In 2010, U.S. News & World Report ranked the best public health programs for the fall of 2011. Rankings were based on peer assessment surveys completed by deans, faculty members and administrators at 44 schools of public health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. According to the ranking, these are the top five schools for the master’s degree in public health.
1.) Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Located in Baltimore, the Bloomberg School of Public Health at John Hopkins University was founded in 1916. The Bloomberg School is the oldest and largest school of public health in the world with 2,287 students from 87 nations enrolled in 2012. The Bloomberg School places a heavy emphasis on global health and conducts health research around the world. The school is home to the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health as well as a wide range of centers and institutes that focus on specific public health areas.
The Bloomberg School MPH program targets health professionals with a population perspective who have at least two years working experience. Medical students who have completed their second year of medical school are also eligible. Full-time students can earn an MPH degree in 11 months; part-time students can complete the program in two to three years.
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2.) University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. Founded in 1959 and located in Chapel Hill, the Gillings School is one of the oldest schools of public health in the nation. The school’s mission includes the elimination of health disparities at the local, national and global level. Enrollment in 2012 was 1,734 students. The Gillings School’s Office of Global Health supports public health projects and research conducted by students and faculty in more than 55 countries. The school also boasts the Michael Hooker Research Center, a research facility that features state-of-the-art labs and high-tech conference rooms.
The University of North Carolina offers different MPH programs through individual departments in the Gillings School of Public Health. Each department is committed to providing a well-rounded public health education. A distance learning MPH is available for individuals with three to five years of health-related professional experience.
3.) Harvard University School of Public Health. This Boston school, established in 1946, has guided the field of public health since its earliest days. The school has its roots in the Harvard-MIT School for Health officers, which was established in 1913. Enrollment at the Boston School of Public Health in 2012 was 1,067. The school prides itself on a public health perspective that extends “from the gene to the globe” and has established several centers that advance research in international health, human rights and strategies for humanitarian assistance.
The Harvard MPH degree program is one of the most demanding in the world. Applicants must have previous professional experience in public health and hold an MD, JD, DO, DMD, or related graduate or doctoral degree. The full-time MPH program can be completed in two consecutive semesters; the part-time MPH must be completed within three years.
4.) University of Michigan School of Public Health. The UM School of Public Health was chartered in 1941 in Ann Arbor. In 2011, enrollment was 986 students. The UM School of Public Health has a research budget of $1 billion per year, with research emphasis on global health. Part of the school’s mission is promoting health equity for disadvantaged populations. The UM School of Public Health has been designated by the CDC as a national center for disease control.
The school’s MPH program requires four terms (two years) for completion. Several different MPH concentrations are offered. In addition to an MPH degree, the UM School of Public Health offers a master of health services administration.
5.) Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. The Mailman School of Public Health began in 1922 as the DeLamar Institute of Public Health. In 1999, a $33 million grant from the Joseph L. Mailman Foundation allowed the school to become an independent entity within Columbia University. Enrollment at the school was 1292 in 2012. The Mailman School of Public Health maintains several world-renowned research centers, including the National Center for Disaster Preparedness and the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment.
Columbia University recently revamped its MPH program. Beginning in the fall of 2012, the MPH degree includes a Certificate Program that covers advanced training in a specialization field. The Mailman School of Public Health also offers an MPH for healthcare management.