online mph classes

5 of the Most Valuable, Online MPH Courses

If the career options and earning potential in public health alone don’t get you excited, it’s probably the subject matter that ultimately makes you want to enter this field. With valuable coursework and an eager attitude, a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) will open doors for you to take on job titles like Biostatistician, Disaster and Emergency Specialist, Epidemiologist, Public Health Director, Public Health Educator, or Sanitarian.

In an MPH program, the classes will not only be interesting, but also will act as a springboard for success in your next new role. You’ll build a foundation of knowledge that will continue to work for you as you move along on your career path. Besides the elective courses – during which you can flex your intellectual muscles in the direction of your choice – there are certain, absolutely-essential courses that are mandatory for structuring your career, no matter the route you choose. And often, you can find those courses online.

Goodwin College’s MPH program is offered entirely online. The program begins with foundational online courses, followed by a series of electives that students choose, based on their passion areas. But what are the must-take courses in our MPH curriculum? Below are the 5 online MPH courses that are so central to the discipline of public health, you’ll need them regardless of your career path – whether you want to inspect local food service institutions, or become an expert in communicable diseases.

  1. Foundations of Public Health

Learn the ins and outs of this discipline’s development of a governing body of theory and research that has made public health what it is today. Namely, you’ll dive into the 10 Essential Public Health Services, outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a public health servant, these ten pillars will truly become your bible. From understanding the cycle of assessment, policy implementation, and assurance, to specific steps like diagnoses, education and enforcement, to how research supports the entire system. As recently as 1994, with these essential guidelines, the world of public health changed. Your contributions too can continue to help fuel innovation in this field.

  1. Biostatistics

Public health is largely about data measurement and application. Statistical and research methods combined are a cornerstone to not only the Biostatistician job, but to public health careers in general. You’ll learn probability theory and bivariate analysis, as well as in-depth techniques for testing hypotheses. This course is a combination of math, medical science, and research practice, making it very practical. Furthermore, if you do decide to pursue your career as a biostatistician, you’ll be looking at a strong median annual salary of more than $88k, according to the BLS, and extremely strong job prospects, rising at a 33% rate, or much faster than average.

  1. Social and Behavioral Sciences

The quality of a given population’s health is directly impacted by social, behavioral, psychological, cultural and economic factors. This course will delve into some of the greatest contemporary public health issues, including obesity, diabetes, mental health, substance abuse, adolescent health, tobacco use, and much more. As you begin to understand the complicated landscape of specific population health problems, you’ll also learn how interventions are developed and deployed, how to identify risk factors and conduct evaluations, and how advocacy for evidence-based public health programs is built. The American Public Health Association outlines the topics and issues that are top-of-mind for public health workers nation-wide: and they are vast, including everything from vaccines to healthy housing, health equity to climate change. Social and behavioral sciences are relevant to more issues than you might realize: society plays a huge role in influencing positive and negative health choices.

This core course is a valuable tool across varying professional roles in public health. As cited in the International Journal for Equity in Health, Trisha Greenhalgh relays that high-quality social science studies are strong in theory, and flexible in method. Theory is a framing tool, while methodology are the techniques used. For instance: implementing community-specific programs such as smoking cessation campaigns, or education on sexually transmitted diseases. A social and behavioral science course will help you develop adaptable techniques to best do your job, no matter where you land.

  1. Public Health Policy

Policy is found at the local, state and federal levels. This online MPH course sets you up to understand the infrastructures of programs large and small, and how policies are implemented and administrated. An essential tool for a Public Health Director or Educator, those interested in law, policy-making and enforcement will find this course most interesting. However, policy affects all public health careers, and you’ll need to understand at least the basics in order to excel in your job of choice. The World Health Organization defines the incredible possibilities for an explicit health policy. It can accomplish the following for a given community:

  • Defining a vision for the future
  • Helps to establish targets and points of reference on a timeline, including short and middle term
  • Outlines priorities
  • Explains the expected roles of different groups
  • Builds consensus
  • Informs people

Public health policy is invigorating and can accomplish major change.  One more reason why this is on our list of valuable online MPH courses.

  1. Occupational and Environmental Health

Working in occupational or environmental health is a career choice with lots of options. Where there are job sites; from mines to factories, offices to construction sites, labs to universities, there will be jobs for an occupational or environmental health specialist. Furthermore, you’ll use occupational and environmental health knowledge of analysis, research, and investigation for jobs like pharmaceutical or medicine quality control, as a disaster and emergency specialist, or even in natural gas distribution. According to the BLS, jobs in occupational health and safety as a specialists are rising at 6%, or as fast as average, with a median pay rate of more than $73k annually.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of useful online MPH courses that can help you achieve the career you’ve always hoped for. Visiting the curriculum page, or even better, the full course catalogue for Goodwin College’s online MPH program, will give you the full spectrum. Still have more questions? Send them our way by contacting us at 800-889-3282, or by requesting more information online here.