The University of Providence’s Infection Prevention and Epidemiology (MSI) program has been called a “one of a kind” program – in part for its specialized focus on infection prevention as opposed to public health and epidemiology and in part because of its continued persistence in producing field ready graduates who are ready and able to perform in a rapidly growing and changing healthcare landscape.
While there are various paths to entering the infection prevention field, including public health, academic and professional certificates, and certifications through different national agencies, completing a graduate program can help set you apart from the competition. Continue reading to learn more about the discipline’s different education levels, degree paths, and program distinctions.
What is the difference between a Master of Science in Infection Prevention & Epidemiology and an academic or professional infection prevention or epidemiology certificate?
Someone can become certified to practice infection prevention in several different ways. Certification programs offer a series of courses geared specifically toward infection prevention practices. These programs usually cost less and require, on average, less time to complete. A Master’s program like UPs gives a broader understanding of infection prevention practices. Although it does take longer, UPs MSI program pairs foundational scientific understanding and evidence-based practice into one program. Graduates from our program leave well-rounded and ready to assume positions in the field.
Do employers prefer candidates to hold a certificate or a graduate degree?
The difference in hiring outcomes between a certificate and a degree holder can be seen when looking at hiring practices in the field. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that when hiring in infection prevention, companies look for a master’s degree versus a professional or academic certificate. However, this often depends on the hiring institution and the job’s requirements. Combining a master’s degree and a certificate can help set clients apart from those who have one or the other.
What is the difference between our MSI program and a master’s in public health?
The MSI program gives students a scientific grounding they may not get in a Masters of Public Health (MPH) program. MPH degrees do offer a comprehensive understanding of the surveillance component in disease prevention. However, they don’t always provide a thorough understanding of the scientific application of how to prevent the spread of infection in a particular site or region. When examining what students are looking for in a degree program, they often seek programs that emphasize and value scientific grounding. Students want the foundations of the discipline so they can understand the development of infection-prevention tests and their real-world application.
Explore our Master of Science in Infection Prevention & Epidemiology program to learn more about the skills you’ll learn, courses you’ll take, and requirements for admission.
**INFORMATION FOR THIS ARTICLE WAS SOURCED FROM AN INTERVIEW WITH THE FORMER MASTER OF SCIENCE IN INFECTION PREVENTION AND EPIDEMIOLOGY PROGRAM DIRECTOR, DIANE LUND.**