Public health can be a very rewarding career. Helping and educating members of your community to stay healthy is one reason people seek professions in public health. However, if you want to achieve a more leadership role, with more to give and manage, you most likely have to continue your education with a Master in Public Health (MPH).
Here are a few frequently asked questions about the field;

What is public health?

Public health refers to the science of improving and protecting populations’ overall health, be it small neighborhoods, entire countries or regions of the world. It promotes health in communities where people live, work, learn, grow and play. Doctors treat diseases, while public health professionals ensure prevention from diseases by promoting wellness, healthy lifestyles, researching injury and disease protection, and responding to and preventing infectious diseases.

What is the importance of public health?

Public health professionals work to prevent any health problems from happening. They conduct research, recommend policies, and implement educational and awareness programs. It also works to limit health disparities. Public health improves the quality of life, saves money, reduces human suffering and helps children thrive in a community. Majorly, public health promotes healthcare quality, equity and accessibility.

What are the prerequisites for a Master in Public Health?

Although each program on public health may be slightly different, the general requirements for a Master in Public Health are quite similar. As a potential student, you must hold an undergraduate degree, preferably in a medical or healthcare field. Some universities and schools require advanced degrees like masters and doctorates. Some require specific entrance test scores such as MCAT, DAT or GRE, while some online MPH no GRE required options are also present. Each college and university has its own eligibility criteria and requirements.

Can I directly begin the MPH program after completing my undergraduate degree?

It depends upon the university or college you’re applying to, as most require a post-baccalaureate experience. Students need practical experience in a field related to public health that helps them demonstrate an interest in the field. It may be at a non-profit, NGO or clinical and research setup.

What does post-baccalaureate experience do?

The work experience helps applicants to better know their interests and career goals. It also ensures that students develop a unique, practical, and informed perspective on their field and the workings of the public health sector.

Can I pursue my MPH program part-time?

The Masters in Public Health is a multi-disciplinary professional graduate degree. You can pursue it part-time but it might take you more time. A typical Master in Public Health program comprises around 40-50 credit hours, and the duration of the degree as part-time depends upon the number of credits you opt for each semester.

Can I study for MPH online?

One question that arises often is if you can pursue the degree online. It is possible to find colleges that offer distance learning programs. This makes it possible to work on your degree part-time while enabling you to work.
Many colleges and universities are offering online Masters in Public Health programs that cover the fundamentals of public health in a very convenient and flexible format. They use virtual classrooms and give students 24/7 access to course material and books, facilitating a self-paced learning schedule.

What are online MPH practice requirements?

Almost all the online Masters in Public Health programs require offline experience in the form of supervised practice. This is because practical plays a significant role in helping MPH students develop their skills in raising awareness and educating people about the choices of a healthy lifestyle. However, some online programs allow students to complete the hours in an approved health care agency in their local hometowns, which aids in making the online experience more smooth.

What are some of the career options for public health professionals?

Public health professionals include people that ensure standards in various fields. Some of the many fields of public health include;

  • First responders
  • Sanitarians
  • Researchers
  • Scientists
  • Restaurant inspectors
  • Health educators
  • Social workers
  • Community and society planners
  • Public health physicians
  • Public policymakers
  • Public health nurses
  • Health and safety professionals
  • First aid providers

What are some essential public health services?

A public health system’s effectiveness depends on its capacity to deliver the 10 essential public health services described briefly below;

  1. Assess and monitor the health of the population.
  2. Investigate, diagnose, and address any health risks and their causes.
  3. Communicate effectively to inform and educate individuals.
  4. Ensure that communities and relationships are strengthened, supported, and engaged.
  5. Enable fair and impartial access to all.
  6. Create and sustain a solid public health organizational infrastructure.
  7. Create, champion, and establish policies, strategies, and laws regarding health standards.
  8. Make use of legal and regulatory actions.
  9. Develop a workforce that is both diverse and skilled.
  10. Improve society’s health standards through assessment, analysis, research, and quality improvement.

What are the job opportunities for an online MPH Graduate?

Graduating with an online master’s in public health unlocks many doors in the public health sector. The degree prepares you to work in hospitals, government agencies, social service agencies, non-profit organizations, NGOs, community clinics, private research laboratories, universities, etc. Any health job that doesn’t require providing direct patient medical services will also be available to you. MPH graduates can also pursue professions such as health educators, researchers, nutritionists, environmental scientists, health administrators and even health policy analysts.

A very rewarding and fruitful career awaits you if you choose to be a master’s in public health. The job of a MOH graduate is to take on a leadership role to help move a community towards a healthier way of life. Public health professionals assure healthy living conditions, including raising awareness and vaccinating children and adults against possible medical outbreaks. They also work towards setting safety standards to protect workers, developing nutritional programs in schools and workplaces, spreading ways to stay healthy, and giving facts and science-backed solutions to health problems.

If you’re looking forward to playing a small part in ensuring better health for your community and surroundings, a Master’s in Public Health is the right choice to make.