Illinois Masters in Public Health (MPH) Programs
Masters in Public Health, abbreviated as the MPH Degree, is a professional graduate degree awarded in top areas pertaining to public health practice and emerging issues, as opposed to research or academics.
Master of Public Health Programs are available in Medical Schools, Public Health Graduate Schools and Schools of Public Affairs. If you are interested in environmental health, biostatistics, health services administration, child and adolescent health, public policy, community health or epidemiology, Masters of Public Health Programs may be a best fit for you.
Masters in Public Health Programs: Basics
Masters in Public Health Programs prepare students to potentially work in communities (local and global) promoting public health through analysis, education, and intervention. A Master of Public Health student may learn to advocate for healthcare equity and accessibility as well as for child welfare. Programs may also teach students about the origins or transmission patterns of disease, and how to potentially create wellness programs.
DID YOU KNOW? Most epidemiologists have a master’s degree in public health (MPH) or a related field, and some have completed a doctoral degree in epidemiology or medicine (BLS)[i].Click To Tweet
Admission to an MPH Program is a Bachelor’s degree and most schools have a minimum grade point average requirement; some graduate schools may require an applicant to have a specific amount of experience in the field as well. In terms of length, master’s public health programs usually take about 2 years of full-time study to complete which might consist of 42-80 credits. In addition to coursework, a capstone project or thesis is often required; this gives advanced students the opportunity to apply the skills they have acquired and engage in a professional academic experience. Many master’s degree programs in public health require students to complete an internship or practicum that typically ranges from a semester to a year.
Master’s Degrees in Public Health: MPH vs. MSPH
In some countries, the MPH program is only available to physician graduates (e.g. MBBS, MD, DO) and those without a medical degree may enter a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) or Master of Medical Science in Public Health (MMSPH) programs[ii]. In the United States, a student with an undergraduate degree can pursue either the MPH or MSPH which are the two major postgraduate degrees.[iii]
Master of Public Health Degree
The MPH Degree is considered a multidisciplinary and professional degree. The traditional Master of Public Health degree is intended to expose learners to 5 core disciplines of public health[iv]:
- Environmental Health
- Health Policy and Health Administration
- Social and behavioral sciences
Master of Science in Public Health Degree
The MSPH Degree is similar to an MPH but is considered an academic degree as opposed to a professional degree. The emphasis is on scientific methods and research.
Required MSPH coursework may be similar to that required of the MPH degree, although it is likely to include research methods and require successful completion of a research thesis/project of publishable quality. The extra coursework may require another year of study in relation to what is required for the MPH degree.
Potential Master in Public Health Curriculum
Public Health as an academic field of study is usually integrated and interdisciplinary, incorporating aspects of epidemiology, biostatistics and health services. Some of the subfields of public health include:[v]
- Environmental health
- Community health
- Behavioral health
- Health economics
- Public policy, health care systems
- Insurance medicine
- Mental health
- Occupational safety
- Vaccination development
- Infectious disease control
We asked Health Policy Professional, Jordan Cooper about how earning a MSPH Degree helped him forward his career and even run for office.
"Earning a MSPH in Health Policy prepared me to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and to gain the expertise necessary to run on a healthcare campaign for a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates.”
~Jordan Cooper, Health Policy ProfessionalClick to Tweet
Which MPH Degree is Right for You?
Whether you are choosing a more scientific, administrative or educational perspective, finding the right Master in Public Health Program is important. GradSchools.com has some fascinating sponsored listings to explore, and we have categorized them so that it is easier to fine tune your search. You can even find MPH programs with NO GRE required. You can review master’s programs in:
- Health Education
- International Health
- Occupational Health and Safety
Bioethics is concerned with ethical issues that are often considered controversial, arising from the advances in biology and medicine; the scope extends to biotechnology as well.[vi]
Epidemiological study includes the analysis of patterns, causes and effects of health and disease conditions, outbreak investigation, statistics, and incorporates research and methodology[vii].
Health education encompasses different ways of teaching different individuals or groups about environmental health, physical health, social health, emotional health, intellectual health, and spiritual health.[viii]
Also referred to as geographic medicine and global health, international health is a field within health care that deals with health across boundaries such as travel medicine and the use of immunizations.[ix]
Occupational Health and Safety
According to the World Health Organization, occupational health is concerned with all aspects of health and safety in the workplace, with a special emphasis placed on prevention of hazards[x].
Choosing a Learning Format: Campus or Online MPH
A variety of factors can go into choosing between a traditional campus or online master public health program. Today’s graduate school often has both formats available which means if you live too far to commute, distance learning may be a viable alternative. In some instances, online study is more flexible, especially for working professionals as all you need is a computer and reliable Internet. On the other hand, being on campus offers a social learning atmosphere, and the chance to refine your communication and team building skills. In fact, some online programs have campus requirements for this purpose.
Once you have landed on the type of master’s degree in public health you are interested in based on the previous subject selection, it is easy to find either online or campus sponsored listings. Or you can search by location to find graduate schools for public health by city, state or country. Once on a listing, click through to request info.
Some of the choices you may find could include: MS in Health Education, Master of Public Health –Public Health Services Administration, MS in Public Health and Master if Public Health. These are only a few!
In the United States, the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is the independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and programs of public health through a formal review process.[xi] The CEPH has two corporate partners—the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH)—both of which support their efforts to further public health education.
Take the Next Step
There are myriad potential careers that might be accessible to graduates with MPH or MSPH degrees; some more medical, others more managerial. The trend, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is that employers in some fields, such as in medical and health services, prefer candidates with a master’s degree.[xii] Why not look into a Public Health Master’s Program that appeals to your interests and aligns with your ambitions!
sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/epidemiologists.htm |[ii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_degrees_of_public_health |[iii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_degrees_of_public_health |[iv] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_degrees_of_public_health |[v] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_health |[vi] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioethics |[vii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology |[viii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_education |[ix] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_health[x] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupational_safety_and_health |[xi] n.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_on_Education_for_Public_Health |[xii] bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm
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University of Illinois - Springfield
The master of public health program at Elmhurst College will prepare you for a dynamic career in the practice of public health.
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Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
The doctoral program has been consistently rated as one of the best in the country. The program attracts dozens of students form throughout the world. The recent inclusion of the MPH will allow students training in one of the fastest growing areas in th...
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Western Illinois University
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The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
The Master of Public Health (MPH) program is designed for working adults interested in making a difference in the health and wellness of others through the promotion of community and public health.