Public Health Graduate Programs Online
Online Public Health Graduate Programs offer working students and those who live too far from grad school the opportunity to advance their education in the science and art of disease prevention, life extension and health promotion. Master’s degrees are becoming commonplace in positions for healthcare executives,[i] social and community service managers[ii] and some health educator roles[iii]. For those with aspirations of working as an epidemiologist, the typical entry-level degree is the master’s in epidemiology although some professionals complete a doctoral degree[iv] which is also a degree associated with teaching at the post-secondary level[v] and for those interested in best practices in analyzing policy.[vi] Earning an online public health graduate degree may make learning more accessible and warrants top consideration.
Online Public Health Graduate Program Basics
Studying online to become a Public Health Graduate is offered as a certificate, as well as, at the master’s and doctoral levels. Admission for master’s programs is typically a bachelor’s degree and for doctorate degree the master’s is a common requirement. Public health graduate schools sometimes require prospective students to have a minimum GPA. Some universities may also look for candidates with a specific amount of experiences in the field.
Since online programs are often formatted for the working professional, someone who can only attend school on a part-time basis, or they may be offered as part-time. This means it may take longer to complete than a traditional degree. On the other hand, some online Master of Public Health programs offer fast-track options allowing students to shorten their time acquire a degree. Your best bet is to check with a graduate school or program advisor for specific details; use the green ‘request info’ tab on the site to help you find the schedule that aligns with your needs.
Features of Online Public Health Graduate Programs
One of the common features of Online Public Health Graduate programs is that courses are delivered via web-based technology. This means that, with pre-recorded lectures, students have some freedom to schedule study according to their own schedules rather than having to ‘get to’ class on time.
What you may need to ascertain is the extent to which your program is online. If it is 100% online, then your courses and assignments are available through a course management system, portal, or website structure (depending on the grad school). This means being able to study from wherever you are with a computer and reliable Internet; quite appealing for the working student or person with other responsibilities apart from university studies.
If a program is deemed partially online, you may expect some type of onsite requirements. This could take the form of meetings with your advisor, intensives, real-world experience via internships, or laboratory work.
With the advances in technology, distance learning does not mean you are cut off from classmates or your professors; students are often expected to participate in online discussions. Forms of communication vary but could include email, web chat, texting and online chat rooms for e-learners. Naturally though, you want to choose an online public health graduate program that has tech support in place and where you have access to similar services as campus grad students.
Types of Online Tracks Taken For Public Health Graduates
Online Public Health Graduate Programs fall into 2 categories[viii]:
- Academic degrees which are oriented to research, teaching, and policy analysis
- Professional degrees which are oriented to practice in public health settings (e.g. public health departments or administration)
GradSchools.com has an extensive directory of sponsored listings for different public health sub categories:
- Health Education & Communication
- International Health
- Occupational Health & Safety
This allows you to focus your education on an area of interest; public health encompasses multiple disciplines from epidemiology to biostatistics and health services.[ix]
Choosing the ‘Right’ Online Public Health Grad Degrees
For the student interested in moral values as they apply to medicine, topics in bioethics might include[x]:
- Animal Rights
- Medical Malpractice
- Gene Therapy
- Human Genetic Engineering
For the student interested in studying and analyzing the patterns, causes and effects of health and disease, topics in epidemiology might include:[xi]
- Outbreak Investigation
- Disease Surveillance
- Forensic Epidemiology
For the student interested in teaching and informing others, topics in health education might include:[xii]
- Health Education Strategies
For the student interested in global initiatives, topics in International Health might include:[xiii]
- Roles of NGOs
- International Medicine
- Travel Medicine
For the student interested in promoting health in the workplace, topics in Occupational Health might include:
- Workplace safety issues
- Prevention of disease & accidents
- Promotion of healthy work environment
- Improvement of Working Conditions
Once you have identified your preference, narrow down your search by choosing a program level. Some of the sponsored listings that you might review could include: Online Master of Science in Communication – Health Communication, Master of Public Health Online, and Doctor of Philosophy – Mental Health Policy and Practice.
Accreditation for Online Public Health Graduate Programs And Schools
Part of your searching process should include checking with your university or program administrator to ensure that the school and program you’re interested in are accredited by an agency that is recognized by U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation. In the case of Public Health, The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is a programmatic accreditation organization which reviews and approves public health education programs throughout the United States. [xiv]
Take the Next Step
Whether you are approaching public health from the standpoint of science or administration, an Online Public Health Graduate Program may be the flexible learning environment you are looking for to take the next step in your education.
sources:[i] bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/health-educators.htm |[iv] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/epidemiologists.htm |[v] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm |[vi] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm |[vii] onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9111.00 |[viii]en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_health |[ix] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_health |[x] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioethics |[xi] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology |[xii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_education |[xiii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_health |[xiv] http://ceph.org/
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