Capella University Launches New Public Health Master’s Online Degree

August 9, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS, August 9, 2007 – Capella University (, an accredited,* online university based in Minneapolis, has announced a new Master of Science in Public Health degree program in its School of Human Services. Within this online degree program, two specializations are being offered, Health Management and Policy, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Capella also announced a new health care-focused specialization, Health Information Management, as part of its Master of Science in Information Technology program in the School of Business and Technology.
 Capella’s new MS in Public Health program is designed to meet the growing need for public health workers, a field in danger of losing a substantial percentage of its work force to retirement. A 2004 report by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the Council of State Governments (CSG), predicted public health retirement rates as high as 45 percent over the succeeding five years and noted public health vacancy rates of up to 20 percent in some states.  

The ASTHO/CSG report concluded that “the most difficult challenge state and local public health agencies face in developing the capacity to respond to terrorist events, emerging infectious diseases, and other public health threats and emergencies is assuring a qualified work force is available to carry out these functions.” 

The development of Capella’s MS in Public Health online degree program was led by Suzanne Holmes, health care faculty chair at Capella, who brings more than 20 years experience in health education, consulting, and administration, including work with the World Health Organization. Health information is also a field with a growing need for qualified workers, according to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Citing the growing use of electronic health records, AHIMA’s 2006 health information work force report concluded that “while the need for a health information specialist work force is growing, the number of trained professionals is not keeping pace.” 

The curriculum for Capella’s MS in Information Technology, Health Information Management specialization follows the AHIMA model curriculum and the approval criteria of the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information (CAHIIM). The new specialization, along with Capella’s Bachelor of Science specialization in Health Informatics, also provides a career education ladder in the health information field. Capella has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. According to the CAEIAE Web site, an educational institution that applies for and receives the designation “must pass a rigorous review demonstrating its commitment to academic excellence in information assurance education.” 

Capella is now accepting enrollment applications for its MS in Public Health, Health Management and Policy, and Social and Behavioral Sciences specializations, as well as its MS-IT, Health Information Management specialization. For more information, please call 1-888-CAPELLA (227-3552), option 3, or e-mail  

Review of the MS in Public Health program is pending in AZ, FL, GA, KY, SC, and WA. Review of the Health Information Management specialization is pending in AL, AR, AZ, FL, GA, KY, OH, SC, and WA.

About Capella University
Founded in 1993, Capella University is an accredited,* online university that offers graduate degree programs in business, information technology, education, health, human services, public safety, and psychology, and bachelor’s degree programs in business, information technology, health, and public safety. Within those areas, Capella offers 101 graduate and undergraduate specializations and 15 certificate programs. The online university currently serves nearly 20,000 students from all 50 states and 56 countries. It is committed to providing high-caliber academic excellence and pursuing balanced business growth. Capella University is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capella Education Company (NASDAQ: CPLA), headquartered in Minneapolis. For more information, please visit or call 1-888-CAPELLA (227-3552). *Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), University, 225 South Sixth Street, Ninth Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402, 1-888-CAPELLA (227-3552),  

Learn more about earning an online degree at Capella University: online education (, online college (, distance learning (, online university (, online learning (


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