Master of Science in Public Health

Within the field of public health, there are a significant array of academic and professional opportunities, depending on whether or not you want to help educate the public health leaders of tomorrow, or become one yourself.

Making the choice as to which career to pursue and how to become academically qualified can seem daunting. It is essential to thoroughly research all of the different public health degree programs and come to understand which degree is best suited for your long term goals.

Those looking to pursue a career in public health often find it hard to decide between pursuing a Masters in Public Health (MPH) or a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH.) These two degrees have significant distinguishable characteristics. In order to ensure a degree with the best value, it is absolutely critical to understand what set these degree programs apart.


MPH@Simmons MPH@Simmons, the online Master of Public Health from Simmons College, is designed to give you the real-world skills you need to address health inequity on a local, national, and global level.
MPH@GW An innovative online Master of Public Health program offered by the top-ranked Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.
MHA@GW Offered by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, this online Executive Master of Health Administration program is designed for healthcare professionals who aspire to become leaders in their field.

Sponsored Programs

Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) vs. Masters of Public Health (MPH)

The MSPH curriculum varies between academic institutions, but generally most programs have an academic focus in public health research and the application of data analysis. A Masters in Public Health (MPH) is considered a professional degree, the Master of Science in Public Health is considered an academic degree. One of the key elements of the MSPH is the degree program’s emphasis on the scientific elements of public health as opposed to social concerns. Most MSPH programs delve into coursework that help students enrich their quantitative/qualitative abilities and develop comprehensive research experience. Students are prepared to take on professional roles by incorporating epidemiological principles and biostatistical methods in understanding the problems currently affecting public and community health. Similar to the MPH program, the MSPH exposes students to five core public health areas: (1) Public Health and Policy Management, (2) Biostatistics, (3) Epidemiology, (4) Behavioral Sciences/Health Education, (5) Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences. If you are searching for a particular program, you can use the Association of Schools of Public Health’s helpful search feature.

Education Prerequisites

Before pursuing an MSPH, a student must have a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in a health-related major is not normally required, but depending on the institution, students may be expected to complete some health-related prerequisite coursework. To apply for admission, students generally submit their GRE scores and must meet a minimum GPA requirement set by their program. When deciding on an institution to pursue an MSPH, students should look for a CEPH-accredited school that has strengths in research, service, and education.

Career Opportunities

Those with a MSPH can find employment either in a research position or in setting public health policy within the fields of academia, a government organization, a nonprofit organization, or in private industry. Examples of possible job titles include: research consultant, behavioral health scientist, health educator, data management director, state epidemiologist, corporate medical director, and a management policy advisor.

Your Choice

In sum, there is a lot of opportunity to actualize your full potential in public health through pursuing a Masters of Public Health degree or a Masters of Science in Public health. Be sure to pay careful attention to the specific course offerings of the institution of your choice in order to make the best use of your education investment.