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Overview of Master of Public Health (MPH) Degree Program

Majors Overview December 13, 2017

This article talks about the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree program and the education requirements, coursework, career options, job and wage outlook, and continuing education options.

Master of Public Health (MPH) Degree Program

Students enrolled in the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree program will be prepared for careers in communities promoting public health via intervention and education. They learn about public health biology, environmental health, bio-statistics, management sciences, and behavioral sciences. Many areas of specialization are in the discipline; these include child and adolescent health, health services administration, community health, public policy, and epidemiology.

Students in the MPH program gain expertise in advocating for healthcare equity and accessibility. They learn about how diseases originate and about creating educational programs aimed at promoting health and wellness. Typical areas of study also include infectious disease control, vaccine development, maternal health and health behavior. Students usually take two years to complete these programs.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree along with meeting a grade point average standard and having a specific amount of prior work experience in the field.


Program graduates are required to complete 42-80 credits or units. A required capstone course will enable application of skills acquired by students and engagement in professional experiences. Students may also be required to complete a practicum. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Health promotion
•U.S. healthcare systems
•Human physiology
•Health management
•Statistical reasoning
•Human Nutrition
•Disease prevention

Career Options

Program graduates can choose from various career paths in the broad discipline of public health. Different specialties and tracks that meet student goals are available in an MPH degree program. They may choose from job positions such as:

•Health educator
•Academic policy advisor
•Behavioral health scientist
•Outcomes Researcher

Job and Wage Outlook

Epidemiologists are expected to see an average job growth of nine percent over the 2016 – 2026 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2016, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $70,820 (BLS). Health educators who are expected to witness a 16% employment growth between 2016 and 2026, brought in an average annual wage of $44,390 during May 2016 (BLS).

Continuing Education Options

Program graduates who seek continuing education may enroll in a doctorate program to train for possible academic or leadership positions in the field of public health. They may also choose to pursue graduate certificate programs, many of which they can take online.

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