Studying Public Health

History of the training

The history of public health education in Germany is about 25 years old. After a good two years of preliminary work, the German government launched a funding initiative in 1989 with the goal of establishing internationally competitive structures of research and teaching for health sciences and public health at German universities. From the five funded research networks, nine postgraduate, university-based, health science programs with the degree designations MPH ('Master of Public Health') or M.S.P ('Magister Sanitas Publicae') emerged in the years 1989-1995, which qualified according to similar standards, but initially focused strongly on national issues (v. Troschke 2001).

The German Society for Public Health (DGPH) has been involved in quality assurance and quality development of public health education since its foundation. Thus, in the years 1996 - 1999, quality standards for a total of six subject areas were developed and uniformly applied in basic studies. The recommendations aimed at national comparability of the knowledge of graduates of public health courses (Dierks/Koppelin 2004) and included statements on content and the respective minimum scope of learning input. Regular retention studies were conducted, the results of which were used to adjust the study programs (v. Troschke 2007).

By the end of the 1990s, public health had thus established itself in Germany as a university discipline, or more precisely as an academic continuing education program for academics with a wide range of initial qualifications, and in parallel had joined international associations. For example, two of the study sites were involved in the development of the 'European Master's Degrees in Public Health' by ASPHER, which was created in cooperation with the WHO and financially supported by the European Union (DG Sanco).


Dierks ML, Koppelin F (2004): Public Health Ausbildungsprofile und Berufsperspektiven in Deutschland. Freiburg: DKGW. Band 14. 

v. Troschke, J (2001): Wer macht Public Health in Deutschland? Bundesgesundheitsbl 44: 763-770 

v. Troschke, J (2007):Qualitätssicherung und -entwicklung der hochschulischen Aus- und Weiterbildung in der Medizin und den Gesundheitswissenschaften. GMS Z Med Ausbild 24(1):Doc69