Students living on the East Coast who want to work in a public health setting can choose from a variety of respected and accredited public health degree programs in Virginia. Programs typically take two years, and most encourage students to apply after having earned an undergraduate degree in a related area like medicine, health, or nursing. Most programs also provide students with the opportunity to specialize in a certain area, so students should be able to find a program that suits their personal interests within public health. Finding a program accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is important because it ensures the master of public health degree program adheres to important educational standards.

Eastern Virginia Medical School – Old Dominion University

Master’s Programs

Eastern University Medical School is a unique medical school because it’s not connected to an undergraduate school. The school’s educational offerings focus solely on health education and biomedical education, and students attend classes at one of several medical centers in the Norfolk region. EVMS has a distinguished history in that it was the first medical institution in the country successfully create a fetus through in vitro fertilization. The school offers classes to just over 1,100 students who experience education through simulations in areas like pediatrics, diabetes, and cancer. Research centers associated with the college include the Sentara Center for Simulation and Immersive Learning and the Canoles Cancer Research Center.

Master of Public Health

The MPH degree at EVMS is considered a professional degree and is offered in partnership with Old Dominion University. Students who enroll in the program will have the opportunity to choose one of four specializations including Health Promotion, Epidemiology, Health Management and Policy, and Global Environmental Health. Classes meet once a week either at the Eastern Virginia Medical School campus or the Old Dominion University campus. Both campuses are located in Norfolk, and sometimes students will participate in classes on Saturdays. The program requires two years of full-time study, and the school suggests the best candidates for the program will already be working in various health organizations when they enroll. The program was first accredited by CEPH in 2000 and was recently accredited again in 2012. The program was also accredited in 1999 by the State Council on Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). Required classes include Social and Behavioral Sciences for Public Health and Statistical Reasoning for Public Health.

Accreditations

  • Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Contact

Eastern Virginia Medical School
Graduate Program in Public Health
P.O. Box 1980
Norfolk, VA 23501
Phone: (757) 446-6120
Email: mphinfo@evms.edu
https://www.evms.edu/education/masters_programs/graduate_program_in_public_health/

George Mason University

Department of Global and Community Health

With a student body size of nearly 34,000 people, George Mason University is the largest public school in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The school was originally a branch of the University of Virginia, but it became an independent school in the early 1970s. The school is well-known for a variety of strong programs in areas like computer science, economics, and business. Overall, the school offers students a choice of 81 undergraduate degrees and 88 master’s degrees. Students may also pursue a law degree. The school encourages students to study abroad if possible and organizes those trips through its Center for Global Education.

Master of Public Health

George Mason University describes its MPH program as competitive and requires applicants to have a 3.0 GPA before they apply. The school recommends that incoming students have a background in an area like biology, statistics, or the social sciences. Like other accredited public health degree programs in Virginia, the school also likes to see that students have some prior experience in public health through past work experience or through time spent volunteering. Students may choose to concentrate in one of four specializations including Public Health Communication, Epidemiology, Global Health, or Community Health Promotion. Each specialization requires that students master coursework in five core disciplines including social and behavioral sciences, epidemiology, and health administration. Students will also take classes in environmental health and biostatistics. The core values of GMU’s program include diversity, innovation, and community. The program also strives to teach students the values of sustainability, professionalism, justice, and science. After graduation, students have sought employment in areas like the National Institutes of Health, departments of health and human services, and the CDC.

Accreditations

  • Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Contact

Department of Global and Community Health
Robinson Building B, Room 423
MS:5B7
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
Phone: (703) 993-3126
Email: gch@gmu.edu
http://chhs.gmu.edu/gch/

University of Virginia

Department of Public Health Sciences

The University of Virginia was established almost 200 years ago by Thomas Jefferson and is home to around 21,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. The school is public, but it’s considered a “public ivy” because the quality of its education matches those received at institutions like Harvard and Yale. Students attend classes on a suburban campus of around 1,680 acres in Charlottesville. Interestingly, the college is considered a public school, but it actually receives more money in funding from private sources than it does in state funding. Students in the school’s athletic programs participate in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Master of Public Health

The school describes its program as interdisciplinary in its approach to clinical research and population health. Within the MPH program, the school offers students classes in a variety of areas including community engagement strategies, health policy, and translational and community-based research. Students have the choice of two specializations including Health Policy, Law & Ethics or Research in Practice. Students may also participate in dual-degree programs such as the MD-MPH or JD-MPH options. During the program, students participate in a variety of community health organizations alongside faculty, and students are also offered the opportunity to present research at conferences. The program recently announced a partnership with the Peace Corps Master’s International, which means students can serve in the Peace Corps while earning a MPH degree. The program accepts students from a variety of educational backgrounds but suggests most students are admitted with a bachelor’s degree in an area like medicine, nursing, or the health sciences.

Accreditations

  • Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Contact

Public Health Sciences
University of Virginia School of Medicine
P.O. Box 800717
Charlottesville, Virginia 22908
Phone: (434) 924-8430
Email: phsdegrees@virginia.edu
https://med.virginia.edu/phs/

Virginia Commonwealth University

Department of Family Medicine and Population Health

VCU is a public university located in Richmond. Founded in 1838, the school was originally a medical school and was expanded in the century after its founding to include other disciplines and areas of study. Today, just over 31,000 students attend this large university, which has been labeled one with “very high research activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Some of the well-known programs offered by the college include biotechnology, public policy, and health care. The school has undergone significant expansion in the last generation with more than $20 million of new construction at the school’s two campuses.

Master of Public Health

VCU describes its MPH program as one that’s designed to prepare students to work in public, private, or non-profit health care. The school describes the purpose of public health as a discipline that works to ensure health problems don’t occur in the first place instead of the other side of medicine, which is where already occurring issues are treated. Like many accredited public health degree programs in Virginia, the goals of the program include adequately preparing students for their chosen career paths, giving students the skills they need to perform well at their jobs, and providing an excellent learning experience to students through didactic and experiential learning. To complete the program, students must take at least 45 credit hours that includes courses in areas like epidemiology, social and behavior health, and biostatistics. Students will also study environmental health and health policy. As a program accredited by the CEPH, the school offers students the opportunity to connect with regional health agencies and organizations for valuable first-person experiences.

Accreditations

  • Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Contact

Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Division of Epidemiology
Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Medicine
830 E. Main Street, 8th Floor
P.O. Box 980212
Richmond, VA 23298-0212
Phone: (804) 828-9785
Email: publichealth@vcu.edu
http://www.familymedicine.vcu.edu/epidemiology/mph/

Virginia Tech

Department of Population Health Sciences

Virginia Tech is the third-largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and offers a large number of degrees with 225 different undergraduate and graduate programs available to students. The school’s goals include improving economic growth and job creation for local residents through its programs and the school has a large endowment of more than $800 million. The school was first opened in 1872 when the Virginia General Assembly bought a local school and some acreage and turned the institution into a college. The school was originally a mechanical, agricultural, and polytechnic institute. The school expanded significantly in the 21st century with additions of new classrooms and a larger student body.

Master of Public Health

In addition to its regular Master of Public Health degree, Virginia Tech also offers dual degrees with a DVM/MPH and MD/MPH option. The purpose of the program is to give students the knowledge and experience they need to practice in public health in any sector they choose whether it’s a local, state, regional, or national setting. The curriculum covers the five core public health disciplines of public health which include health policy management, environmental health, and biostatistics. The program also focuses on epidemiology and social and behavioral sciences. Like most accredited public health degree programs in Virginia, students must complete 42 credits and should expect to remain in the program for two years or four semesters. Students may also complete their degree on a part time basis and work with a faculty advisor to ensure their plan of study will result in continuity in the degree program. Students may concentrate in Infectious Disease or Public Health. Courses required by the program include Environmental Health, Epidemiology, and Public Health Administration.

Accreditations

  • Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Contact

Department of Population Health Sciences
100 Sandy Hall
Virginia Tech (MC 0395)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: (540) 231-3945
Email: elvinger@vt.edu
https://www.vetmed.vt.edu/departments/dphs/

Students who have recently earned a bachelor’s degree in a health science or who have spent time in a health care setting may want to consider a master of public health program to advance a career or gain more experience for future promotions. Students can make a difference in many areas of health care within local, national, and global organizations. Finding a respected and accredited program is important, and students in and around Virginia may choose from a variety of exceptional and accredited public health degree programs in Virginia.