Public Health

students holding an MSU flag

Graduates of the Schools of Public Health work primarily in the public sector in the areas of health promotion and disease prevention. They are distinct from other health professionals in that they are oriented to the community and prevention, rather than to curing individuals.

Employment opportunities are available at federal, state and local levels, particularly in health and environmental agencies. Additional employment options include private industry, universities and volunteer health organizations.

While there are dozens of specialties in public health, most career opportunities are found in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Health Services Administration, Public Health Practice and Program Management, Health Education and Behavioral Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Occupational Safety and Health, Nutrition and Biomedical and Laboratory Practice.

Schools of Public Health are primarily graduate institutions and offer a variety of advanced degrees. All public health schools offer the Master of Public Health (MPH) and most offer the Master of Science (MS). Doctoral programs prepare graduates for teaching, research and upper-level administrative positions.

The length of the educational program varies with the individual institution, the type of degree sought, the area of specialization and the nature of a student’s prior experience in a health related field. Master’s degree programs take at least one year, but may require more than two. Doctoral programs generally require three or more years.

A few schools offer the baccalaureate degree in a limited number of public health areas. Students frequently return to a School of Public Health for advanced training.

Application guide iconApplication Guide

Learn more about the admission criteria for most public health programs.

School iconMichigan Public Health Program Prerequisites 

View course requirements for Michigan schools of public health.

Resources iconAdditional Resources

Explore this profession further by accessing links to national associations, career profiles, and student resources.