CUNY School of Public Health: Turning your passion for helping people into a fulfilling vocation
Promoted by CUNY

CUNY School of Public Health: Turning your passion for helping people into a fulfilling vocation

After attaining his MPH in Health Policy and Management from The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH), Hondo Martinez was instantly put on a career trajectory that allowed him to make a real impact in his community. “Health policy and management is important to me because I think it addresses social inequalities, health inequalities and disparities. And I wanted to be able to bring out change on a bigger scale,” says Martinez, who is now the manager of community outreach at VNS Health.

“Having faculty and other people at CUNY SPH who were actually out of the community, they all have that real-world experience, and that was what really stood out to me.”

Ranked as the top public school of public health in New York State by the US News & World Report’s national rankings for 2023, it is no surprise that 90% of  CUNY SPH alumni are employed in rewarding careers just in the first year of graduation. “These rankings are a testament to the great strides CUNY SPH has made since its consolidation only six years ago,” says Dean Ayman El-Mohandes. “The recognition reflects our commitment as a public institution to provide access to excellence in graduate education.”

Starting salaries for alumni range between US$60,000 to US$70,000 based on data from the Bureau of Labour Statistics. CUNY SPH graduates corroborate the accuracy of this number, and some add that they earn even higher starting remunerations. Competitive salaries are not the only benefit. Joining this New York institution has a high return for an affordable investment. Students save money as CUNY SPH’s tuition is less than half the cost compared to other top-ranked schools nationwide.

You do not have to wait for graduation to be part of cutting-edge advancements in public health research. An impressive 32% of CUNY SPH’s research staff are students. The graduate school gives you the opportunity to enjoy hands-on learning and employment through funded projects as well as its research centres and institutes. CUNY SPH also has many student services to give you support throughout your education, from financial aid and academic advising to tutoring services and wellness counsellors.

For MPH in Public Health Nutrition student Carolina Lopez, it is important to teach people about balance in their diet and the long-term benefits of healthy eating. “The connections that I am making here at CUNY SPH help me in my career search and after graduation,” she says. “I would say it boosts my confidence because of the diversity we have with the students and staff. I see myself in other people, not just in the way I look, but with what I want to do –- helping New Yorkers and helping the people that have the least here in the city.”

CUNY SPH’s MPH has been made more accessible to international students and working professionals hoping to achieve the same, with the option to take courses online at first and then finish the rest in person. CUNY SPH’s faculty are highly experienced instructors who teach in-person, hybrid and online modalities. There are five MPH and four MS degrees for international students to choose from. In partnership with Universidad de Alcalá (UAH), the collaborative online MPH truly develops a global perspective.

Several disciplines are available within this degree programme, allowing students to find their perfect fit with ease. Check out the MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics degree if you want to learn how to design and conduct public health research and apply findings to improve the health of populations.

“For Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the biggest challenge is to have the resources and systems in place to quantify the magnitude of health problems and identify the causes of such problems,” says distinguished professor at the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Luisa Borrell. “The latter is crucial to solve the problem and foremost to achieve health for all with an equity and justice framework.”

Borrell emphasises how the syllabus is up-to-date and as relevant as possible for each intake. “For Epidemiology and Biostatistics, we are sharing resources for each course via our learning management system (LMS) she adds. “We want to make sure the education and training received by the students in UAH is identical to the ones they will receive if they were registered/attending at CUNY. We are committed to these quality standards. In addition, the curriculum must be identical for accreditation purposes.”

Another area to consider is the MPH in Community Health, which zeroes in on social and behavioural sciences in public health. Students learn how to promote health in urban communities through numerous means, such as community engagement, programme development, grant writing, and research. Addressing real issues, from health inequalities to behavioural threats, graduates go on to work in organisations across public and nonprofit sectors in New York and beyond.

Public health is an industry that will always need more experienced and passionate individuals. It is important for those who enter the field to think outside the box with an international mindset. “Health and social problems are ubiquitous but contextualised,” says Borrell.

“Having an MPH with a global perspective or two different ones as ours will provide students with the tools to address problems with an amplified lens. Upon completion, students will be able to apply the concepts learned in the classroom from faculty members with different training and experiences to their own settings and understand the strengths and limitations of these concepts when settings are not only different but with less than optimal resources. That will be an asset to their education.”

Follow CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn