The Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BS), the Master of Public Health (MPH), and the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) are all practice-based degrees. Each degree program provides a broad overview of foundational public health knowledge. Throughout each degree program, students work to develop appropriate mastery of the competencies or skills that public health professionals and leaders use every day to protect and promote the health of communities.

Though students are introduced to common research methods in public health through these degree programs (including biostatistics, epidemiology, and qualitative methods), those seeking careers in research-intensive or academic settings should consider a research-based degree.

  • The MPH is the most well-known Public Health degree. It is considered a “terminal” or “professional” degree, as it fully prepares individuals for lifelong careers in public health practice without the need for additional education. This is in contrast to the Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH), a research-oriented degree ideal for individuals planning to work in academic settings or pursue doctoral-level training.

    At UAB, all MPH degree programs begin with a shared MPH Core based on the Evidence-Based Public Health framework, which provides all students with the practice-based skills they need to be effective in the public health workforce. Students further enhance their training through one of many departmental concentrations; these concentrations are designed to deepen students’ knowledge in specific areas of public health. Regardless of concentration, all MPH students engage in an Applied Practice Experience (Internship) in the community and conclude their coursework with an Integrative Learning Experience (Capstone) in which they pull together skills and perspectives learned in both the Core and the concentration courses to produce a high-quality written product, demonstrating their readiness to enter the workforce.

    Common career settings for individuals holding the MPH degree include state and local health departments; community-based organizations and non-profits; healthcare consulting firms; international, state, and federal agencies (e.g., WHO, CMS, CDC); managed care organizations; and various clinical settings. Because of the broad training in public health management included in the MPH degree, individuals often pursue the degree when looking to advance into leadership roles in these settings.

  • Like the MPH, the DrPH is an applied degree that focuses on the profession and practice of public health. The DrPH is designed for individuals intending to become leaders and innovators in their chosen concentration. The curriculum focuses on building strong skills in data and analysis; leadership, management, and governance; policy and programs; and education and workforce development through both didactic and co-curricular experiential learning opportunities. Students then pursue additional advanced coursework and/or independent study in their focal area.

    All DrPH students engage in an intensive Applied Practice Experience (practicum) and sit for comprehensive exams to demonstrate their mastery of their focal area. Students prepare and defend a practice-oriented dissertation which illustrates their ability to propose, conduct, and synthesize independent research to transform public health practice.

Degrees Offered

MPH: Concentration in Environmental and Occupational Health

Online, In-Class, Fast Track, ABM

MPH: Concentration in Epidemiology

Online, In-Class, Fast Track, ABM

MPH: Concentration in Health Behavior

Online, In-Class, Fast Track, ABM

MPH: Concentration in Health Care Organization

Online, In-Class, Fast Track, ABM

MPH: Concentration in Health Policy

In-Class, Fast Track, ABM

MPH: Concentration in Maternal & Child Health Policy & Leadership

Online, In-Class, Fast Track, ABM

MPH: Concentration in Population Health

Online, In-Class

MPH/MBA: Public Health/Business Administration

Online, In-Class

MPH/MSHA: Public Health/Health Administration

Online, In-Class

MPH/JD: Public Health/Juris Doctorate

Online, In-Class

MPH/MSW: Public Health/Social Work

Online, In-Class

MPH/MSN: Public Health/Nursing

In-Class

MPH/MD: Public Health/Medicine

Online, In-Class

MPH/MS: Public Health/Nutrition Sciences — Dietetic Internship, Clinical Track

Online, In-Class

MPH/OD: Public Health/Optometry

Online, In-Class

MPH/PharmD: Public Health/Pharmacy

Online, In-Class

MPH/MSPAS: Public Health/Physician Assistant Studies

Online, In-Class

MPH/MPA: Public Health/Public Administration

Online, In-Class

MPH/DVM: Public Health/Veterinary Medicine

Online, In-Class

MSPH: Concentration in Outcomes Research

Online

DrPH: Concentration in Biostatistics

In-Class

DrPH: Concentration in Health Care Organization and Policy

In-Class

DrPH: Concentration in Maternal and Child Health Policy

In-Class

DrPH: Concentration in Outcomes Research

In-Class

Professional Licensure and Certifications

Certification in public health is a voluntary credential that can help to distinguish a public health professional from their peers in the public health sector. The Certified in Public Health (CPH) credential is administered by the National Board of Public Health Examiners (www.nbphe.org). Specific licensure requirements vary from state to state, and among territories. Please visit the Professional Licensure and Certification General Disclosures webpage for more information on state and territories requirements.