Earning an accredited public health masters degree online is a good way for students to enhance their career opportunities in specialties such as biostatistics, nutrition and health services administration. While an online bachelor’s degree in public health is sufficient to get an entry-level position in the field, students pursuing online master’s degrees in public health are provided with the training necessary to advance into leadership positions. Some students choose to go above and beyond by earning an online PhD in public health. However, earning a thesis or non-thesis online master in public health typically qualifies a job seeker for high paying positions in government agencies, insurance companies and hospitals.
How long does it take to earn a public health master’s degree online?
Normally it takes 2 years to complete the best online masters degree programs in public health. This is approximately 50 quarter-credit hours of coursework.
What are the admission requirements for an online master’s in public health?
For admissions purposes, students applying to top online master degree programs in public health may be required to submit the following:
- Application form
- Undergraduate transcripts
- Revised Graduate Records Exam scores (Revised GRE)
- Personal statement or Essay
- Letters of recommendation
Online masters public health programs typically desire that candidates have either a bachelor’s degree in public health from an accredited school, or a bachelors degree in a related field such as:
- Nutrition Science
- Healthcare Administration
What types of online master’s degrees in public health can students pursue?
Accredited online masters in public health schools offer a variety of online masters degrees in public health. The following is a list of some of the types of public health masters degrees students may pursue:
- Public Health Administration: Online master’s degree public health students learn about public health laws, policies, ethics and management practices in this specialization. They receive training in policymaking, facility maintenance, staff supervision and budgeting.
- Maternal and Child Health: Online masters degree public health students learn how to improve healthcare for women, children and families. They study common health problems that mothers and children face, and learn methods for combating and preventing them.
- Social Marketing and Health Communication: Students are taught how to use marketing techniques to influence attitudes and behaviors concerning personal and public health issues. They learn to research health problems, target audiences and create, test and implement promotional campaigns for television, print and social media.
- Environmental and Occupational Health: Students analyze how humans are harmed by environmental factors and learn to recognize the common signs of danger. Students learn to reduce pollution, find causes of environmentally related diseases, and protect food and drinking water supplies.
- Community-Oriented Primary Care: Students are taught how to recognize healthcare needs in specific populations and how to provide healthcare that fits those needs. They learn to analyze census and disease reports, conduct surveys and deliver healthcare to the elderly and the economically disadvantaged, among other groups.
What can students expect to learn in an online public health master’s degree program?
The best online master’s degree programs in public health teach students complex problem solving and critical thinking skills while expanding their knowledge of healthcare management, health promotion and disease prevention.
Common classes taken by students enrolled in top online master programs in public health include:
- Principles of Epidemiology- In this online public health masters degree class, students learn to use sound research methods and careful observation to trace the spread of diseases. Students are taught how to recognize and evaluate statistical and behavioral patterns and develop and test projections for probable disease outcomes.
- Occupational Safety and Health Management- This course teaches students how to recognize, reduce and prevent safety and health management issues. Students learn how to implement safety systems and protocols to prevent workplace injuries.
- Introduction to Biostatistics- This online master degree in public health course teaches students about statistical reasoning and interpretation. Students examine the outcomes associated with statistical patterns in biological data and learn how to assess the probability of an outcome through statistical analysis.
What careers can students pursue after graduating from public health masters programs online?
Public health master’s programs online graduates can choose from a variety of different job options, of which popular choices include:
- Health Services Administrator- Health services administrators manage medical facilities, overseeing budget planning, personnel decisions and other operational details. These executives earn an average annual salary of $84,270. Job growth for health services administrators is projected to be 22% over the next decade, faster than the average for all occupations.
- Nutritionist- Members of this profession are experts in diet and nutrition, helping people learn how to eat healthier. The average salary for nutritionists is $53,250. Job growth of 20% is expected in this field by 2020.
- Epidemiologist- Epidemiologists study how diseases are caused and how they spread in order to improve disease control and prevention. Salaries for epidemiologists average about $63,010. Job growth is projected to be faster than average at 24% between 2010 and 2020.
Public Health is an exciting and growing field with plenty of different options for people looking for a career that fulfills their needs to serve the public and better communities while still making a solid wage. Professionals with a Master of Public Health degree can get jobs in the following fields: biostatistics, epidemiology, health services administration, health education, international health, maternal and child health, nutrition, and more. While there are entry level positions available to people with just a bachelor’s degree, a master’s is recommended for career growth. When it comes to applying for graduate schools offering Public Health degrees, professional who attend top ranked schools can expect better chances at job placement after graduation, an extensive professional network, and a high quality education. Here are some things to look for in a Masters of Public Health program.
Public health is all about perspective, innovation, and global initiative. Many public health professionals start their career by volunteering with the Peace Corps and jobs in the Public Health field often have a global reach. A diverse Master of Public Health programs will brings together a faculty that includes lawyers, non-profit professionals, educators, policymakers, medical students, and much more to ensure a well-rounded education for students.
Most Master of Public Health students will choose a focus or specialization which will tailor what classes fill their schedule and ultimately what kind of job they will get after graduation. Some specializations include Health Promotion, Community Health Sciences, Management of Infectious Diseases, and many more. Prospective students who know what they want to specialize in should consider the classes and courses offered by each program to find which suits their needs.
The Council on Education for Public Health employs the service of an independent agency which accredits schools offering public health programs. Accreditation ensures a Master of Public Health program offers equal amounts of education in research, service, and academic rigor. Plus, employers are known to go straight to the Master of Public Health programs graduation pool to start making hires.
The average salary for professionals with a Masters of Public Health degree is $58,00-$80,000 but there are many opportunities with six figure salaries as well once a person works up to upper management at a well-respected organization.
Earning a Master in Public Health doesn’t have to mean a big move and quitting a job however. Professionals interested in continuing working their full time job while attending graduate school will be pleased to find many of the top ranked programs offer online, long-distance, and part-time course options.
Below is a list of the top ranking Masters in Public Health programs. This ranking was determined through teacher surveys, student feedback, and reviews by experts in the field. Methodology includes data from hundreds of universities around the country for the most accurate results possible.