7 Best Master’s in Public Health Programs in France

France is a beautiful country known for its impressive architecture and gastronomic delights. While it best attracts visitors, the country has also become a favorite destination amongst many students.

With its affordable tuition fees, world-class educational facilities, and strong research orientation, 90% of its students (and graduates) duly recommend France as a worthwhile study destination. With that being said, France serves as an educational haven for those who wish to take a Master’s in Public Health, a degree that can pave the way for a career in education, management, or research.

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Cost of Studying Master’s in Public Health in France

Taking a Master’s in Public Health in France will cost you about $3,120 (EUR 2,770), which is very affordable compared to its neighboring countries.

The cost of living is quite expensive though, especially if you wish to live in Paris. Here, you need to spend about $1,352 to $2,203 (EUR 1,200 to 1,800) a month. Living in areas such as Nice is cheaper, as the monthly cost of living in such regions is between $1,013 to $1,577 (EUR 900 to 1,400).

Requirements to Study MPH

Applicants need to have completed undergraduate studies in public health, epidemiology, or biostatistics to be admitted. In schools such as the Université de Paris, a Master’s degree (M.Sc.) or a first year’s Master’s degree (M1) will be considered for entry to M2 Master’s courses.

The application process can be a little daunting especially for international students. To help you with the process, we’ve compiled a guide on How to Study in France for International Students. If you need help, read the article.

In What Languages Do You Study an MPH in France?

Many French universities teach Public Health degrees in English, which makes schools such as the Université de Paris attractive to foreign applicants.

Some programs are also taught in French, which is the case at the University of Strasbourg.

Universities in France with a Master’s in Public Health Program

1. Ecole des hautes études en santé publique (EHESP)

EHESP is an institution that is solely devoted to molding the world’s leading professionals in the field of public health. While it only has 90 full-time professors, it has a student population of about 1,300.

EHESP’s lecturers come from many reputable institutions, including Columbia University (US), Ryerson University (Canada), and Université Descartes Paris V, to name a few.

One of its flagship programs is the Master of Public Health, which has quite a list of required documents for the application. These include a curriculum vitae, motivation letter, letters of recommendation, and additional reference letters.

The 2-year course covers the core disciplines of public health, which are health policy, epidemiology, social and behavioral science, biostatistics, and environmental/occupational health.

EHESP also offers internships in many prestigious establishments, including the World Health Organization, the Ministry of Health, and several non-government organizations.

2. Université de Paris

The Université de Paris offers an M.Sc. in Public Health unlike any other. After all, its program is geared towards developing students who excel in the field of Comparative Effectiveness Research.

At this university in France with Master’s in Public Health degrees, each class is limited to only 30 students, which allows professors to apply innovative and interactive teaching methods. With a small group, students can concentrate on core subjects such as biostatistics, epidemiology, and research methods, to name a few.

Comparative Effectiveness Research courses cover many disciplines, including the methods in randomized controlled trials, systemic reviews and meta-analysis, and methods in diagnostic tests.

Apart from intensive learning sessions, students also need to complete a five-month internship program. This can be done in French or international public health agencies, research labs, and other related institutions.

3. University of Strasbourg

This program, which is under the Faculty of Medicine, focuses on the two tenets of public health. One is epidemiology, health research, and evaluation, which covers courses in protocol investigation, statistics, clinical research, project management, and meta-analysis, among many others.

Another specialization is the intervention in health promotion, which tackles determinant promotion, health policies, ethics, leadership, management, and health surveillance, to name a few.

Both strands have the fourth semester dedicated entirely to thesis writing.

4. Université Paris-Saclay

The next university in France with a Master’s in Public Health program is the Université Paris-Saclay, and this program covers several areas of public health, such as health economics, biostatistics, genetics, sociology, and clinical research to name a few.

Students are taught 7 courses, including:

  • Methods in Public Health – covers the basic knowledge in planning studies and data analysis for public health/life sciences
  • Methodology of Public Health Interventions – includes health observation, project management, and the evaluation of public health interventions
  • Methodology and Statistics in Biomedical Research – covers clinometry, data management, therapeutic trials, and epidemiology
  • Epidemiological Genetics and Biomarkers – features the basics of genetics, biomarkers, and biostatistics
  • Epidemiological Surveillance of Human and Animal Diseases – deals with descriptive, analytical, and evaluative epidemiology
  • Public Health and Environmental Risks – engages the studies of toxicology, epidemiology, and ecology
  • Public Health Research – intended for specialists who wish to pursue a Ph.D. in public health

5. Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University

Also known as UVSQ, the University is known as one of the best public health educational institutions in France. It was even ranked 11th by the US News Report.

At this French university with MPH programs, students are taught cross-sectional initiation and research methods to help them exceed in the fields of public health.

The M1 course aims to educate both medical and non-medical students about epidemiology, biostatistics, and clinical research. Humanitarian and social approaches to the health sciences are taught as well.

After this preparatory subject, students can specialize in public health interventions. In this class, health education and solutions for the vulnerable population (children, elderly) are emphasized.

Another specialized course is the epidemiological surveillance of human and animal diseases. Courses include infectious disease epidemiology, monitoring and investigating epidemics, and its necessary tools (biostatistics and computer science).

Students are also required to undergo a 30 ECTS internship program.

Since UVSQ is accredited by the University of Paris-Saclay, its graduates will get their diplomas from the latter.

6. University of Paris 13 – Sorbonne Paris Cité

True to its name, the program aims to train researchers and practitioners in the fields of public health, nutrition, and physical activity.

The 2-year degree covers 3 theoretical semesters. The first and second semesters are well-focused on Nutrition courses, while the third semester deals with epidemiology and statistics.

Apart from attending classes, students also need to undergo two internship programs lasting 4 to 8 weeks and 3 to 6 months respectively. They can choose to engage in research at EREN or the University of Montreal in Canada, or experience professional practice at public health societies, city halls, or hospitals.

Because of the wide scope of the study, lecturers for this Public Health program include academicians, physicians, researchers, and health agency professionals.

7. Université de Bordeaux

We end our list of universities in France with a Master’s in Public Health with Université de Bordeaux. This unique Master’s program from this university is a year-long journey towards international research. With this degree at hand, students can capably analyze and interpret public health data.

Noted as an “Initiative of Excellence”, this master’s program covers the necessary bases of public health, including statistics, epidemiology, and informatics. Other courses include electronic health data, digital cohorts, web-based data, omics data, and value creation.

As part of the program, students also need to embark on a 24 ECTS internship program with a research team.

As a selective degree that accepts only 21 students per year, Bordeaux requires its applicants to undergo a screening interview as well.


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