MPH, MHA, MHS, MSPH, MPP, ScM?
The alphabet soup of public health master’s degrees can be confusing. On top of all the abbreviations, degree requirements vary between schools. The requirements of an MPH at Harvard are different from those at the University of Maryland and are different again from those at Johns Hopkins.
You, the prospective student, have to do your research, but where to begin?
At the Bloomberg School, the MPH is a Schoolwide program preparing future public health leaders to address issues using a multidisciplinary approach. The degree may be completed in an accelerated full-time (11 months) or flexible online/part-time (up to three years) format.
Our MPH is designed for students with at least two years of full-time, post-baccalaureate, health-related work experience or an advanced degree in a field underlying public health. There are also pre-requisite course requirements. If you have not met the experience and coursework requirements, you are ineligible to apply to the MPH, but don’t despair! Keep reading!
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.
Which is right for you?
That’s a question only you can answer. Do your research. Examine each program’s requirements, curriculum and faculty. In the end, whether you decide to study at Johns Hopkins or not, your chosen degree should provide you with the tools to reach your public health goals and dreams.