5 Concentrations for a Master’s in Public Health Program

A Master's in Public Health will place you on a path toward a meaningful career and choosing the correct concentration for you can be a difficult task. There are multiple sides of the broad public health field of work: more quantitative positions and more qualitative positions. Here are five concentrations offered in Public Health to help guide your search.

Resource: Top 20 Best Online MPH Degree Programs 2016


Biostatistics is a realm of public health that focuses more on quantitative methods. By learning the best ways to design and analyze studies in the public health sphere, you can be a collaborator on statistical studies or consult in the field or at an public health agency. Focused heavily in research design and data gathering, a biostatistician plays an integral part in furthering research and guiding public policy based on facts and research. With more complex multi-cultural societies managing and evaluating programs becomes more difficult, but a degree in public health biostatistics, allows you to better help and facilitate programs mutually advantageous for all parties.


Epidemiology focuses upon the causes, prevention, and control of human diseases. More specifically, programs focused on this in Master's of Public Health programs, show how epidemiology relates to medicine, environmental science, health policy, and social policy. Revolving around science, epidemiologists look at how to stop and prevent the spread of diseases from the AIDs to Zika and everything in between.

Disaster Management & Emergency Preparedness

Learning how to manage and mitigate the effects of disasters and emergencies is a growing field and extremely important. As climate change is seriously changing the frequency and severity of natural disasters and the rise of man-made disasters (with the rise of terrorism), it's important for all levels of government and all types of industry to have plans to manage responses and mitigate damages of these public health emergency. With practical knowledge and a deeper understanding of problem solving, disaster management & emergency preparedness professionals are able to work as high-level professionals in all spheres of employment.

International Public Health Management

International organizations, such as the United Nations, have international public health management experts to help develop and implement policy dealing with the health and wellness in developing nations. These professionals work to manage and properly plan for all health crises that may arise, including: disease, large-scale terror attacks, natural disasters, and other public health emergencies. By understanding how health inequalities lead to certain health outcomes, a degree in international public health management facilitates problem solving for large health crises and epidemics.

Public Health and Policy Management

Federal, state, and local governments all have public health departments/agencies responsible for creating and implementing public health policy. These proposals are then voted on by the legislative body (Congress, town council, etc) and range in topics from health policy issues, health care systems, and general public health programs. Thousands of proposals are made each year and it is the duty of public health policy managers to develop and help legislators understand appropriate policy. Utilizing legislation and policy as a means to improve health outcomes, public health and policy management professionals are able to shape the world's response and preparation for disease and disasters.

Classifications and programming for a Master's in Public Health varies by university and program. However, the five possible concentrations are major concentrations at most schools offering MPH programs. Graduates of MPH programs use their expertise to make the world a safer and healthier place.

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