Preparing for a Career in Public Health


Considering a Career in Public Health

The National Indian Health Board NIHB Public Health Summer Fellowship is a good option for students who are considering a career in public health. The NIHB believes in the importance of building the numbers of American Indian and Alaska Natives in the public health workforce so Native people have the capacity to address the health needs of their community.

The fellowship is directed toward rising junior and senior American Indian and Alaska Native undergraduates. Based in Atlanta Georgia, the fellows are individually mentored and educated for 9 weeks in health policy, programming and research. Fellows engage with the Tribal Leaders helping the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) implement its Tribal Consultation Policy.

This fellowship is the result of NIHB’s partnership with the Morehouse School of Medicine, the CDC, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and the Minority Health Professions Foundation. A general description of the program is at the
Morehouse School of Medicine website.

Schools of Public Health

Schools of public health offer a wide range of degrees, including

  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Master of Health Administration (MHA)
  • Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA)
  • Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
  • Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Some schools also offer such joint degrees such as MD/MPH. Distance learning programs are available.

Courses are typically organized around five major areas of public health:

  1. biostatistics
  2. environmental health
  3. behavioral science/health education
  4. health services administration
  5. epidemiology--a branch of medical science that deals with the incidence, distribution and control of diseases in a population.

Some schools also include such areas as


For more information about schools of public health and opportunities available to graduates of these programs, see the website of the
Association of Schools of Public Health.