MPH Degree Concentrations

  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Education
  • Health Services Administration
  • Environmental Health

Choosing from the many available MPH concentrations is the foremost decision that public health practitioners must make when attending graduate school. The Master of Public Health is considered the hallmark, terminal degree for progressing into health-oriented community leadership jobs. MPH programs typically span from 40 to 65 credits over at least two years full-time to instill the clinical knowledge and skills to coordinate programs that address or prevent diseases globally. Master's degrees accredited by the CEPH typically include a public health core, concentration year, applied practicum, and a capstone. Students finishing the MPH process are qualified to help fill the public health shortage demanding 250,000 more professionals by 2020. Here are five popular concentrations where MPH graduates are especially needed.

1. Biostatistics

MPH in Biostatistics concentrations let math-oriented public health students learn the statistical, calculus, and linear algebra methods used to analyze data on real-world medical issues. Biostatisticians produce study designs, generate hypotheses, and interpret complex findings to determine empirical practices for best health. Technical mastery is built with MPH courses like causal analytics, clinical trial testing, analytical epidemiology, database design, public health informatics, and others. Biostatistics jobs are growing much faster than average by 34 percent for mean annual salaries of $85,160.

2. Epidemiology

Epidemiology is one of the most widely popular MPH concentrations available at most CEPH-accredited colleges to produce clinical researchers who study the causes of diseases and illnesses. MPH in Epidemiology programs teach graduates to direct investigations to collect data where the analysis will help improve positive health outcomes. Epidemiology courses could further be specialized for infection control, maternal health, occupational health, chronic disease, and more. Epidemiologists signal sturdy job growth by 6 percent through 2024 for earning $77,720 yearly on average.

Related: Top 10 Cheap Online MPH Degree Programs

3. Health Education

MPH in Health Education programs prepare graduates for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential to help spread the word to individuals and communities on ways to lower health risks. Health educators are both social scientists and teachers who develop curricular tools to influence behavioral change for healthy living. MPH courses could include public health communication, school health, health disparities, physical activity, and nutrition. Health education jobs will grow quickly by 13 percent through 2024 for an average yearly wage of $57,900.

4. Health Services Administration

Health services administration is a unique MPH concentration blending business with healthcare to produce forward-thinking managers who plan, direct, and evaluate community health programs. Sometimes paired with an MBA, the health services administration concentration integrates courses like strategic planning, financial management, health policy, and economics. Graduates unlock upper-level administrative paths for formulating policies that strengthen public outreach for promoting healthy lifestyles. Health services managers are seeing 10-year projected job growth at 17 percent for median pay at $96,540.

5. Environmental Health

Growing climate change threats are attracting graduates to MPH in Environmental Health programs where they'll learn to investigate ecological risks on human well-being. Environmental health concentrations research land issues like water contamination, air pollution, lead poisoning, and hazardous waste to educate the public on ways to stay safe. The MPH courses will range from toxicology to molecular epidemiology and geological science. Environmental health specialists can expect faster-than-average job growth by 11 percent for a mean annual salary of $75,360.

One of the biggest benefits of Master of Public Health programs is their flexibility for application in diverse specializations. Graduates will also fulfill the NSPHE requirements to take the timed, 200-question exam at PSI testing centers year-round and become Certified in Public Health (CPH) for increased professional recognition. If you're heading to graduate school, consider these five fast-growing and other MPH concentrations like global health, nutrition, social or behavioral sciences, child health, and disaster response.

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