Frequently asked questions
What jobs do MPH graduates fill, and what are their employment prospects and salaries?
- Demand for public health professionals is strong and growing, and combined with projected retirements, prospects for well-trained professionals is good. Students are advised that success is promoted by both a broad and strong preparation as well as some specialty expertise (that is often demonstrated best by the practicum or thesis work). Salaries vary considerably from around $35,000 to over $100,000 per year, depending on specialty and experience.
Does the MPH program require a thesis or an essay?
- All MPH students must successfully complete a “culminating experience” - individual practicum or research work which is a key aspect of how you distinguish yourself as you prepare for subsequent work or study. The product of that work is either a thesis (for research projects), or an essay (a review of knowledge and practice which is integrated with the report of your practicum experience). Each of these require substantial planning and time commitment, as well as a formal presentation to the faculty and students.
- The issue of which route to choose relies to some extent on one’s career or study objectives. A thesis “defense” may be more daunting; however, it also carries some greater rewards, including the possibility of publication of your resulting work. That may be particularly appropriate for a student entering research or public policy.
- One may make a few general assumptions. First is that for students in the Research, Evaluation and Policy track the thesis option is usually recommended. Yet the inverse should not be assumed. Some students in Global & Community Health may also find the thesis option the preferred choice. In addition, one should not assume that the environment in which one works dictates the option of thesis or essay. Some working in the laboratory setting are gaining practical health systems experience and may not opt for a thesis, just as some who work in more practice-oriented environments could certainly pursue a research topic in that setting.
- The choice of your Second Year experience is one you will plan during First Year, and should involve both careful study and consultation with your faculty advisor.
Can any courses be waived?
- Up to 6 semester hours of work can be credited if taken at a CEPH accredited program, subject to evaluation of the courses taken. In addition, one may have certain courses waived if substantial equivalent training is demonstrated. For example, a graduate of an undergraduate public health program need not take PH 601 (Intro to Public Health), and some students with substantial course work in biological sciences may receive waiver of PH 602 (Public Health Biology). Please note that course waivers enable one to take additional elective courses, but they do not reduce the number of units required for the degree.
What is the cost of MPH study at Marshall?
- Tuition is among the very lowest in our region (comparing WV, OH, KY, PA, VA, NC, MD, DC). Full time tuition and fees are currently $5,193 per semester for residents, and $11,128 for non-residents. When our region’s low cost of living is factored in, one’s cost of study at Marshall is clearly the most affordable. With innovative curriculum, quality mentoring and interdisciplinary training, and outstanding opportunities for practicum and research in both urban and rural settings, a Marshall MPH offers high value.
- For those considering dual degree study such as MD-MPH or PharmD-MPH, the addition of the MPH degree is remarkably affordable. For example, tuition costs are increased approximately 11.5% for an MD-MPH over the MD alone. Study can also be completed without extending the duration of one’s graduate study.
What financial aid is available?
- A limited number of Graduate Assistantships are available, and second year students have significant time to pursue both paid and unpaid practicum and employment. We are building a list of scholarships as well.
What is the accreditation status of the program?
- The U.S. public health accreditation body is the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH). New programs such as Marshall’s do not receive prospective accreditation; the Graduate Program in Public Health is working to meet and exceed accreditation requirements for review at the earliest possible date (late 2016).
Will I need a license to work in public health?
- At the present time, no licensure applies to public health practice, although the Certified in Public Health (CPH) qualification is increasingly desirable. Recent graduates of newly accredited programs are eligible to sit for the CPH exam.