A Master of Public Health (MPH) is a great degree to complete but it is targeted quite specifically at working professionals and, for this reason, it is now often offered online, enabling students to work and study at the same time. In recent developments, schools are now also offering the online program in an accelerated way, meaning you can complete your MPH degree online in just one year.
What Is the One Year Online MPH Program?
A one year online MPH program is a very intensive program and it is only suitable for those who are very motivated to complete it, and committed to studying with almost no supervision. Once completed, however, graduates can take on positions that allow them to affect public policy and public health. A lot of schools also allow their students to complete the degree program as part of a dual degree, such as joint programs with the Master of Business Administration (MBA) or the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).
The degree program has been designed to ensure graduates become public health leaders, improving administration and addressing local and global health issues. Usually, those who enroll in the programs tend to already have numerous years of working experience in the field of public health and they often want to take on more specialized positions in higher management. The often want to look at more specific areas such as epidemiology instead.
During the one year, accelerated degree program, students are offered the opportunity to study 100% online. That being said, they often also have to complete a research or capstone project. There is also an expectation of students to customize their curriculum so that they end with a specialized degree. For some of those specializations, some hours working in the field will be expected. Some of the most common specializations for the MPH include:
- Leadership and public health practice
- Environmental health
- Occupational health nursing
- Healthcare and prevention
- Food, nutrition, and health
- Women’s and reproductive health
- Global environmental sustainability and health
If you are looking at completing an MPH degree, particularly an online accelerated one, you must make sure that the program is properly accredited. Without accreditation, your degree will not be worth much. Accreditation proves that the program meets all the necessary standards of excellence in education. The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is the accrediting body for the MPH programs. Make sure, however, that it is the program itself that is accredited, and not just the school.
Accreditation is incredibly important because it tells employers that you went to a school where academic excellence is a strong focus. Going through the accreditation process is voluntary and very tough, so those that are accredited clearly believe in their own programs. In order to become accredited by the CEPH, schools have to demonstrate a number of things to meet the organization’s goal. This goal is to improve health across human populations by organizing community efforts. There are various objectives to achieve this, which is what they look for in MPH programs, include:
- Promoting the quality and standard of public health education
- Ensuring that the public knows that any school that offers graduate training in public health is able to meet the necessary standards expected of programs of their kind
- Encourage improving the overall quality of public health programs, using a range of means such as publications, periodic reviews, consultation, and research.
The CEPH works with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) and the American Health Association (APHA), which both support the work of the council.
Milken Institute School of Public Health
George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health offers an online one year MPH program. Offering different options, they enable students to create a curriculum track that is suitable specifically to their own professional and personal commitments. The 12 month program is offered online and is incredibly intensive. Students must complete 11.5 credits each quarter, and the curriculum itself follows that of the MPH degree program offered full time, in campus, at the school. Students must already be fully admitted, rather than provisionally admitted, in order to take part in this program. Additionally, the Program Director must approve candidates who want to join the program.
Through this program, students can use a flexible environment to earn their advanced degree. The school prides itself on offering a range of important resources to enable students to meet their academic goals. Graduates from the Milken Institute School of Public Health are respected for their skills that are designed to make a difference in global, national, and local communities. This is because alumni have had the opportunity to work with unique real life cases of public health that happened both abroad and in this country.
Students are able to choose from a number of concentrations:
- Health communication, whereby students work on making health issues linked to human behavior better. These include such things as obesity and HIV/AIDS. The degree prepares students to become communicators, enabling them to properly discuss these issues on a global platform.
- Health policy, whereby students learn to analyze and understand all the different elements of U.S. health policy, applying the results of this analysis in state and federal government, and also non-profit advocacy and private sector health policy consulting.
- Program planning and evaluation, whereby students will be empowered to make the performance of global health programs better by creating better policies and making more informed decisions, thereby positively impacting low- and middle-income communities both in this country and abroad.
- Global health, where students start to play a pivotal role in global health policies, looking at their evaluation, development, and implementation. Graduates take on positions of leadership, taking responsibility for the performance of public health systems.
The program offered by the Milken Institute School of Public Health is truly innovative in nature. It has been designed specifically for those who are already professionally involved in public health, but want to become better leaders and make a greater different on both global and local communities. While the program, which is CEPH accredited, is offered online and in an accelerated way, students enjoy the same curriculum delivered by the same high quality faculty as those who study the program traditionally full time on campus.