Online and hybrid (partially online, partially on-campus) programs in public health are available at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. These programs cover topics like community health initiatives, epidemiology and environmental health risk factors. Internships may be required in some programs as well.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health educators typically need at least a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions, and many state and federal government health departments require a master's degree. A bachelor's degree is required for an individual to take the exam needed to earn the Certified Health Education Specialist credential.
Bachelor's Degree in International Health
Bachelor's degrees in international health are generally available as a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. These programs provide students with an understanding of American and global healthcare systems designed to protect the health of people and communities. Students leverage data analysis and research to identify community needs and plan and manage programs designed to encourage better public health around the world.
Information and Requirements
Some institutions require bachelor's candidates to complete prerequisite coursework in the life sciences or other health-related disciplines. Most programs are taught completely online and include downloadable lectures and discussion board participation; however, some schools may require students to take part in group assignments on-campus. Students also may be required to participate in an internship in a community health organization or non-profit healthcare group.
Bachelor's students examine current issues in public health on the domestic and international levels. They gain knowledge of the philosophies and theories that guide global public health policies.
Introduction to Public Health
In this online course, students are introduced to the public health profession. Topics of study include an overview of common terminology, roles and responsibilities of public health professionals, and an examination of the current challenges faced by public health organizations worldwide.
Designing Community Health Programs
Students learn best practices in the creation and implementation of programs designed to meet the healthcare needs of individuals and communities. Major discussion points include problem identification, designing of needs assessments, and data analysis to determine outcomes.
Community Service in International Health
Students are given the opportunity to travel both domestically and internationally to gain first-hand experience in recognizing and analyzing health and development issues that affect the local or international community. They work in a local health organization to gain a greater perspective in community health issues.
Master's Degree in International Health
Master's degree programs in international health are generally available as a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.). Graduate programs provide advanced theoretical and practical knowledge in providing leadership in organizations, agencies and companies that deal with public health issues both domestically and internationally.
Information and Requirements
Applicants typically must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Some institutions may require students to have professional experience in the healthcare industry in either a clinical or administrative setting. Many of these programs are offered completely online; however, some may include a mix of distance education and on-campus classes. A number of schools require students to complete a field experience or thesis project to complete the curriculum.
Common Online Courses
Master's students examine current issues and challenges in leading organizations devoted to promoting public health. They gain advanced knowledge of the organization of public health systems and the promotion of healthy lifestyles around the world.
Introduction to Epidemiology
In this course, students research and analyze chronic and communicable disease patterns in the U.S. and the world. Major areas of discussion include an overview of calculating basic epidemiological measures, the epidemiological triad and the issues surrounding public health screening programs.
Community Health Assessment
This online course provides an overview of conducting public health assessments within a given community. Topics of study include health behaviours, economic and social issues that affect a community's health profile, and techniques in promoting good health and disease prevention.
Environmental Factors in Health
Students examine the environmental factors affecting a community's health and safety profile. They explore the scientific and psychosocial issues that hold influence on a community and have been affected by an environmental threat. Other areas of study include environmental risk assessment techniques, legal, regulatory and ethical considerations, and disaster preparedness and management.
Career Information for Graduates
Master's degree graduates are qualified for positions such as an epidemiologist and clinical research coordinator. The median annual salary for an epidemiologist was $69,660 as of May 2018, as reported by bls.com. The BLS expects the demand for epidemiologists to increase by 5% from 2018 to 2028.
Graduates of a bachelor's degree program are generally qualified for entry-level positions in the public health industry such as program coordinators, policy analysts and community outreach workers. As of May 2018, bls.com reported that the median annual salary for medical records and health information technicians was $40,350. The BLS expects the demand for medical records and health information technicians to increase by 11% from 2018 to 2028.
Continuing Education Information
Applicants seeking to enhance their knowledge in global health practice can find relevant certificate programs in public and global health. These programs focus on a number of issues that affect global health, including infectious disease epidemiology, health systems management and biostatistics. Most certificate programs are fully available online and can be completed within 12 to 24 months. A number of schools allow certificate coursework to be transferred to a degree program offered by that particular school or another institution offering a public health program.
Individuals looking to study public health can find online programs in international health at both the bachelor's and master's degree levels. Graduates can pursue careers, such as community health coordinators or health policy analysts, or continue their education by completing 1-2 year certificates that focus on international health issues.