Choose a Degree

Public health is a growing and dynamic field of study, offering an abundance of job opportunities to suit a variety of interests and skills. Public health degrees prepare graduates for both professional and academic careers, and provide them with the resources and knowledge to address public health problems, locally and globally.

The University at Albany School of Public Health has offered graduate degrees at the masters and doctoral level for more than 25 years. The school also offers several graduate certificate programs, as well an interdisciplinary faculty initiated major in public health at the undergraduate level.

We know that choosing the right degree for your needs can sometimes be difficult. To aid you in making this important decision, consider the questions below to guide your search for the program that is right for you. Please feel free to contact us at with questions.

Pursue the MPH or DrPH degree. These interdisciplinary degrees prepare students to become well-rounded public health professionals, ready to assume responsible positions in state or local health departments, health care or managed care organizations, community based organizations, consulting firms, or health-related non-profit agencies in the US or overseas. Both degrees feature real-world experience in the form of intensive internships or practica, giving our students the benefit of entering the workforce with impressively robust resumes. 

Check out our MPH and DrPH degrees! These interdisciplinary degrees prepare students to become well-rounded public health professionals, ready to assume responsible positions in state or local health departments, health care organizations, or health-related non-profit agencies in the US or overseas.

Both degrees require students to complete coursework in the core areas of epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy, behavioral sciences, and environmental health, which provide a broad understanding of the political, scientific, ethical and economic aspects of public health issues. Our MPH degree also requires students to complete a course in the biological basis of public health.

These degrees prepare students to be practitioners who can apply their breadth of understanding as well as some degree of expertise and experience in at least one specific area of public health.  The MPH degree is a professional degree designed to prepare graduates to address real public health problems, as practitioners who can apply their breadth of understanding and experience in at least one specific area of public health.  Students will focus in one of the core areas of public health and participate in at least two distinct public health internships.

MPH concentrations available at the University at Albany School of Public Health include epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy and management, social behavior and community health, environmental health, biomedical sciences, and public health practice (public health practice in only offered online).

The DrPH degree prepares students for leadership roles in public health practice in government agencies, community-based organizations and other settings.  Students gain a thorough understanding of the scientific, political, social, cultural, ethical and economic contexts within which public health problems occur and are addressed.  DrPH students complete two distinct practica to ensure they are exposed to on-the-job doctoral training experiences, in addition to writing a dissertation.

DrPH concentrations available at the University at Albany School of Public Health include epidemiology, health policy and management, social behavior and community health, and environmental health.

Explore our MS and PhD degrees. Unlike the broad spectrum of training offered by the MPH and DrPH degrees, MS and PhD degrees are designed to focus on the research interests of the student.  Under the guidance of a faculty member, students conduct research on a chosen topic, which culminates in a written thesis or dissertation.

The MS degree provides students with a solid grounding in research methods, with particular emphasis on analytic and quantitative skills.  After completing the MS degree, many graduates go on to pursue a PhD, or they take positions in scientific labs, academic research centers, or health department settings that require strong research skills.

The PhD degree prepares students for careers as independent scholars and researchers.The objective of doctoral study is to develop each student’s ability to conduct original, advanced research as an independent scientist. Each student is expected to guide his/her own research project, under the supervision of a faculty member, with a high level of effort and accomplishment, and thus gain the capacity to be self-teaching and to conduct research on important issues.  PhD graduates lead research labs, teach at universities, work in industry, and direct scientific and epidemiological programs at state and national health agencies.

Students can pursue the MS or PhD degree in biomedical sciences, environmental health sciences, epidemiology or biostatistics.

Our online options include a part-time MPH degree with a concentration in public health practice, as well as graduate certificates in Public Health Fundamentals and Principles, Global Health, and Public Health Surveillance and Preparedness.

The online MPH is comparable in quality and rigor to the on-campus MPH offerings and provides a flexible format to accommodate individuals with time and geographic constraints who may not be able to attend face-to-face classes.  The public health practice concentration sets out to prepare leaders in public health, equipped with the knowledge and skills to develop, implement and evaluate public health interventions.

If you are seeking an introduction to public health, consider our online Certificate in Public Health Principles and Fundamentals. This certificate is used either as a first look at public health or to further enhance one's understanding of the complexities of the field.  It is an excellent option for those who may be considering a full degree in public health, but wish to take introductory courses before making a commitment.  It is also a good option for those already working in a field related to public health and who wish to gain a better understanding of the core principles which guide public health practice.  All of the courses are fully transferable toward the MPH degree, which many students enter after completing the certificate.

Non-degree study is another option for those interested in getting an initial insight on the world of public health before committing to a specific program. Non-degree study allows you to take one or two courses in the School of Public Health without formally entering into a degree or certificate program. Those interested should submit an application via the Office of Graduate Admissions, and include a personal statement indicating which courses you would like to take.

The Certificate in Global Health, offered fully online, is designed to equip graduate students, doctors, and other public health professionals with an in-depth understanding of the complexities and realities of global health.  This certificate may be completed as an add-on to the MPH or DrPH program to further enhance your capacity to design, manage, support and evaluate health interventions, or it may be completed as a stand-alone program by individuals who have prior experience with or knowledge of public health.

The Certificate in Health Disparities responds to the need for current and future leaders in the fields of public health, social work, medicine, and the social sciences to be knowledgeable of the issues and strategies needed to address health disparities. This certificate is offered in partnership with the School of Education, the School of Social Welfare, and the Center for the Elimination of Health Disparities. Many students opt to complete this certificate while in the MPH or DrPH program, or it can be completed as a stand-alone program.

Our Certificate in Public Health Surveillance and Preparedness, offered fully online, provides formal training in public health preparedness with a focus on bioterrorism and infectious disease. This certificate is designed as an add-on to the MPH program to further develop your skills for responding to public health emergencies, or it may be completed as a stand-alone program.

The undergraduate faculty-initiated interdisciplinary major in public health will lead to a Bachelor of Science degree. It is intended to convey technical information and analytic skills, but with a liberal arts philosophical base. The major is an ideal option for students interested in learning about multidisciplinary approaches to preventing disease and promoting health on a population-level.

Undergraduate students can also minor in public health.  The minor is often a first step to a career in public health, or it can strengthen a career in other fields such as medicine, nursing, journalism, law, and more.

The School of Public Health offers two dual degree programs for students interested in pursuing two advanced degrees concurrently. Students with an interest in both public health and social work can complete the dual MPH/MSW, offered in collaboration with the University at Albany School of Social Welfare.  Students enrolled at Albany Medical College may complete the dual MD/MPH degree.  The combination of medical and public health skills will enable physicians to be better practitioners and leaders in the fields of medicine and public health.

The School of Public Health hosts two residency programs in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health. The New York State Applied Fellowship in Public Health program prepares physicians for leadership careers in public health and general preventive medicine, and the Dental Public Health Residency program trains dentists to be leaders in dental public health.

If you have questions about the programs offered at the University at Albany School of Public Health, feel free to contact the Office of Admissions at or the individual Program Directors and Departments whose contact information can be find on their program pages under the Academics tab to the left. We are happy to help you find a degree that best suits your needs.