In the U.S., anyone with a credited bachelor’s degree can pursue a master of public health (MPH) or an MSPH (master of science in public health), MMSPH (master of medical science in public health), and Dr.P.H. or Doctor of Public Health degree. Some states, however, recognize MPH degree holders as ancillary clinicians with regard to the practice of preventive medicine.
The MPH degree program is available only for graduates of medical school in some countries. The MPH degree has been typically designed with five disciplines as core courses, namely: epidemiology, health administration and health policy, behavioral and social sciences, environmental health, and biostatistics.
There many careers in public health that are characterized with stability on a long term basis. The public health degree holder may choose to continue further studies and become a doctor who specializes in public health. This type of doctor often works directly with patients and diagnoses health problems and diseases, teach classes on local health, and conduct research.
What You Can Do With a Degree in Public Health
Graduates of public health can also work as tropical disease experts and HIV specialists. The former help in the prevention of tropical disease transmission by ensuring that the number of disease outbreaks is reduced among the general population while the latter work with individuals diagnosed or infected with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and are expected to help prevent its transmission.
A degree holder in public health may also work as a veterinarian to prevent and monitor transmission not only of animal diseases but those transmitted by humans as well. The public health veterinarian works as pathologists, researchers, and epidemiologists in local, state or federal government agencies, medical facilities, hospitals, and healthcare clinics. He/she may help maintain the public’s awareness of infectious diseases.
A public health degree holder may also attend law school and become a lawyer who drafts policies on the improvement of general health. A public health lawyer can find good and long-term employment in local and state legislatures. Some public health lawyers go into nonprofit organizations as legal counsel to handle lawsuits by individuals or groups against companies that violate accepted healthcare standards.
Your public health degree will enable you to become a public health engineer or industrial hygienist. The former ensures that machinery, equipment, and infrastructure have all been designed safely to reduce injury, illness or infection in the workplace. The latter conducts research on potential health hazards and develop strategies to reduce risks associated with specific situations in the workplace.
Schools that Offer Public Health Programs and Courses
Some of the schools that offer public health degrees include Yale University, Drexel University (Philadelphia), Harvard University, Emory University (Atlanta), Ohio State University (Columbus), the University of Iowa (Iowa City), Boston University, the University of Arkansas (Little Rock), George Washington University (Washington, D.C.), and Louisiana State University (New Orleans).
Schools that offer public health graduate school programs include the University of Missouri (Columbia), New York University, the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque), Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island), the University of Alaska (Anchorage), Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah), Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee), and George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia).