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How Do I Get a Master's in Public Health Management?

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  • Written By: Gabriele Sturmer
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2016
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A master's degree in public health management prepares you to work in nonprofit organizations and government health agencies and is most often used to obtain positions in management and administration. The degree covers various topics related to healthcare policy, ethics, strategic management, public health law, statistics and the social sciences. To get a master's in public health management, you will need to have a bachelor's degree, follow the school's application requirements, pass all required courses and complete an internship and a final project in public health.

Although there are some exceptions, students seeking a master's in public health management can normally have a bachelor's degree in any field and usually don't need to take specific courses in preparation. Some schools do, however, ask you to submit a resume that shows experience in health care and require letters from professional references in the field. A statement-of-purpose essay, undergraduate transcripts and previous graduate test scores are usually required, and international students also may need to send language proficiency exam results, descriptions of previous courses and a translation of their college transcripts.

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The coursework for a master's in public health management is grouped into two sections, including a set of core courses in public health and a set of specialization courses in management. Core courses include an introductory class in public health issues, environmental health issues, biological statistics, disease control, health information systems, economics and the social sciences. Some schools may require that you complete all the core courses before you can proceed with the management courses. The concentration courses integrate managerial concepts with health care and focus on strategic leadership, global health issues, disaster management, healthcare finance and business communication. Your college also may let you add an optional second concentration in environmental health, biological statistics or the behavioral sciences.

Most master's in public health management programs end with a field experience and capstone course. The field experience is an internship in an organization related to public health and cannot be done until all core and concentration courses are completed. Your internship will focus on the management concentration of health care and any secondary concentrations you pursued, and you will use your experience for the project in the capstone course. The capstone course usually involves an extensive project on public health management and a presentation given to faculty members. Many students begin preparing for the project during the internship.

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