Skip Navigation


Admissions Blog

Student with computerAre you confused by our SEVEN (!!!) master’s degrees?

Join us for the second of our fall Virtual Information Sessions – “MBE, MHA, MHS, MPH, MPP, MSPH & ScM...What's the Difference?” – this Friday, October 16 at 12 noon (Eastern).

Instructions for participating in the chat may be found on our website.

Hope to “see” you there!

man in labEarlier this week, I gave a brief overview of our SEVEN master’s degrees. It’s only fair that the doctoral degrees get their turn.

The Bloomberg School currently offers the following doctoral degrees: the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Doctor of Science (ScD) and Doctor of Public Health (DrPH).


The PhD is a department-based degree for individuals anticipating an academic career in research and/or teaching. PhD students learn the research methods for collection, analysis and interpretation of data that will help improve the health of populations.  Each of the Bloomberg School’s ten academic departments offers the PhD.  Some PhD programs have a part-time option, but most are full-time. It depends on the department, degree track and specific circumstances. Research areas range from molecular biology to maternal health to biostatistics and human nutrition.


The ScD is available in some departments as an alternative to the PhD.  The ScD is for individuals of exceptional ability who seek to establish the methods and skills needed for a career in research, often in an academic setting.  At this time, only the Department of Epidemiology seeks applications for the ScD.


A new Schoolwide DrPH is under development and will be open for application later in the year. In the meantime, the departments of Epidemiology and Health Policy and Management are accepting applications to their departmental DrPH programs.


I recommend researching the various departments and degree options available at the Bloomberg School.  Once you’ve narrowed your interests, you can contact the academic coordinator for your department of interest.  The contact information for the coordinators is available on each department's website or I can help you locate the appropriate contact. A list of departments may be found at

Doctoral applicants are not required to have a faculty mentor in place before applying, however, I would strongly encourage you to browse our faculty and their research interests to ensure our school and resources would be a good match to your interests. You may search the directory by name or by keyword.


Doctoral applicants apply using the Bloomberg School Application.

Best wishes to you and your application!

alphabet soupWe know from talking with prospective students that the alphabet soup of public health master’s degrees is confusing. I’m here to try and dispel some of the confusion.

Below is a very general overview of the master’s degrees here at the Bloomberg School. Keep in mind, these same descriptions may not apply to other schools. When you’re researching degrees, don’t focus on degree names. Review each program’s offerings (curriculum, field placement, duration of program, faculty, etc.) to find one that best fits your needs.


At the Bloomberg School, the MPH is a Schoolwide program designed to prepare students to address current global public health problems through multidisciplinary approaches.  Our full-time MPH is an eleven-month program. The degree is also offered in an online/part-time format. Because of the program’s intensity and leadership skills required, MPH applicants without a doctoral degree are required to have two years of post-baccalaureate, full-time, health-related work experience.

If you have not met the experience and coursework requirements, you are ineligible to apply to the MPH, but don’t despair! The Bloomberg School offers six other master’s degrees, most of which do not require work experience.


The MBE is offered through a collaboration of the Bloomberg School and the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. The MBE is an interdisciplinary and cross-divisional graduate program preparing students from diverse individual and professional backgrounds for the bioethics challenges of professional and civic life. The MBE is offered both full and part-time. The full-time program takes about 1.5 years.


The MHA is offered through the Department of Health Policy and Management. It prepares students to begin or advance leadership careers within health service organizations. It’s the business degree of public health. The MHA is one year of academic coursework and an 11-month field placement.


The MHS is offered by each of the school’s academic departments. It prepares students for further graduate study or research careers through in-depth study and research in a particular public health discipline. The duration of the MHS varies by department, but is typically one year of academic coursework culminating in a thesis or project.


The MPP is offered by the Department of Health Policy and Management. It provides a broad look at public policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. This is the one degree at the School not solely devoted to public health. The MPP combines academic coursework with an internship and typically takes two years to complete.


The ScM is offered by seven academic departments and geared toward students interested in building research careers. The duration of the ScM varies, but is typically one year of academic coursework culminating in a thesis or project based on original research.


The MSPH is a professional degree offered by five academic departments. This degree couples focused academic training with a field experience, providing students the opportunity to integrate what they learn in a classroom with real-world public health practice. The duration of the MSPH also varies by department, but is typically one year of academic coursework, plus a 4-9 month field placement.

The online application, requirements and deadlines vary by program, so Know Your Program!

child holding globeEarlier this month our staff answered questions in a virtual chat. Some participating students knew exactly which degree they were interested in and what they wanted to do with it. Others were a little unsure of “public health” and what opportunities exist in the discipline.

It’s that last group of students I want to help today.

Public health is a broad field encompassing everything from the etymology of disease to health promotion, the molecular structure of viruses to health care delivery.  What you study and where you go after graduation is largely up to you!

Below are some resources for learning more about public health in general and the Bloomberg School specifically.

I hope this helps!

Flying Out Over the BayWhere will Admissions representatives be this month?

It may be easier to ask where we won’t be! Come chat with us in Washington, Berkeley, Baltimore, Chicago, Huntsville, St. Paul, Montgomery, Davis, Seattle, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New Orleans or at a host of other venues.

Check out our recruitment calendar to see where we’ll be when.

Hope to see you soon!