The University of Southern California Online MPH Overview
Among the University of Southern California’s many online degree options, is their Master of Public Health degree from their Keck School of Medicine. USC online masters programs offer the opportunity for working professionals to maintain schedule flexibility while they pursue their degree. Their innovative online format offers public health students the same rigorous academic preparation as their on-campus public health students. Course content can be accessed anytime from any place with an internet connection. Professors are accessible via virtual office hours. The virtual classes allow students to interact with other online students to hold study sessions or work on group projects.
One of the highlights of USC’s public health program is its wide variety of practicum opportunities for students. Students will choose from a variety of public health agencies to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to come up with solutions to real world public health problems. The USC online MPH is very well regarded, as it ranks second on the list of The Best 5 Public Health Degree Programs in California.
What Specializations are Available?
USC recognizes the value in specialized training in the field of public health. Online MPH students at USC will choose from one of six specializations including:
- Biostatistics and Epidemiology
- Community Health Promotion
- Global Health
- Health Services and Policy
Students in all public health programs are required to take the same core MPH curriculum which include:
- Foundations in Health Education and Promotion
- Health Service Delivery in the United States
- Principles of Epidemiology
Biostatistics and Epidemiology
The Biostatistics and Epidemiology specialization teaches students to analyze data that tracks the spread of contagious diseases in order to determine how to best prevent diseases from spreading any further. Required courses include:
- Data Analysis (2 courses)
- Epidemiology of Infectious Disease
- Chronic Disease Epidemiology
Community Health Promotion
The Health Education and Promotion specialization is designed to teach students how to raise awareness of public health issues and promote health equity. Students learn how to educate the public about how they can stay healthy and prevent contagion at the micro level. Required courses include:
- Communications in Public Health
- Program Design and Evaluation
- Intervention Approaches for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
- Organizing and Mobilizing Communities for Public Health
The Global Health Leadership track is designed to have students understand the health risks that come with our increasing globalized world. Students will learn where diseases can spread intercontinentally from places where the population has an immunity to places where the population is susceptible. Global Health required courses include:
- Culture and Health: Global Perspectives
- Introduction to Global Health
- Global Health Research and Programs
- Global Health, Law and Human Rights: Concepts and Methods
The Geohealth specialization is designed to teach students how to understand health trends that are the result of economic or cultural factors. This knowledge allows graduates to aid at-risk communities around the world. Required courses include:
- Concepts for Spatial Thinking
- Spatial Analysis and Modeling
- Cartography and Visualization
- Web and Mobile GIS
Health Services and Policy
The Health Services and Policy concentration is designed to teach students how to draft legislation and influence the political sphere in ways that raise awareness of public health issues. Courses include:
- Quality in Health Care
- Public Health Policy and Politics
- Economics for Public Policy
- Policy and Program Evaluation
Does the USC Online Masters in Public Health Require a Practicum?
One of the strengths of the USC MPH online is the practicum experience. Students apply their public health knowledge in a professional setting, gaining real world experience. Practicum placements are available in a variety of agencies and organizations at all levels of government. Opportunities are also available in community-based organizations and research settings. Past students have competed their practicum placements with organizations like:
- World Health Organization
- Veterans Affairs
- Florida Department of Health
- Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children in Uganda
How Long Does It Take to Earn an MPH from the University of Southern California?
The MPH program at USC can be completed by part-time and full-time students. Full-time students can complete their degree in two years by taking two courses each semester. Part-time students typically take between four and five years to finish the program. USC also offers a one-year fast-track program that takes just one year to complete.
Is the MPH Program at UCS Accredited?
The public health master’s program at USC is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the United States Department of Education. They are responsible for accrediting programs and schools of public health. CEPH accreditation means that the program meets national standards developed by practitioners and academics in the field.
If you are looking to apply to online MPH masters program at USC, it would be prudent to contact one of the professors that you would be working with. Dr. Michael R. Cousineau is the head of the Health Policy track for the MPH program, and his work focuses on public health policies like Obamacare. Dr. Boley Cruz is the director of the Health Communications track and does research in the field of marketing unsafe products, like tobacco, to vulnerable populations. Dr. Baez Conde is the co-director of the Global Health track for the MPH program, and does research on community outreach and education. Deciding the specific track that you would like to follow, and then contacting the appropriate professor to gauge if it is the right program for you, is the first step towards applying to a USC online masters program in Public Health.