Announcing New Master’s in Public Health

Several years before the COVID-19 pandemic captured global attention, Gordon had begun the process of adding a degree program that would equip students to tackle such an event. Today, the College announces the launch of a Master of Public Health (MPH) program, which will welcome its first cohort of students in the fall of 2022. 

Led by epidemiologist Dr. Heather Sipsma, a graduate of Johns Hopkins and Yale, the MPH program will explore the full depth and breadth of public health with a Christian worldview. Students will engage in 18 months of top-quality online courses, in-person weekends, thoughtful seminar series and hands-on practicum experiences.

“The fundamental aim of public health is to improve the health and well-being of communities around the world,” explains Sipsma. “In contrast to clinical medicine, which focuses on the treatment of one patient at a time, public health leverages theories and practice to positively impact populations or groups of people. Thus, these approaches have far-reaching effects to prevent disease and improve quality of life.”

Graduates of the program may go on to lead health promotion efforts, study disease trends, identify policies to promote health equity or manage health systems to facilitate access to care. 

MPH’s eight-week courses will cover topics like health policy, using data to drive public health, and the social and behavioral determinants of health. Students will shape a sharp scientific perspective while benefitting from faith-based interdisciplinary learning that prepares them to work well across fields, disciplines and sectors. For example, students will learn to consider not only how a clinical encounter may impact health, but also how an economic recession, lack of housing, public policy and transportation may impact the health of a community.

The master’s in public health at Gordon offers concentrations in epidemiology as well as health policy and management—both of which are among the fastest growing sectors of public health and associated with some of the highest paying job opportunities for graduates. The epidemiology concentration will focus on investigating patterns of disease and injury within populations. Students in the health policy and management concentration will learn how to develop, analyze and advocate for health policies that strengthen communities in the United States and around the world. All students will also complete a practicum and an integrative learning experience, which build key skills for real-world public health practice.

While primarily an online degree, the MPH program will include two on-campus weekend experiences for intensive workshops, networking and community-building. Students benefit from Gordon’s proximity to Boston, a global hub for healthcare and home to a wide array of opportunities for public health degree careers. The city houses top institutions such as Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, as well as many global health organizations.

Students applying to the MPH program may represent a variety of undergraduate majors such as sociology, biology, international studies, pre-med, public policy, social work, kinesiology and education. Graduates will be prepared to meet today’s most pressing public health challenges in diverse settings including nonprofit organizations, state and local health departments, state and local government, federal agencies, healthcare organizations, health insurance companies, higher education, for-profit companies, and public health and healthcare consulting firms.