The Master of Public Health (MPH) is a professional degree that prepares graduates to practice public health in local, state, regional, national, and global settings. The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredits schools and programs in public health to ensure that they address the five core public health disciplines: biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, social and behavioral sciences, and health policy management. Requirements include a supervised field placement that may take the form of an internship, or practical experience, where the student assumes job functions in public health. Additionally, participation in a final capstone experience demonstrating competence in the field is required. Students in other graduate or professional degree programs often add the MPH degree to broaden their training and job prospects.
In order for students to fully appreciate and assimilate the content, the 42-credit program is designed as a two-year, four-semester experience for full-time students with options for part-time and simultaneous degree studies. The program intentionally sequences the courses to ensure continuity in course materials and effective preparation for public health practice. Students formulate their plan of study with faculty advisors to include 18 core credits, 12 concentration credits, and 12 professional preparation credits. The MPH degree program offers two concentrations: public health education and infectious disease.
The program encourages students to make the most of their Virginia Tech MPH experience by completing additional public health-related Virginia Tech graduate courses, seeking additional skill-building opportunities, pursuing graduate certificates such as the Graduate Certificate in Global Planning and International Development Studies or the Gerontology Certificate and working closely with faculty on research and service projects.