By Hanako Justice and Hanna Knowles
Oregon State’s Master of Public Health program will prepare you to create a meaningful difference in population health.
As a master of public health student, you’ll collaborate with faculty who have a strong background in practice-based public health and conduct interdisciplinary research — meaning you’ll be well prepared for your future career.
Here are six reasons to pursue you MPH degree with Oregon State. You’ll also find thoughts from current students and alumni on why they think OSU is the best choice for an MPH.
1: You’ll be supported by your cohort and approachable faculty.
Class sizes are purposely kept small so you’ll have a personal experience. The average number of incoming MPH students per cohort is 60 students, with 20-25% of those taking courses online.
When you enter our program, you’ll be assigned a faculty advisor who is invested in your success.
This setup makes it possible for you to build lifelong connections.
“I chose OSU for various reasons, none of which were more important than the fact that the MPH program here is a small program that gives ample opportunities to interact with and learn not only from our peers, but also our faculty members.
“For the first time in my college experience, I feel as though I have instructors who are truly accessible and willing to aid in my development as a public health professional and individual.”Drew Doctor, MPH-Epidemiology, ’21, Oregon Health Authority
2: You’ll get a personalized MPH education to complete at your own pace.
Most students complete the MPH program in two years, although you can opt for part-time coursework and have up to seven years to complete the program.
You can personalize your education by selecting elective courses, which can be any grad-level course outside of your concentration and in other colleges at Oregon State University (College of Business, College of Science, etc.).
Your faculty advisor will help you choose your electives, and you’re encouraged to build an area of focus with these elective credits.
“I chose OSU because I was really drawn to the interdisciplinary emphasis of the program. I wanted to have the freedom to tailor my coursework to my career goals, and OSU’s MPH was the program with the most freedom in electives.”Rachel Culp, MPH-Health Promotion Health Behavior
3: The Oregon State MPH program has an interdisciplinary approach.
Public health is an interdisciplinary degree with many opportunities for collaboration with prominent faculty and other disciplines.
We offer seven on-campus options, as well as an online MPH degree, which is asynchronous and a great option if you work full-time.
The online MPH-Public Health Practice is a generalist and holistic degree, and was recently rated as one of the top 10 online MPH programs by Fortune.
On-campus options are more specialized, and you can choose from biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental and occupational health, global health, health systems and policy, health promotion and health behavior, and physical activity.
“If you’re interested in topics such as climate change, politics and social justice, infectious diseases, maternal health and more, getting an MPH is a solid choice. The MPH program at OSU has a variety of disciplines and courses for everyone.”Maddie Kasimanickam, MPH-Global Health, ’22
Pursuing PhD in Public Health–Global Health at OSU
4: Through your internship and future career, you’ll make a real impact in the lives of others and create a healthier world.
Oregon State MPH students complete 200 internship hours, which allows you to apply knowledge and gain real-world experience.
Some students choose to go abroad, while others stay closer to home. We have existing partnerships across Oregon, the United States and globe, and if you find an internship we aren’t already partnered with, our internship coordinator can help set it up.
“You’ve never had polio, your toilet runs into a sewer system and not the street, and there’s no longer lead in your gasoline. Thank public health. Aside from the infinitely increasing career opportunities, public health advocates are often the heroes of our community and make the world a better place to live. Why not join their ranks?”Maya Casper, MPH-Health Promotion Health Behavior
“I was hesitant to jump into an MPH program because I didn’t know exactly what job I wanted after graduating, and I was worried that public health may not be the perfect fit for me.
“Those concerns quickly vanished after starting my coursework. I encourage anyone who is interested in working on making communities, or the world, a better place to live in, to consider pursuing an MPH.”Conor Foley, MPH-Health Promotion Health Behavior, ’21
Chronic disease prevention program coordinator at Marion County Health Department
5: You’ll benefit from a prestigious, CEPH-accredited program.
Accreditation matters. It means our MPH programs have been evaluated by the Council on Education for Public Health and determined to meet standards established by the public health profession.
Accreditation ensures you receive a quality public health education and have the required skills to enter your chosen field.
By attending an accredited school, you enhance your employment opportunities, because some employers require positions be filled by graduates of CEPH-accredited institutions.
“I wanted an accredited program with a great reputation, which was close by, so that I could be involved in the academic community even though I took courses online. The OSU program had everything I needed, and I still got to take advantage of the academic community in person as work allowed.”Dani Crabtree, Online MPH-Public Health Practice, ’22
Tobacco prevention coordinator at Linn County Public Health
6: Live and thrive in an incredible college town.
In Corvallis, Oregon, consistently rated a top college town, there is everything you need within a five-to-10-minute drive. And buses are free in Corvallis!
Some favorites in town include a rock-climbing gym that offers BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and women-only climbing nights, a thriving farmers market and more than 60 miles of multi-use trails.
You’ll also be within an hour drive of Newport beach, 1.5 hours from Portland and 2.5 hours from Bend.“I enjoyed the fact the Corvallis is a smaller town than Seattle, as well as how friendly people in the community are. It is also a great bonus to have so many great breweries and restarants in town, as well as being so close to the Oregon Coast and other outdoor recreational areas.”
“I enjoyed the fact the Corvallis is a smaller town than Seattle, as well as how friendly people in the community are. It is also a great bonus to have so many great breweries and restaurants in town, as well as being so close to the Oregon Coast and other outdoor recreational areas.”Lindsey Richmond, MPH-Epidemiology, ’22
Starting school in veterinary medicine to become a public health veterinarian