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Public Health Schools in the US: Where students evolve into health equity champions

Source: Yale School of Public Health

A healthy life should not be a privilege. Unfortunately, due to social, economic and environmental factors, too many individuals currently lack fair access to basic healthcare and simple health education. 

Disparities are defined in numerous ways. For example, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies health disparities as, “preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations.”

Public health professionals have the power to reverse the damage that has prevailed for far too long. These experts use their qualifications — typically a Master of Public Health — to place equal emphasis on achieving improvements in overall health and the distribution of health by spearheading informed policies and advocating for action. 

In light of a pandemic that has yet to end after two years of mayhem, and with a future that undeniably entails many more like it, there’s never been a better time to join the fight alongside one of these public health institutions in the US.

Yale School of Public Health

Yale School of Public Health

Yale’s MPH is a top choice for future changemakers determined to specialize. Source: Yale School of Public Health

Yale School of Public Health is welcoming, inclusive, and accessible — and connects you to Yale University’s top-ranked schools and vast resources. YSPH’s collaborative environment is ideal for those who believe sharing their experiences, advancing their ideas, and working together across disciplines is the best way to improve public health for all. Collaborating with peers from 30 countries, YSPH students develop innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing public health challenges.

Several postgraduate and doctoral degree options serve as pathways into the full, collaborative experience. The Master of Public Health (MPH) is a top choice for future changemakers determined to specialize: it allows you to complement your foundational knowledge with interdisciplinary concentrations such as Global Health, Public Health Modelling, Climate Change and Health, or US Health Justice. YSPH offers a range of Joint Degree Programs, as well as an Online Executive MPH for working professionals interested in leadership. A variety of MS and PhD programs are also offered.

All paths lead to an enriching academic experience that has launched world-changing discoveries – think wearable devices that detect exposure to airborne viruses, a technology-enabled approach to prenatal care, and studies that link air quality with mental and physical health. Bring your experience, ambition, and ideas to the Yale School of Public Health and discover what you can make of them. The passion of you. The promise of Yale. That’s what will improve public health.

UC Berkeley School of Public Health

UC Berkeley School of Public Health

UC Berkeley School of Public Health is housed within the world’s best public university. Source: UC Berkeley School of Public Health

UC Berkeley needs no introduction for its academic and research excellence. Named the number one public university worldwide by US News and World Report, its School of Public Health is directly involved in community-engaged initiatives that address inequities in healthcare access. 

2021 brought even more success to Berkeley Public Health, including trailblazing work in COVID-19 response, faculty honours, and the establishment of the school-wide Changemakers Initiative that helps students translate theory into practice. The school is well-known for its Online Master of Public Health (Online MPH), a flexible 27-month programme that empowers working professionals in an effective digital environment. 

The Online MPH gives remote students the same perks of on-campus learning, including access to tools, resources, and faculty in real-time. Students can move forward with their career while simultaneously learning from the world’s foremost experts in global health. 

The school’s innovative approach to public health allows students to take a more focused approach to arrive at inventive solutions. Five concentrations are offered under the programme: Interdisciplinary concentration, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Health Policy and Management, Public Health Nutrition, and Graduate Certificate in Health and Management. As a result, graduates come out accomplished to create sustainable, long-term changes that transform patients’ wellbeing. 

University of Michigan School of Public Health

University of Michigan School of Public Health

University of Michigan School of Public Health is among the top four in the US. Source: University of Michigan School of Public Health

Established in 1941, The University of Michigan School of Public Health began its fight for a healthier, more equitable world long ago. Today, the university is the #1 public research university in the US and Michigan Public Health ranks fourth in the nation among schools of public health. Little wonder why it effortlessly attracts new generations of changemakers — more than 500 public health heroes are produced here every year at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

They go on to join the University of Michigan’s expansive Alumni Network, a global powerhouse of over 640,000 graduates adding value in 179 countries — 17,000 of which owe their success to Michigan Public Health. Students who wish to follow in their footsteps benefit from their guidance exponentially. Most thriving graduates are ever-willing to serve as mentors, connect learners to job opportunities, or help them pinpoint communities that can benefit from their expertise.

Several pathways provide access to these connections. Michigan Public Health is home to seven graduate-level academic departments (Biostatistics; Environmental Health Sciences; Epidemiology; Health Behaviour and Health Education; Health Management and Policy; Nutritional Sciences; as well as Population and Health Sciences, which offers fully online graduate degree programs). Together and separately, they offer a vast array of specialised graduate-level degrees.

The school offers Master of Public Health degrees in each department,  six Master of Science degrees, including a Master of Health Services Administration; two bachelor’s degree programs; a Master of Health Informatics (jointly offered by the University of Michigan’s School of Information and the Medical School); dual degrees that comprise coursework from the university’s Ross School of Business, College of Engineering, and School of Social Work, amongst others; and a broad range of hybrid degrees for career-advancing professionals.

All programmes were conceptualised with the same goal in mind: to produce public health professionals ready to address the biggest challenges of our time. If you’d like to become one of them, click here to learn more about admissions.

Emory University: Rollins School of Public Health

 Emory University

Emory’s is located in the “public health capital of the world”. Source: Emory University

Located in Atlanta, Emory University is home to Emory Healthcare, which is the most extensive healthcare system in the state of Georgia. The healthcare system is made up of 11 hospitals, the Emory clinic, and also forms the Emory Healthcare Network — the largest clinically integrated network in Georgia, with more than 2,800 physicians focusing in 70 specialisations. 

That’s not all. Emory’s location at the “public health capital of the world” and its proximity with many state and regional health agencies, such as the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, make it the ideal study location for aspiring professionals in the sector. 

At Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, students can embark on a two-year journey in the Master of Public Healthprogramme, specialising in areas such as Behavioural, Social, and Health Education Sciences; Global Environmental Health; and Health Policy. Students with a particularly solid background in Mathematics or  Science can opt for the Master of Science in Public Health.

“As a school, we strive to foster an environment where innovation, discovery, and differences are embraced and celebrated,” says James W. Curran, Dean of, Rollins School of Public Health. “Core to this vision is a commitment toward diversity, equity, and inclusion, which extends not only to race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender, but also to 

a diversity of thought and opinion.” 

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International