How do I Choose the Best School of Public Health?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2018
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A school of public health is typically part of a larger university or college, offering graduate-level programs in public health. The role of public health professional is a critical part of reducing the spread of disease in a community. Public health covers water safety, food preparation, vaccination programs, and more. Although it is not a very glamorous field, it is the primary training ground for many senior medical positions in government. When looking to select the best school of public health, thing about the following three items: fields of specialization, current research focus, and the breadth of job placement opportunities.

Only graduate-level programs are available through the school of public health, which means that all candidates must have an undergraduate degree. All students should have already identified a primary and secondary area of interest. For example, some people focus on health promotion and others on health policy research. Health promotion covers human psychology, communication, and other skills necessary to encourage better health in a large population. Health policy research is primarily focused on learning research techniques, advanced statistics, and other related skills.


At the graduate level, every student is expected to complete a research project or thesis. All the fields within public health have areas of research that will serve a broad population. The primary thesis topic must explore new material or have a fresh approach on existing research. Students are assigned a research or thesis adviser; for this reason, the current research focus of the professors is important. Students should take the time to find out what their primary area of research work is, to ensure that an appropriate adviser can be found.

The area of specialization is an important consideration, as it determines the job options and career paths available to you. Take the time to really think about the type of work you are most interested in. While thinking about the different options, it can become very confusing. Make a list of the priorities for you, and your flexibility for moving locations, shifting schedules, and traveling.

The types of job positions available to you as a graduate of the school of public health, depend on your area of expertise and your work experience. This experience is primarily gained through job placement opportunities. Each school will have internships positions and cooperative job placements. It is important to check the depth of options available and the different careers that are available.



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