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. In some countries, a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) is offered. The MSPH degree tends to be more research-oriented than the clinical practice-focused MPH.
- 1 Masters degrees
- 2 Doctorate in Public Health
- 3 United States
- 4 Europe
- 5 References
- 6 External links
In some countries the MPH program is only available for physician graduates (MBBS, MD or equivalent). In those countries, individuals without a medical degree may enter a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) program. A newly developing specialty within the MPH degree is Occupational Health Nursing.
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. Coursework required for an MSPH 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.
Doctorate in Public Health
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.
In the United States (US), any person 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. However, some states in the United States recognize MPH holders as ancillary clinical professionals (and patient-facing clinical staff) especially with regard to preventive medicine, health education, and other functions in the clinical and hospital environments. In fact, most hospital systems have MPH public health staff to study disease trends and help to combat hospital-acquired infections (nosocomial infections) and immediately determine epidemiologic trends (for example, flu outbreaks tendencies, etc.).
The traditional MPH degree is designed to expose candidates to 5 core discipline areas of public health:
- Environmental Health
- Health Policy and Health Administration
- Social and behavioral sciences
Council on Education for Public Health
In the United States the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredits schools of public health and programs of public health through a formal review process.
Certified in Public Health (CPH) Exam
In 2008, the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE), an organization established in the United States, began offering a certification exam designed to test mastery of the core competencies of the MPH degree. After a candidate passes this examination, they must maintain the certification with 50 CPH recertification credits approved by the NBPHE.
The NBPHE's Board of Directors primarily represents five key collaborating organizations: the American Public Health Association, the Association of Prevention Teaching and Research, the Association of Schools of Public Health, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and the National Association of County and City Health Officials. The board is dedicated to increasing recognition of the public health profession, raising the visibility of public health, and measuring and improving the competency of public health workers across the nation and around the world.
Council of Graduate Programs in Public Health
The Council of Graduate Programs in Public Health represents the accredited and emerging graduate programs across the U.S. that grant public health degrees and therefore prepare students for professional careers in public health. The Council encourages, promotes and supports universities, schools and colleges in developing, maintaining, and advancing graduate programs in the disciplines of preventive medicine, social medicine, community health and public health. The Council is sponsored by the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research.
In the United Kingdom the MPH or MSc in Public Health is usually a one year full-time program. Taught modules typically account for two thirds of the MPH and a project one third. Students may be medical or non-medical graduates. Degrees vary in their content, but most cover similar areas of public health. Because of the key role played by public health practitioners in the NHS a UK MPH also often includes Health economics.
Degrees that include a substantial epidemiological component are more selective and some require applicants to demonstrate ability before applying, by completion of an online test MPH Selection Test 
Faculty of Public Health (UK)
In the UK specialist accreditation in public health is provided by the Faculty of Public Health (FPH) . Specialist accreditation is through participation in a four-year program analogous to specialist training for doctors. Specialist trainees must pass an examination, demonstrably achieve certain skills and submit a portfolio of work. However specialist training in public health is also open to non-doctors.
- Council of Graduate Programs in Public Health
- Society for Public Health Education
- Association of Schools of Public Health
- Council on Education for Public Health
- Master list of CEPH accredited Schools & Programs of Public Health as of March 11, 2011
- National Board of Public Health Examiners
- The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region