Master of Public Health

Our interdisciplinary MPH degree program allows students to apply cutting edge scientific and technical knowledge to preventing disease and promoting wellness through organized community efforts. The diversity and complexity of today's public health concerns require practitioners who understand the political, ethical, economic, and scientific concerns involved in addressing the great challenges to the modern world. The school's unique focus is on linking academic studies with a broad base of knowledge, skills, and experience prepares students to effectively meet today's public health challenges. Students may choose to concentrate in biomedical sciences, biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, health policy and management, social behavior and community health, or public health practice.  Students with an interest in global health, health disparities, or public health surveillance and preparedness may add a graduate certificate to their program of study for a second area of expertise.

Program Overview

The MPH degree requires the completion of 51 credits:

  • 21 core course credits, common to all concentrations
    • EPI 500 or EPI 501 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology
    • EPI 551 or EPI 552 Principles of Statistical Inference
    • HPM 500 Health Care Organization, Financing and Delivery
    • HPM 525 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health
    • BMS 505 Biological Basis of Public Health
    • EHS 590 Introduction to Environmental Health
    • SPH 680 1st Year MPH Seminar: Professional Development for Professionals I, II
    • SPH 685 Capstone MPH Seminar: Professional Development for Professionals III
  • 9-15 concentration specific required course credits
  • 6-9 elective course credits
  • 9 internship credits

The program typically follows a two year plan with 3 or 6 credits of internship experience completed in the summer between the first and second years, and 3 credits of internship completed in the second year.

Our internship program remains the most extensive for practice-based public health education, with students completing 720 hours of internship experience in diverse areas of public health. Students gain hands-on experience in community-based and non-governmental organizations, state and local county health departments, private sector businesses, as well as internationally. The in-depth training results in a well-prepared graduate with a strong advantage in the work-force, as evidenced by our 93% job placement rate.

Areas of Concentration

Graduates completing the Biomedical Sciences concentration will understand the biomedical basis of public health, including the molecular basis of disease and implications for public health programs. Students will acquire a foundation of knowledge in the core areas of biomedical sciences, and understand the fundamental role of the biomedical sciences in public health, in particular, in the detection, treatment and prevention of genetic, infectious, and other human diseases. They will understand the strengths and limitations of various laboratory methodologies and their application to public health problems.

Degree Requirements

Biomedical Sciences Department

Graduates completing the Biostatistics concentration will be prepared to serve as collaborators in public health projects, providing expert advice on the use of statistics in analysis of public health data. Students will acquire a foundation of knowledge in the core areas of statistical science, develop skills in defining a problem and determining the variables that are relevant to solving a public health problem, understand the appropriate use of data, the integrity of data sets, and how data might be used in public health issues, and acquire specialized knowledge in two areas of statistical science.

Degree Requirements

Epidemiology & Biostatistics Department

 

Graduates completing the Environmental Health Sciences concentration will be prepared to assess environmental quality and risk and to apply scientific knowledge to solving environmental health problems. Students will acquire knowledge of environmental health, including two of three sciences relevant to environmental health: chemistry, toxicology, and environmental and occupational health. They will acquire skills in collecting and analyzing environmental data, dose-response assessment and risk assessment, and they will understand the strengths and limitations of various laboratory methodologies so as to make valid use of scientific data and their application to environmental health problems.

Degree Requirements

Environmental Health Sciences Department

Graduates completing the Epidemiology concentration will understand the design, application and interpretation of epidemiological studies of public health problems in the community. Students will become familiar with the range of epidemiologic practice, including surveillance, etiologic investigation, and the evaluation of preventive interventions.

They will be able to define, compute and interpret fundamental epidemiologic measures, explain the principles and the strengths and weaknesses of epidemiologic study designs, know how to apply the fundamental techniques for selection of study populations, have experience with techniques for collecting data and evaluating quality of data, demonstrate basic skills for managing computer-based data, and demonstrate the ability to interpret and present the results of epidemiological research.

Degree Requirements

Epidemiology & Biostatistics Department

Students completing the Health Policy and Management concentration will be prepared to manage public health programs. They will learn to articulate alternative models of management/organizational functioning, how these might bear on defining and resolving problems, and understand the uses of organizational research methods in existing organizations. Upon graduation, students will be able to utilize communication as a tool for developing participation and motivation among organizational members, as well as performing such core leadership tasks as directing, mentoring, facilitating and brokering. They will be able to state options for change and their supporting theoretical rationale and identify barriers to change, and to develop mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating programs for their effectiveness and quality.

Degree Requirements

Health Policy, Management & Behavior Department

Students completing the Social Behavior and Community Health concentration will understand the influence of individual, group and cultural factors on the health of populations as well as the ways in which these factors influence the development and organization of public health programs and service delivery in communities. Students will learn to distinguish the relative effectiveness of different public health interventions, utilizing appropriate principles and methods from social and behavioral sciences that address behavior of individuals, groups and communities, and how to design a strategy for developing and/or improving a community-based public health program to reduce the prevalence of a particular risk behavior. They will be able to develop a data management plan for assessing the need for a program, relate the relevance of evaluation or research findings for implementing a program, and develop mechanisms to monitor and evaluate community intervention programs for their effectiveness and quality.  Courses emphasize the use of theory and research evidence to understand health behavior, guide program development, and inform program evaluation.  In addition, this concentration emphasizes community-based practices and principles, and take a life course approach to understanding health problems.

Degree Requirements

Health Policy, Management & Behavior Department

This part-time online program provides an exciting opportunity for public health professionals and others interested in the field to obtain a Master of Public Health degree. Like our traditional MPH program, the online MPH program provides a strong academic foundation in the core disciplines of public health and opportunities for students to apply new knowledge and skills in the public health field.

With a concentration in Public Health Practice, students will become familiar with the development of theory- and evidence-based public health interventions, and the steps of program planning and evaluation. Students will be qualified to assess public health needs and develop prevention and disease control initiatives, and will understand the uses and principles of evaluation models and methodologies. Graduates will have developed the skills and attributes associated with effective public health leadership and will be prepared to lead communities towards improved health status.

Online MPH in Public Health Practice

This dual degree is targeted at medical students who are interested in acquiring knowledge and skills in public health. The marriage of medicine and public health skills will enable physicians to be better practitioners and leaders in the fields of medicine and public health. The program will build upon the existing relationship between Albany Medical College and the UAlbany School of Public Health to prepare physicians to be aware and capable of addressing public health problems and to create public health professionals adept at clinical knowledge and practice.

Individuals interested in pursuing the MD/MPH will be able to complete the degree in five years (compared to medical school's four year curriculum). The first two years of study are primarily devoted medical education with the exception of summers where students have the option of taking public health courses. In the summer between the second and third year, students take their board examination. MPH coursework is primarily completed in the summers and in the third year of study. The MPH internships are completed in the third and fifth year and medical school is finished in the fourth and fifth year of study.

MD/MPH Program Details

The School of Public Health and School of Social Welfare have joined resources to offer students an opportunity to combine the MPH (Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior: Management or Health Policy track) and the MSW (MACRO concentration) for a strong specialization in health policy, management and administration. The MSW coursework includes generalist and advanced social work MACRO practice that prepares students to work in health care and health related settings. Both degrees count courses in the other program as meeting course requirements. The program is fully accredited as (1) Council on Education for Public Health accredited MPH program under the School of Public Health's current accreditation and (2) a Council on Social Work Education MSW program under the School of Social Welfare's current accreditation.

Degree Requirements

MPH/MSW Program Details

Our internship program remains the most extensive for practice-based public health education, with students completing 720 hours of internship in diverse areas of public health.  Students may also meet the internship requirement by serving in the Peace Corps, and gaining two years of overseas work experience, which is a minimum requirement when competing for many international positions. Peace Corps service is typically completed between the first and second year of the MPH program, and students will gain global public health experience, attain second language fluency, and receive academic credit for their Peace Corps service.

Peace Corp

The University at Albany School of Public Health offers students the opportunity to combine the Master of Public Health degree with a graduate certificate in a specialized area of study. These certificates are designed to further your understanding of pressing public health issues and prepare you for entering the workforce with additional knowledge and skills. All of the certificates allow for double counting several of the courses toward credit requirements in the MPH program, thus enabling students to complete both degrees concurrently. Students may choose from the following certificates at the University at Albany School of Public Health:

Certificate in Global Health

Certificate in Health Disparities

Certificate in Public Health Surveillance