The Master of Public Health (M.P.H.), Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH), Master of Medical Science in Public Health (MMSPH) and the Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.), International Masters for Health Leadership (IMHL) are interdisciplinary professional degrees awarded for studies in areas related to public health. The MPH degree focuses on public health practice, as opposed to research or teaching. Master of Public Health programs are available throughout the world in Schools of Public Health, Programs in Public Health, Medical Schools, and Schools of Public Affairs.
A professional degree, formerly known in the US as a first professional degree, is a degree that prepares someone to work in a particular profession, often, but not always, meeting the academic requirements for licensure or accreditation. Professional degrees may be either graduate or undergraduate entry, depending on the profession concerned and the country, and may be classified as bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees. For a variety of reasons, professional degrees may bear the name of a different level of qualification from their classification in qualifications frameworks, e.g. some UK professional degrees are named bachelor's but are at master's level, while some Australian and Canadian professional degrees have the name "doctor" but are classified as master's or bachelor's degrees.
Public health has been defined as "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting human health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals". Analyzing the health of a population and the threats it faces is the basis for public health. The public can be as small as a handful of people or as large as a village or an entire city; in the case of a pandemic it may encompass several continents. The concept of health takes into account physical, psychological and social well-being. As such, according to the World Health Organization, it is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
A professional degree is one that, based on its learning objectives and types of positions its graduates pursue, prepares students with a broad mastery of the subject matter and methods necessary in a field of practice; it typically requires students to develop the capacity to organize, analyze, interpret and communicate knowledge in an applied manner.
An academic degree is a qualification awarded to students upon successful completion of a course of study in higher education, usually at a college or university. These institutions commonly offer degrees at various levels, usually including bachelor's, master’s and doctorates, often alongside other academic certificates and professional degrees. The most common undergraduate degree is the bachelor's degree, although in some countries there are lower level higher education qualifications that are also titled degrees.
In some countries the MPH program is only available for physician graduates (MBBS, MD, DO, or equivalent). In those countries, individuals without a medical degree may enter a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) or Master of Medical Science in Public Health (MMSPH) programs.
Doctor of Medicine is a medical degree, the meaning of which varies between different jurisdictions. In the United States, Canada and some other countries, the MD denotes a professional graduate degree awarded upon graduation from medical school. In the United States, this generally arose because many in 18th century medical profession trained in Scotland, which used the M.D. degree nomenclature. In England, however, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery was used and eventually in the 19th century became the standard in Scotland too. Thus, in the United Kingdom, Ireland and other countries, the MD is a research doctorate, higher doctorate, honorary doctorate or applied clinical degree restricted to those who already hold a professional degree in medicine; in those countries, the equivalent professional to the North American and some others use of M.D is still typically titled Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS).
The DrPH degree is for those who intend to pursue or advance a professional practice career in public health and for leaders and future leaders in public health practice. They face the particular challenge of understanding and adapting scientific knowledge in order to achieve health gain and results. This degree leads to a career in high-level administration, teaching, or practice, where advanced analytical and conceptual capabilities are required. The usual requirement for entry into this program is a master's degree in Public Health (MPH). The DrPH program develops in its candidates all competencies included in MPH programs, with increased emphasis on high level skills in problem-solving and the application of public health concepts.
In the United States, any person with an accredited undergraduate degree may pursue an MPH or MSPH and usually takes two-years of full-time work to complete. Based on the accreditation of the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), an MPH or MSPH is not a clinical degree.However, some states in the United States recognize MPH holders as ancillary clinical professionals (and patient-facing clinical staff) especially with regard to preventive medicine, health education, and other functions in the clinical and hospital environments. In fact, most hospital systems have MPH public health staff to study disease trends and help to combat hospital-acquired infections (nosocomial infections) and immediately determine epidemiologic trends, for example, flu outbreak tendencies, etc.
A hospital-acquired infection (HAI), also known as a nosocomial infection, is an infection that is acquired in a hospital or other health care facility. To emphasize both hospital and nonhospital settings, it is sometimes instead called a health care–associated infection. Such an infection can be acquired in hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation facility, outpatient clinic, or other clinical settings. Infection is spread to the susceptible patient in the clinical setting by various means. Health care staff can spread infection, in addition to contaminated equipment, bed linens, or air droplets. The infection can originate from the outside environment, another infected patient, staff that may be infected, or in some cases, the source of the infection cannot be determined. In some cases the microorganism originates from the patient's own skin microbiota, becoming opportunistic after surgery or other procedures that compromise the protective skin barrier. Though the patient may have contracted the infection from their own skin, the infection is still considered nosocomial since it develops in the health care setting.
The traditional MPH degree is designed to expose candidates to five core discipline areas of public health:
In the United States the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredits schools of public health and programs of public health through a formal review process.
The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and public health programs offered in settings other than schools of public health. These schools and programs prepare students for entry into careers in public health. The primary professional degree is the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) but other master's and doctoral degrees are offered as well such as the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH).
CPH is the only public health board certification available in the United States for public health professionals. In 2008, the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE), United States-based credentialing board, began offering the certification exam (CPH) designed to test mastery of the core competencies of the public health professionals.
After candidates pass the Continuing Education for CPHexamination, they must maintain the certification with 50 CPH recertification credits approved by the NBPHE.
The NBPHE's Board of Directors primarily represents five key collaborating organizations: the American Public Health Association, the Association of Prevention Teaching and Research, the Association of Schools of Public Health, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and the National Association of County and City Health Officials. The board is dedicated to increasing recognition of the public health profession, raising the visibility of public health, and measuring and improving the competency of public health workers across the nation and around the world.
The Council of Graduate Programs in Public Health represents the accredited and emerging graduate programs across the United States that grant public health degrees and therefore prepare students for professional careers in public health.The Council encourages, promotes and supports universities, schools and colleges in developing, maintaining, and advancing graduate programs in the disciplines of preventive medicine, social medicine, community health and public health. The Council is sponsored by the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research.
In the United Kingdom, the MPH or MSc in Public Health is usually a one-year full-time program. Taught modules typically account for two thirds of the MPH and a project one third. Students may be medical or non-medical graduates. Degrees vary in their content, but most cover similar areas of public health. Because of the key role played by public health practitioners in the NHS a UK MPH also often includes Health economics.
Degrees that include a substantial epidemiological component are more selective and some require applicants to demonstrate ability before applying, by completion of an online test MPH Selection Test
In the UK specialist accreditation in public health is provided by the Faculty of Public Health (FPH).Specialist accreditation is through participation in a four-year program analogous to specialist training for doctors. Specialist trainees must pass an examination, demonstrably achieve certain skills and submit a portfolio of work. However specialist training in public health is also open to non-doctors.
In India, the MPH degree course is a two-year Post graduate course or a post graduate diploma of one year (DPH), approved by the Medical council of India, which is open to candidates with a bachelor's degree in any discipline from a recognized university, with at least 50% marks. But preference is given to applicants having a bachelor's degree in any of the health related fields - Medical, dental, pharmacy, physiotherapy, nursing, AYUSH and paramedical sciences; veterinary sciences and from management; natural sciences (incl. biology); social sciences and social work; statistics; engineering; law; commerce or accounting, communication etc. In some institutions preference will be given to MBBS doctors. Relevant work experience in health or development sector will be an advantage but not mandatory. In India, job opportunites for MPH graduates with a medical degree is generally good, but for others (non medical MPH graduates) it is not clear.
The MPH degree in India is covers all major disciplines of public health including Environment and Health, Gender issues, Public Health Nutrition, Sexual and Reproductive Healthbut some institutes offer specialization such as Social epidemiology, Health Policy, Health and Development, Health System Management, Economics or Finance. .
Topics covered during the course include Social Epidemiology including Chronic and Infectious disease Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Environmental and Occupational Health, Gender Issues in Health, Health Policy Analysis and Health Administration, Social and behavioral sciences, Health System Management, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Health and Development, Health Economics, Public Health Nutrition, National Health Programs, Medical Anthropology, Research Methodology, Public Health Ethics and Law.
The Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU), formerly Ponce School of Medicine & Health Sciences, is a private, for-profit university in Ponce, Puerto Rico. It awards graduate degrees in Medicine (MD), Clinical Psychology, Biomedical Sciences (PhD), Medical Sciences (MS), and Public Health.
The University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, commonly called the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, is one of 14 schools and colleges at the University of California, Berkeley. The School of Public Health is consistently rated alongside the best in the nation, with recent rankings placing its doctoral programs in Epidemiology, Environmental Health Sciences, and Health Policy among the top in their fields, and its Master of Public Health program 8th among those in the United States. Established in 1943, it was the first school of public health west of the Mississippi River. The school is currently accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.
The University of Washington School of Public Health is the only public health school located in the Northwest, and is based on the main campus of the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. The School is accredited through the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). It ranks among the United States' best schools for public health. U.S. News & World Report ranked the school sixth among all public health schools in its last survey of this discipline (2014).
The College of Public Health (CPH) is a college within the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens, Georgia, United States.
Founded in 1998, Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health has rapidly developed into a nationally ranked, fully accredited public health research, service and training program. The School is ranked by U.S. News and World Reports as a Top 25 Graduate School in Public Health, with the average age of Schools ranked above them 40+ years. The school is also annually ranked among the top five schools of public health in student diversity.
Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) is one of the graduate schools of Boston University. Founded in 1976, the School offers master's- and doctoral-level programs in public health. It is located in the heart of Boston University's Medical Campus in the South End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. The school has more than 8,900 alumni, 267 faculty, and 227 staff; its students hail from more than 43 countries, and its total research portfolio is worth more than $180 million. BUSPH is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health and ranked 8th among Public Health Graduate Schools by U.S. News & World Report.
The Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) was founded in 1915 by Charles-Edward Amory Winslow and is one of the oldest public health masters programs in the United States. It is consistently rated among the best schools of public health in the country, receiving recent rankings of 3rd for its doctoral program in epidemiology. YSPH has a unique hybrid existence with the Yale School of Medicine, as it is both a department within the School of Medicine as well as an independent, CEPH-certified school of public health. According to the school's website, the community benefits greatly from the Yale School of Public Health's dual roles of providing a world–class education as an accredited, fully functioning school, and by conducting cutting–edge, interdisciplinary research through its collaborative departmental partnerships at the School of Medicine and across the Yale campus.
The Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health is one of the eight colleges of Georgia Southern University, located in Statesboro, Georgia, in the United States.
Opened in 1984, the University of South Florida College of Public Health, offers master's degrees in Public Health (MPH), a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) which is a more academic and research oriented Master's degree, and a Master's degree in Health Administration (MHA), along with a doctorate (PhD) in Public Health and several dual degrees in collaboration with other colleges- most notably the dual PhD/MPH program in Applied Anthropology. The MHA in Public Health Practice is an innovative program for health professionals which can be attained through weekend executive or distance learning format.
The College of Public Health and Health Profession is the school of public health and other health professions of the University of Florida. The college was established by the Florida Board of Regents in 1958 as a separate school within the J. Hillis Miller Health Science Center and is a member of the ASPH and CEPH. The college's mission is to "preserve, promote, and improve the health and well-being of populations, communities and individuals." The college grants bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.
The Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is part of Tulane University, located in New Orleans, in the U.S. state of Louisiana.
Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice was founded in 2013 by the combining of the School of Social Work, founded in 1930, the School of Public Health, established 1991, and the program in Criminology and Criminal Justice. The College has as its purpose to improve the health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable.
The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy is a public American research and professional college within the City University of New York (CUNY) system of colleges. The school is situated at 55 West 125th Street in Manhattan. CUNY SPH offers doctoral programs, master's programs, several certificates, and faculty memberships in many of CUNY's research centers and institutes. A core roster of over 50 full-time faculty is supplemented by additional faculty members drawn from throughout CUNY.
The Milken Institute School of Public Health is the school of public health of the George Washington University, in Washington, DC. U.S. News & World Report University Rankings ranks the SPH as the 12th best public health graduate program in the United States.
The Colorado School of Public Health is an accredited, collaborative school of public health representing three Colorado public educational and research institutions: the University of Colorado, Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado. The school is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. The school operates on three university campuses: the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo., Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. and the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo.
The University of Iowa College of Public Health is one of eleven colleges based in The University of Iowa. Established on July 1, 1999, the college's roots originate in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, and with the Graduate Program in Hospital and Health Administration. Both of these were formerly based in the University of Iowa College of Medicine.
The Graduate School of Public Health is one of the professional graduate schools of San Diego State University within its College of Health and Human Services. Located in the College Area neighborhood of San Diego, California, it is part of the Association of Schools of Public Health and is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. San Diego State University is a member of the Western Association of Graduate Schools, the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States, and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. The GSPH also maintains its own chapter in the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health.
The West Virginia University School of Public Health is a school of public health located in the United States city of Morgantown in the state of West Virginia; the WVU School of Public Health is the only School of Public Health in the state of West Virginia.
The University of Kentucky College of Public Health is a school of public health at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky, United States.