March 31, 2023

Do I Need a Bachelor’s In Public Health to Apply for the MPH Degree?

There is a range of available options for those pursuing a graduate degree in Public Health, depending on the career path you want to pursue. A general Master of Public Health (MPH) prepares you for a wide range of careers in public health and curriculum covers areas of study including: policy advocacy, health education, institution administration, treatment delivery, and disease prevention to name a few.

Does My Bachelors Degree Have to Be in Public Health to Pursue a Master of Public Health degree?

Although all Master of Public Health (MPH) programs require a bachelor’s degree to apply, there are no universal coursework requirements to enter these programs. Students can have degrees from a variety of areas including medicine, social sciences, law, and the humanities. To focus their studies in public health students can elect a specific area of specialization some of which include:

  • Epidemiology is the study of how health affects large populations of people and how to reduce problems associated with public health crises
  • Biostatistics specializations provide more specific training in quantitative methods to use and adapt statistical procedures in designing and analyzing research
  • Environmental Health Science specializations prepare students with the knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences include a study of the social, behavioral, community, and societies influences on health in the general population
  • Disaster Management & Emergency Preparedness coursework allows the skills in designing and executing plans of action in the event of natural or man-made disasters
  • Maternal & Child Health programs provide the skills for improving the health of youth and families
  • Nutrition specializations provide additional training for those interested in careers with public health, but oriented towards health promotion, disease prevention, and nutrition interventions

What Are The Options for a Dual Degree in Public Health?

Some students may find that a generalized MPH degree doesn’t meet their precise needs. If that is the case there are a number of joint MPH degrees to better tailor their educational needs, some which include:

  • MPH/MD dual degrees allow future physicians to expand their clinical research and practices to address the health and epidemiology in community or global populations
  • MPH/MBA programs use a combined curriculum in managerial, policy-making and financial aspects of healthcare organizations
  • MPH/PHARM provide the opportunity to become Pharmacists with a background in public health
  • MPH/MSN programs allow nurses with advanced degrees to gain knowledge in public health in order to administer treatments and research health topics affecting groups of people
  • MPH/JD for those future attorneys who want to gain experience in health law and public policy to effect legislative change for hospitals, patients, and communities
  • MPH/MSW to pursue a career in social work with public health expertise to work in communities addressing social issues and health hazards to identify and implement preventative measures
  • MPH/DPT for Physical therapy physicians who are skilled in addressing rehabilitation to diverse populations with a range of injuries and disabilities
  • MPH/MA students pursuing a Masters of Arts to aid in public health research efforts and projects

The right MPH program can prepare students to become clinicians, health educators, epidemiologists, family therapists or counselors.