The Master of Public Health program is a two-year, 48-credit graduate degree program. The first four semesters usually involve traditional coursework, while the last semester is devoted to a practice-based internship, which includes a special project.
The internship rounds out the MPH by providing opportunities to apply many of the skills you’ve learned in the classroom to the real world of public health. Your special project is one undertaking that you complete during your internship. All students present their special projects — both orally and in written report form — during Public Health Day in the final semester of their programs. These presentations require consideration of your project in the larger context of public health as a cross-disciplinary field and in relation to the competencies expected of all MPH graduates. Faculty, students and preceptors attend Public Health Day presentations and engage in lively dialogue about the students’ projects
The major characteristics and graduation requirements of the 48-credit MPH curriculum are:
- One course in each of the five core areas (15 credits)
- Seminar in Contemporary Public Health Issues (1 credit)
- Core Courses in an area of concentration (15-21 credits)
- Elective courses relevant to the chosen concentration and individual career goals (up to 12 credits)
- Public Health Internship (5-8 credits)
- Major paper and presentation (credit assigned through the Seminar in Contemporary Public Health Issues)
Biostatistics uses data analysis to investigate the cause of disease and injuries, as well as to identify health trends within communities.
The biostatistics concentration is designed primarily for students with a primary interest in public health or those with a previous graduate degree, particularly in the health sciences, who want to obtain a solid background in quantitative and analytical methods for public health research. The coursework exposes students to methodology typically used to analyze different types of public health data and gives them opportunities to apply these methodologies themselves.
Graduates of the MPH program with a concentration in biostatistics will pursue careers or advanced degrees in public health where an improved understanding of quantitative methods for public health research is required. This increased knowledge will both facilitate their own research programs and enhance their ability to critically read the literature in their field.
Faculty in the Department of Biostatistics teach courses and advise students in the biostatistics concentration. The curriculum is designed to enable students to develop competence in very specific biostatistical skills. Students are required to develop basic skills in regression analysis, survival analysis, and epidemiology methods. Each biostatistics MPH student has an opportunity to take public health electives and complete his/her program of study with an internship that includes a special analytical project.
Difference between the MS and MPH Degrees in Biostatistics
The University of Florida offers both a Master of Science (MS) degree in Biostatistics and a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Biostatistics. While both are valuable degrees, the target audiences are different.
- The MS degree is suitable for students with a substantial mathematics background, including at least three semesters of Calculus and a semester of linear algebra, as well as some training in statistics and probability, including at least a basic statistics course, and ideally including undergraduate coursework in calculus-based probability and mathematical statistics.
- The MPH degree is a professional degree in public health with an emphasis in applied biostatistics. This program is designed primarily for those with a specific interest in public health or who have a previous graduate degree, particularly in the health sciences, who want to obtain more skills in quantitative and analytic methods for public health research. There are no formal mathematics or statistics prerequisites for the MPH degree.
The mathematical level of the biostatistical courses required by the two degrees differs substantially.
"As a career clinician, I had little understanding of the relevance of statistics — until I started taking courses in Biostatistics. I then realized that a firm grasp of statistical approaches is critical for making sense of our data and being able to sieve out good research results from poor ones. Completing UF's MPH Biostatistics program has given me confidence in designing appropriate research plans, applying a variety of analytical approaches to answer our research questions, and reporting results with confidence and clarity."