Masters of Public Health (MPH) Degree in New York


As one of the nation’s most densely populated states, stakeholders in New York’s public health sector must manage a unique set of health risks. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) is dedicated to protecting and improving the health of communities throughout the state. NYSDOH keeps tabs on potential epidemics and health threats affecting state residents, all while working to maintain access to health services across the state implementing programs that promote health and safety.


Featured Programs:

Everything from vaccinations and clean water initiatives to tuberculosis screenings and restaurant health inspectors falls under the purview of the NYSDOH. All of these programs and more came under scrutiny in 2011 as a part of a national effort to improve state health programs by 2020. The NYSDOH website provides comprehensive analytical tools used to measure the progress being made towards accomplishing the Department’s 2020 health goals.


Initial research revealed health disparities across different population groups related to disease, substance abuse, and physical activity. Now, over 100 different factors are being analyzed and regularly updated on the NYSDOH web page, allowing citizens to stay aware of what is being done to address their state’s greatest health risks.


These unprecedented public health efforts stand as evidence of the presence of highly educated public health professionals working to improve the health and well being of communities across New York State.


Earning a Master of Public Health (MPH) in New York


The Master of Public Health (MPH) is designed to prepare professionals to effectively evaluate and develop public health policy and administer programs within the public, private and nonprofit sectors.


MPH programs encourage diversity, welcoming students with backgrounds in communications, business, health administration, public administration, teaching, nursing and much more.


Academic Overview


The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) sets the standards for accredited Master of Public Health 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). The core competencies of all accredited MPH programs are:


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


While the five core competencies form the basis for a Master of Public Health, the ASPH also identified seven interdisciplinary areas of focus necessary for success in contemporary public health:


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


Admission Requirements


Admission requirements for MPH programs differ by program, however, the standard set of requirements include:


  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year institution
  • 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 regularly offer the option to choose an area of focus that would better prepare graduates for more distinct roles in public health policy development and program administration. Most of these specializations will involve between 10 and 15 additional credits in addition to core coursework. Focus areas are not universal and can cover a vast array of subjects outside of the core competencies. Some common areas of specialization include:


Health Communication: The NYSDOH’s fantastic analytical tools are just a part of their public health communication team’s contribution to meeting established health goals for the state. Communications specialists and public health educators are also responsible for designing forums, awareness campaigns, and educational courses designed to help public health administrators and the general public alike better understand how complex health issues affect different communities.


A health communication specialization is designed around equipping health professionals with the tools they need to disseminate this kind of information effectively. Turning raw data into something that everyone can easily understand can be a complex task that requires unique expertise in communication.


Courses within this specialization may include (total of 10-15 credits):


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


Health Policy: The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government maintains a health policy division responsible for providing nonpartisan perspective to legislators and the public on complex health issues. Health policy related to budget constraints and interactions with Medicaid can take years to develop, and health policy experts like those with the Rockefeller Institute are well equipped to analyze these problems and develop impactful programming in response.


Health policy programs are designed for students who want to use their skills and knowledge to aid in keeping health policy current and relevant. This means keeping an eye on an area’s greatest risk factors and ensuring that infrastructure is in place to manage public health issues. Health policy specialists also keep an eye on emerging public health threats and design new policy to address sudden epidemics of disease or injury.


Courses within this specialization may include (total of 10-15 credits):


  • 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 Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS) has been an essential tool in New York state health care since 1979. Cooperation between healthcare, industry, and government representatives led to the creation of a system that collected information on patients discharged from hospitals. This system has grown into a comprehensive assessment tool that evaluates inpatient and outpatient services so as to develop programs that address shortfalls.


Analyzing information from systems like SPARCS is the responsibility of program planning and evaluation experts. Graduates from a program planning and evaluation specialization will find themselves combing through data like this and searching for new ways to improve their current programs in an effort to provide the best possible healthcare to their communities.


Courses within this specialization may include (total of 10-15 credits):


  • 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: The United Nations headquarters located in New York City has served as a hub for international diplomacy since it was established in 1952. With a focus on discussing and implementing international efforts to maintain and preserve basic human rights across the world, the UN developed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document outlines the rights that the UN has declared to be foundational for freedom, justice, and peace across the globe.


Article 25 states that everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care. However, not every community is equipped to provide these services. Starvation and disease run rampant in some regions, and these regions require expert attention to solve the complex socioeconomic problems that are at the core of these issues.


Students in a global health program are uniquely positioned to tackle these kinds of issues. This focus area examines the greatest global health risks and prepares students to develop the tools they need to implement effective interventions.


Courses within this specialization may include (total of 10-15 credits):


  • 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 MPH programs allow busy professionals to earn their graduate degree over the course of four years. For students working full time, this may be the best option for earning a Master of Public Health.


Most MPH programs also offer an accelerated one-year. Students in accelerated programs take on a heavier course load and are able to graduate in as little as 12 months. The curriculum is no different than a standard online or campus based MPH program, but is designed around a much more intensive schedule.


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


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 report, a wide variety of career paths associated with the core competencies of accredited MPH programs have experienced strong job in recent years, and are expected to see even stronger growth in the coming years. Job growth projections are shown for the ten-year period spanning 2012 to 2022:


  • Social and Community Service Managers-13%
  • Statisticians-26%
  • Microbiologists-8%
  • Rehabilitation Counselors-16%


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


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provided the following figures for public health jobs in New York in 2014. The salaries below range from the bottom tenth percentile to the 90th percentile.


  • Rehabilitation Counselors: $23,240 to $53,110
  • Social Scientists: $53,160 to $123,290
  • Biological Scientists: $43,300 to $94,030
  • Social and Community Service Managers: $49,830 to $121,620
  • Microbiologists: $49,830 to $121,620


Career Opportunities for Master’s-Educated Public Health Professionals in New York


An MPH prepares students for a vast array of professional opportunities in public health settings. Below are a handful of job postings found in a December 2015 survey of job vacancy announcements in New York to show just some of the options available to professionals with a Master of Public Health. (The following job descriptions are shown as illustrative examples only and are not representative of a job offer or an assurance of employment.):


Senior Epidemiologist, Bayer HealthCare


  • Responsibilities
    • Apply epidemiological principles and methods to support products in all stages of drug development under specific therapeutic areas
    • Provide guidance on the best use of epidemiological methods
    • Coordinate and execute epidemiological observational studies in support of drug development
    • Support scientific collaborations with experts from academia and research groups
    • Contribute to intellectual leadership of Bayer in the area by acquiring knowledge of highest standards of epidemiological methodology
    • Building and maintaining professional relationships with external academic and research groups
  • Requirements
    • Five years of experience in Epidemiology and Pharmacoepidemiology which must have been in the industry, a regulatory agency, or a public health institution
    • Understanding of the entire drug development process and lifecycle management
    • Demonstrable ability to design, direct, and complete epidemiological observational research projects
    • Strong analytical skills and ability to apply statistical methodology to projects
    • Understanding of risk management and minimization programs


Research Coordinator for Intervention Implementation, NYU School of Medicine


  • Responsibilities
    • Assist in the preparation of intervention materials
    • Track intervention activities, including review of assessments in Salesforce and REDcap
    • Support the Program Manager in monitoring quality assurance pruposes.
    • Coordinate, prepare, participate in, and ensure follow up for weekly project meetings and conference calls
    • Ensure effective ongoing communications to internal and external stakeholders
  • Requirements
    • Two years of experience in relevant field
    • Willingness to travel across all five boroughs
    • Solid relationship building, communication, and interpersonal skills
    • Proficiency with Microsoft Office
    • Commitment to continuous learning required by department administration


Statistician, Clinical Solutions Group


  • Responsibilities
    • Provide review of statistical analysis plan including table shells, analysis dataset specifications and all deliverables for Medical Affairs studies provided by CRO
    • Provide statistical support for publications, presentations, posters, and any other requests
    • Interact with authors, referees, and in-house reviewers in preparation of publications
    • Manage outside CROs and consultants as needed
    • Work closely with different departments and provide statistical support for a variety of functional groups
  • Requirements
    • 5-10 years of experience and demonstrated skill in the planning, analysis, and reporting of clinical trials
    • Planning and project management skills
    • Detailed knowledge of currently acceptable statistical methodologies
    • Excellent SAS skills including report generation
    • Knowledge of MS Office
    • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment.