Top Programs for Master’s in Public Health in the US

Master’s in Public Health in the US

The Master’s in Public Health in the US is a graduate program whose curriculum covers the major topics that affect public health. This course of study integrates the various approaches that are necessary to effectively solve problems in the public health arena. Students cover scientific topics such as biostatistics and epidemiology. They also receive a grounding in health policy issues, environmental and occupational factors affecting health as well as the social and behavioural aspects of public health. After covering the foundational curriculum, students usually specialise in one of the core areas.

What Is a Master’s in Public Health?

A Master’s in Public Health is a graduate program focused on the study of the ways in which public health can be measured, affected and increased. Public Health is a discipline that examines general population trends in health within particular communities, geographic regions and countries or on a global level. Students learn how to identify the health needs of a specific population and how to effectively design and implement health interventions. The core topics within most US Public Health programs typically consist of:

  • Biostatistics and Epidemiology
  • Environmental Health
  • Child Health
  • Health Education and Communication
  • Public Health Policy

While most programs give all students a broad overview of all of these topics, students at the graduate level will choose one of them for specialisation and will continue to take advanced coursework. For example, the Epidemiology track may include courses such as:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Data Analysis
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Clinical Study Design
  • Chronic Disease Epidemiology

This track focuses on imparting the skills needed to gather and interpret health data, identify trends and provide potential solutions.

The environmental health track may concentrate on the effects of occupational and environmental health factors such as pollution levels, availability of safe drinking water, radiation exposure, hormone exposure and more.

Health education is geared towards identifying areas where promotions and education can improve population outcomes. Students then learn the techniques of effective communication and proper program design.

The public health policy track examines the setting and achievement of particular health goals for communities. Students explore policy design and implementation, as well as the proper use of research data and policy analysis.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Public Health in the US?

US Master’s programs in Public Health offer a comprehensive and rigorous education in the key aspects of public health policy formulation and implementation. Students gain a broad understanding of the various factors that affect public health. They also learn to identify community-specific health problems and the best ways to design solutions.

In addition to substantive knowledge, students gain skills that are both crucial to public health work and are highly transferable to other spheres. Some of the important skills imparted through the Master’s in Public Health include research, data analysis, communication and presentation.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect With a Master’s in Public Health?

Public Health is a specialisation that is relevant in a wide variety of sectors. Obtaining a Master’s degree in this field further increases career options, opening up leadership and senior positions. Potential employers for Master’s in Public Health graduates include:

  • Healthcare centers
  • Research labs
  • Humanitarian aid organisations
  • Community health centers
  • Government health agencies
  • Government environmental agencies
  • Defense and Security departments
  • Social services organisations
  • Universities

Graduates who focus on biostatistics and epidemiology may choose to pursue careers that involve further research. Some may work for the government assessing and preventing bioterrorism threats. Others may design studies for government branches or research centers to measure general health trends. Some other potential careers include:

  • Environmental Scientist
  • Infectious Disease Specialist
  • Child Health Educator
  • Epidemiologist
  • Disaster Preparedness Researcher
  • Hazardous Waste Inspector
  • Healthcare Informatics Specialist
  • NGO Manager
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Occupational Health Specialist
  • Public Health Information Officer

Graduates may also earn further academic degrees. Many go on to enter the education sector of public health, providing education and health outreach to communities through communication with individuals as well as promotional events and materials. Some graduates pursue the political side of public health, working with politicians and officials to promote health and solve problems affecting the community.