Masters in Public Health: What, Where and How
Updated on Nov 6, 2018 - 12:09 p.m. IST by Shraya Singh
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Masters in Public Health - Public health experts are indispensable around the world in the healthcare industry. These individuals have an in-depth understanding of the variety of public health issues which affect people in modern society as well as the analysis, diagnosis and measures to combat these issues. A masters in public health is a degree which has an international overview and provides students with a variety of quantitative analytical skills which span across various domains associated with public health. Generally, a masters in public health is offered either as an MS in public health or an MPH (master of public health) qualification. A masters in public health has a number of possible specializations which includes epidemiology, health services management, biostatistics, and health promotion amongst others. Additionally, these specializations lead to considerable MS in public health salary along with a number of masters in public health jobs for graduates. For prospective students, the scope of MPH in India is high, especially in terms of public sector jobs. 


Masters in Public Health: Eligibility

Similar to the eligibility for most other masters programs, a MS in public health also has certain eligibility requirements for prospective applicants.

  • The applicant must have a four-year bachelor’s qualification. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in the domain of medicine but it is preferred that the applicant has a sound foundation with a bachelor’s qualification in a science-related field of study.

  • For admission to any of top universities for an MS in public health, candidates are required to have at least 70% or 75% in their undergraduate education depending upon the university of application. This is generally equivalent to a 1st division honors qualification.

  • The applicant must have an interest in global-health and improvement of the situation of international health. As the course-work is highly interdisciplinary, candidates who have displayed an interest in varied subjects have an upper-hand during selection. This also ensures that the prospective students are apt for subsequent masters in public health jobs. 

  • Some universities conduct an entrance exam for an MPH or an MS in public health qualification. 

Masters in Public Health: Admission Requirements

As compared to admission to a program for MPH in India, the admission requirements for a masters in public health in USA, the UK, Australia or other countries are generally less academically-oriented. Although the requirements vary from university to university as well as with the country of application, the general admission requirements for a masters in public health program usually include:

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  • A statement of purpose or SOP enlisting the candidate’s professional and personal goals as well as motivation to pursue the particular masters in public health program.

  • Two or three letters of recommendation or LORs.

  • Official transcripts from all past academic institutions of tertiary study.

  • A curriculum vitae or a resume, depending upon the university’s requirement.

  • English language proficiency test scores from any of the internationally recognized language proficiency tests like TOEFL iBT, CAE, PTE Academic and IELTS Academic. For admission to most of the programs for a masters in public health in USA, scores from the TOEFL are required. The minimum scores required for admission to any of the top universities for an MS in public health or an MPH are given below.

English Language Proficiency Test Scores for Masters in Public Health

University

English Language Proficiency Test

IELTS 

TOEFL iBT

PTE A

CAE

Harvard University

7.5

104

-

-

University of Oxford

7.5

110

-

191

University of Cambridge

7.5

110

-

-

Johns Hopkins University

7.0

100

-

-

The University of Tokyo

6.5

90

-

Not specified

University of Toronto

7.0

93

-

-

The University of Melbourne

7.0

94

65

185

Karolinska Institutet

7.0

100

68

Not specified

  • GRE General test scores are required for admission for to any of top masters in public health programs. GRE subject test scores are not a requirement, but often, scores from the GRE subject test in biology are beneficial to the application selection process.

  • Sometimes, candidates are also required to submit additional essays or appear for an interview prior to selection for the specific masters in public health program.

Masters in Public Health: Top Universities

According to the QS subject ranking in the domain of medicine, Harvard University is not only the best place to pursue a masters in public health in USA but also in the world. Other top universities in the world for an MS in public health or MPH are located across borders in countries like the UK, Sweden, Australia, Japan, and Canada. The exposure that students receive in these programs is often greater and more beneficial that that of an MPH in India, which is why prospective public health students prefer education abroad. In fact, the scope of MPH in India is substantial, especially in the public sector, but it is staggeringly greater abroad. Some of the best programs and universities for a masters in public health are listed below.

Top Masters in Public Health/MPH Courses

University

Program

Program Duration

QS World Rank

Medicine

University

Harvard University 

Master of Public Health (MPH)

1 year


1

3

MSc in Public Health

1 year


University of Oxford

MSc in Global Health Science and Epidemiology

1 year


2

5

University of Cambridge

MPhil in Public Health

10 months

3

6

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University

11 months


5

21

Karolinska Institutet

Master’s Program in Public Health Sciences

2 years


6

-

University of Toronto

Master of Public Health

1.5 years


11

28

MSc in Community Health

1.5 years


The University of Melbourne

Master of Public Health

2 years


17

39

The University of Tokyo

Master of Public Health

1 year


25

23

Masters in Public Health: Fees and Funding

The fees for a masters in public health is generally higher than a MS in public health in India but the return of investment is often better when it comes to the masters in public health salary. Additionally, the availability of MS in public health jobs abroad adds to the overall return of investment. The tuition fees also vary from country to country and university to university with the masters in public health in USA being the most expensive. The annual tuition for some of the best universities for study in the domain of public health is given below.

Annual Tuition Fees for Masters in Public Health/MPH Courses

Country

University

Annual Tuition Fee

United States

Harvard University

USD $60,400

Johns Hopkins University

USD $67,68011

United Kingdom

University of Cambridge

£39,953

University of Oxford

£32,330

Sweden

Karolinska Institutet

360 000 SEK

Canada

University of Toronto

CAD $33,443.52

Australia

The University of Melbourne

AUD $58,515 (total)

Japan

The University of Tokyo

JPY 847,800

Although the expenses incurred for an MPH abroad are greater than for a masters in public health in India, there are also a number of scholarship and funding options available for students who are unable to meet the tuition costs. These scholarships and fellowships are usually beneficial towards acquiring various masters in public health jobs in India and abroad as well. Some notable scholarships for prospective public health students include:

Notable Scholarships for Masters in Public Health/MPH Courses

Scholarship/Funding

Level

Applicable at 

Cambridge Trust

University-specific

University of Cambridge

KI Global Master’s Scholarship

University-specific

Karolinska Institutet

Swedish Institute Scholarship

Country-wide

Swedish universities

Three Minute Thesis (3MT)

University-specific

The University of Toronto

Harvard T.H. Chan Grants

Department-specific; University-specific

Harvard University

Canadian Institute for Health Research Scholarships

Country-wide; Department-specific

Canadian universities

Sommer Scholars Program

Department-specific; University-specific

Johns Hopkins University

Endowed Student Funding

University-specific

Johns Hopkins University

Reed Frost Scholarship

Department-specific; University-specific

Johns Hopkins University

Japanese Government MEXT Scholarship

Country-wide

Japanese universities

The University of Tokyo Special Scholarship for International Students

University-specific

The University of Tokyo

Masters in public health graduates often pursue public health careers in various different industries. MS in public health jobs in India include roles as epidemiologists, public health practitioners, biostatisticians, and health administrators amongst others. 

Read also:

Masters in Biostatistics: What, Where and How

Masters in Social Work: What, Where and How

Masters in Immunology: What, Where and How

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