Master's Degrees

Pitt Public Health graduate programs offer both academic and professional degrees from which you may choose, depending on the career direction you want to pursue upon graduation.

Master of Public Health (MPH)

An MPH is a public health professional degree that prepares you to enter the public health field by working for an agency or organization. Joint degrees allow you to combine your Pitt Public Health degree with a degree from another school in the University of Pittsburgh.

Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences

The MPH program prepares students for an applied public health career. Students learn community-engaged strategies, social and behavioral concepts to assess the health status of populations, apply social/behavioral theory, use social/behavioral science research methods to evaluate health promotion programs as well as develop programmatic and policy recommendations for improvement, and communicate with other researchers, communities, and policymakers. The emphasis is on student learning and practicing assessment and research skills in the context of social and behavioral change at the individual, organizational, and community levels.

Master of Public Health in Environmental and Occupational Health

The MPH program provides an opportunity for students interested in environmental and occupational health to become familiar with the relevant concepts as they apply to public health practice. The program will also be an opportunity for working health professionals to achieve an in-depth environmental perspective as well as a degree in public health. The degree may be tailored more toward either environmental health science or risk assessment depending on the choice of electives and desire of the student.

Master of Public Health in Epidemiology

The MPH program provides students with an epidemiological approach to public health, which includes a broad overview to epidemiology, biostatistics, and the environmental influences on health, public health planning, and health services.

Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management

The MPH in Health Policy and Management (HPM) prepares students for careers as public policy analysts, advocates for public health and high quality care, and professionals engaged in the development and implementation of health policies. The program provides professional development through a combination of coursework, a health policy or management related practicum, a public health leader-in-residence, and other curricular activities.

Master of Public Health in Human Genetics

The MPH program integrates genetics and the public health science disciplines of epidemiology, pathobiology, biostatistics, environmental health, and health services research, with ethics, social sciences, public affairs, economics and law. Public health genetics focuses on phenotypic disease prevention in populations, not just individual patients and their families. It addresses society’s legal, ethical, financial, regulatory, and organizational responsibilities in offering genetic services, and devising environmental and occupational interventions to prevent disease in populations.

Upon completion of the MPH in public health genetics, students will meet the following program-specific competencies:

  1. Apply knowledge of inheritance, including basic cellular and molecular mechanisms, and risk factors for disease to understanding a variety of rare and common health conditions.
  2. Identify interactions among genes, environmental factors, and behaviors, and their effects on public health.
  3. Assess the ethics of the application of genetic technologies to public health.
  4. Communicate genetic and genomic principles to the general public as part of current public health initiatives.
  5. Evaluate how genetic principles/technologies apply to diagnosis, screening, and interventions for disease prevention and health promotion programs.

Master of Public Health in Infectious Disease Pathogenesis, Eradication, and Laboratory Practice

The MPH with a concentration in Infectious Disease Pathogenesis, Eradication, and Laboratory Practice (PEL) enables students a unique educational experience, which brings together pathogen biology, immunology, and epidemiology within the broader framework of public health. Students then have the opportunity to apply what they learn in a laboratory setting. Students graduate from the MPH PEL program with the expertise necessary for occupations in public health education, analysis, and research in the non-profit, government, or private sectors. The program also prepares students for further education in medical or graduate programs.

Master of Public Health in Infectious Disease Management, Intervention, and Community Practice

The MPH with a concentration in Infectious Disease Management, Intervention, and Community Practice (MIC) provides a tailored educational experience to foster competencies for practice, research, and education in public health. Students take courses that focus on global and domestic infectious diseases including HIV, and assists students in designing interventions, approaches, and policies to address the increase in infectious diseases as well as emerging infectious disease threats to public health. This coursework paired with hands-on practicum experience particular to the student’s interest prepares students for careers in public health education, program development and management, or further education.

Multidisciplinary Master of Public Health

The mission of the MMPH program is to prepare doctoral level health professionals to blend clinical or other professional training with population-based approaches to improving health. This degree gives you the flexibility to pursue customized competencies tailored to your career goals.

Master of Science (MS)

An MS is an academic degree that prepares you to do research in academia or industry. We offer the MS in the following departments:

Master of Science in Biostatistics

The MS in Biostatistics is an academic degree program for students with a background in calculus and a strong interest in public health. The program emphasizes statistical theory and methods so that students are prepared to be effective statistical collaborators in interdisciplinary studies; and lead the design and execution of studies.  In addition to the main biostatistics master's curriulum, the department now offers concentrations in health data science and in statistical and computational genetics.

Master of Science in Environmental and Occupational Health

The emphasis of the MS in environmental and occupational health is directed towards the theoretical underpinnings of environmental health sciences and toxicology with more limited involvement in laboratory-based research. The program is designed as an integrated modern curriculum combining the training in the toxicological and environmental biophysics disciplines that are traditional to the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health with the new and continually developing fields of cellular and molecular pathobiology of environmental disease and gene environment interactions. The program provides an understanding of how relevant environmental exposures, laboratory based model systems, and gene-environment responses can be interpreted and applied to the study of disease etiology in exposed and potentially exposed human populations. The MS degree may be awarded as a terminal degree to students who do not enter the PhD program.

Master of Science in Epidemiology

The MS program provides concentrated training in epidemiological concepts, skills, and methodology with a research focus. It includes a flexible mix of courses in epidemiology and biostatistics. For those who hold a professional health degree or a related doctoral degree, the department offers a 30 credit condensed MS program.

Due to the wide range of ongoing faculty research within the department, students have the ability to select an area of emphasis to study and to conduct research under the mentorship of an epidemiology faculty member. A few of the areas include: aging, cancer, clinical trials, global health, lifestyle intervention, and women's health.

Master of Science in Health Services Research and Policy

The Master of Science in Health Services Research and Policy program prepares graduates for positions in health services research and policy, analytics and also prepares them for higher level education (such as a PhD). Graduates will be prepared to conduct research on policy issues affecting the organization, financing, and delivery of health care and public health services.

Master of Science in Human Genetics

The master of science program in human genetics prepares students for careers as contributing members of genetics and genomics research teams in academia or industry. Graduates of the program often go on to PhD level study and become independent scientists. The flexible curriculum provides a broad background in the field while allowing customized emphasis on laboratory genetics or genetic data analysis. In addition to core coursework and advanced classes in a chosen area of concentration, MS students pursue mentored research projects culminating in the production and defense of a thesis.

Master of Science in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology

The Master of Science program within the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology provides students with a unique basic science education within the Graduate School of Public Health. Graduates of our MS program develop skills and experience to become more competitive applicants for medical school and doctoral programs, as well as qualified researchers in academia, government and industry. This two year program emphasizes coursework in immunology, cell biology, and virology, and enables students to apply their coursework to their thesis research projects completed under a faculty advisor.

Other Professional Degrees

Pitt Public Health also offers two non-public health professional degrees.

Master of Health Administration in Health Policy and Management

The MHA program offers students a competency-based curriculum and an array of professional development resources and activities to prepare graduates for managerial roles in health care systems and networks, managed care, health insurance, and long-term care organizations. The broad curriculum provides students with a foundation of knowledge, analytical and communication skills, and core values for ongoing career growth and professional and leadership development. Upon completion of the MHA program, our graduates obtain post-graduate fellowships or full-time employment in hospitals, academic medical centers, physician practices, long-term care facilities, health plans, and consulting firms.

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling

The genetic counseling graduate program at the University of Pittsburgh is committed to providing cutting edge training in the complex science of genetics while fostering a strong foundation in counseling. This unique program is constantly evolving to ensure the continued success of graduates entering a dynamic workforce. Each year between 10 and 12 students are welcomed into the incoming class to be trained by world-renowned faculty. The genetic counseling program is grounded in three important elements: scientific training in human genetics and genomics, comprehensive clinical experience, and understanding the psychological and social aspects of counseling—with an added focus on integrating up to the minute discoveries in genetics and genomics as well as valuable concepts from other academic disciplines.

The genetic counseling program at the University of Pittsburgh is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling, Inc., 7918 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 300, McLean, VA 22102; phone: 703-506-7667. Our comprehensive program helps students to achieve and often surpass the practice based competencies outlined by the ACGC.

Please explore our Web site to learn more about what sets our program and our graduates apart! We hope you will consider joining our challenging and exciting program.