COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light both strengths and gaps within the healthcare system and the preparedness of nations during a public health crisis. From testings to vaccinations, we have witnessed and experienced how the healthcare industry has rallied together to meet the public health needs of communities.
As the industry recovers and advances, public health jobs are expected to grow by 13% from 2021 to 2031, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics. Graduates well-equipped with the knowledge, skills and mindset to improve the health and well-being of their communities are set to make the most of many career opportunities available.
Perhaps more profound is the impact they’ll make for the world. There’s a climate crisis, mass urban migration, food insecurity, and many more issues — all of which hamper and threaten the health, safety and well-being of humans, especially the vulnerable. Public health graduates serve a crucial role in creating a better tomorrow.
If this is the impact you want to create, here are three universities with postgraduate public health programmes to help you achieve this goal.
Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University’s mission to address health inequities in rural communities and underserved populations began in 1998 in the Department of Health and Kinesiology within the College of Health and Professional Studies. It was during this time when the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)-accredited Master of Public Health (MPH) programme was developed.
Now known as the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH), it is home to 42 faculty and nearly 500 students across undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels. MPH students learn in a tight-knit community passionate about improving the health of those in their communities. One of the perks of learning within a small college is that students are more than just a number. Here, postgraduate students will learn from both faculty members and peers in a student-centred and supportive environment.
JPHCOPH’s MPH degree has seven concentration areas, two of which are fully online. They are Applied Public Health (online), Biostatistics, Community Health, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Public Health Informatics (online), and Health Policy and Management.
It’s rare for colleges of such size to have active international students and be well-equipped with resources and facilities of a big university. This allows learning to be driven by hands-on opportunities through research and student placements. Initiatives such as Eagles Participating in Community-Engaged Health give students a chance to work on projects with faculty who are experts in their field and are actively engaged in high-impact research in all aspects of public health including biostatistics, community health, environmental health, epidemiology, and health policy. There are also opportunities to publish with faculty.
Such features lead to success. All graduates land placements one year after completing their programme.
San José State University
San José State University’s fight to advocate for healthier communities began in 1970 when it introduced its dynamic Master of Public Health programme — which has been accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the nationally recognised accrediting body for both schools and programmes of public health since 1974. Aspirants from across the globe choose it as a launchpad to learn the fundamentals of creating better health outcomes.
It’s little wonder why. The highly-ranked programme is known for its emphasis on practice and community-based engagement through an integrated model of study that merges instruction and scholarship. Thanks to a diverse network of community programmes and practitioners, worksite internships abound for those ready to apply knowledge. The university’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion makes it the perfect place for acquiring such world-changing knowledge, as such components are reflected across the course curriculum.
Enter the MPH programme’s specialisation in community health education, which is delivered both online and on campus. However delivered, both formats meet the same programme outcomes and fulfil the same essential course objectives, with the core assignments adjusted for mode. Graduates of the program will emerge ready to leverage evidence-based best practices and culturally relevant, solution-oriented approaches to current and future health challenges.
Several graduates are already doing so. The practice-oriented MPH programme has produced a large number of decision-makers who are adding value in diverse public health settings — think private industry, social services, government and every sector in between. This number grows every year with graduates landing rewarding roles in the fields of academia, public policy, administration, epidemiology and research.
University at Buffalo
Ranked amongst the world’s top 1%. 31st among the US’s finest public universities. A proud member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. These are the traits that make the University at Buffalo, a flagship campus of The State University of New York, the dynamic institution it is known for being.
Its School of Public Health and Health Professions is just as impressive. It is one of only a handful of public health schools in the country to also include health-related professions, offering important opportunities to learn about different health disciplines you might work with in your career. Within its classrooms, students learn from expert faculty and enjoy access to over 30 research centres, laboratories, and facilities. Students can also participate in hands-on experiential learning including practical training like health department internships, field placements, and clinical assignments.
Every postgraduate programme at the school unlocks these offerings — however, to solve urgent world health issues, it doesn’t get more relevant than a Master of Public Health (MPH). The school offers several concentrations, among them Biostatistics; Community Health and Health Behaviour; Environmental Health; Epidemiology; and Health Services. One of the best parts? A customised MPH programme can be completed entirely online — a rare perk for MPH aspirants.
The field experience is the cornerstone of this programme, followed by a culminating project — the final requirement for graduation. With such hands-on experiences, it’s no wonder why 100% of MPH graduates achieve job placement.
Outcomes for Bioinformatics and Biostatistics MS students are equally fulfilling. After working on methodological, theoretical and applied research projects related to public health issues during the programme, they go on to follow in the footsteps of thriving alumni — many of whom are currently employed at Georgetown University Medical Centre, University of Pittsburgh, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Baystate Medical Centre, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Blue Cross Blue Shield, among others.
Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International.