Public health practitioners work with communities to promote wellness and prevent disease. There are nine schools in Georgia that offer relevant graduate programs, but only eight of these are public or private not-for-profit schools. Programs offered by these schools lead to primarily master's degrees in the field, although a few doctoral degrees and graduate certificates are also available. Some schools' classes are offered in the evenings. Applicants to graduate programs should hold a baccalaureate degree prior to enrollment. Students will complete a research project, internship, thesis, dissertation, and/or other practicum.
Short overviews of these eight schools can be found below, along with a table summarizing tuition information and school offerings.
Georgia Southern University - Armstrong Campus
Located in Savannah, Armstrong Atlantic State University offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) program that's accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH). Students can expect to learn about health services administration, biostatistics, environmental health sciences, health promotion and epidemiology. The curriculum includes a total of 45 semester hours comprised of core courses, electives and practicums. Many courses are offered in the evening.
Students in Atlanta can earn an MPH at Emory University. This program includes 42 credit hours, and students can specialize in one of six areas: epidemiology, health policy and management, global health, behavioral sciences and health education, biostatistics or environmental health. In addition, students must complete a 200- to 400-hour practicum for clinical field experience. Core courses include statistics, environmental health, the U.S. healthcare system and epidemiology.
Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta offers an MPH program online that can be completed full-time in two years. It has been accredited by the CEPH. Students must complete core courses in biostatistics, behavioral health, epidemiology, health administration and environmental health before choosing a concentration. Health management and health informatics are two available concentrations that bring the program to a total of 45 credit hours. The environmental health concentration requires 46 credit hours. Students must also complete a capstone research project and an internship to earn this degree.
Georgia Southern University - Statesboro Campus
Located in Statesboro, Georgia Southern University is home to the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health. Students can pursue an MPH and a Doctor of Public Health at this institution. The MPH program offers five areas of concentration, including biostatistics, health policy and management, epidemiology, community health and environmental health sciences. Students must complete a minimum of 45 credit hours on either a full- or part-time basis. A capstone research project and practicum in public health are required.
The Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) program is a terminal program designed for students who are looking to enter the field of public health or advance their careers. A minimum of 60 credit hours is required, and students can choose to concentrate in biostatistics, community health behavior or public health leadership. Completion of a 300-hour field experience and a dissertation are necessary to earn this degree.
Georgia State University
Georgia State University (GSU) in Atlanta offers graduate certificate and master's degree programs through its Institute of Public Health. The 15-credit-hour graduate certificate program is designed for students already working in public health or a related area. The courses in this program are the same as the core courses in the MPH program.
Students choose one of five concentrations as part of the MPH program. Concentrations include biostatistics, health promotion and behavior, health management and policy, epidemiology and environmental health. All MPH students are required to complete a thesis or capstone project, as well as a public health practicum.
Mercer University in Macon offers an MPH degree program through the College of Health Professions at the School of Medicine. Students may opt for the 1-year fast-track program or participate in the 2-year full-time program. Core courses of the program focus on basic health measures, environmental health, disease prevention and communication. Available electives include data analysis, computer-based applications, geographic information systems, health services management and public health research. Students must also complete a series of capstone courses, including a practicum and applied research experience, to earn this degree.
Morehouse School of Medicine
Located in Atlanta, the Morehouse School of Medicine offers an MPH degree in collaboration with the Atlanta University Center. This program focuses on biostatistics and epidemiology in relation to community health needs. Goals of the program include preparing graduates for leadership roles in public health by promoting lifelong learning and collaboration. The program aims to equip students with the values necessary to have a positive impact on public health policies and implementation. A public health/general preventative medicine residency program is also available for physicians who want to focus on public heath and community-based preventative medicine.
University of Georgia
Approximately 60 miles from downtown Atlanta in Athens is the University of Georgia, the country's first state-chartered university. The school's College of Public Health has master's and doctoral degree programs in public health.
The 2-year MPH program prepares students for leadership positions in public health and allows them to select an area of concentration, such as health policy and management, epidemiology, health promotion and behavior, biostatistics or environmental health. The 45-credit-hour program requires an internship in a public health setting. Courses cover global public health issues and public health communication. A number of dual degree programs are also available for students interested in earning an MPH, including a Bachelor of Science/MPH, Doctor of Pharmacy/MPH, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine/MPH and Master of Social Work/MPH.
The Doctor of Public Health program provides advanced training for experienced public health professionals who already have master's degrees. The doctoral program includes a dissertation research project and public health residency as part of the required 58 credit hours. Courses on emerging infectious diseases and current topics in public health are required.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Public Health Graduate Programs||Graduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Georgia Southern University - Armstrong Campus||4-year; public; midsize city||MPH|| $3,845 in-state
13,786 out-of-state (2019-2020)**
|Emory University||4-year; private not-for-profit; large suburb||MPH||$42,628*|
|Augusta University||4-year; public; midsize city||MPH|| $7,064 in-state
|Georgia Southern University - Statesboro Campus||4-year; public; remote town|| MPH,
| $4,364 in-state
$14,305 out-of-state (2019-2020)**
|Georgia State University||4-year; public; large city|| Graduate Certificate in Public Health,
| $9,148 in-state
|Mercer University||4-year; private not-for-profit; small city||MPH||$14,674*|
|Morehouse School of Medicine||4-year; private not-for-profit; large city||MPH||$26,913*|
|University of Georgia||4-year; public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Science/MPH,
Master of Social Work/MPH,
Doctor of Pharmacy/MPH,
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine/MPH,
| $10,982 in-state
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **School websites