Online Bachelor’s in Public Health: Top Degree Programs for 2016

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Do you have a passion for helping others through science, social services, health care, or policy making? If so, an online public health degree can help you gain valuable skills and knowledge for this diverse field. This guide can help you compare the types of online degrees available as well as potential job options for graduates. Also useful are some guidelines for distance learning success and tools to help you find programs that match your academic and career goals.

Public Health: The Big Picture

Public health professionals use their specialized knowledge to analyze and address health issues and concerns affecting communities, the nation, and regions around the globe. This growing field emphasizes the importance of wellness among the general public, with several branches dedicated to areas ranging from health education to disease prevention to nutrition.

Public health professionals work with national and community leaders to educate the public and medical professionals about various issues, and develop programs or solutions to ameliorate public health problems. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects demand for health educators and community health workers to increase by 21 percent from 2012 through 2022. Additionally, as part of its Healthy 2020 initiative, the federal government has called for an increase in public health experts across the United States.

Online Public Health Degrees: What’s Available?

Completing a degree program can put graduates in a position to serve the general public and apply for jobs in different areas such as public health administration. Educational qualifications vary by specialty. For instance, health educators typically need at least a bachelor’s degree, and many employers also require the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential. For community health workers, some positions require post-secondary education while others provide specialized skills and knowledge through on-the-job training. For these professionals, there are no national certification requirements but individual states may have certification guidelines.

Students can do research to find online public health degrees that support their professional goals and complement their lifestyle. With online programs, students have the option of earning degrees on a full- or part-time basis. For certain hybrid distance learning programs, some coursework is completed on campus or at a medical center.

Online Associate Degrees

This program typically can be completed in two years of full-time study. Students explore the politics behind health issues that affect communities, educational programs, and local and global health services. They learn about ethical standards and professional conduct in this field, and also gain the necessary skills to resolve conflict regarding public health and health care issues. They also complete training in the use of technology to deliver health care services. An associate degree program serves as a foundation and can prepare graduates for entry-level jobs in the field, for example, as a community health worker or social services assistant.

Courses for an online associate degree in public health could include:

  • Health Services Organization

    Introduction to Sociology

    Introduction to Psychology

    Interpersonal Communications

    Leadership and Motivation

Many associate degree programs also include an elective component where the student focuses on a certain specialization, such as education, disease prevention or environmental health.

Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Public Health

A bachelor’s degree can prepare students for a career in public health and related fields, working to help improve the quality of life of individuals and communities. Some degrees can be completed in four years for full-time students. Courses cover key topics, ranging from epidemiology to biostatistics to economics and policy making. Often these programs include a fieldwork component where students can apply the skills and knowledge learned in the classroom. Examples of courses needed to complete a bachelor’s degree include:

  • Maternal and Child Nutrition

    Public Health Preparedness

    Drugs and Society

    Health Education Intervention Methods

    Biology in Public Health Research

Many employers require a bachelor’s degree as the minimum requirement for employment so it’s a good idea to find a program that provides the education and resources needed.

Brigham Young University
  • Enrollment: 37,423
  • Tuition: $3,770
  • College Type: Private
  • State: Idaho
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Science - Public Health Emphasis
Youngstown State University
  • Enrollment: 14,702
  • Tuition: $7,712
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Ohio
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Science - Public Health

Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The master’s in nursing (MSN) is a graduate degree designed for practicing nursing professionals seeking to advance their career, improve their patient care skills, prepare for nursing leadership positions, and make an impact on the next generation of nurses through educational positions. A highly specialized program of study, the MSN may take between two to three years to complete. The average curriculum is divided between generalist nursing courses and the student’s chosen concentration. Read our guide to the online master’s in nursing to learn more about specialization, admissions and today’s best programs.

Online Doctoral Degrees in Public Health

Online doctoral degrees are an option for those who have completed a master’s degree in public health and want to further their studies in order to move in to research or teaching. These programs can prepare students for a leadership role within a health department of an organization or with health service providers, as well as upper-level positions with international agencies. Some can undertake work with private research organizations that create and execute public health initiatives.

Potential coursework for online public health degrees at the doctoral level include:

  • Community and Family Health Issues

    Global Health

    Health Policy and Administration

    Environmental Health

    Biostatistics

Some schools offer a hybrid format where students complete most of their coursework in a virtual classroom setting and then attend campus for one-week intensives or multi-day workshop sessions. These can be an alternative for working professionals who wish to split their time between online and offline learning formats without too many interruptions.

University Of Minnesota
  • Enrollment: 19,870
  • Tuition: $16,416
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Minnesota
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice - Public Health Nursing
University Of Michigan
  • Enrollment: 16,341
  • Tuition: $19,792
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Michigan
  • Md/Master of Public Health (Mph)

Public Health: 2017 Top Online Schools

An online degree in public health serves those who want to find new and innovative ways to help others and impact change in the health care community. Students can choose a degrees in a number of specializations geared toward their dream career. It’s important to research schools before enrolling to ensure your school of choice has the student services, class sizes and pricing that you need. We’ve done some of that research for you, plus looked at the many career opportunities available for those with a degree in public health.

RankUniversity Name Score Net Price Financial aid percent Online Programs Aavailable Student-Teacher RatioGrad RateUniversity Information Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services
1University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Score99.80
Net Price
Financial aid %54%
#Online programs6
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate73%

The School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities was founded in 1944. Today it enrolls 1,654 students at a campus located near Twin-Cities’ major healthcare companies and health organizations. It is a partner with the Minnesota Department of Health and the school offers students services through its Career & Professional Development Center. The Master of Public Health (MPH) program provides students with specialties in biostatistics, community health, environmental health, epidemiology, public health administration & policy, and maternal & child health. Mid-career students can opt for executive degrees if they hold two-three years of public health experience.

Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
2University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Score99.28
Net Price
Financial aid %45%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate89%

The Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill awarded its first degrees in 1940. It currently enrolls 1,545 students in its campus and online degree and certificate programs. Gillings’ Public Health Leadership Program offers four tracks: The Leadership Track – Online and Residential MPH, The Health Care and Prevention Track – Residential MPH, The Occupational Health Nursing Track – Online and Residential MPH, and The Global Online MPH Track (GO MPH). The GO MPH is an online MPH with a focus on leadership, practice and public health designed for working professionals with at least a bachelor degree.

Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
3University of Vermont Score98.23
Net Price
Financial aid %91%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate76%

Located in Burlington, the University of Vermont - College of Medicine has provided educational programs to students, physicians, and scientists for nearly 200 years. Its 42-credit Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program can be completed entirely online. Full Time students can finish the degree in one or two years, while part-time students can take up to five years to graduate. The degree features a culminating, capstone experience project. Core courses include studies in biostatistics, policy organization and funding, epidemiology, environmental public health, and management in health services and medical care.

Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
4East Carolina University Score98.10
Net Price
Financial aid %50%
#Online programs3
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate58%

Founded as a teacher-training school in 1907, East Carolina University today is the third-largest university in the Tar Heel State, serving 28,500 students. Nearly half of its students pursue STEM or health care majors. The university Department of Public Health offers a 45-credit Master of Public Health degree with studies in public health practice, rural health, epidemiology, behavioral sciences, biostatistics, ethics and law. The program is comprised of four semesters and one summer session featuring eight core courses for 24 semester credit hours. Requirements include field sessions and completion of professional paper.

Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
5Northern Arizona University Score98.03
Net Price
Financial aid %66%
#Online programs3
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate49%

Established in Flagstaff in 1899 with 22 students, Northern Arizona University currently offers more than 150 degree programs to over 29,000 online and campus-based students. NAU’s Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences: Public Health is offered online or at the Flagstaff campus. The fieldwork (internship) requirement is for the completion of a location-based specific project in public health for both online and campus students in the major. The internship requires 360 onsite hours. Electives include optional classes in health sciences, indigenous studies, biological sciences, fitness/wellness, statistics, public administration, and social work.

Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
6University of Illinois at Springfield Score97.82
Net Price
Financial aid %93%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate47%

University of Illinois at Springfield was founded in 1969 as Sangamon State University. It currently enrolls 5,428 students to more than 50 degree programs. The university’s School of Public Health offers graduate students online Master of Public Health degrees with a generalist or environmental health concentration. The 48-hour online program is identical to the campus-based degree and requires a 4-hour internship and 20 hours of electives. Admissions are competitive and applicants must hold a 3.0 GPA on their undergraduate degree, and provide transcripts, three recommendation letters, and an MPH academic essay.

Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
7Murray State University Score97.77
Net Price
Financial aid %70%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate54%

Murray State University originally opened as Murray State Normal School in September 1923. It currently offers more than 100 certificate, bachelor's, master’s, and specialist educational programs to over 10,000 students. The Bachelor of Science in Public and Community Health degree program provides students a choice among more than 20 special interest areas, including epidemiology, addiction studies, chronic diseases, health promotion strategies and evaluation, long term healthcare, indigenous populations, and psychology. Three tracks focus on studies in healthcare administration, health education and promotion, and health informatics administration. Students can pursue internship opportunities with regional healthcare facilities, public health organizations, and medical fitness association's.

Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
8University of South Carolina-Columbia Score97.47
Net Price
Financial aid %47%
#Online programs4
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate72%

University of South Carolina-Columbia was founded in 1801 and has grown to serve 33,772 students. The Arnold School of Public Health offers students more than 35 degree and certificate options to its 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Baccalaureate programs include majors in athletic training, public health, and exercise science. More than 10 graduate degree programs least to master’s and doctoral degrees with specializations including epidemiology; health promotion, education, and behavior; environmental health sciences; exercise science; health services policy and management; communication sciences and disorders; and biostatistics. Application requirements vary by program so prospective students should review all appropriate majors.

Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
9Western Kentucky University Score97.31
Net Price
Financial aid %37%
#Online programs4
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate50%

Western Kentucky University, home of the Hilltoppers, was established in 1906 and moved to its home above the city of Bowling Green in 1911. Today, over 20,000 students pursue academic programs at campuses in Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, Glasgow, and Owensboro. The Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree offers concentrations in health education, health care administration, and environmental health science. Graduate students can pursue a Master of Science in Environmental and Occupational Health Science, Master of Public Health (MPH), and Master of Health Administration. The Master of Public Health can be completed online.

Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
10National University Score97.22
Net Price
Financial aid %1%
#Online programs5
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate23%

National University, established in San Diego in 1971, is home to 23,909 students at 14 locations throughout California and Nevada. The School of Health and Human Services offers campus and online undergraduate and graduate public health educational programs. The online Bachelor of Science in Public Health requires completion of 180 quarter units, 65 of which are dedicated to the major. The Master of Public Health (MPH) is available on campus and online. It requires completion of 72 graduate quarter units including core MPH requirements and one specialization. The graduate degree includes a public health internship and capstone project.

Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
11Nova Southeastern University Score97.20
Net Price
Financial aid %94%
#Online programs3
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate42%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
12Oklahoma State University-Main Campus Score96.89
Net Price
Financial aid %73%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate62%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
13University of Alaska Fairbanks Score96.66
Net Price
Financial aid %43%
#Online programs4
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate33%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
14University of California-Berkeley Score96.64
Net Price
Financial aid %53%
#Online programs3
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate91%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
15Mississippi University for Women Score96.56
Net Price
Financial aid %74%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate39%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
16Allen College Score96.40
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate82%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
17University of Alabama at Birmingham Score96.38
Net Price
Financial aid %66%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate48%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
18Canisius College Score96.25
Net Price
Financial aid %99%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate68%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
19Illinois Institute of Technology Score96.07
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate68%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
20University of Arkansas at Little Rock Score95.80
Net Price
Financial aid %50%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate19%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
21Franklin Pierce University Score95.78
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate50%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
22Concordia University-Nebraska Score95.75
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate63%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
23Jacksonville State University Score95.73
Net Price
Financial aid %56%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate29%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
24The University of Montana Score95.69
Net Price
Financial aid %67%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate49%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
25New Mexico State University-Main Campus Score95.68
Net Price
Financial aid %39%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate44%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
26Creighton University Score95.36
Net Price
Financial aid %98%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate75%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
27Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Score95.35
Net Price
Financial aid %57%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate40%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
28University of New England Score95.29
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate58%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
29University of Missouri-Columbia Score95.26
Net Price
Financial aid %62%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate71%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
30Kent State University at Kent Score95.23
Net Price
Financial aid %75%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate52%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
31Oakland University Score95.22
Net Price
Financial aid %76%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate43%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
32Xavier University of Louisiana Score95.18
Net Price
Financial aid %85%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate47%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
33University of Florida Score95.15
Net Price
Financial aid %29%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate85%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
34University of Northern Colorado Score95.09
Net Price
Financial aid %79%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate45%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
35University of South Florida-Main Campus Score94.61
Net Price
Financial aid %73%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate57%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
36Michigan State University Score94.53
Net Price
Financial aid %44%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate79%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
37Concord University Score94.51
Net Price
Financial aid %52%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate38%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
38University of North Carolina at Greensboro Score94.49
Net Price
Financial aid %49%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate54%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
39University of Memphis Score94.45
Net Price
Financial aid %40%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate40%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
40University of Massachusetts-Amherst Score94.43
Net Price
Financial aid %60%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate70%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
41West Virginia University Score94.42
Net Price
Financial aid %57%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate56%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
42Benedictine University Score94.41
Net Price
Financial aid %95%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate53%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less

Online Public Health Degree Search Tool

Given its interdisciplinary nature, it’s no wonder so many students are attracted to online programs in public health. Graduates of this field have a spectrum of job opportunities available to them, making it attractive to students with varied backgrounds. After selecting a level of degree and area of concentration, students can use the search tool below to find programs not only offering academic excellence, but also meeting other important needs such as proper accreditation, faculty credentials, scheduling options, and internships or field experience.

Degree Level:
Tuition:
Student Population:
School Type:
see map

What Makes an Online PH Program Great?

Many online public health degree programs offer options for the busy working professional. Students should verify that they are enrolling in a program from an accredited school and making an investment that can pay off professionally in the long run. Take some time to compare the curriculum of different programs, prerequisite requirements, and internship or field study options available in order to make the most informed decision.

Here are some things to look for when researching distance programs in public health:

Accreditation

It’s important to make sure the online degree program is offered by an accredited college or university. Students can check the U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs to find out if the school meets acceptable levels of quality. Completing a degree program from an accredited school can make a graduate more attractive to potential employers and also ensures that students receive a quality education.

Faculty Credentials

Learn about faculty members teaching various classes to determine whether they include public health administrators, researchers and other professionals in the industry. These individuals can provide students with feedback, insights, and guidance throughout the program. Some may also be able to point a student in the right direction when they are searching for a mentor or job opportunities.

Scheduling Options

Students with family or work obligations that may prevent them from completing a degree program on campus can look for online and distance education programs. Having the freedom to organize a personalized schedule while completing a degree is one of the perks of online degree programs. Students need to determine whether there are any campus-based requirements with online public health degrees at the school they are interested in or special project requirements that would interfere with their schedule.

Curriculum

The core curriculum for associate and bachelor’s degree programs in public health studies is somewhat similar across schools. Electives and advanced courses at the master’s degree and doctoral level differ significantly, depending on the type of school and department that offers the program. It’s helpful to compare the course requirements to make sure schools offer a well-rounded education and cover current public health topics that could be of use throughout professional careers.

Internship Opportunities or Field Experience

Some schools have an internship requirement before graduation or may offer field study opportunities throughout the term. These can provide vital skills and experiences for students interested in a career in public health administration, health services, and health education.

Career Placement Assistance

Students may be able to take advantage of a career placement assistance program — especially when looking for a job out of state or entering a specialized field. Determining whether the school can assist with career placement right before or after graduation can help prospective students pick a program that meets their needs.

Student Services and Other Resources

Many schools that also offer campus-based courses extend student services and resources to online students. This means a student may have access to libraries, research centers, special events, seminars and workshops to supplement their educational experience. Even having virtual access to a library or resources can help a student throughout their educational career.

Spotlights Schools Offering Online Public Health Degrees and Programs

Northern Arizona University

An online bachelor’s degree in health sciences with a concentration in public health is available from NAU. Students can learn about health promotion and disease prevention by covering a variety of topics related to current issues, environmental health, injury prevention, and disease. They can also develop skills in areas such as legal and ethical codes of conduct, communication and professional practice.

This program also includes a supervised fieldwork experience component where students work on projects in a professional health promotion setting. Students must complete 270 clock hours at an internship site to fulfill the degree requirement.

University of North Texas Health Science Center

The Master of Public Health Professional degree program includes health policy and management courses, with a focus on developing leadership skills for a management position in this field. This is a 42-credit program and students are admitted year round. Coursework may include, Introduction to Health Management and Policy, Principles of Biostatistics, and Theoretical Foundations of Individual and Community Health. Degree requirements also include practical experience and a culminating capstone project.

Tips for Success

Online public health degree programs are designed for students with busy lifestyles and can be a viable way to earn an education while working toward professional goals. Distance learning makes it easier to study at home or from work while keeping up with course requirements. Still, students need to be self-disciplined with their time and feel comfortable working in a virtual classroom setting. Here are some tips for success that public health distance learners can keep in mind:

  • Stay Organized

    Students are expected to review a variety of course materials throughout the term and may need to log a certain number of posts in discussion forums each week, participate in lectures or attend webinars. Time management skills are essential to stay on schedule with assignments and other study obligations by plotting a calendar and making room for personal obligations.

  • Search for Local Work Projects

    Many online degree programs have a work experience or internship component, and students need to clock in a certain number of hours in a professional setting in order to graduate. You can take the lead on searching for companies, public health service organizations and similar agencies in the area that may be looking for students or graduates to join their team. These opportunities can provide crucial work experience and introduce students to industry professionals as they begin their career.

  • Explore Other Learning Opportunities

    If the school has a campus, you can seek out opportunities to connect with faculty members, other students and industry professionals that may be visiting the campus from time to time. Some schools host lectures, workshops and other events related to the public health field throughout the semester. Planning ahead can make it easier to participate in these events.

  • Find a Mentor

    Those working at the graduate or doctoral level can find a mentor or someone who works in the field to provide guidance or support. Some schools may assist you in this area by assigning a guidance counselor as you progress through the program. This can be an invaluable resource regardless of your level of study.

  • Explore Professional Organizations

    Students can learn more about the industry, career options and professional growth opportunities by researching organizations and nonprofits such as the American Public Health Association (APHA), Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPHH), Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and the This is Public Health website.

10 Jobs for Public Health Grads

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that approximately 100,000 health educators, community health workers, and epidemiologists work in public settings. Graduates may end up working for a government agency such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), with state and local public health departments, or even in academia. Here are some job options for public health graduates:

  • Health Services Manager

    Director in charge of a health services department who oversees all administrative functions of the facility. Such a manager may be directly involved with hiring and firing employees, cost and accounting activities, and compliance activities.

  • Nutritionist

    If you have a passion for nutrition and food science, explore a career as a nutritionist where you can help clients maintain a healthy diet and prevent certain types of diseases by promoting sound nutrition choices.

  • Health Department Administrator

    This leadership position involves managing day-to-day activities at a facility and requires strong skills in decision-making, budgeting and personnel management. Administrators may be responsible for strategic planning and developing an internal leadership team to support these efforts.

  • HIV Specialists

    Work with people that have been infected or diagnosed with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Openings are possible in a hospital or in a private clinic setting. These specialists need to earn a medical degree in conjunction with a public health degree to enter this field.

  • Public Health Administrator

    Work in a public office or in the private sector to supervise departments, advise clients and educate groups about health care prevention. Administrators may hire staff members, manage a budget and make important decisions that affect the organization as a whole.

  • Public Health Lawyer

    If you want to work on the political side of public health, law school may be necessary. You could serve as a public health attorney to draft policies that improve general health or serve as an advocate for patients’ rights.

  • Health Communications Specialist

    If you enjoy doing presentations and talking to others, you can specialize in sharing information about healthy lifestyle choices, wellness and disease prevention with the media and community.

  • Public Health Engineer

    Your job is to create a safe and healthy work environment for employees in a certain setting. You may be responsible for making sure that certain types of machinery are working properly or develop solutions that solve problems that are affecting the employees’ work environment.

  • Public Health Information Officer

    These officers are in charge of sharing information about disease prevention and major health issues with the public. Most are employed by hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations to communicate regarding major health issues and concerns in a timely manner.

  • Epidemiologist

    These highly trained specialists are in charge of identifying and analyzing public health issues. Most epidemiologists work in a lab setting but some also do field research to develop theories and conclusions about illnesses and diseases affecting the community.