Master in Health Sciences: International Health Degree Overview

Those who want to study international health at the graduate level can earn a Master of Science (MS) in International Health or Global Health or an MS that focuses on a related area such as epidemiology or maternal/child health. These programs feature training in areas such as nutrition, health economics, and other topics relevant to helping underserved and less-advantaged populations.

Essential Information

Most MS programs include an internship, and some schools sponsor a fellowship program with mentors and special events. Programs can usually be completed in 1-2 years, and students also might have the chance to choose a specialty area. Graduates should be prepared for educational, administrative, and research positions with governments and international agencies.

  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree; GRE scores
  • Program Specializations: Nutrition; economics
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Other Requirements: Internship

Master of Science in International Health

An applicant must typically possess a bachelor's degree for admission, preferably related to the specialty the student wishes to pursue. Some schools have minimum GPA requirements for undergraduate coursework, while others set minimum GRE scores. The curriculum for such a master's degree can vary largely based on the concentration the student is pursuing. Some students focus on nutrition, while others study the economics of health policy. Course offerings could include:

  • Community vaccine trials
  • Changing health behavior
  • Financial management
  • Water-borne diseases
  • Analysis of popular diets
  • Public information campaigns

Popular Career Options

Individuals with master's degrees in international health have a wide variety of career options. They can be hands-on community health care coordinators or work with an international agency or a government to set health policy. Possible career options include:

  • Community health worker
  • Researcher
  • Program manager
  • Grant writer
  • Development officer
  • Health educator

Health educators and community health workers can find jobs in a number of places, including colleges, health care facilities, nonprofit organizations, and public health departments. From 2012 to 2022, these workers will see a 21% increase in employment, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Health educators had a median annual salary of $50,430 as of 2014.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of international or global health programs could go on to work toward earning Doctor of Science, Doctor of Philosophy, or Doctor of Public Health degrees. Such programs could prepare students for work in academia or research, and could include subjects of study in areas like epidemiology, nutrition, and health systems.

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