September 24, 2020

Master of Public Health or Master of Science: Which Is Right for You?

Last year, Michigan’s School of Public Health announced their first online Master of Public Health in Population and Health Sciences degree. The success of the MPH degree spurred the launch of a Master of Science shortly thereafter from Michigan’s School of Public Health. 

The two degrees share an emphasis on providing students with a foundational public health education that will allow them to address complex challenges and pursue innovative, lasting solutions to improve the health of communities. At the core of both the Population and Health Sciences degree programs is an aim to strengthen a population-level approach to today’s pressing public health issues. 

What are the differences between the MPH and MS?

The Master of Public Health and Master of Science degrees are differentiated by their key learnings. The skill sets offered by each program lend themselves to distinct paths of future study and careers. While both Population and Health Sciences degrees share several curricular elements, the degrees and their benefits are distinct. Learn more about the benefits and outcomes of each degree below:

The online MS curriculum features a focus in research. 

  • Students build expertise in core public health concepts and customize their learning with skill development with an emphasis in research including data analysis, precision health, epidemiology, biostatistics, and more.
  • The research-oriented program includes advanced courses in topics related to epidemiology, biostatistics, and environmental health sciences.
  • Graduates will be equipped to go on to careers in academia, at research labs, or continue on to pursue their PhD. 
  • The MS program is available to domestic and international applicants from around the world.
  • This degree is offered by the faculty of the School of Public Health and administered in partnership with the University of Michigan’s Rackham Graduate School. You can apply here today.

The online MPH curriculum features a focus in applied public health work. 

  • Students build expertise in core public health concepts and customize their learning with skill development in applied public health areas like health management and policy, health education, environmental health, nutritional sciences, and more.
  • The practice-focused program includes intensive courses in topics related to health behavior and health education, health communication, nutritional sciences, epidemiology, and more.
  • Graduates can be found in key positions as leaders at non-profit organizations, hospitals, insurance companies, universities, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and local and national government organizations.
  • The MPH program is available to United States citizens and residents. 
  • This program is supported directly by the School of Public Health and you can apply here today.

Both the online MS and online MPH degree programs:

  • Are flexible and taught 100% online, in contrast with other top online MPH programs that require residential study. Online students are welcome to visit and study on campus, but this is never required by the program.
  • Were developed and taught by the same University of Michigan faculty who teach on campus. The programs’ students have regular access to faculty through virtual office hours and email. Online masters students are considered full members of the Michigan community, with access to a wide range of student services, including career counseling and free Michigan Online course certificate programs across learning disciplines.
  • Enable you to join the School of Public Health’s alumni network of more than 16,000 strong, and the University of Michigan’s overall alumni network ranks as one of the largest in the world, comprising more than 545,000 living graduates.

Which program makes sense for me and my career goals? 

The MS program has a stronger focus on research, data analysis, precision health, and biostatistics. Students will complete an in depth research analysis project during the course of the program and learn how to communicate findings in both written and oral formats. Graduates with an MS in Population and Health Sciences may go on to careers in academia, at research labs, or continue on to pursue their PhD. 

The MPH program has a stronger focus on public health systems, public health policy, and health education. As part of this program, students will complete an applied practice experience in which they’ll work with a community partner organization to create materials that will be used to support the day-to-day public health work being done by that partner. Graduates with an MPH in Population and Health Sciences may go on to careers at hospitals, community non-profits, and state and local public health departments, as well as in the field of public policy.  

The post Master of Public Health or Master of Science: Which Is Right for You? appeared first on Coursera Blog.

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