The leadership role Tulane University of Louisiana in New Orleans holds in public health education befits the school’s origins: it was founded as a medical college in 1834 in response to a yellow fever epidemic. Nearly 200 years later, Tulane is one of the preeminent research universities in the United States. It’s also home to the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (or Tulane SPHTM), which has trained public health leaders for more than a century.
The master’s in public health programs at Tulane University are among the nation’s best, ranking thirteenth in U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best public health graduate schools. An independent study conducted by Harris Search Associates designated Tulane’s program among the nation’s top programs training public health leaders. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching ranks Tulane an R1 school for the high-level research it undertakes.
The Master’s in Public Health (MPH) is only one of the many public health degrees offered at Tulane. The university has several degree programs—offered both on-campus and in a distance-learning format—to prepare students for leadership careers in this discipline. Each covers the five core areas of public health: epidemiology, behavioral science, environmental health, biostatistics, and management. Students can also choose from among various public health concentrations (more on this below). Consequently, earning a degree from Tulane can prepare you for careers in the private sector, nonprofit organizations, and local, state, federal, and international agencies.
In this guide to the masters in public health at Tulane, we cover:
Students in the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine:
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that there are more than 170 public health job categories, and a Master of Public Health prepares students for employment in all of them. This degree can open doors to excellent career opportunities in the private and public sectors. (
An MPH in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Health Services Administration, or Health Policy and Management will provide a much more marketable set of skills and help you qualify for some of the highest-paying public health jobs. One of the best things you can do to maximize your earning potential after graduating with an MPH is to enroll in a program that has strong post-graduation job placement rates and high alumni salaries. If you don’t see either of these metrics on a school’s website, reach out to the admissions office directly to ask for more information. ( )
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Tulane students can pursue both professional public health degrees and academic public health degrees in a total of 16 programs offered through six departments:
In addition to its highly respected on-campus MPH and MSPH programs, the Tulane SPHTM also offers a number of online MPH degree options, including an:
Because public health is such a broad topic, Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine doesn’t offer any generalist master’s in public health degrees. Instead, all students choose from among the following concentrations:
In 2019, SPHTM updated its core on-campus and online Master of Public Health curriculum to reflect the fact that public health is an interdisciplinary field with a range of practical applications. The 15-credit Foundational Curriculum at Tulane is a sequence of five rigorous courses taken by students in the first year of the program:
These courses “provide fundamental knowledge and skills for all public health disciplines” and are designed to be applicable in all areas of professional public health practice.
Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine can participate in a variety of volunteer activities, technical research programs, population-based research programs, independent research opportunities, internships, and public health-focused study abroad programs. Frequent events, lectures, and other public health happenings take place on campus and around New Orleans. The city is home to the Louisiana Cancer Research Center, Ochsner, and multiple hospital systems where graduate students can shadow public health professionals, participate in research, and get valuable hands-on experience. There are also clubs and student-run organizations for graduate students and undergraduate students studying public health, and summer, semester, and year-long study abroad opportunities. All the above resources help students build their professional networks and prepare them for successful careers.
Didi Ikeji, a student in SPHTM’s combined 4+1 BSPH/MPH program, shared about how she benefited from these opportunities on the Tulane University Admissions Blog:
“I joined a club through Newcomb Institute called Women in Science. Every year the club hosts a panel where female doctors in the community are invited to come speak to club members and answer questions. After the meeting, I became really interested in the work one of the doctors was doing; a senior club member was working with the doctor at the time and gave me her contact information and invited me to come see her work firsthand at Ochsner. Starting that semester, I began shadowing the doctor and have worked summer internships through Ochsner two years in a row. I am now writing my thesis based on the clinic I work in, and it all began from a club I joined freshman year!”
Tulane University is not inexpensive; you won’t find it on lists of the most affordable public health schools. That said, Master of Public Health students at Tulane pay less than students in many of the other top U.S. News & World Report-ranked public health programs. Tuition per credit hour for both in-state students and out-of-state students is $1,422 plus fees, and students have access to federal financial aid, work-study assistance, and student loans. There are also several partial need-based and merit-based master’s scholarships available each semester through endowments, Dean’s Grants, and department resources, as well as paid assistantships and professional opportunities.
There’s a lot going on in Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. The school’s Office of Global Health creates new educational and research opportunities for students and faculty. Currently, faculty research subjects include a virome database of marine mammals to monitor emerging infectious diseases, contraceptive use in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the impact of climate change on the indigenous United Houma Nation.
Tulane is home to research centers like the Tulane Center for Lifespan Epidemiology Research (CLER), Tulane Global Research Data Center (GRDC), Tulane Hypertension and Renal Center of Excellence, and Tulane Obesity Research Center (TUORC). It also is a part of several inter-school research centers, including the:
Clearly, there are many compelling reasons to choose Tulane if you’re passionate about public health and global community health. The most compelling reason, however, may be the school’s vast network. SPHTM’s 98 percent career placement rate likely results from the many opportunities students get to hone their skills in real-world and interdisciplinary academic settings.
“I’m very glad I chose to go here,” wrote one commenter in a Reddit thread about Tulane’s MPH program. “One of Tulane’s best attributes is the connections you’ll have if you play your cards right. We have some very high-powered faculty in all the departments who can help you land a prestigious practicum and a job when you’re done.”
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