There is a recognized need to improve training in public health in India. Currently, several Indian institutions and universities offer the Master of Public Health (MPH) programme. However, in the absence of any formal body or council for regulating public health education in the country, there is limited information available on these programmes. This scoping review was therefore undertaken to review the current status of MPH programmes in India. Information on MPH programmes was obtained using a two-step process. First, a list of all institutions offering MPH programmes in India was compiled by use of an internet and literature search. Second, detailed information on each programme was collected via an internet and literature search and through direct contact with the institutions and recognized experts in public health education. Between 1997 and 2016-2017, the number of institutions offering MPH programmes increased from 2 to 44. The eligibility criteria for the MPH programmes are variable. All programmes include some field experience. The ratio of faculty number to students enrolled ranged from 1:0.1 to 1:42. In the 2016-2017 academic year, 1190 places were being offered on MPH programmes but only 704 students were enrolled. MPH programmes being offered in India have witnessed a rapid expansion in the past two decades. This growth in supply of public health graduates is not yet matched by an increased demand. Despite the recognized need to strengthen the public health workforce in India, there is no clearly defined career pathway for MPH graduates in the national public health infrastructure. Institutions and public health bodies must collaborate to design and deliver MPH programmes to overcome the shortage of public health professionals, such that the development goals for India might be met.
Keywords: India; MPH; Master of Public Health; public health; public health courses; public health education; public health professional.