The public health field is filled with opportunities for those looking to make a difference in the world. While an advanced degree is not required for most entry-level public health positions today, it will open doors to many incredible and high-paying opportunities in the field. That is where public health graduate school comes into play. Most public health professionals will choose to advance their careers through a master’s degree program. A Master’s in Public Health (MPH) provides students with the education and skills needed to qualify for higher-up leadership roles and, therefore, higher earning potential.
Deciding to enroll in public health graduate school, however, is a big decision. There should be a lot of thought that goes into the process. So, where do you start when researching, applying to, and committing to a public health grad school? Here are four steps to consider:
- Thoughtfully decide if an advanced degree in public health is necessary for your career and career goals:
While this may seem like an obvious first step, be sure to spend time considering your professional goals. Depending on what position or type of public health role you are in or aspire to be in, a Master’s in Public Health may not be required. Many important public health roles don’t require a graduate degree, and a Bachelor’s in Public Health may be all you need. Of course, some positions do require a graduate-level education, such as an Epidemiologist or Biostatistician. Additionally, advancement opportunities are more widely available for those with a graduate education. Therefore, before you commit to an MPH program, make sure to understand what is needed for you and your career goals.
2. Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and get from your public health grad program:
Once you have made the decision that public health grad school is the next logical step, try to envision what you want your career to be. Having a clear vision of the specific path and type of work you want to achieve will allow you to choose a program that meets those specific needs. For example, if you want a career in global health, community health, or health policy and management, make sure the curriculum reflects those concentrations. The courses should build on the foundations you have already established with your bachelor’s degree and experience in the field, and add value to your current knowledge base and skillset.
3. Decide if the public health program offers learning formats that fit your needs and lifestyle:
Fortunately, public health graduate schools offer a variety of degree formats designed to fit people’s needs and learning styles. Some public health programs offer online courses, in-person courses, and/or a combination of both. If you require flexibility and convenience in a program, then consider a school that offers mostly online options–This will enable you to complete coursework on your own schedule, and save you time without the standard commute to class. Conversely, if traditional, in-person classes better fit with your learning style and preferences, then make sure to find a program that can offer this type of format.
Also, it is important to consider the time you can truly commit to a public health grad school program, based on everything else you have going on in your life. If you are hoping to complete the program as quickly as possible, then an accelerated, full-time course load will be ideal. However, if you have other obligations (like work and family commitments) and are unable to commit full-time, then consider a program that offers part-time options as well.
4. Understand the degree and course requirements for admission:
Every college and university will have its own set of admission requirements, potentially involving test scores, applications, and letters of recommendation. Goodwin University’s admission requirements, for example, are straightforward for the MPH program. Goodwin does not require GRE scores, an interview with the program director, or letters of recommendation. Requirements for enrolling into our public health grad school applicants are simply:
- A completed application.
- A professional resume highlighting all relevant public health-related experience, skills, and goals.
- Proof of immunizations for Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella.
- An unofficial or official transcript verifying applicants received a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
- A personal statement or letter highlighting why a public health graduate program would benefit your career and goals.
Looking for more information about how to get into public health grad school? Or are you interested in applying to Goodwin’s online MPH program? Connect with an admissions advisor today. Call 800-889-3282 or request more information online.