *NCES College Navigator

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California was established in 1880 with just 53 students and today serves more than 40,000 students. USC offers a wide range of degree programs through its 21 schools and divisions, including a Master of Public Health through the Keck School of Medicine. The MPH program is available in both on-campus and online formats.

Master of Public Health

This school's MPH program offers specializations in community health promotion, biostatistics-epidemiology, global health and health services and policy. Regardless of specialization, all students complete a 300-hour practicum and at least 42 credits of coursework. Course topics include health education behavior, public health leadership, program evaluation and health service delivery. USC also offers a variety of degrees in combination with the MPH program, including a Doctor of Pharmacy, a Doctor of Medicine and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

Undergraduates pursuing bachelor's degrees in health promotion and disease prevention or dental hygiene can apply to USC's progressive MPH program. In some cases, students with undergraduate training in other fields may be accepted. Completion of at least 64 credits of undergraduate coursework is required before applying. Both the bachelor's degree and the MPH must be earned in 12 semesters or less.

University of California - Los Angeles

The University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) serves nearly 40,000 students annually through more than 125 undergraduate and 150 graduate degree programs. The Fielding School of Public Health was founded in 1961 and offers two degree options with several areas of concentration. The university also offers eight joint degree programs with the MPH, such as Islamic studies, medicine, public policy and social welfare.

Master of Public Health

The Master of Public Health (MPH) offered at UCLA allows students to specialize in biostatistics, community health sciences, environmental health sciences, epidemiology or health policy and management. Students may also choose an area of study within their specialization, such as health education/promotion, international health, industrial hygiene or health services organization. All students must complete at least 88 units of coursework, as well as field experiences and comprehensive exams. UCLA also offers an Executive Master of Public Health in Health Management and Policy with weekend-only classes.

Doctor of Philosophy in Community Health Sciences

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Community Health Sciences option is also offered from the Fielding School of Public Health. This professional degree option prepares students to work in a research career and integrates theory and research into the practice of public health. Students are required to choose from a specialized focus to complete their degree in areas that include global health, child and family health leadership and emergency public health.

California State University - Northridge

California State University - Northridge (CSU - Northridge) is located in the San Fernando Valley and enrolls roughly 40,000 students. The school offers B.S. and MPH programs specifically designed for aspiring public health educators. Completion of a bachelor's program in health education or a similar field is required for graduate admission.

Bachelor of Science in Public Health

The Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) program prepares students to enroll in the Master of Public Health option at CSU - Northridge. The four-year program educates undergraduate students on how to effectively plan, implement and evaluate health programs. After graduation, BSPH students are qualified to work in public and private health and human service agencies such as hospitals, non-profit organizations and schools.

Master of Public Health

CSU - Northridge's MPH program requires 42 credits of coursework that cover biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health and health education curriculum development. Students can specialize in certain areas through their choice of electives; possible specializations include health administration and occupational health. Completion of an internship is required, and the program culminates in either a thesis, a graduate project or a comprehensive exam. Graduates of the program can pursue the Certified Health Education Specialist credential offered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing.

Other Schools

Located roughly 26 miles from downtown LA, California State University - Long Beach has a Master of Public Health program. In addition, an MPH in Urban Public Health is available at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles.

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