Community Health Master's Degrees
Read about your options for studying community health at the master's degree level, which include Master of Public Health programs. Check the prerequisites for enrolling in a master's degree program in this field. Explore the typical curriculum for a public health program, and check the availability of online classes related to community health.
Are Master's Degrees in Community Health Available?
Master's degree programs exploring community health can be found through a number of schools. Typically, these programs award Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees with specializations in community health. Earning an MPH in community health can prepare you for work in administrative positions or as healthcare educators in community organizations, government agencies, hospitals or research organizations, among others. Master of Science programs are also available and are geared towards those who want to continue to a doctoral degree program to pursue careers in research or academia.
|Degree Options||MPH with community health specialization, M.S. in community health sciences|
|Prerequisites||Bachelor's degree, which may need to be in a health-related field for some programs; GRE scores|
|Online Availability||Online programs are available; some programs require visits to campus|
|Coursework Topics||Epidemiology, health communications, biostatistics, health administration|
|Median Salary (2018)||$39,540 (for all community health workers)*|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||18% growth (for all community health workers)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Are There Any Prerequisites?
Admission into a master's degree program in public health typically requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited school. Some programs prefer applicants who have undergraduate degrees in health related fields, such as psychology, nursing or nutrition, but a specific undergraduate major isn't generally required. You'll also need to submit Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores from within the past five years for consideration.
Are Programs Offered Online?
If you're looking for the flexibility of an online program, you may find master's degrees in public health online from a few schools. In addition to community health programs, you may also find specializations in public health leadership and public health informatics online. However, some online programs do require visits to campus.
As an online student, you'll need reliable access to a computer with a high-speed Internet connection. Online programs may also require you to meet technical specifications, which can include having a specific operating system or software suite in order to be able to access coursework and complete assignments.
What Will I Learn?
Master's degree programs focusing on community health cover the ways in which local and national public health policies are developed. They also explore the design of disease prevention programs and assessing community health needs. Topics that may be addressed include public health problems, research methods, advocating for community health, reproductive health and global health issues. You may also have the opportunity to take electives that suit your interests and career goals in an array of subjects, such as health care reform, grant writing, data management and non-profit management.
In addition to coursework, you'll also complete a capstone project and a field experience in a community health setting. Some of the courses you can expect to take cover the following topics:
- Health communications
- Health administration