Resources & Tools for Public Health Students

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Opportunities for Career, Education & Networking Advancement

Starting on a new career can be a challenge without a ready list of resources to help guide you on your way. These helpful tools will ensure that you stay on top of the latest trends, grow your professional network and have access to the latest developments in public health technology.

Education & Skill Development

Your education isn’t over when you receive your diploma. In fact, you may find that you need to brush up on skills and learn new ones throughout your career. This list of free continuing education courses is just a start to the many resources and opportunities out there so you can keep learning.

Chemicals in the Environment: Toxicology and Public Health

This free resource from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is designed by some of the best in the business. The course will teach you about the risks to public safety involving chemicals, long-term effects, environmental remediation and more.

Cultural Diversity, Health Disparities and Public Health

The Public Health Foundation’s TRAIN program is designed to provide self-paced study courses for public health professionals (and the interested public). This course takes into account the vast difference between people within the same geographical location and how best to serve them from a public health perspective.

Environmental Health

This course talks about how public health and the environment are connected. It also covers the ways in which the environment can cause public health concerns, how to mediate these issues and more.

Epidemiology: The Basic Science of Public Health

With an extensive free and public platform, the University of North Carolina is one of the best resources for up-to-date information in the field of public health. This course can help you understand the biology and virology that public health policy and promotion is based on.

Ethical Issues in Public Health

What name is more synonymous with public health than John Hopkins University? Its open coursework platform provides dozens of free online courses, including this class which offers insight into how to balance public health promotion and individuals’ rights to privacy and personal choice.

Ethics and Public Health in an Age of Terrorism

This course evaluates how to plan for and treat terrorist situations, the risk to public safety in terms of attacks on the water or food supply and how to treat victims after an attack.

Evidence-Based Behavioral Practice

This training provided by Northwestern University is an effort by the American Psychological Association, the National Institute of Health and other organizations to teach professionals how to work with communities and individuals to promote better public health. The courses teach people how to share ideas, promote community involvement and even how to better acquire data by getting personal with the “subjects” of a research study.

Evidence-Based Public Health Practice

Provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada, this course gives learners an in-depth approach to the statistical analyses used in public health, how to find data and how to research literature for metadata.

Foundations of Public Health

Available on iTunes, this course provided by the University of California Irvine is a great starting place for anyone who is interested in the field of public health and wants to better understand the fundamentals.

Global Health Issues

This course illustrates a number of threats across the globe, such as HIV/AIDS, infant mortality and common diseases. It is offered through Alison, a platform that provides thousands of free online learning courses to the public.

Introduction to the U.S. Food System

This is a great course for those who are interested in public health safety from the food perspective. In the U.S., obesity and diabetes are the number one threats to public health, making food sources subject to intense scrutiny.

Oral Public Health and Community Service

There are a wide variety of issues concerning public health, and Tuft University has a number of courses that address a plethora of topics. This course provides ways to combine approaches to oral health using community service and generating social awareness.

Plans and Planning: Why Both Matter

As an association involved with the environmental risks to public safety, the NEHA works hard to try and educate public health professionals on how to plan for and alleviate issues caused by the environment. This is especially useful in disaster planning in areas frequented by storms, hurricanes, floods, etc. and planning around all of the possible obstacles associated.

Public Health and Mental Health Promotion

In this course, you can learn how to educate yourself and your coworkers/peers, how to create an environment that can help people with mental illness and how to decrease stigma associated with it.

Public Health Policy and Advocacy

This free online course from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health teaches how to create public health policy that works and how to promote policies that encourage legislators and the public to achieve common goals.

Recognizing an Outbreak

This course is a great introduction into the process that public health professionals work with in order to properly track a disease or safety concern. Offered by the North Carolina Institute for Public Health for free, there are a number of other courses for those interested in public health.

Strengthening the Essential Public Health Functions

Issues that affect public health in developed countries differ greatly from poor, undeveloped countries. The World Bank is attempting to reverse this reality by promoting improved public health services in third world (and developing) countries.

Tobacco and Public Health

Provided by Pan American Health Organization, this course covers one of the greatest risks to public health in depth in this course. It provides a multinational approach and PAHO also offers continuing education for health professionals and resources for students.

Academics & Research

Graduate students in public health will be required to conduct their own research as part of their degree programs, including a thesis for some master’s students, and a dissertation for most all doctoral candidates. This research will require substantial time and effort in personally conducting and collecting data. The websites listed below represent a small sample of the online resources available to help public health grad students in conceptualizing and successfully carrying out their research projects.

Center for Innovative Public Health Research (CiPHR)

CiPHR is a non-profit organization that describes itself as a “public health incubator.” CiPHR focuses on the impact of technology on health and how it can be used to effect health.

Delta Omega Classics

Sponsored by Delta Omega, the Honorary Society in Public Health. This site provides brief descriptions and links to the texts of historically significant public health papers, reports and other documents.


HCUPnet is an online query system allowing access to data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. HCUPnet provides access to health statistics and other information on hospital inpatient and emergency utilization.

Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA)

Operated by the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan. The HMCA preserves and disseminates data collected from research projects funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and facilitates secondary analyses of that data.

National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases – All About Grants: Tutorials and Samples

Sponsored by the National Institute of Health, this site is designed to help grant seekers write applications and manage funding for NIH grants.

PhenX Toolkit

PhenX stands for “consensus measures for phenotypes and exposures.” The PhenX Toolkit is a catalog of recommended standard measures for use in biomedical research. The toolkit is web-based and available for use at no cost.

Public Health Law Research (PHLR)

Based at Temple University, PHLR provides an evidence base for laws that improve public health. Additionally, PHLR funds research and makes research evidence accessible to the public, media and policy-makers.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Research, Evaluation and Learning

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funds research projects primarily in the areas of health and healthcare. This web page offers useful information on foundation programs and research.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Health Services Research & Development Cyberseminars

This site provides access to state-of-the-art training and special interest sessions, both live and archived, specific to health and healthcare issues of veterans.

U.S. National Library of Medicine: Health Services Research Information Central

Clearinghouse of information, statistics and data from the HSR on general and specific issue topics for the health services research community.


Finding that first job in public health can be a challenge. These resources will help you on the hunt as well as provide tips on how to interview or find an internship that could lead to your first paid job in the field.

American Red Cross

If you’re interested in disaster relief and public health in regards to emergency planning and remediation, an internship at the American Red Cross would look great on your resume. This is a competitive, highly coveted internship but worth the work and commitment because you will learn so much from the people involved.

Picking a major or career path can be intimidating, especially when you’re worried about the dreaded “Experience required” statement on all those job listings. This is one of the top ways to learn how to get your foot in the door and provides a lot of great tips. Volunteering in public health initiatives (like Red Cross and others) and attending conferences are just a few ideas.

Centers for Disease Control

What better way to start off your career in public health than interning at the CDC? With a number of internships in areas like epidemiology, minority health and more, you’ll have no problem finding an internship that works for you.

Global Crossroad

Many internships are highly competitive, but international programs have tons of openings and can provide you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Global Crossroad internships are all over the world, and cater to medical and community-oriented work.

This website is hands-down one of the best ways to find internships in your area (or desired location) in the specific field you want. The public health internships can be searched for by location, and you can often apply directly from the site or upload your resume/application so that potential intern-seekers can find you.

National Environmental Health Association

If you’re looking to take care of people and the environment, maybe the NEPH internship program is right for you. This internship is geared towards helping students enter public health positions on a city, county and state level, as well as connecting public health to environmental health.

Public Health Foundation

The Public Health Foundation has a great internship for people who are interested in implementing public health policy. Its Learning Resource Center Marketing and Communications internship helps you learn how to market a public health policy, how to influence public opinion and how to share research findings.

World Health Organization

WHO has become synonymous with worldwide health. If you’re interested in public health on a global scale, applying for the WHO’s internship program can be a great way to experience this field of work anywhere in the world.

Groups & Networking

Your professional network can help you find a job, answer questions you have in your career or provide ways to grow as a professional. When you join professional associations and networking groups, you increase your network worldwide.

  • Associations & Societies

    American Public Health Association

    Whether you’re in a scientific aspect of public health or the marketing and promotion arena, the APHA has a number of benefits for you. Comprehensive resources, continuing education, and access to fellowships and grants all make APHA one of the best associations to join if you’re a public health professional.

    Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology

    APIC provides members with the necessary, up-to-date information that is needed to operate in an infectious disease department. They also offer members other benefits, such as mentoring, webinars and collaboration on projects in a number of different public health sectors.

    Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health

    The voice of accredited schools of public health, the ASPPH’s mission is to strengthen and promote the education, service, research and practice of schools and programs.

    Global Health Workforce Alliance

    This alliance is a group of people and associations who are essentially members of the World Health Organization. Membership requires a commitment to global health and can provide a number of opportunities to people who are serious about public health in many regions of the world.

    International Society for Infectious Diseases

    One of the biggest risks to public health is new (and old) infectious diseases. ISID knows this and encourages professionals to share knowledge, continue their education, publish findings and provides materials on how to manage infectious disease across the world. Members also get grants, support in hospitals and more – all for free.

    National Association of County & City Health Officials

    NACCHO is an organization that provides support to local health departments, which are the “boots on the ground” in public health legislation. When you join this association, you benefit from continuing education, conferences and you can work with affiliates on grants, research and marketing campaigns.

    Public Health Associations (by state)

    Depending on what state you live or work in, you can join the state chapter of the Public Health Association. Joining a local chapter can help you connect with peers in a geographic way and can provide access to more funding that might not be available by national associations.

    Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health

    If you’re interested in the disaster relief and preparation aspect of public health, the SDMPH is a great society to join. Members benefit from access to and ability to publish in the Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness journal, discounts on the annual meeting and more.

    Society for Public Health Education

    As a public health professional, the most important part of any public health policy is obviously educating the public. SOPHE understands this and also understands that professionals need to stay educated as well. This association provides its members discounts on resources and conferences, funding opportunities and access to jobs for professionals.

  • Connections & Networking

    Benedictine University

    From professional associations to alumni groups, Benedictine University’s article on networking tips for public health professionals provides instructions for students as they navigate through school and their early careers.

    Boston University School of Public Health

    Networking is important, especially as a college student and recent graduate. BU offers a recorded workshop to help students create and maintain professional networks.

    Social media is here to stay and it’s also a great way to network with like-minded professionals all over the world. This article, How to Build and Develop Your Network by Using Social Media, offers tips for using social media as a way to network with professionals.

    Cochrane Public Health

    Whether you’re hoping to read up on the latest reviews and publications in the public health field or want to connect with other professionals, the Cochrane group is just the resource for you. You can host public health workshops, submit journal articles for review and contribute to a vast array of materials on the topic.

    Global Health Sciences

    The University of California San Francisco has a wide range of global health science programs, and for alumni they also offer continuing education and support. One program that provides this is its Prevention and Public Health program, which has a number of focuses on global and domestic health, faculty research, and provides a huge amount of tools for individuals who need support.

    Open Society Foundations

    No matter what arena of public health you work in or are interested in, the OSF has a sector for you. Its public health program works with people to promote projects in global health, patient safety, mental health and more. Join the program to help with any initiatives you feel are important.

    Public Health Systems Research Interest Group

    Some of the most important parts of public health are the constant research opportunities to expand the knowledge base of the field. In PHSRIG, individuals submit research ideas, research methodology and findings, and also encourage others to expand on findings to create a better understanding of disease, patient safety, preparedness tactics and more.

    Public Health Foundation

    If you’re a public health professional looking for updated information, ways to monitor new publications or trends, or are seeking to gain new knowledge, PHF has a ton of resource and tools to keep you “in the know.” They also provide a great way to share information with your public health peers.

    Rollins School of Public Health

    Colleges all across the country have networking events for students. Rollins offers three such events on its campus for both students and alumni. If Rollins isn’t your alma mater, find out what your school offers!

Industry News & Scholarship

Staying on top of the latest industry news can be a challenge, especially if you’re in school or working as a professional. These resources provide some of the latest and greatest information in public health.

  • News & Trends

    Environmental Health News

    A nonprofit news organization, this website reviews relevant news stories, opinions and editorials each day to provide a comprehensive resource for environmental health news.

    Harvard Gazette

    Smoking has always posed a risk to public health. Now, with the invention of “e-cigarettes,” the risk has increased. While they say they’re safer, findings indicate that these e-cigarettes have chemicals that can cause lung cancer just as much as original cigarettes.


    This website touts itself as a health news watchdog and it includes reviews of current health news and news releases from a number of industry experts. The mission of the site is to facilitate dialogue by the public about health care and educating the public about current health issues.

    Huffington Post

    The latest go-to resource for news and opinions about a wide range of topics, Huffington Post offers original and curated articles from health care professionals and news agencies around the world.

    Medical News Today

    Headquartered in the UK, MNT also has a large following in the U.S. and across the globe. It provides original content about medicine for both health care professionals and the general public.


    National Public Radio offers a wide range of current news articles and resources about health issues, from policy to public health to new treatments and more.

    Public Health Newswire

    Sponsored by the American Public Health Association, this website includes news from a wide range of health topics including infectious disease, obesity, child health, nutrition and chronic disease. It includes blogs and news pieces from APHA members.


    Find all the latest public health news all in one place, delivered via email or RSS feed. This site has been around since 1995 and is one of the most popular science news websites. It’s updated several times each day.

  • Scholarship & Journals

    American Journal of Public Health

    This journal provides a platform for public health professionals to publish findings in research, share ideas in policy and generally study the effects that health risks cause on the public at large. Topics vary widely but can include effects of gun violence, poverty, infant mortality, disease, patient safety, hospital protocol and more.

    Annual Review of Public Health

    This journal provides reviews (by year) for research provided in any specific scientific field, including public health. The journal topics vary widely but essentially contain the most pertinent information to the past year and help subscribers keep up-to-date on the most important findings.

    Bulletin of the World Health Organization

    Known as one of the globe’s leading public health journals, the Bulletin is published monthly and focuses on the health of developing countries.

    Environmental Research

    This journal contains original reports about the studies of adverse effects of environmental agents on both people and wildlife. It takes a special interest in environmental epidemiology, occupational medicine, pollutants and health, and adverse human health effects.

    European Journal of Public Health

    Published by Oxford University Press, this journal is published six times a year. Its content includes book reviews, policy articles, news and scientific articles in epidemiology, health services research, ethics, health economics and other related areas.

    International Journal of Epidemiology

    Epidemiology is a field that professionals must be constantly learning about, sharing and reviewing. The Oxford Journals have an epidemiology publication that helps professionals do just that and have a wide range of highly-coveted article slots that expose new research, new protocol and new methods in the field.

    The Lancet Global Health

    This journal is dedicated to research, commentary and correspondence on public health issues as they relate to low- and middle-income countries. Topics include infectious disease, mental health, health policy, non-communicable diseases and child health.

    Tobacco Control

    This peer-reviewed journal focuses on the consequence of using tobacco from a worldwide perspective. Articles discuss its effects on general health, the economy, the environment and society in general.

Apps, Tools & Tech in Public Health

Apps and technology resources are the wave of the future. Here you’ll find a list of some of the handiest resources for you and the public with whom you work.

  • Apps for Public Health


    Developed by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, you can enter a recipe into the app and it will calculate the estimated number of calories in each serving. It will also help to develop a new, lower-calorie recipe. It’s available on iOS.

    Can I Eat This?

    Traveling overseas, this app can be used to identify safe and questionable food and drink choices to help travelers avoid Delhi belly, Montezuma’s revenge or travelers’ diarrhea. Available on Android and iOS.

    Flu Near You

    Researchers and the general public can find out where flu-like symptoms are prevalent, and it will let you know if it’s in your area. You can get the latest news, find available vaccines and see what’s trending in influenza.


    This app helps users lose weight by teaching about food nutritional value and labels. You can personalize the settings to meet specific goals or to keep an eye on certain health conditions.

    Health IQ

    This trivia-based app is a fun way to test your health knowledge. It’s available in three levels on iOS.


    Patients can get more information about their medication and check for the lowest price on their prescriptions. They can also identify each pill, should they happen to get mixed up. The app is available on Android and iOS.


    A great resource for health care professionals, this app provides quick answers to a wide range of medical symptoms and questions.

    Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report App

    This app summarizes the MMWR series of publications to provide timely, authoritative and objective information about public health for public health professionals. Available on iOS.

    Public Health News

    Health care professionals can connect with one another and stay updated on current public health news and research. The app is available on Android.

  • Tools & Tech for Public Health

    Chatter Grabber

    This relatively new social media tool was designed to identify potential public health risks by scouring social media posts.


    A cancer alert system and registry provides cancer data management to help provide timely and valuable resources in the fight against cancer. Resources help speed up follow-up care and directly impact patient treatments.


    This compilation of resources allows public health officials to have conversations about mental health, e-cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs in a web forum.

    Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

    “The Pink Book” gives public health workers quick access to immunization schedules and sources. It includes the most up-to-date information on vaccine safety, general recommendations and international vaccines.

    Health Communicator’s Social Media Toolkit

    Provided by the Centers for Disease Control, this downloadable PDF provides a wide range of tools and tips for local public health facilities to get the word out about outbreaks and helpful information.

    Northwest Center for Public Health Practice

    The University of Washington’s list of resources for public health facilities helps identify communication challenges and provides the tools and resources to overcome these.

    Tools to Supplement the Public Health Quality Improvement Encyclopedia

    Continually-expanding, this guide includes tools to help public health organizations improve the quality of care and service they offer.

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