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Public Health Practice and Program Management


Public health professionals analyze and develop programs that protect the health of individuals, families and communities in the United States and abroad. Using education, development of healthy lifestyles, research and program implementation, public health professionals are agents for disease prevention and health promotion.

The United States is placing a high priority on building up the nation's public health workforce.  A career in public health opens the door to diverse opportunities in a variety of sectors, including federal, private and non-governmental organizations.

What does this mean for you?  It means that with a degree in public health, you’ll be in high demand – and on a career path filled with advancement opportunities.

Public health practice and program management is designed to prepare experienced clinicians (i.e., in medicine, dentistry, nursing, social work, etc.) to assume leadership roles as members of multidisciplinary health care teams. A degree in this specialty incorporates features of a number of other public health disciplines, including maternal and child health, substance abuse, mental health and environmental health, among others.   

Your degree will prepare you to develop, implement and evaluate effective public health initiatives. You also will be able to create and analyze programs in the context of the communities they serve, taking into account cultural, social, economic, ethical and legal factors.

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Note: The Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health reviewed this profile.

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Academic Requirements

Programs in public health practice and program management are highly interdisciplinary.  Since they cater to established professionals, part-time and/or distance learning programs in this field are not uncommon.  The curriculum covers a wide range of areas, including public health practice, epidemiology, program analysis and data-based inference.  

You can search for schools in this field on the Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health's (ASPPH) website. SOPHAS is the centralized online application service for students applying to a school or program of public health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). A complete list of accredited schools and programs can be found on the CEPH website.