The need for public health workers has been evident this year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In fall 2021, Biola University’s School of Science, Technology and Health will launch a new Master of Public Health (MPH) program to help meet this need. With concentrations in global health and epidemiology, students will have multiple career path options in addition to the option of completing both their undergraduate and master’s degree in five years.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the integral role public health plays in the success of healthcare,” said Dr. Don Galbadage, associate professor of public health. “As healthcare workers in our nation continue to address populations' health needs, there is an increased need for dedicated and competent public health professionals.”

Beyond its goal to fulfill the need for healthcare workers, Biola’s new program hopes to produce “health agents of change,” according to Galbadage. With the ability to graduate in as little as one and a half years, students will learn how to best serve people locally and globally through sound education, cross-disciplinary collaborations and partnerships with various public health organizations.

“Our MPH program has an emphasis on global health and epidemiology,” said Galbadage. “This will help equip Biola students with the public health education and the analytical tools they need to bring change to the health and lives of people and their communities, and improve the standard of healthcare to populations worldwide.”

To better prepare for careers in public health, students will have opportunities to engage in integrative experiences, community-based practicums, internships in local public health organizations and clinically-oriented research opportunities with Biola faculty.

Epidemiology specialization will prepare students to work in public health services as practitioners, researchers, administrators and consultants. Students will be prepared for careers at organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“We have made it our program mission to equip students to be public health agents of change,” said Galbadage.

Prior to graduating, MPH students will complete a cumulative graduate project that integrates competencies and knowledge gained throughout the program.

“The mission of the Master of Public Health (MPH) program is to provide rigorous academic and practical experiences to equip public health agents of change dedicated to improving population health, establish preventative measures, and promote health equality, with careers in government health agencies, healthcare systems, and nonprofit organizations,” said Galbadage.

There is a minimum requirement to graduate of 42 credits and the option for students to take a summer course in order to graduate in less than two years. The program will typically take two years to complete. Biola will also offer a B.S. in Public Health and MPH dual degree, to pair with its current undergraduate public health program. The dual degree will be a three plus two-year program with a combined 145 credit unit requirement to graduate.

Consistent with Biola’s mission, a biblically centered public health education will cultivate a deeper servant’s heart among Biola students and prepare them to be leaders in the healthcare field, promoting health and positively influencing health policy.

“We believe that Biola’s mission and the need for Christian ethical leaders in the healthcare field make this the best time to launch our MPH program,” said Galbadage.

The new program has been approved by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Biola is also working toward having the program accredited through the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

Learn more about Biola’s Master of Public Health program.

Biola is currently accepting applications for the new Master of Public Health program for fall 2021.

Written by Sarah Dougher, media relations assistant. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, assistant director of media relations and strategic communications, at