Department of Public Health Programs
The Department of Public Health offers programs that prepare health professionals to practice skillful and evidence-based preventive public health, conduct and communicate research that informs the diverse fields within population and public health, and provide interdisciplinary expertise.
The Traditional Master of Public Health (MPH) program is offered in person on the Abilene and Lubbock campus and will provide you with the breadth of knowledge, subject-specific expertise, specialized skills, and a powerful network you need to create the career you want in public health.
The Online Master in Public Health (MPH) program is offered 100% online and has provided students the opportunity to earn an advanced degree in a flexible learning environment and the option to tailor coursework to personal and professional commitments. The curricular requirements for this program are the same as those for the Traditional MPH program. Additionally, the Online MPH is offered in a 15-month accelerated track. Our Online MPH program will prepare you to take on society’s most urgent public health challenges, no matter where you live.
Public health education often crosses academic boundaries to provide a robust, multi-disciplined graduate experience. The Julia Jones Matthews School of Population and Public Health currently offers three dual degree programs which afford students the opportunity to gain knowledge, skills and perspectives in fields beyond public health. The Master's in Public Health portion in each of the dual degree programs is only offered online.
Working professionals can now advance their public health training with our flexible and convenient Graduate Certificate in Public Health. The certificate is available for students who wish to have an extra credential, but who already possess or may not be ready to pursue a master's degree. Courses can be taken either in-person or online.
New Public Health Positions Expected to Increase
Employment opportunities for graduates with master’s degrees in public health are diverse, challenging and rewarding. We have seen the interest and opportunity in public health explode during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, as the U.S. population ages, the health care industry is expected to grow by 15% and add 2.4 million new jobs by 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Public Health Career Opportunities
Here are just a few public health careers expected to grow in coming years:
Especially after the pandemic, epidemiologists are likely to have even stronger career paths. Epidemiologists investigate patterns and causes of disease and injury in humans. Most epidemiologists have a master’s degree in public health (MPH) or a related field, and some have completed a doctoral degree in epidemiology or medicine.
The average annual wage for epidemiologists is $78,830 as of May 2021, and Texas is ranked in the top 5 states for opportunities in epidiemiology according to the BLS.
Biostatisticians study the effects of treatments and environmental conditions on living things. Most professionals have a master’s or doctorate degree in biostatistics or a related field, such as mathematics or biology.
While the BLS tracks statistics only for those who are mathematicians and statisticians, it does note that the 2021 median salary for statisticians is $96,280/yr. BLS reports that employment of statisticians is projected to grow 33% until 2029.
Environmental Scientists and Specialists
Professionals in this field study environmental hazards that might impact population health. Most candidates looking to work in this field must have at least a bachelor’s degree.
The median annual wage for environmental scientists and specialists was $76,530 in May 2021, according to the BLS. Employment will see a moderate increase until 2029.
Health Educators and Community Health Workers
Health educators educate the population on the best behaviors that promote wellness. They plan and execute strategies to improve the health of individuals and communities. Meanwhile, community health workers collect data and discuss health concerns with members of specific populations or communities.