Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Join APTR
APTR Directory Search
Graduate Programs in Public Health
Share |

What is A Graduate Program in Public Health?

A graduate program in public health is an educational program which prepares students for professional careers in public health. Most graduate programs in public health are located within a medical school, however many other educational institutions offer graduate degrees in public health, such as schools of nursing, osteopathic medicine, health professions, liberal arts and sciences, education, and many more. Graduate programs in public health are located in almost all 50 states and provide a non-traditional curriculum that allows for innovative teaching suited for dual degree and/or part-time students.

Why Are Graduate Programs Important?

The ability of the public health system to prevent, respond to, and recover from bioterrorism or acute outbreaks of infectious diseases and other health threats and emergencies depends upon the existence of adequate numbers of well-trained public health professionals in federal, state, and local health departments. The public health system has an aging staff nearing retirement with no clear pipeline of highly-skilled and capable employees to fill the void. The National Association of State Personnel Executives has indicated retirement and career change rates as high as 45% for individuals currently working in state public health departments. More than 50% of the states cite the lack of qualified individuals as being one of the major barriers to preparedness.

A large proportion of students trained in graduate public health programs are full-time professionals working in state and local health departments without prior public health education training. Graduate programs utilize blended curriculum formats such as on-line, evening, and practicum courses to provide a well-rounded public health education for working adults. Individuals who obtain an advanced public health degree while working at a state or local health department are three times more likely to continue their career working in a federal, state or local health department.

Facts About Graduate Programs:

Graduate public health programs are accredited by the same accrediting body as the accredited schools of public health.

116 CEPH-accredited graduate public health programs currently exist and over 30 programs are in the developmental or pre-accreditation stages.

Graduate public health programs are located in almost all 50 states; several states are solely dependent on graduate programs for public health education.

Graduate public health programs educate and train one-quarter of the professionals entering into the public health workforce.

MD/MPH Continues to Top the List of Joint Degrees:


Asynchronous Distance Learning Increases:



Analyzing Data is the Number One Area for Student Improvement:


The Practicum has Increased as a Requirement versus the Research Project and Thesis:


Benefits of CEPH Accreditation >> 

2017 Census of Graduate Programs in Public Health >>

1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 610  |  Washington, DC 20036

About APTR | Membership | Education Fund