Graduate studies in Public Health began in 1910 in North America, when two medical schools gave formal recognition to this budding specialty. The following year, the Harvard University Medical School awarded, for the first time, the degree of doctor of public health, and simultaneously the Medical School of the University of Toronto gave a diploma in public health. Prior to 1911, graduate degrees (mainly MS) in fields related to public health were awarded by a number of universities, with the principal emphasis in the relatively new science of microbiology.
It is interesting to note that the earliest degrees and diplomas in public health were awarded by medical schools, a practice which persists until the present day in two of the 17 institutions accredited for the purpose. The first school of public health was organized at Johns Hopkins University in 1920, and since then other universities have created such autonomous schools