Expected Coursework for Public Health Majors
Public health majors should expect to learn some biology and statistics, and some programs may also require a semester of calculus. Early in their undergraduate careers, most students take an introductory course that overviews the field. These courses cover health promotion, analytical methods, and the U.S. public health system. Courses in epidemiology and health policy are also part of the core requirements. In some programs, students can take electives or intermediate economics, sociology, and environmental health courses.
Undergraduates may get honors if they do independent research with the help of a faculty member and find undergraduate journals to publish their work. Students may also have to volunteer, do an internship, or study in the field as part of their programs to get their degrees.
Is it worth it to get A Master of Public Health?
If you want to get started in the field or already have an associate's degree and want to move up in your career, you may wonder, "Is it worth it to get a bachelor's degree in public health?"
People are drawn to public health because it is a career with a significant impact and many rewards. Many other things draw people to it, such as job security, chances to grow, and flexibility. For instance, some of the best jobs in public health are:
A healthcare administrator makes an average of $99,730 per year.
A public health advisor makes an average of $68,000 per year.
A public health administrator makes an average of $64,952 per year.
A public health analyst makes an average of $61,404 per year.
A health educator makes an average of $46,080 per year.
A community health coordinator makes an average of $44,994 per year.
A community health worker makes an average of $36,890 per year.
According to Mandel, a public health bachelor's degree can lead to a master's degree or a graduate certificate in the discipline (MPH). This is the case if advanced public health practice is your goal.
Mandel says, however, that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, people with bachelor's degrees will likely have more job opportunities.
"In the past, you couldn't do much without a master's degree, but COVID-19 is likely to change that in a big way," Mandel says.
Considering the preceding, it is evident that working in public health is satisfying. But are you sure that a four-year college education is what you need?
How to Figure Out if This Major Is Right for You
Public health could be the right major for you if you want to improve access to health care, teach people more about drug use, or stop the spread of contagious diseases. Many people who work in public health have a master's degree, so students who want to major in public health should consider whether they can study beyond a bachelor's program. In some programs, students can get their master's while getting their bachelor's or staying at the same school for a fifth year.
Since public health workers are in charge of things like clean water standards and vaccination programs, which save lives, majors can be sure that their studies will prepare them to help with important health projects.
Want to Know What You Can Do With A Master of Public Health Degree?
Public health is an academic field that focuses on preventing and stopping disease outbreaks, like the coronavirus pandemic, and dealing with health problems that affect many people at once, like pollution.
Even though there are many areas of public health that college students can focus on, experts say that they all aim to improve the health of the whole community.
According to Dr. Robert W. Amler, head of NYMC's School of Health Sciences and Practice, public health workers don't treat patients individually like physicians or pharmacists do. Instead, they care more about the health of the whole group.
"In public health, the focus is less on treating people when they are sick and more on making sure they have the conditions they need to be healthy," says Amler. Amler says that access to clean water and safety measures at work is also essential for good health.
Experts say that thinking about the big picture and being able to analyze data are critical in public health because the field is about finding the things that have the most impact on the health of a population. Public health workers should also have a creative and strategic mind since they are often asked to come up with solutions to big problems like the opioid crisis.
Public health professionals, like NYU's School of Global Public Health Dean Cheryl Healton, have the chance to make a meaningful difference in many people's lives.
Healton, who has a Ph.D. in public health, says, "I've met very few people in public health who weren't happy with their job." She also says that people who work in the public health sector rarely quit before they retire unless they want to do something unusual for themselves, like become a writer.