If you’re working in a public health-related field, and have an interest in making a difference on a bigger scale, you may be wondering, “What can you do with a public health policy degree?” This type of degree is a great option for people who want to work in health care in a way that assists people who may not have the resources they need to live a healthy life. A public health policy degree allows you to shape policies and educate lawmakers about what communities need to stay healthy.
If you’re interested in becoming someone who shapes public policy, you may be interested in a dual program that combines an MPH with a Master of Public Policy or a Master of Public Administration. These programs provide a convenient way to earn both degrees at the same time by combining courses and credits, setting you up for success in understanding and creating new policies that help people stay healthy. If you’re wondering, “what can you do with a public health policy degree?” it’s worth your time to look into dual MPA and MPH programs.
How We Ranked the Best Public Health Policy Degree Programs
Since most people looking for a dual MPH and MPA or MPP would already be experienced in the field, they have a good sense of what they’re looking for. However, they also need to know that their program will have a real, positive effect on their career. That’s why MPHOnline editors have searched for the best combined MPH and MPA or MPP programs in the nation, ranking them according to practical factors: Cost, Salary Potential, and Student Satisfaction. Data comes from IPEDS, College Scorecard, and Niche reviews.
1. Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in Saint Louis offers a dual MPH MPP degree. It also offers separate degrees in public health and social work. Whatever students choose, these degrees prepare them to make changes within law, social work, health, and more. The program combines theoretical knowledge with practical skill. These are challenging degrees, but by the time students graduate, they feel confident and prepared to make changes where necessary. That’s what makes Washington University in Saint Louis a great source for a public health policy degree.
WUSTL is dedicated to quality education while bridging connections between students and faculty. Here, students get an education with a personal touch. They learn how to create their own pathways to success. Degrees here balance theory and practicality, so students get a well-rounded education with lots of skill-building. This creative, driven school is a place where students can think outside the box. 100% of currently admitted WUSTL students have their financial needs fully covered.
Program: MPH/Master of Social Policy
2. University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley has an MPA MPH program that can be finished in as few as five semesters. With this degree, students gain a deep understanding of social issues and public health. Then, they learn the practical skills they’ll need to create change for a better, more equal world. The curriculum provides a balance across the two required schools, and students even get internship opportunities over the summer. For an MPP MPH dual degree, UC Berkeley makes a great choice.
UC Berkeley has a long history of social change and challenging academics. This school has never just been about taking classes. It has always empowered students to make changes and right wrongs. As a result, it’s a great school for those who want to impact the world of healthcare and social work. UC Berkeley is a challenging school where students are stretched to their fullest potential. It pushes students to get the most from their educations. There are 8 Nobel Prizes held by current UC Berkeley faculty members.
3. University of Pennsylvania
At the University of Pennsylvania a dual MPA MPH degree covers a broad range of topics and skills. Students learn the administrative and leadership skills that they’ll need to make a difference in the world of public health. This dual program covers a total of 17 courses, all of which challenge students and encourage critical thinking skills. When they graduate, students are prepared to make a real difference in the world of public health and social change. As a result, it’s a great choice for an MPA MPH dual degree.
The University of Pennsylvania has always been a challenging and meaningful school. Here, students learn that they’re capable of much more than they realize. This school forges connections while providing a top-level educational experience. Because UPenn is a respected and immediately recognizable school. The UPenn name can take a student far. Overall, UPenn provides an invigorating academic experience. UPenn has a student-teacher ratio of six to one. It’s a good choice for those who need personalized learning environments.
UCLA’s public health and public policy programs provide a challenging and worthwhile degree that can help students make a difference. Students in the dual program complete courses from two UCLA schools. The combination of courses is designed to instill confidence, provide skills training, and give students an overview of the knowledge that they’ll need in the field. The MPH MPP dual degree helps students find what they’ll need to succeed, both for themselves and for the community around them.
UCLA is a major research university with a long history of innovation. Students get to take advantage of all of the latest and most effective knowledge. UCLA is dedicated to transforming lives through innovation and education. It fosters a sense of curiosity that few other places can provide. Students here are passionate about their studies and enthusiastic about where their degrees will take them. Times Higher Education ranked UCLA 17th among universities around the world
5. University of Virginia
University of Virginia’s public health dual degree takes students to the next level in their careers. The curriculum is robust and challenging. It covers the theory and practical skills that students will need to make changes in the health and social world. Courses foster a spirit of leadership and entrepreneurship so that students have no problem taking charge of their careers. By the end of the program, students feel confident enough to make real, lasting changes in the world around them. Overall, this school provides an excellent public health policy degree.
The University of Virginia is a well-known, widely-recognized school that helps students go places. This school is at the forefront of scientific advances and discoveries. Students get the benefit of Virginia’s innovation. With the latest tools and technology, students can rest assured that their education is up to date and will prepare them for the job market. According to Forbes, UVA is the best value college in Virginia.
6. University of Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin’s MPA MPH program lets students finish their degrees in about two calendar years. This program helps students maximize their skills. Students learn leadership, organization, and other skills that empower them to make health and social change. The program is both challenging and fulfilling, and students get plenty of support from their teachers and peers. It’s an excellent MPA MPH dual degree program.
The University of Wisconsin helps students become forward thinkers. Students here notice the places where the world around them needs to be changed. Their degrees empower them to make those changes. Students here learn how to think deeply and broadly. They get an education that is both well rounded and sharply focused. This way, by the time they graduate, students feel empowered to compete in all levels of the job market. 41 Pulitzer Prizes have come from the University of Wisconsin.
7. University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas offers dual degrees in public health and public affairs. These programs dive deeply into issues of government, nonprofits, and other agents of change. Students become empowered to work in several different settings, making them prepared for the job market after graduation. The program is designed to let students earn their degrees in three years as opposed to the four years it would take for them to earn two different degrees. As a result, UT Austin makes a good choice for an MPA MPH dual degree.
UT Austin offers an excellent education at an affordable cost. This school has a diverse student body, but what brings the students together is their passion and excitement for the future. Students here have goals, and faculty here help those students achieve their goals through challenging classes and important connections. This school turns students into leaders and entrepreneurs who feel empowered to move upward and make changes in their worlds. Business First ranked UT Austin seventh among US public colleges.
8. University of Michigan
The University of Michigan has several MPH dual degree choices. The MPH MPP degree prepares students to make health and social changes for the surrounding world. The program teaches innovation, organizational skills, critical thinking, and leadership. This combination gives students the knowledge and skill set that they’ll need to become experts in the field. This MPH MPP dual degree empowers students for an exciting and rewarding future.
The University of Michigan is a well known school that provides lots of opportunities for students. Here, education isn’t just about time spent in the classroom. It’s also about practical skills and social connection. UMich fosters all of these things so that students get a hands-on and well-rounded education. Combining deep tradition with exciting innovation, UMich makes a great choice for those who want to take their careers to the next level. US News and World Report has ranked UMich fourth among the top public schools in the US.
9. Columbia University
Columbia University’s dual MPH MPA degree offers plenty of challenge and excitement. The MPH MPA degree helps students gain the skills that they’ll need to create positive social and healthcare changes. Students learn how to spot areas that need positive change and to take the practical steps necessary to make those changes happen. This program provides lots of support from teachers who want to see their students succeed. Overall, it’s an excellent choice for a public health policy degree.
Columbia University is one of the most widely recognized schools in the world. Situated in New York City, it’s right at the heart of a lot of social change. Students who study here get plenty of excitement from their studies. They learn theoretical knowledge, but they also gain lots of practical experience. Because they’re in New York, these students also get opportunities to work with those who are making some of the most change. Columbia University is the oldest institution of higher education in New York.
10. University of Utah
The University of Utah offers two public health dual options: An MPH MPA program, and an MPH MPP program. Both choices provide a rigorous education and help students learn how to make practical changes. Both programs teach leadership, organization, and administration skills. These programs provide an effective education, empowering students to take on public roles with confidence. The University of Utah is a good choice for those who want options for their public health policy degree.
The University of Utah is a diverse and dynamic place to earn a degree. This school offers lots of academic resources as well as plenty of opportunities to forge important professional connections. Students here get a deep education and create pathways to career success. The University of Utah empowers students to turn dreams into plans that become realities. The University of Utah ranks among the top 100 universities around the world.
Program: MPH/MPA or MPP
11. University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota’s health policy degrees help students create change on many levels. These programs don’t just empower change on a local or state level. They empower change all the way up to the global level. Here, students gain the confidence that they’ll need to create change, not just observe it. Combining theory and practice, the University of Minnesota provides everything students need from an MPH MPP dual degree.
The University of Minnesota empowers discovery and creativity. Students here aren’t afraid to ask the “what if” questions that ultimately lead to real change. Faculty provide students with plenty of support as they teach valuable knowledge for the professional world and beyond. University of Minnesota alumni are known for being skilled and confident in their jobs. Nearly 85% of University of Minnesota students come from the top 25% of their high school classes.
12. University of Washington
The University of Washington’s MPH MPA dual degree lets students earn their degrees within three years. The program covers 90 credit hours, all of which prepare students for an exciting life in public health. The degree culminates in either a capstone project or a thesis, giving students the chance to prove how much they’ve learned. The program also involves an internship, so students can get a head start in their career development. That’s why so many students choose the University of Washington for an MPA MPH dual degree.
The University of Washington isn’t afraid of out of the box thinking. As a matter of fact, teachers here encourage students to pursue problems from new angles. They also make use of the latest technology and techniques in their teaching methods. UW blends academics and research, making sure that students get the best of all worlds. UW was named the number one most innovative public university in the world.
13. Rutgers University
Rutgers University’s dual public health programs empower students to make real, lasting changes that impact the world for the better. In the MPH/MPP program, students get plenty of challenges as they gain leadership skills and learn how to stand up to the status quo. The program is designed to take three years for completion. Students work closely with faculty members to enhance their skills and abilities, which makes it a great place to earn a public health policy degree.
Rutgers University is a dynamic institution of academics and research. At this school, students can make the most of their education while exploring new paths and finding their way to success. Rearsearch from Rutgers has impacted several spheres across the globe. Academics here are challenging and interpersonal. Rutgers is one of the top 25 public universities in the nation.
14. University of Massachusetts
The University of Massachusetts’s School of Public Health Sciences offers a dual Public Health Policy degree program that bestows a Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree at once. The MPH MPP dual degree includes a public health practicum that facilitates a student’s ability to breakdown complex public policies to the public. UMass Amherst’s MPA MPH dual degree program suggests students begin their studies in either an MPH or MPP program prior to enrolling in the dual Public Health Policy degree.
The University of Massachusetts was established in 1863 under the Morrill Land Grant Act. UMass Amherst’s campus covers both urban and suburban acreage and is home to more than 30,000 students studying from 9 colleges and schools. UMass Amherst is a member school of a 5-school consortium that includes UMass, Amherst, Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke, and Smith Colleges.
15. University of Miami
The University of Miami offers an MPA MPH dual degree program that prepares students in policy administration who also want to delve deep into public health knowledge. UM’s joint, pubic health policy degree program requires students to complete 66 credit units to earn both graduate degrees simultaneously. Degree candidates of the MPH MPP dual degree programs often complete the required course load in about 2.5 years. The University of Miami’s MPH MPP dual degree also includes a culminating public health capstone project.
The University of Miami (U of Miami) is a private institution of higher learning that was established in 1925. The University of Miami’s suburban campus is home to nearly 13,000 students studying for degrees offered by UM’s twelve colleges/schools. The University of Miami’s primary campus is located in the famous city of Coral Gables, sits just south of Magic City, aka Miami.
16. New York University
New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service offers an interdisciplinary MPA MPH dual degree program that requires three years (as a full-time student) and 72 credit units to graduate. Coursework for NYU’s public health policy degree program includes Biostatistics for Public health, Global Issues in Behavioral Health, and Environment Health, to name a few. Additionally, the MPH MPP dual degree from NYU also requires advanced capstone projects. Students graduate prepared for careers in public health and/or public administration.
New York University was established in 1831 in the West Village on Manhattan Island. The student enrollment exceeds 51,000, with Nobel Laureate, Turing Award, and Academy Award alumni. US News and World Report recognizes NYU among the top 26 reputation rankings. NYU operates its main campus in Greenwich Village. Its international facilities in Florence, London, and Paris, among eleven other locations.
17. University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh offers a joint public health policy degree program that allows degree candidates to earn an MPA MPH dual degree at the same time. Pitt Public Health’s MPH MPP dual degree program requires a 300-hour internship and the completion of 78 credit units. Additionally, the University of Pittsburgh’s Public Health degree requires degree candidates to submit an advanced research project or thesis that integrates public health knowledge with current domestic or international affairs. Pitt Public Health’s dual degree program has been accredited by the CEPH – the Council on Education for Public Health.
The University of Pittsburgh was established in 1787. The school’s primary campus is in Pittsburgh, with four additional satellite campuses for undergraduate studies nearby. The student enrollment of Pitt exceeds 28,000 students studying from the 17 colleges/schools. The University of Pittsburgh is built upon land considered to be the American Frontier – at that time.
18. George Washington University
The Milken Institute School of Public Health (SPH)and the Elliott School of International Affairs offer George Washington University’s MPH MPP dual degree program in International Affairs which requires degree candidates to complete 85 total credit units to graduate. Full-time students finish the joint public health policy degree program in 36 months. The MPH portion of the MPA MPH dual degree provides students with three specialty tracks – Global Health Policy, Global Health Design Monitoring & Evaluation, and Global Health Epidemiology & Disease Control. GW requires that coursework for both degree programs must be finished within five years after starting the program.
An act of congress chartered the establishment of George Washington University in 1821, one of only five universities bestowed with this honor. The school’s tri-campus in the nation’s capital serves more than 27,000 students studying for degrees offered by 14 colleges/schools. George Washington University’s main campus is situated several blocks from the White House.
Program: MPH/MA in International Affairs
19. University of Missouri
The University of Missouri’s School of Health Professions offers an MPA MPH dual degree program in Public Affairs that can be completed in only three years. Students vying for this joint public health policy degree program must also apply to Mizzou’s Truman School for Public Affairs. The MPH MPP dual degree program requires students to complete a total of 60 credit units. Coursework includes, in part, Principles of Public health, Global Health, Ethics & Public Service, and Collaborative Governance, to name a few.
The University of Missouri was established in 1839 and is a space-grant, land-grant and flagship institution of higher education. The school’s college-town feel campus is home to more than 30,000 students studying for the more than 300-degree programs offered by Mizzou. The University of Missouri holds the distinction of being the first institution of higher learning located west of the Mississippi River and the state’s flagship school.
20. Brown University
The School of Public Health/Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs offers Brown University’s MPA MPH dual degree program that prepares students with the tools to address crucial health care issues domestically and internationally. Brown University’s dual public health policy degree program requires the completion of 21 courses, a graduate thesis paper, and a two-week international policy placement to 3 affiliated programs in India, Brazil, and Sweden to understand policy-making comparatively. The MPH MPP dual degree program offers concentrations in Global Health, Health Behavior, Maternal/Child Health, Epidemiology/Biostatistics, and Environmental Health, among others.
Brown University was established in 1764 and is considered a private Ivy League institution of higher education. Brown University was the first university to accept applicants regardless of religious affiliation. The school’s student enrollment exceeds 10,000. Brown University holds the distinction of being one of the nine colonial colleges founded before the Declaration of Independence.
21. University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina’s Department of Health Services Policy & Management and Department of Political Science offers an MPA MPH dual degree program. Graduates from this dual public health policy degree program offered by USC work in the many levels of government and the private sector like -The Department of Justice and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, among others. Students graduate from the MPH MPP dual degree program with the skills and knowledge, having completed a capstone project and insightful professional experience.
The University of South Carolina was established in 1801 and is a member school of the University of South Carolina System. USC’s main campus is located near the State House in Columbia. USC is home to the principal collection of Ernest Hemingway’s literature and memorabilia. The University of South Carolina operates seven campuses located throughout the state, with a total student enrollment of more than 34,000.
22. Temple University
Temple University offers a Master of Public Health Policy degree program with five dual degree options relating to public health. The dual public health policy degree program offers an MPH MPP dual degree and an MPA MPH dual degree option, among other options. Students graduate prepared with the business and policy skills to manage the ever-growing complex health care industry. These dual degree programs allow students to select a specialty course in Behavioral Science, Environmental Health, Health Policy, Epidemiology, and Applied Biostatistics.
Temple University (Temple) was established in 1884. Temple University’s urban Philadelphia 100+-acre campus is home to more than 40,000 students. According to US News and World Report, Temple University is recognized among the top 50 public universities in the nation. Temple University was initially founded as a private school by Russell Conwell, a Baptist minister. It became public in 1907.
23. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
The Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Fairbanks School of Public Health offers a joint public health policy degree program that offers coursework in health science, life science, social science, and public health, among other topics. This MPA MPH dual degree option in Bioethics requires the completion of 60 credit units (rather than the typical 75 credits required to earn each degree separately). Coursework for this MPH MPP dual degree program includes a capstone project and a placement internship in public health. IUPUI classes cover topics in the areas of public health, health policy, and management, to name a few.
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis is a campus of Indiana University that offers Purdue University degrees as well. IUPUI was established in 1969 and now offers students more than 200-degree opportunities. IUPUI is located near downtown Indianapolis, the fifteenth largest city in the nation, only blocks from Indiana’s state capitol.
Program: MPH/MA in Bioethics
24. University of Illinois Springfield
The University of Illinois at Springfield offers an MPA MPH dual degree program that requires students to complete 70 credit units to graduate. (This saves time and money as it would take 84 credits to earn these degrees separately.) Classes within the curriculum for this MPH MPP dual degree program include Policy Evaluation, Decision making, Public Policy, and Organizational Behavior & Dynamics, to name a few. This joint public health policy degree program requires students to apply to each program separately.
The University of Illinois at Springfield was established in 1969 as a research institution of higher education. The University of Illinois at Springfield’s rural campus is home to more than 5,300 students studying for more than 45 multi-level degree programs. The University of Illinois at Springfield was originally chartered by the state’s General Assembly; it is now a member school of the University of Illinois system.
25. University of Montana
The University of Montana’s Department of Public Administration & Policy offers an MPA MPH dual degree program that mandates that students complete 42 credit units. This dual public health policy degree program’s curriculum includes six core courses from the MPH curriculum and six core courses from the MPA curriculum. This MPH MPP dual degree program includes an applied practical internship and an integrative learning involvement.
The University of Montana was established in 1893 and is considered the flagship campus of the Montana University System. UM’s university-town campus covers more than 200 acres and serves nearly 11,000 students. UM is organized among eleven schools/colleges. The University of Montana was created by an act of Congress, is the second-largest campus within the university system.
Should I Get an MPA or an MPH?
Are you researching MPA vs. MPH, wondering which degree makes the most sense for you? If you’re wondering whether you should get a MPA or MPH degree, you’re not alone! It can be hard to decide which degree makes the most sense for someone who is passionate about public health and shaping public policy. The good news: you don’t have to choose between a MPH or MPA degree. Many programs offer both options. You can work toward getting your public affairs and public health education at the same time.
You don’t have to spend time researching MPA vs. MPH, trying to decide whether MPH or MPA makes the most sense for your career goals. With a dual program, you can learn about both public health and public affairs, working to create a plan to make change in the communities that need it most. You may be able to choose whether you focus on MPA or MPH throughout your program, but you’ll be able to graduate with a degree that shows your knowledge of both fields.
What’s the Difference Between an MPA and an MPP?
Curious about whether you should get an MPA vs MPP degree? While both degrees will allow you to create a lasting effect on the communities you serve, there are some vital differences to consider. A masters of public affairs degree typically focuses on driving the programs that are already in place. People with a MPA degree work to make the programs effective, improving policy that already exists to better serve communities. A masters of public policy degree focuses on creating new policies. This requires assessing the needs of communities and creating policies that serve those needs.
If you’re curious about MPP vs MPA, consider whether you’d enjoy a career in politics. Many people who aren’t sure whether they want MPA vs MPP use this as a focal point to figure out which path makes the most sense for them. When you’re deciding between MPP vs MPA, remember that people with their MPP degree are more likely to need to spend time campaigning, working to get elected to office. People with their MPA degree are more likely to work with those already in office, improving existing policies. Both career paths offer great potential for making change and growth happen. It’s up to you to decide which is a better fit for your personality and career goals.
How Much Can I Make with an MPH and MPA or MPP?
If you’re interested in working in public health and public policy, it’s clear that you care about your community and want to create change. That being said, it’s also important to consider how much money you’ll make in your career. If you’re curious about an MPA vs MPP salary, there are a few things to consider. Many jobs in this field are run by the government, and the salaries are pre-determiend. This means that you should be able to find accurate information for your area with a quick online search for your career goal. MPA vs MPP salary can differ greatly depending on the cost of living in your area.
For people who earn their MPA MPH dual degree salary ranges can range from $44,000 per year (as a program analyst) up to $133,000 per year (public affairs director). Often, people who are interested in increasing their MPA MPH dual degree salary find that they earn more money in the private sector. For-profit companies typically offer higher starting salaries than non-profit companies, and many still offer the opportunity to do work that affects peoplein need. In order to increase your starting offers after you earn your degree, it can be helpful to do unpaid internships over the course of your graduate school education to provide the experience needed to start at a higher salary level.