Master of Public Health students in class

Fields of Study

Field of study goals and areas of interest are described below.

  • Clinical Effectiveness (CLE)
  • Global Health (GH)
  • Health and Social Behavior (HSB)
  • Health Management (HM)
  • Health Policy (HP)
  • Occupational and Environmental Health (OEH)
  • Quantitative Methods (QM)

Clinical Effectiveness (CLE)

Concerned with identifying the most appropriate, ethical, and cost-effective means of providing health care through prevention, early detection, and treatment, this field of study is designed to provide the analytic and quantitative training necessary to evaluate clinical practices. Major areas of professional interest include clinical epidemiology and bio¬statistics, cost-effectiveness analysis, medical decision analysis, health services research, quality improvement in health care, and measurement of health-related quality of life. The field of study is limited to clinicians enrolled initially in the Summer Program in Clinical Effectiveness.
Along with the broad perspective on general aspects of public health that the program offers, this training provides a basis for identifying the health policy implications and public health benefits of clinical investigations. The field of study prepares physicians for clinical research responsibilities and for leader¬ship roles in evaluating and improving all aspects of health care delivery. Most graduates hold positions in academic medicine.

Global Health (GH)

This field of study explores the emerging professional domain of global health. Students are exposed to a range of disciplines, methods, and approaches to develop analytical and methodological skills so that they can effectively engage and critically evaluate key challenges, policies, and processes as they affect the health of populations in a global context. These skills are relevant for addressing the multisectoral nature of public health issues. Students also have the opportunity to seek specialized knowledge in areas such as health systems, humanitarian studies and ethics or population and family health, addressing health challenges and opportunities related to maternal and child health and nutrition, and infectious as well as noncommunicable diseases.
The program is intended to prepare health professionals with prior relevant experience for leadership and management roles in global health at subnational, national, or international levels to effectively translate scientific knowledge into policies and public health impact. Graduates of this program work in provincial or national ministries of health, inter-governmental organizations, donor aid agencies, nongovernmental (nonprofit) organizations, entrepreneurial initiatives, as well as proprietary organizations of all sizes and types.

Health and Social Behavior (HSB)

The health and social behavior field of study is devoted to the promotion of health and the prevention of disease, especially in more vulnerable populations. Coursework emphasizes strategies for needs assessment and establishment of health objectives, data collection and analysis, leadership skills, consultation, communication, advocacy, and policy formation in the public sector. Beyond the MPH core requirements, students are encouraged to develop expertise in a focus area geared to their professional interests. These areas include identifying and understanding the origins of health disparities, community assessment, and interventions for health promotion and disease prevention. Guidance is provided to develop a more in-depth understanding of specific health problems and vulnerable groups.
Degree candidates are prepared to work in diverse spheres, including federal, state, and local government; advocacy groups; voluntary health organizations; and community-based primary care settings in the United States and other countries. Posts filled by graduates include state health director; medical director of programs for child, adolescent, and women’s health; health policy analyst; and health educator. Other graduates have gone on to academic positions.

Health Management (HM)

This field of study prepares students for management careers in the unique environment of health care. Students who choose it select from courses providing practical management skills, such as accounting, finance, operations, marketing, quality improvement, management of people, and strategy. Students will be able to analyze and take actions to improve organizational performance using the skills and frameworks learned in coursework and through field experiences. Program graduates have filled many management and leadership roles in health care organizations, including public or private sector health delivery systems, health insurance plans, and supply sector organizations, as well as working as consultants.

Health Policy (HP)

Students in the health policy field of study develop skills in applying economic, legal, and political analysis to the design, implementation, and evaluation of health care and public health policies. Through the study of biostatistics and epidemiology, they also acquire skill in interpreting and evaluating scientific evidence to inform their policy work. Students are encouraged to choose elective courses in order to develop an area of interest and expertise, such as access to care, health care quality, pharmaceutical policy, injury prevention, or health care financing. This field of study prepares students for positions in health policy in the public, nonprofit, or private sectors, either directly as policymakers; as policy analysts, advocates, or consultants; or in policymaking positions in other public health and health care organizations.

Occupational and Environmental Health (OEH)

This field of study focuses on workplace and environmental hazards, the physiological and biomechanical aspects of work, the risks posed by the interaction of genetic and environmental factors, and a practical approach to solving health problems in various work and community settings. It features three areas of interest: occupational/environmental medicine, occupational health, and environmental health.
This field is designed for physicians and other professionals who intend to practice occupational/environmental medicine or to hold responsible positions in occupational and/or environmental policy and management. The occupational/environmental medicine area fulfills the coursework requirements of the two-year Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency. This area also is intended for other physicians who wish to satisfy the didactic requirements of the American Board of Preventive Medicine for certification in occupational and environmental medicine.

Quantitative Methods (QM)

Sponsored jointly by the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, this field of study provides students with the necessary quantitative and analytic skills to approach and solve problems in public health and in clinical research and practice, while providing a general foundation in public health. The field emphasizes study design, data analysis, and the application of quantitative methods within the context of epidemiology, biostatistics, decision sciences, demography, and pro¬gram evaluation. The competency-based curriculum is designed to provide health professionals with the analytical and statistical knowledge and skills required for successful public health practice and research. It is appropriate for both midcareer health professionals and those in the early stages of their careers. The program prepares graduates for professional positions in clinical and population-based health research in government, health care institutions, and private industry. In addition, it provides an excellent foundation for those interested in pursuing academic careers in the health sciences.