Professional Degrees of Public Health

Professional Degrees Of Public Health

The Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) and the Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) are multi-disciplinary 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 Programs in Public Health, Medical Schools, Schools of Public Health, and Schools of Public Affairs.

Additionally, students develop an integrated interdisciplinary, cross-cutting set of overall competency domains (Communication and Informatics, Diversity and Culture, Leadership, Professionalism, Program Planning, Public Health Biology, and Systems Thinking). A newly developing specialty within the MPH degree is Occupational Health Nursing.

In the United States (U.S.), anyone with an accredited undergraduate degree, may pursue an MPH or MSPH. Based on the accreditation of the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) an MPH or MSPH is not a clinical degree.

In some countries the MPH program is only available for medical graduates (MBBS or equivalent), those without the medical degree can join the Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) program. The MSPH degree is an academic public health degree rather than a professional public health degree. The MSPH is more research-oriented than is the MPH. Required MSPH coursework includes most of the same classes needed for the MPH degree, but in addition the MSPH degree requires additional research coursework such as research methods. Also, MSPH students must complete a research thesis/project of publishable quality. The extra coursework roughly requires an additional year of study in relation to what is required for the MPH degree. In the UK the MPH is not widely available; an MSc in the field of public health (generally one year's full-time study) may be the nearest equivalent.

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 Masters 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.

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