The fields of community health and preventative medicine are closely tied, as they are both interested in looking at health patterns and characteristics in communities. This information can be used to determine how to best create programs aimed at preventing diseases or common health problems. Individuals who have an interest in community health and preventative medicine may be inclined to pursue a graduate level degree in the field.
Information about Master's Degree Programs in Community Health and Preventative Medicine
At the master's degree level, it is possible to find Master of Science degree programs in related fields like community health and prevention, though they aren't widely available. It is typically easier to find Master of Public Health (MPH) degree programs, which allow students to select a concentration or specialization area in a field related to community health and preventative medicine. MPH degrees usually have a core curriculum that students must complete in addition to the courses specific to their chosen concentration. We will take a look at some common courses in MPH and M.S. degree programs that are focused in community health and preventative medicine.
Because community health and preventative medicine is a subfield within the larger public health field, students will need to complete a fundamental course in biostatistics, which is used frequently in public health research. Students in this course will focus on the fundamentals of how biostatistics works by gaining an understanding of basic concepts within biostatistics and common methods used in biostatistics research. The course will cover topics like experimental design, various methodologies often used in the field of biostatistics, linear regression, and descriptive statistics.
Fundamentals of Epidemiology
In any graduate degree program related to public health, students will likely be required to complete some sort of introductory course in the field of epidemiology, as this is considered a core course within public health. Students gain a broad overview of topics like disease frequency in populations, community health, significant health issues, and general epidemiologic terminology. Students will also focus on various epidemiologic research design techniques, like risk determination.
Students taking this class learn about the fundamentals of setting up community-based research trials, including the various methodologies a researcher could employ when conducting research. It focuses on ways in which community-based research differs from other types of research commonly done in the public health field. Students will learn how to write grants, design research studies, conduct background reviews, and learn how to analyze data through statistical analysis.
Public Health Law, Ethics, and Policy
This course focuses on the various laws and policies that govern the world of public health. Students will examine this topic from a variety of law-making perspectives, including from the local, state, federal and international levels. Students will focus on understanding how different policies intersect with one another and how public health laws are made. The course may also focus on ethics, in which students will learn about how ethics affects research done in this field as research studies generally involve human participants. They will study topics like informed consent, confidentiality, and rights to privacy.
Introduction to Disease Prevention
In addition to the complex topic of disease, students also explore how various diseases are spread and what preventative measures can be taken to prevent the spread of disease. The course may cover infections and chronic diseases, and look at how various communities and populations may be more susceptible to certain diseases and why. The class will focus on how preventative and intervention measures have been taken to combat diseases in the past, what worked, and what can be done in the future in the field of disease management and prevention.
Admission Requirements for Community Health and Preventative Medicine Master's Degree Programs
Students who are interested in enrolling in master's level degree programs in the field of community health and preventative medicine must meet certain admission requirements to be considered. To be considered for admission, students must have completed a bachelor's degree. Generally, no specific undergraduate degree or prerequisite courses are necessary, though this could vary be program. Along with their application, students will need to submit a personal statement, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and GRE scores. Relevant work or volunteer experience may be useful when applying to these programs.
For individuals interested in studying community health and preventative medicine at the master's degree level, they will mostly like do so through a Master of Science program or through a specialization within an MPH program.