What Can You Do With a Master’s in Public Health?

masters student in science lab

Public health can be described as where we live, work and play. Up until the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us were unsure of what public health was or what it could be. One can state that the public health scene has since changed. Now that there has been the prospect to explore the opportunities of what public health entails, getting a master's in public health seems logical and opportunistic to continue to develop guidance for our communities.

It is becoming even more important to study public health. When considering enrolling in a program, many may wonder, What can you do with a master’s in public health? and How do these programs prepare you for public health work? To help answer these questions, we explore the common teachings in MPH programs, how to cater to your interests, and review some of the job titles you can look for when pursuing public health careers after graduation.

In This Article:

What Does an MPH Teach You?

A public health degree can teach you how to engage in the hands-on application of public health knowledge in practice. Public health practice goes beyond simply observing or shadowing and is an important activity that helps the learning process. In your public health master’s program, you have the opportunity to evaluate, develop and improve public health programs by learning about work plans, budgets, grant writing, policy recommendations and advocating for program resources.

A public health degree entails the review of the core areas of public health. These areas include health administration/policy, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, biostatistics and environmental health. Hence, while completing your program, you can become well-versed in taking theory from the classroom to applying it to practical situations.

Have you ever thought about how you will apply the frameworks learning in class to your current position, or think about how you do not want to forget that information, since you might need it in the near future? This master's of public health program is designed so that each assignment is relatable and can help establish a foundation for you to apply what you have reviewed.

How Can I Specialize in an MPH Program?

Grand Canyon University offers a generalist master's in public health degree program in which you have the opportunity to cater to your interests during your practicum experience and capstone project. The student leads the practicum experience by finding a practicum site of their choice, thus initiating networking, partnership building, community engagement and connecting with community leaders, members, nonprofits, agencies and other organizations.

Because this is a student lead practicum, it can be tailored to your interests, and the available projects are defined by the preceptor. During your capstone, the final course of the degree program, you will have the opportunity to reinforce and integrate concepts, principles and skills gained during your coursework that are essential to professional competency in public health. You have the opportunity to apply and synthesize public health skills and knowledge in a written format by completing a project of your choice and tailor your project based on your professional interests and goals.

What Can You Do With a Master’s in Public Health?

After learning what public health response can do for communities and what public health has been doing throughout decades, you may be inspired to become an agent of change by earning your master's in public health.

Public health is interwoven into our work, hence why there are many opportunities to work within core areas of public health. Exploring these different areas can help you decide which direction you want to take your career following completion of your program. These focus areas include:

  • Health administration/policy
  • Epidemiology
  • Social and behavioral sciences
  • Biostatistics
  • Environmental health

Regardless of what you choose to focus on, a master's in public health degree can help you build your skills in leadership and systems thinking, policy development, program planning, management and finance, communication, data analytics, communication and public health sciences. These are valuable skills that may help you in many different public health-centered roles.

Master’s of Public Health Jobs

If you’re interested in a career in public health, you may be wondering, What can I do with a master’s in public health? There are a number of specific job titles that have public health at their core within the focus areas listed above. These jobs titles include:

  • Community health worker or promotor
  • Research analyst
  • Public health program coordinator/manager/specialist
  • Health care administrator
  • Health educator
  • Biostatistician
  • Social and community service manager/specialist
  • Epidemiologist

Master's of public health job titles and positions differ from state to state, but remember that the core functions, skill sets and work settings are typically the same. When looking for public health jobs, ensure you read the description. The description is where you will find guidance on what the position entails. Do not let the position title discourage you; remember, public health is where we live, work and play.

Earn Your Master’s in Public Health From GCU

GCU's Master of Science in Public Health degree adds the holistic worldview approach of Christian values. This degree highlights the uniqueness of diving into topics of social determinants of health, health equity and human migrations. Thus, it emphasizes on the role of faith and ministry-based organizations in global health advocacy, initiatives and human flourishing.

Instead of wondering, What can I do with an MPH? You can now start planning on how you can earn your MPH. To learn more about how to enroll in the master’s in public health degree program at GCU, fill out the form on this page and start your journey.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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