The Penn State College of Medicine Crescent is seen at 500 University Drive, Hershey, PA. The building is framed by grass below and a bright blue sky with white clouds above. Flagpoles with the American and Pennsylvania flags are visible toward the right.

Public Health Graduate Programs

Penn State College of Medicine's public health graduate programs aim to advance theory and practice that prepare future public health leaders, improve population health, and reduce health disparities through excellence in education, research and service. 

Explore our Public Health Graduate Programs:

Technological advances in medicine have led to ever-growing datasets and constantly changing platforms and structures — and PhD-level biostatisticians are needed more than ever to help identify key scientific discoveries from these data.

At Penn State, you’ll have access to two newly established institutes that offer exciting opportunities to pursue research projects in biostatistics: the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Institute for Personalized Medicine.

Common Careers
  • Pharmaceutical company biostatistician
  • University biostatistician
  • Hospital biostatistician

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The logo for the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is a circle with the words Master's/Doctoral CEPH Accredited and an image of three red and gray interlocking circles.

The Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree is the terminal professional degree in Public Health and is designed to provide advanced public health education and training to prepare graduates for evidence-based practice and translational science leadership.

DrPH students must complete a minimum of 60 credits of graduate-level coursework beyond a master’s degree, including focused study in an advanced area such as evidence-based public health intervention, public health preparedness or social marketing and behavior, among many other topics.

Common Careers
  • Federal, state and local government
  • University or college faculty member
  • Nonprofit or non-governmental organization public health professional

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The objectives of the PhD in Epidemiology program are to train students to master current quantitative methods, obtain broad knowledge of major human disease epidemiology, and become expert in a specific disease or health status topic.

The 28-credit (minimum) PhD in Epidemiology program is offered primarily as a full-time degree program, and can be completed in four years of full-time study.

Common Careers
  • Epidemiologist in federal and state agencies, such as NIH, CDC, EPA and Department of Health
  • Epidemiologist in large pharmaceutical company
  • University faculty

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The logo for the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is a circle with the words Master's/Doctoral CEPH Accredited and an image of three red and gray interlocking circles.

This integrated undergraduate/graduate (IUG) program is offered by the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State's main campus in University Park and Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey.

Penn State students at University Park enrolled in either Health Policy and Administration or Biobehavioral Health undergraduate programs can earn both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Public Health degree as part of this five-year program.

Common Careers
  • Health Legislative Analyst
  • Health and Wellness Coach
  • Population Health Coordinator
  • Behavioral Health Education Coordinator

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The logo for the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is a circle with the words Master's/Doctoral CEPH Accredited and an image of three red and gray interlocking circles.

In this 42-credit MPH program, you'll gain knowledge and skills in the five core areas of public health: biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health services administration, and social and behavioral sciences.

Each student specializes in one of three areas: community and behavioral health, epidemiology and biostatistics, or health systems organization and policy. You’ll also enjoy a high level of faculty-student interaction, supported by an individualized, student-centered approach and small class sizes.

Common Careers
  • Biostatistician
  • Surveillance Officer
  • Research Project Manager
  • Public Health Administrator
  • Clinical Research Coordinator

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This five-year course of study is for students who have a special interest in public health, community health and behavior change, and who want to incorporate this into their medical practice.

You’ll take one year off between your third and fourth years of medical school to complete 27 MPH credits, including a practicum and a capstone project.

Common Careers
  • Academic medical school faculty
  • International health researcher
  • Nonprofit or non-governmental organization administrator

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Prepare for a career in health-related research, with an emphasis on hands-on applications of methods in the real world.

You’ll learn population-based methods for planning, executing, analyzing, and disseminating research results. Courses usually fall into three disciplines: biostatistics, epidemiology, and health services research. The 30-credit program is designed for working students; most courses are offered on weekday evenings

Common Careers
  • Academic health center administrator
  • Health insurance director
  • Research analyst

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The PhD degree program in health policy in administration is offered through the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State University Park and trains quantitative, multidisciplinary health service researchers.

The 53-credit PhD program consists of a core curriculum covering the organization and financing of health services and state-of-the-art statistical methods, as well as specialized training in either health economics, healthcare management and organizations, or population health and demography.

Common Careers
  • University faculty
  • Investigator at a research institute
  • Policy analyst in a governmental agency
  • Policy analyst in pharmaceutical or other health-related industry

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Delivered exclusively online through Penn State World Campus, the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in homeland security gives you comprehensive training in a fast-growing field with the convenience of completing coursework from anywhere in the world.

Our curriculum provides a fundamental understanding of homeland security in a global context with the option to specialize in public health preparedness, geospatial intelligence, information security and forensics, or agricultural biosecurity and food defense.

Common Careers
  • Health services administration
  • Healthcare manager
  • Emergency management
  • Facilities management
  • Disaster recovery

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The graduate certificate programs offered through the Department of Public Health Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine provide strong foundational graduate-level coursework to students seeking career advancement and lifelong learning opportunities.

Many certificate courses are transferable toward master's degrees at Penn State College of Medicine, pending successful application and admittance to such a degree program.

Certificates Offered
  • Clinical Research Certificate
  • Public Health Certificate
  • Public Health Preparedness Certificate
  • Hospital & Health System Preparedness Certificate
  • Translational Science Certificate

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