Masters of Public Health (MPH) Degree in New Jersey


The New Jersey Public Health Association (NJPHA), founded in 1875, is currently the oldest public health organization still active in the United States. It is committed to advocating and advancing public health programs and awareness in New Jersey. Over the past century, they have planned thousands of conferences, symposiums, and networking programs that have helped to form the foundation of New Jersey’s public health system today.


Featured Programs:

Thanks to advocacy efforts by the NJPHA and public health professionals employed by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDH), $11 million was set aside to support evidence-based home visitation programs that bring nurses and health workers into the homes of families at risk of health and safety issues like lead poisoning. Those funds will also go towards educating mothers in the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program on ways to avoid lead exposure and test their children for lead.


The NJDH is also responsible for a variety of advocacy programs, including the New Jersey Quitline, a smoking cessation support hotline that is part of the NJDH’s nicotine poison prevention campaign. Both the smoking and lead poisoning efforts are part of New Jersey’s Healthy New Jersey 2020 initiative. This disease prevention and health promotion strategic plan is modeled after the federal Healthy People 2020 campaign, which is being used by states across the U.S. as the basis for new health policy and legislation.


As health policy continues to change over the next decade in light of the 2020 initiative, front line public health workers rely on the expertise of public health policy writers and program administrators to guide them through the complex task of facilitating and maintaining effective public health programs.


Earning a Master’s Degree in Public Health in New Jersey


The Master of Public Health (MPH) exposes students to a number of key public health competencies, preparing them to design programs, analyze health data, and work with professionals from a variety of different industries to implement policy. This experience is vital in preparing for a future in a field where effective policies and accompanying programs save thousands of lives and improve the quality of life for millions.


Aspiring graduate students with undergraduate experience outside of health and healthcare administration are still eligible to apply for MPH programs. MHP degree tracks explore a vast array of subjects that build on professional expertise gained from just about any background, from business, statistics, and health administration to psychology teaching and nursing.


Academic Overview


The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) establishes the standards for accredited MPH programs. Since 2004, CEPH accredited programs have been based on the MPH Core Competency Model developed by the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH). These competencies are:


  • Biostatistics
  • Environmental Health Sciences
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy Management
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences


While the five core competencies form the basis of MPH programs, the ASPH also identified seven interdisciplinary areas of focus that they believe are necessary for a graduate to function in a contemporary public health setting. These are:


  • Communication and Informatics
  • Diversity and Culture
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism
  • Program Planning
  • Public Health Biology
  • Systems Thinking


Admission Requirements


Admission requirements for master’s programs will differ from program to program, however, generally speaking, the standard set of requirements for graduate MPH programs are:


  • Submission of GRE, LSAT, GMAT, or MCAT
  • Submission of official transcripts from all other undergraduate and graduate institutions
  • Submission of a 500-1000 word purpose essay
  • Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation




MPH programs will regularly offer focus areas designed to prepare students to specialize in key areas of public health policy development and program administration:


Health Communication: The NJDH released a comprehensive checklist for injury prevention for Christmas 2015 detailing common household items that have the potential to cause injury or sickness during the holiday season. The document focuses on accidental poisoning, citing a spike each year in unintentional poisonings and choking caused by decorations, toy parts, and alcohol overdose.


Organizing data like this, evaluating the risks it could pose, and then packaging and marketing it effectively to the public and to health administrators, is the foundation of health communications. Their education prepares them for the difficult task of making dense and bland data sheets into engaging campaigns that can educate and inform the public effectively.


Courses within this specialization may include:


  • Leadership Seminar
  • Global Health Communication Interventions
  • Preventing Health Disparities
  • Social Marketing
  • Marketing and Research for Public Health


Health Policy: The Rutgers Center for State Health Policy is a segment of the Institute for Health focused around supporting and stimulating health policy discussions in New Jersey. Health policy can seem as bland as it is complex to an uneducated outsider. Health policy experts are responsible for understanding the intricacies of both legal and medical language so that they can effectively educate the public and legislators alike about health policy.


Without health policy experts, developing appropriate health legislation would be a difficult process motivated primarily by budgets and politics. Health policy specialists are able to steer the conversation towards the development of impactful programming and keep tabs on how legislation is affecting the public.


Courses within this specialization may include:


  • Monitoring and Evaluation of Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
  • Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health
  • Public Health and Law
  • Global Health Diplomacy
  • Leadership Seminar
  • Law, Medicine and Ethics


Program Planning and Evaluation: The New Jersey Bureau of Evaluation and Planning is currently focusing its efforts towards the reduction of air pollution to acceptable levels throughout the state. Air pollution poses a variety of health hazards and elevated accident risk due to poor visibility.


Keeping tabs on air pollution, its impact on the region, and on the outcomes of programs currently in place to deal with pollution, is the responsibility of program planning and evaluation experts. Specialists in this field of public health are uniquely prepared to analyze mountains of data and generate sustainable and useful information that can be synthesized into impactful programming.


Courses within this specialization may include:


  • Monitoring and Evaluation of Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
  • Researching Violence Against Women and Girls
  • Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health
  • Social Marketing
  • Marketing Research for Public Health


Global Health: Clean water, sustainable food supply, and qualified health professionals are all necessary parts of infrastructure in modern society. However, not every community has access to these basics. Due to unforeseeable natural disasters and conflicts, people around the world are subject to shocking epidemics of starvation and disease.


Global health specialists are dedicated to tackling these issues head on. Their job is to analyze at risk communities and build sustainable infrastructure while simultaneously tackling some of the world’s greatest health risks like HIV/AIDS. An MPH program built around global health will focus on educating students about global health risks and ways to improve infrastructure and access to healthcare and clean water and food supplies in foreign communities.


Courses within this specialization may include:


  • Monitoring and Evaluation of Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
  • Researching Violence Against Women and Girls
  • Global Health Communication Interventions
  • Preventing Health Disparities
  • Global Health Diplomacy
  • Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
  • Climate Change and Social Change


Accelerated One-Year and Part-Time Options


Part-time options allow busy students to take as long as four years to complete graduate studies. For students working full time or pursuing other professional and academic goals, this is often the best option for earning a Master of Public Health.


MPH programs also offer graduate students an accelerated one-year option. Students in accelerated programs take on a heavier course load and are able to graduate in as little as 12 months.


Job Growth Projections for Master’s Educated Public Health Professionals in New Jersey


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, New Jersey will see strong job growth in the public health sector during the ten-year period between 2012 and 2022:


  • Social and Community Service Managers – 11%
  • Statisticians – 24%
  • Microbiologists – 8%
  • Rehabilitation Counselors – 19%


Salaries for Public Health Professions in New Jersey that Require a Master’s Degree


The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics provided the following figures for public health jobs in New Jersey in 2014. The salaries shown below represent the salary range in New Jersey (bottom ten percent average to the top ten percent average) for a number of key public health professions:


  • Rehabilitation Counselors: $22,660 to $90,730
  • Social Scientists: $54,030 to $108,720
  • Biological Scientists: $41,960 to $107,840
  • Social and Community Service Managers: $52,590 to $116,160
  • Microbiologists: $49,510 to $115,500


Career Opportunities for Public Health Professionals with Master’s Degrees in New Jersey


The following job descriptions were taken from a survey of job vacancy announcements in New Jersey in December 2015 and offer insight into the type of professional opportunities in public health available in New Jersey. (The following job descriptions are shown for illustrative purposes only and are not representative of a job offer or an assurance of employment.):


Supported Employment Program Counselor, Jersey Cape Diagnostic


  • Responsibilities
    • Assisting people with serious mental illness and co-occurring disorders to find work in the community
    • Identifying consumers strengths, interests, and skills
    • Provide support to ensure workplace success
  • Requirements
    • Experience with job development
    • In depth knowledge of mental illness
    • Marketing skills


Associate Director of Biostatistics, Sanofi


  • Responsibilities
    • Provide guidance as lead statistician on a project team within Medical Affairs
    • Assist group heads with the creation and implementation of policy
    • Assist group head in evaluating workload
    • Ensure appropriate resource allocation
    • Global and regional travel
    • Provide statistical support for study design and execution
    • Build relationships with other Medical Affairs and Data Mining groups
  • Requirements
    • 10 years of pharmaceutical experience and at least three years of experience in Medical Affairs
    • In depth knowledge of ICH guidelines and statistical principles in clinical trials
    • Experience in therapeutic indication, including understanding of key endpoints
    • Potential to serve as statistical consultant for Late Phase activities and life cycle management
    • Ability to effectively represent Medical Affairs and Data Mining Biostatistics group in multidisciplinary meetings involving commercial, marketing, and publication teams.


Associate Microbiologist, AlphaPro


  • Responsibilities
    • Carry out activities in the support of manufacturing pharmaceutical products
    • Perform environmental sampling and testing
    • Identify microorganisms
    • Provide written and verbal updates on projects and activities
    • Maintain notebooks within GMP standards and SOPs including the accurate reporting of results and detailed record keeping
  • Requirements
    • 1-3 years of industry experience
    • Working knowledge of aseptic techniques
    • Mathematical and reasoning ability
    • Proficient computer skills