March 31, 2023

What Are Some of the Areas of Specialization Available When Pursuing a Master of Public Health Degree?

It is an exciting time for those individuals pursuing careers in Public Health. There are many options available when electing whether or not to complete a specialization or concentration to tailor the individual area of interest for their career paths. Some of the most common areas of specialization are:


Epidemiology is the study of how health affects large populations of people and how to reduce problems associated with public health crises. These Public Health Professionals play an important role in educating people regarding achieving safe practices for good health. Epidemiologists work in offices and labs at health departments for state and local governments, in a hospital setting and at colleges and universities. Salaries range upwards to $117,530 according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics. According to Forbes Magazine’s recent article on the 25 most meaningful jobs that pay well – Epidemiologist rated nineteenth making it an excellent career option.


Biostatistics Concentrations provide public health students with specific training in quantitative methods to use and to adapt statistical procedures in both the design and the analysis of studies that span the entire spectrum of research in health care. Many biostatisticians work in Government agencies, public health organizations, research companies, manufacturers of medical device and the pharmaceutical industry. With an expected growth of twenty-seven percent from 2012 to 2022 according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) the salary range is between $53,228 and $121,890 a year.

Environmental Health Science

Environmental Health Science Concentrations allow students to prepare to work in organizations that are most concerned with public health exposure to both chemicals and physical agents. Graduates will tend to go into careers in academia, industries in chemicals or pharmaceuticals, and also environmental protection agencies in federal, state and local offices. The concentration of environmental health is broad so you will want to focus more specifically on topics such as molecular epidemiology, molecular toxicology, environmental health policy, and global health. Mean average salaries ranged up to $109,970 and the growth anticipated by 2020 is fifteen percent, faster than the average for all occupations according to the US BLS.

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Social and Behavioral Sciences are the methods and concepts of social and behavioral sciences that are related to the identification and solution creation for modern public health issues. Its concentration is the theory of behavioral interventions and social influences on illness and health to apply intervention, design, and implementation.

Disaster Management & Emergency Preparedness

An MPH with a concentration in Disaster Management and Emergency Preparedness provides training in developing, executing and evaluating disasters in preparedness, detecting hazards, response, recovery, and containment. With natural disasters and catastrophes posing a greater risk to communities, there is a great demand for highly skilled professionals who can both manage and minimize their effects. The median annual wage for emergency management directors was $59,770 in May 2012 and the top 10 percent earned more than $107,810 annually. Emergency management directors held about 9,900 jobs in 2012 with most careers in state or local governments. Other areas of employment include private companies, hospitals, universities, or nonprofit institutions.

Health Services Administration

Health Services Administration focuses on planning, organization, administration, management and policy analysis of health programs for careers in policy development, health management, and health policy analysis. Typically Health Science Administrators focus on health systems, health economics, finance, and quantitative methods. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median annual wage for Health Services Administrators was $88,580 with the top 10 percent earning more than $150,560 in May 2012.

Other popular areas of specialization include: Public Health Policy & Management, Public Health Education, Public Health Planner, International Public Health, Women’s and Reproductive Health, Child and Adolescent Health and Food Nutrition and Health. It is a very exciting time for those pursuing careers in Public Health and by choosing a concentration for their Master of Public Health degrees, it will allow graduates to specialize in their specific area of interest in Public Health.