A degree in Public Health Administration provides an individual with the skills needed to work in the public health field in a managerial, organizational capacity. They will work to plan, direct, and coordinate public health services. Some positions are available in governments, but most are available in non-profit or non-governmental organizations. A bachelors, masters or doctorate level degree is available and each will provide a more specified career path and options available.
Consider featured accredited online MHA programs seeking applicants for a Master's of Health Administration:
- The Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University's online Master of Health Administration is for aspiring leaders with at least three years full time experience. With the program’s interactive design, students learn from each other’s experience as much as they learn from faculty. Click for Admissions Information.
Where Can you get a Public Health Administration Degree?
Public Health continues to grow as a degree option in the U.S. Schools such as Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Minnesota have well known public health administration or management programs. One thing to consider when choosing a school is accreditation. Accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) will ensure the course work meets a high standard. While it is not yet a requirement for schools or programs to become accredited, it is beginning to be the norm and a good way to ensure programs are competitive.
Online Degrees in Public Health Administration
Degrees online may also be received from CEPH accredited schools. Online schools such as Colorado State University and Concordia University offer 100% online degrees. Many schools are beginning to offer their degrees in public health administration partially online to allow for more flexibility. Many students pursuing masters or doctoral programs wish to continue work while receiving their degree.
When considering online education, it is important to look at each schools faculty and format for online classes. Consider if classes are held at a specific time each day, or if they will be prerecorded for viewing when the student is available. Also consider how group and personal projects will be completed and what platform is used for communication. Online course work requires a great deal of self-motivation and accountability, so it is not for everyone. Lastly, be aware that some online programs may require students to travel to campus on occasion for special projects.
What Can You Do with a Public Health Administration Degree?
A degree in Public Health Administration will prepare a student for a career in management for a public health organization. These may be government positions, but are more often found in non-governmental organizations or non-profits. A Public Health Administrator will plan, direct, and coordinate public health services provided. These could be anything from routine STI testing to clean water campaigns. They may also help develop policy and research in relation to how to provide services best. Education will also be a part of career in public health administration.
Why Work in Public Health Administration and Who Should Work in PHA?
There are many reasons an individual may choose a career in Public Health Administration. Those working in Public Health have the opportunity to improve the lives of many. They may work for a government keeping the population healthy and safe or they may work for a non-governmental organization and help to improve the lives of many through outreach and service. Another reason individuals choose to work in public health administration is that career opportunities and advancement are on the rise. As the world's population continues to change and age, more professionals will be needed to help keep people healthy and safe.
An individual with a passion to help others, has leadership skills and can work independently will make a good public health administrator. They must be organized and dependable as many work on projects from start to finish. Communication is also a key part of the public health administrators career. Communication, both oral and written, is important because information will need to be developed for the specific audience. Lastly, the ability to work with others is desired as being able to gain support from communities and colleagues is a part of every public health administrators career.
Bachelors Degree in Public Health Administration
For most entry level positions, a Bachelor's degree in public health (or health care) administration or a similar degree will be enough. The prerequisites for admissions often include, a personal statement, a minimum GPA, a resume, and potentially specific preparatory classes. Once accepted into a public health program students will be required to choose their concentration or create a concentration by choosing classes that align with public health administration. Working with professors and councilors is a great way to ensure the concatenation chosen is the right one. Popular concentrations are health information and records management
Course work for a bachelor's in public health administration will consist of classes covering writing, U.S. Health Care, public health principles, ethics, medical law and business and organization topics. Electives are often built into programs, and should be utilized to maximize curriculum. Graduation often requires completion of a specified number of credits. Some programs may also include capstone or presentation classes with a final project.
Masters Degree in Public Health Administration
A Master's of Public Health Administration is ideal for the professional who has worked for a number of years in public health administration and wishes to further their career. The requirements for admittance into a MPHA program are a standardized test (such as the GRE) meeting a minimum score, transcripts with a minimum GPA, and usually a personal statement.
The coursework for MPHA programs are often more specialized to the students career goals. A number of core curriculum classes are required, such as biostatistics, management in health services, and epidemiology. The other courses taken will meet the requirements for specific tracks such as management and policy development. Some programs may also allow a student to design their own track to fit their career needs best. Final projects and presentations are used at the end of course work to show the students mastery of knowledge and skills.
Featured Online Public Health Administration Programs
The following schools offer Public Health Administration programs online, and are currently accepting applicants for their program.
Doctorate Degree in Public Health Administration
A Doctorate level in Public Health Administration can be received as either a Ph.D. or a Dr.PH. Both will prepare the student for work in a high level managerial position (i.e. CEO or COO) or for a career in research or academia. Admissions into these programs often require a master's level degree in a related field, a GRE or similar test, and many prefer students who have work experience. Interviews, letters of recommendation and personal statements may also be required.
Once accepted, the curriculum offered by most programs will be flexible as many students continue to work while they receive their degree part time. Research methodology, finance, management, organization, quality improvement, and health care economics are just a few of the topics covered in an Ph.D. or Dr.PH curriculum. Internships, practicums or hands on research are also often required by Doctoral programs. It is also quite common for a dissertation or presentation to be used as a final project.