What is an MPH Degree?
GRADUATE STUDIES | 5 MIN READ
A Master of Public Health (MPH) degree prepares you with the skills to promote health, prevent illness, and improve the quality of life of those in your community and across the world.
An interdisciplinary MPH degree emboldens you to face complex public health challenges head-on through the development of your scientific knowledge, communication skills, and leadership abilities.
Students pursuing a Master of Public Health degree are committed to making the world a healthier, safer place in fields such as health policy, health administration, epidemiology, public health education and advocacy, and more.
Face Public Health Challenges Head-On
Public health policies impact our lives every day—from rules governing clean water to tobacco-free zones to vaccinations. With an MPH degree, you will contribute to this meaningful, life-changing work by addressing the existing and emerging health and safety issues facing communities today.
To build the competencies required to be successful in this field, you complete coursework across the following core areas in an MPH program:
- Biostatistics: apply statistical reasoning and methods to public health problems.
- Epidemiology: the study of how often diseases occur in different groups of people and why.
- Environmental Health Sciences: how the built and natural environment influences human health.
- Health Policy and Administration: planning, management, and evaluation of public health programs and policies.
- Community Health: advocating for and educating communities on healthy living.
Because public health professionals often are embedded within the fabric of their communities, the wide range of MPH course topics ensure you are able to work collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams to solve problems. The courses also allow you to see intersectionality between the topics, deepening your understanding of how public health issues impact the varying populations around you and across the world.
In an MPH program, you usually also participate in an applied learning experience in a public health setting of your choice—such as an internship, practicum, or research project—that brings the knowledge gained in the classroom to life. These experiences provide much-needed exposure to real-world issues, getting you ready to hit the ground running upon graduation.
Other health care careers, such as nursing, allow you to make significant contributions to the recovery of individual patients. As a public health professional, rather than treating illness and injuries, you will be working to prevent those illnesses and injuries for individuals and entire communities.
Pursuing an MPH Online
Aiming to meet the market’s demand for highly credentialed public health professionals, many higher education institutions now offer MPH degree programs online in order to reach more students seeking to take the next step in their public health careers. You experience the same quality, rigor, and faculty mentorship in an online MPH program as you would in any in-person program, with the added benefit of more convenient scheduling.
The online format of an MPH is ideal for professionals balancing family and work responsibilities—people who require convenience and flexibility in their program of choice. This is especially true for those who find traveling to campus difficult.
Given that many online MPH programs also feature cohorts of students, you will be able to lean on the consistent support of your peer group who are at a similar point in their career journey. Through the online format, you’ll find yourself connected with a diverse group of classmates who bring with them a range of experiences, perspectives, and goals that can elevate your own knowledge.
Many online MPH programs require a hands-on learning component, such as an internship or a practicum, that is completed in person. Pursuing an MPH through an online program allows you to learn in the nation’s top public health master’s programs while staying connected with your local community in order to expand your professional network of mentors and potential future employers.
What Can You Do with an MPH Degree?
Public health professionals are in high demand in this booming field. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 2 million new health care positions will be created by 2031, including many specialized roles in public health.
Increased life expectancy, the threat of new viruses like COVID-19, and an increase in the need for community mental health services are just a few of the issues creating a call for master’s-prepared public health specialists. The ever-changing landscape of the field affords you plenty of growth and opportunities for innovation in your career.
An MPH degree prepares you for diverse career opportunities in industry, non-profit, and government sectors. Below is a small selection of the roles you may choose to pursue, along with average annual salaries calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Health Care Administrator: $101,340
- Emergency Management Director: $76,730
- Biostatistician: $96,280
- Epidemiologist: $78,830
- Health Educator: $48,860
- Social and Community Service Manager: $74,000
- Environmental Scientist: $76,530
- Occupational Health and Safety Specialist: $74,870
Building Transformative Leadership Skills
Guiding a community to better health requires strong leadership skills and the determination to think creatively and develop new approaches to familiar problems.
To rise to meet these challenges, Elmhurst University’s online Master of Public Health degree program features a forward-thinking concentration in Public Health Leadership and Innovation. What’s more, Elmhurst’s liberal arts roots provide a broadened perspective so that students can craft interdisciplinary solutions that drive tangible results in their community.
Elmhurst’s MPH degree is offered entirely online in a part-time cohort model that takes two years to complete, supporting working professionals who are ready to expand their career outlook. The MPH faculty are experienced public health leaders and are dedicated to student success through a transformative, skill-building curriculum that lays the foundation for a lifetime of success.
Change the Future of Public Health with an MPH Degree
With a Master of Public Health degree, you will be contributing to the creation of healthier and safer communities and your work will improve the lives of people around the globe.
If you’re ready to make a difference, fill out the form below to request more information about Elmhurst University’s online MPH degree program.