June 28, 2017

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Master’s in Healthcare Management Degrees at the University of North Carolina – Part I

North Carolina leads the nation in the production of tobacco and is a major producer of textiles and furniture but with the continuing trend toward diversification, healthcare is now one of the fastest growing areas of employment in North Carolina. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the employment of medical and health services managers will grow 23 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Those with a master’s degree in healthcare management or administration will be in demand to fill these position. There are a variety of top quality accredited colleges and Universities in North Carolina offering graduate degrees in Healthcare Management.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, also known as UNC Chapel Hill, is a coed public research university. The school was founded in 1789, and is one of the original Public Ivy League Schools and one of the oldest public universities in the United States. The university offers degrees in over 70 courses of study through fourteen colleges and the College of Arts and Sciences. The 2016 edition of US News and World Reports Best Colleges ranked the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill 30th for National universities. Some interesting facts about the school include:

  • More than 3,000 students are members of Greek life
  • Chapel Hill is considered one of the best college towns in the US
  • The North Carolina Tar Heels are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference
  • The university has a total undergraduate enrollment of 18,350 students

The Gillings School of Global Public Health Department was established in 1949 with a goal to advance statistical science to improve human health. The Mission of the Gillings School of Global Public Health “is improving public health, promote individual well-being and eliminate health disparities across North Carolina and around the world.”

Master of Public Health in Biostatistics

The Master of Public Health (MPH) in Biostatistics program prepares individuals with at least one year of prior work experience for positions requiring knowledge of the broad field of public health with a specialized knowledge of biostatistics. Competencies for the MPH in Biostatistics Program include:

  • Exhibit an understanding of the core fundamentals of public health, including the physical, biological, and behavioral factors affecting the health of the community, and systems for delivering health services
  • Comprehend elements of probability and statistical inference, including the fundamental laws of classical probability, descriptive statistics, discrete and continuous distributions, functions of random variables, sampling distributions, and ability to apply them to a variety of estimation and hypothesis testing situations
  • Functional use of computers for research data management and for the analysis of data with standard statistical program packages
  • Ability to develop an efficient design of an observational or experimental study in the health sciences
  • Gain experience in statistical consulting, interacting with research workers in the health sciences, abstracting statistical aspects of substantive problems, and communicating the results novices without specialized bio-statistical training

Master of Public Health in Biostatistics

The Master of Public Health (MPH) in Biostatistics program prepares students with at least one year of prior work experience for positions that require in depth knowledge of public health as well as more specialized knowledge of biostatistics. Competencies for graduates of the program include:

  • Ability to show a comprehension of the foundations of public health, including the physical, biological, social and behavioral factors affecting the health of the community
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the elements of probability and statistical inference
  • Used computers for research data management, apply a defensible standard of documentation, archiving, protection of confidentiality, and audit trail and for the analysis of data with standard statistical program packages
  • Develop an efficient design of an observational or experimental study in the health sciences

The Graduate School requires a minimum residence period of only two semesters for any master’s degree, but students in the MPH program will typically need two years to complete all MPH degree requirements. All requirements for the degree must be completed within five years. Each MPH candidate must earn at least three credits writing a master’s paper, which is a substitute for a traditional Master’s Thesis. This paper should show some synthesis of knowledge, and advance or contribute to the field of Public Health.

Master of Science in Biostatistics

The Master of Science (MS) program is designed to provide research-oriented training in the theory and methodology of biostatistics and its applications to the solution of problems in the health sciences. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree with mathematics training is required to enter the program. Biostatistics involves the development and application of statistical science to human health and disease. Coursework for the program allows student coursework in Biostatistics in for skills in analyzing data to determine the cause of illness and injury, identify health trends in communities, analyze risk factors, plan interventions, or evaluate statistical data for clinical trials. Competencies for graduating the MS program include:

  • Show a deep understanding of probability and statistical inference, including the fundamental laws of classical probability, discrete and continuous random variables, expectation theory, bivariate and multivariate distribution theory, maximum likelihood methods, hypothesis testing, power, and likelihood ratio, score, and Wald tests
  • Ability to apply elementary methods of statistical analysis
  • Use of computers for research data management for the analysis of data with standard statistical program packages
  • Ability to develop an efficient design of an observational or experimental study in health sciences
  • Exhibit basic knowledge of substantive areas of statistical application in the health sciences
  • Successful experience in statistical consulting, including interaction with research workers in the health sciences, abstracting statistical aspects of substantive problems, and communicating the results to persons without specialized bio-statistical training and observed and evaluated nonacademic bio-statistical programs in the Research Triangle area
  • Write a report related to the statistical aspects of a problem in the health sciences, or a contribution to statistical methodology
  • Future careers for graduates of the program include collaborative biostatistics careers and/or further graduate study.

Master of Public Health in Biostatistics/Medical Doctor – Residential

The Master of Public Health in Biostatistics/Medical Doctor (MPH-MD) Residential program prepares physicians to conduct clinical and other scientific research. Coursework for the program focuses on health policy in the perspective of a clinician and population based prevention while providing essential skills in epidemiology, biostatistics and critical appraisal of the medical literature. The ability to choose from of a wide variety of elective opportunities allows students a concentrated focus area to develop expertise in a specific topic. Fifteen to twenty five percent of each medical student class graduates from the MD-MPH program. Most students enter the dual program during the third year as the program to build on clinical experience.

Master of Public Health in Environmental Sciences and Engineering – Residential

The Master of Public Health in Environmental Sciences and Engineering is specifically designed for those students with a prior background in health-related areas in preparation for careers in practice or management in the field of public health while emphasizing environmental sciences and engineering. To apply to the MPH program, candidates are required to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree combined with an appropriate background in science, health or engineering. To complete the programs, students are required a minimum of 42 credits and the MPH degree can be completed in as little as two years on a full time residential basis. Future career opportunities for graduates of the program include Public health agencies, medical school and consulting. Students will become skilled in sample collection and analysis, surveys, data analysis, lab experiments, report writing, literature review and study design.

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering

The Master of Science in Environmental Engineering is a non-research, public health-oriented terminal degree intended for students interested in careers in environmental engineering practice. Candidates for the MS program are required an undergraduate degree in engineering from an ABET-accredited program or foreign institution with an equivalent program. The 30-credit program can be completed in as little as 1 year on a full time basis. The program requires a master’s technical report based on the portfolio of three engineering briefs. Students in this program have an opportunity to pursue our graduate global health certificate, while others may choose global health courses, internships or independent study with global focus. Possible career opportunities for graduates of the program, including consulting companies, general industry, utilities and government agencies. Students graduating from the program have the skills and knowledge to:

  • Determining data collection methods for research projects, investigations, and surveys
  • Collecting environmental data, such as samples of air, soil, water, food, and other materials, for scientific analysis
  • Analyze samples, surveys, and other information

Master of Science in Public Health – Residential

The 42 credit Master of Science in Public Health residential degree program is designed for those students interested in doctoral study or public health practice with an emphasis on environmental health science or engineering. Students are required to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate science, math or engineering field to apply to the program. The MSPH program can be completed in 2 to 2-1/2 years on a full time basis and will have the skills and knowledge in the following areas:

  • Leading lab experiments
  • Data analysis
  • Sample collection and analysis
  • Study designs, surveys, literature review and report writing

Future career opportunities include employment as research consultants, behavioral health scientists, health educators, data management directors, and management policy advisors in consulting companies, private industry, nonprofits, and government agencies as well as in research-based careers, continuing graduate studies or medical schools.

Dual Bachelor’s to Master of Science – Residential

The Dual Bachelors to Master of Science Residential (BS/MS Residential) program is designed for current University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill students who are enrolled in a science or math undergraduate program and want to pursue a master’s degree that is research-based and advanced practice and doctoral study in environmental science or engineering. The 150 credit hour program can be completed in 5 to 5-1/2 years as a full time residential program. Graduates of the program can pursue further graduate education and enter careers in consulting, general industry and research in sample collection and analysis, data analysis, surveys, lab experiments, report writing, literature review and study design.

Dual Bachelors to Master of Science in Public Health – Residential

The Dual Bachelor to Master of Science in Public Health Program (BSPH-MSPH Residential) provides the opportunity for current University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students in a science or math undergraduate program (including BSPH) to pursue a master’s level degree with an emphasis on research with a public health focus for advanced practice or doctoral study in environmental health sciences. The 162 credits program includes 120 credits for bachelor of science and 42 credits for master of science in Public Health, can be completed in as little as 5 years in a full time residential format. Graduates are prepared to pursue graduate or professional degrees, consulting organizations, Peace Corps and private organizations. Curriculum for the dual degree program provided students with the skills and knowledge in determining data collection methods for research projects, investigations and surveys, collection of environmental data including sampling air, soil, water, food, and other materials, for scientific analysis, analyzing samples, surveys and other information.

Master of Public Health MPH in Epidemiology

The Department of Epidemiology offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) as a terminal degree designed for physicians and other doctoral level professionals. The MPH curriculum includes study in core coursework in health policy, health behavior, environmental sciences, epidemiology and biostatistics. The MPH is intended to be a professional degree, preparing persons for a career in public health that may or may not include research. The Master of Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology program requires a minimum of 42 credit hours for completion and is designed to be completed in two years (some MPH students with limited time on campus may complete compress the course and examination requirements in as little as eighteen months). For admission to the MPH program, students are required to have a prior doctoral degree (MD, DVM, DDS, PhD, etc.). The program is intended for those student applicants planning future careers as clinicians or administrative careers.

Master of Science in Clinical Research

The Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) program is offered in conjunction with the Department of Epidemiology at Gillings School of Public Health and the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute. The degree is an interdisciplinary research degree program designed to develop the skills and knowledge required for careers as principal investigators and collaborators in clinical research. Emphases for the program includes:

  • Study design
  • Data Analysis fundamentals and collaborating with methodologists including biostatisticians
  • Developing proposal and grant writing
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Study result presentation both orally and written
  • Project management to include patient safety and IRB compliance
  • Professional development

A minimum of 36 credit hours is required to complete the MSCR and the program can be completed in two years with at least two full semesters in residence. For flexibility, the program may be completed on either a part-time or full-time format.

Master of Science in Public Health to Doctoral Program

The Master of Science in Public Health to Doctoral Program (MSPH-PhD Residential) is designed for students aspiring to a career as investigators who will assume leadership roles in research and teaching projects and research teams. The program provides the skills and knowledge to allow students to develop research and teaching skills in epidemiology through coursework, master’s and doctoral research, practice opportunities, and preliminary doctoral examinations. The Residential Program requires 63 minimum credit hours for completion and the graduate School requires minimum of 4 semesters of full-time residency credit. The MSPH-PhD program can be completed in 6 years. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required to apply to the program and students who do not have a master’s or professional degree may still be admitted to the doctoral program; these students will be required completion of the Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) in the Department of Epidemiology before beginning doctoral coursework. Graduates of the program are prepared for careers in faculty positions in a school of public health or medical school and as a principal investigator for research facilities.

Master of Public Health in Health Behavior

The Master of Public Health in Health Behavior is a two-year (full time only) residential program. Coursework and community-based fieldwork provides students with a core foundation in social and behavioral science theory, research and practice to allow a study of how to study, develop, implement and evaluate interventions and policies to promote health, prevent disease and injury, and reduce health disparities. Core Competencies for the program (as stated by the program) is providing robust master’s level training to develop competencies in theory, practice and applied research to have the ability to:

  • Apply social and behavior science theory and evidence-based interventions while maintaining social justice and respect
  • Plan, implement and evaluate public health programs and interventions
  • Utilize qualitative and quantitative research methodology and apply biostatistics
  • Recognize and address social determinants of health and health disparities
  • Collaborate in diverse, cross-cultural community and organizational settings

Students are required to complete 54 credit hours of coursework, including health behavior core courses, School of Public Health core courses, fieldwork and electives. Students also must complete a written comprehensive examination before their second year in the program. A hallmark of the program is intensive field training via a practicum experience and Capstone project. The MPH program prepares students for leadership positions in a wide range of public health settings.

Master of Science in Public Health to Doctor of Philosophy

Master of Science in Public Health to Doctor of Philosophy (MSPH-to-PhD) program prepares graduates for research careers in academic, non-profit, and governmental settings in leadership roles. Graduates are prepared to lead independent research on the causation of health- related behaviors contributing to domestic and global public health problems and on the development, evaluation, and dissemination of interventions to alleviate these behaviors. Doctoral students become competent in the core theory and foundations of the field, research methods, interventions, and professional development topics. The program is designed for those whose goal is pursuing a career as a public health researcher in health behavior. To apply to the PhD applicant must have an MPH or relevant graduate degree. Those applying to the MSPH-to-PhD program must hold a bachelor’s degree in public health, social sciences, or a related major with health-related research experience. Students have the opportunity to participate in faculty led research projects and they have research and training opportunities the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Injury Prevention Research Center, Sheps Center for Health Services Research, and the Center for Developmental Science. Students can also elect to expand their skills through teaching.

Accreditation
The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
The Commission on Accreditation of Health Management Education (CAHME)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

Contact
University Of Carolina at Chapel Hill
135 Dauer Drive
3101 McGavran-Greenberg Hall
CB #7420
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7420
(919) 966-7250
E-Mail: hobgood@unc.edu
Program Website

With many top quality universities and colleges in North Carolina offering accredited master’s degrees in Healthcare Management, perspective students have a variety of great options to choose from. With continued growth in the need for qualified healthcare managers predicted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, those students pursuing a graduate degree will help to fill this ever-growing need. Job opportunities as medical and health services managers are projected to grow 23 percent from 2012 to 2022, a much higher pace than the average for all occupations.
Having a graduate degree in Healthcare Management/Administration can be the ticket to a bright future.