Perhaps the most respected title in public health belongs to the individual holding a mph degree. The mph, or Masters of Public Health, degree is generally bestowed upon that health care professional whose work will be primarily in the field of public health as opposed to teaching or research.
The mph degree is an advanced two-year degree, typically earned upon completion of a bachelor’s degree in public health or a related field. On most college and university campuses, this program consists of three semesters of classroom based study. The final semester is generally devoted to an internship. The internship may require the student to undertake some type of special project. Graduates with a Master’s in Public Health degree may choose to work in a variety of interesting fields. Some of the areas of study include epidemiology, public health management and policy, bio-statistics, public health practice, environmental health, and social and behavioral sciences. There is usually a core curriculum and additional coursework related to the specialty area.
The duty of evaluating and regulating public health needs often falls to the individual possessing a mph degree. They routinely are faced with a complex set of problems. These problems may be specific to their geographic or demographic area. They often focus on the availability of health care to the population of a specific location. These professionals work to develop programs to help the population engage in healthy habits. While a great deal of their work is geared towards the public, they also work with families and individuals.
There are a number of accredited schools and universities offering programs for students seeking mph degrees. Students may attend traditional brick and mortar universities, but a significant number of these degrees are earned through accredited online schools. The mph degree program is accredited by the national Council on Education for Public Health for individuals seeking training and experience in applied public health practice. Tuition in a public college tends to run between $24,000 and $36,000 per year of study. It is important to note that some colleges offer accelerated courses, allowing the student to reduce the time spent in pursuit of the degree. Online colleges may offer lower tuition and related expenses.
The vast majority of graduates of the mph degree program secure employment with governmental agencies. Local, state, and federal agencies are the largest employers. A limited number of positions are available with pharmaceutical companies. Due to the increased focus on public health, the demand for students with advanced degrees in public health has never been greater. The demand for these employees is expected to grow as industries join governments in recognizing the importance of public health.