According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the leading killer of state residents aged 45 and older is ischemic heart and vascular disease. The combination of the traditional Southern diet, narrow food options, and high poverty levels increase Georgia’s need for public health professionals.

…jobs for healthcare practitioners and social workers to increase 21% from 2014 to 2024.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs for healthcare practitioners and social workers to increase 21% from 2014 to 2024. In response to community need, Georgia’s master’s programs in public health have expanded to include coursework in areas such as environmental health, healthcare management, applied epidemiology, and public health informatics. The quality and number of accredited programs in Georgia make the state an ideal location to begin a career in public health.

Long-term goals for the Georgia Department of Public Health include improving the quality of life and increasing the life expectancy of residents through initiatives to reduce tobacco use and improve residents’ diets. The Tobacco Free Georgia campaign implements tobacco-free policies in schools and public areas to reduce children’s and young adults’ exposure to smoking. Approximately one in ten Georgia adults struggle with diabetes; the Georgia Grown Feed My School program fights diabetes by bringing nutritional training into elementary schools across the state. These are two of many health initiatives in Georgia, which require qualified public health managers to orchestrate.

Internships and fellowships provide real-world training for students in online MPH programs in Georgia. Internships may be paid or unpaid, but fellowships are generally paid, full-time positions. Below are paid internships and fellowships in Georgia-based institutions, which address a variety of community health issues. For more internship and fellowship opportunities, visit the Directors of Health Promotion and Education (DHPE) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) websites.

DHPE Internship Program

DHPE interns work with minority communities in Georgia. During internships, future public health organizers learn about local communities in need.

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The Carter Center’s Mental Health Program

Interns in this Atlanta-based program address statewide mental health issues and improve access to mental health support.

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GDPH Dietetic Internship

GDPH interns promote quality nutrition and help prevent diabetes. Interns must be affiliated with the GDPH or the Women, Infants, and Children Special Supplemental Nutrition Program.

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CDC Public Health Informatics Fellowship

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a fellowship that involves on-the-job training in the information sciences and in computer science. Fellows learn to manage and analyze public health information while working full-time for the CDC.

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Health Promotion Policy Fellowship

The DHPE offer this fellowship with the Georgia Department of Health and the CDC to train students to build and improve state health policies.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for community health workers to increase 18% by 2026. Though salaries depend on experience, credentials, and geographic location, the average salary for public health professionals in Georgia is higher than the nationwide average. The following table shows the wages and employment of public health workers in Georgia.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Georgia 3,470 $33.92 $70,540
United States 63,260 $32.60 $67,810

Source: BLS

Public Health Employers in Georgia

Large institutions and companies offer the most employment opportunities for recent graduates of online MPH programs in Georgia. Job seekers find positions in areas such as epidemiology, health and safety engineering, management, and health informatics. The table below lists Georgia’s largest employers of public health professionals.

Employers Number of Employees
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 12,000
Wellstar Health System 20,000

Public Health Research Centers in Georgia

For those who’ve earned their master’s in public health online, Georgia research centers provide employment opportunities. Positions in research centers are ideal for individuals who are interested in working with scientists and doctors to pursue solutions to public health issues. Below are three of the many research institutions in Georgia, which need graduates of master’s in public health programs to fill positions in administration, epidemiology, and social work.

  • School of Public Health at Georgia State University: The School of Public Health conducts ongoing research in areas of public health such as chronic and infectious diseases, mental health, and environmental triggers.
  • Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University: Lab contributors at the Rollins School of Public Health use data and field research to increase the quality of life for local residents. Employees study infectious diseases, environmental toxicology, and molecular epidemiology.
  • Georgia Public Health Laboratory: Professionals at the Georgia Public Health Laboratory engage in clinical and nonclinical research related to issues in Georgia communities. Employees contribute to health programs, promote statewide screenings, and provide diagnostic statistics to inform residents and health professionals.

Public Health Professional Organizations in Georgia

Students earning a master’s in public health degree online benefit from joining a local professional organization. Below are a few of the many statewide organizations that support public health and help professionals create valuable contacts. Membership often includes access to annual conferences, informative newsletters, and career service centers that help students transition from school to the workforce.

  • Georgia Clinical and Translational Science Alliance: The Georgia CTSA promotes quality clinical research and education and uses scientific discoveries as opportunities for community engagement. This alliance unites multiple institutions to foster statewide public health programs.
  • Georgia Public Health Association: Members of GPHA, a nonprofit organization, self-monitor their research to maintain standards of excellence in public health institutions across Georgia. This community advocates for new policies to improve public health and quality of life.
  • Georgia Family Connection Partnership: The Georgia Family Connection Partnership combines professional social work with grassroots community engagement to improve the lives of children and families. This advocacy group collaborates with community members and alerts the state government to community needs.

All public health professionals in the United States must pass the Certified in Public Health exam, administered by the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE). The exam consists of 200 questions with a four-hour time limit and should be taken after completing an online MPH program in Georgia. NBPHE offers practice questions and study resources to help candidates prepare.

NBPHE offers practice questions and study resources.

After passing the exam, professionals must maintain certification through continuing education regarding public health issues, including coursework, conferences, workshops, and online webinars. Current understanding of trends and issues in the field help professionals maintain high-quality performance and demonstrates dedication to the profession.

Before choosing a master’s program in public health in Georgia, ensure the institution is accredited. Accreditation indicates a program meets established standards of quality and rigor. Of the two most common types of accreditation — regional and national — regional is the most highly regarded. Attending a regionally accredited institution ensures your degree will be recognized by other institutions and by employers.

Public health programs should also hold field-specific accreditation; to take the required Certified in Public Health exam, candidates must have a degree from an institution accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Graduates from programs not accredited by CEPH must have at least five years of work experience in the field. Before enrolling, find your school in the list of CEPH-accredited schools.

Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship

Named for the first African American fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), this scholarship supports minority students in their final year of graduate studies in public health.

Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: March 31
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a U.S. citizen and a member of a minority group, must be enrolled full-time in an accredited public health program, and must demonstrate financial need.

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Foster G. McGaw Graduate Student Scholarship

Awarded by ACHE, this scholarship assists students in their final year of graduate studies in the field of public health. Up to 15 scholarships are awarded each year.

Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: March 31
Eligibility Requirements: The recipient must be a U.S. citizen who is enrolled full-time in an accredited degree program in public health and must demonstrate financial need.

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Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship

The Alma S. Adams Scholarship was founded to decrease tobacco use nationwide by supporting innovative projects designed by undergraduate and graduate public health students.

Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: April 30
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must create a community service and activism proposal, must have at least a 2.0 GPA, and must demonstrate financial need.

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Georgia Health Foundation Scholarship

This scholarship for Georgia State University students supports individuals who plan to work in public health for the state of Georgia.

Amount Offered: $2,500
Scholarship Deadline: Varies
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a full-time student at Georgia State, must have a strong GPA and a history of volunteer work in the field, and must have lived in Georgia for at least one year prior to beginning the MPH program.

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J. Rhodes Haverty Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship supports Georgia State students who demonstrate financial need and intend to work in public health in Georgia after graduation.

Amount Offered: $2,500
Scholarship Deadline: Varies
Eligibility Requirements: The recipient must be a Georgia resident, must demonstrate financial need, must maintain a 3.0 GPA, and must show leadership and a passion for public health.

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Richard-Sargent Memorial Fund Grant

This scholarship is designed to improve medical practice management by supporting students of public health, business administration, and healthcare administration.

Amount Offered: $1,000
Scholarship Deadline: May 1
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be certified through ACMPE, must be enrolled full-time in an accredited public health-related program in the U.S.

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Transamerica Retirement Solutions Leaders in Health Care Scholarship

This scholarship aids students interested in combatting retirement management issues. Transamerica coordinates financial advisors, healthcare administrators, and consultants to improve retirement plans.

Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: Varies
Eligibility Requirements: The student must be a U.S. citizen who demonstrates academic excellence, financial need, and a commitment to community service.

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Tylenol Future Care Scholarship

The Tylenol Corporation offers this scholarship to full-time undergraduate and graduate students pursuing healthcare careers.

Amount Offered: $10,000 to 10 recipients and $5,000 to 30 recipients
Scholarship Deadline: June 30
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a U.S. citizen who is enrolled full-time in a graduate program and must have at least one year of studies remaining. Applicants are evaluated based on GPA, academic achievement, volunteer record, and community involvement.

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David A. Winston Health Policy Scholarship

This scholarship offers up to 30 awards each year to graduate students at AUPHA programs, ASPPH programs, or health policy programs.

Amount Offered: $10,000
Scholarship Deadline: March 31
Eligibility Requirements: The recipient must be a U.S. citizen who is enrolled in or entering a graduate program in public health and must demonstrate commitment to public policy and community leadership.

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HIMSS Foundation Scholarships

For healthcare information and management students, the HIMSS Foundation offers $5,000 and the opportunity to participate in the HIMSS annual conference.

Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: Varies
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be enrolled full-time at an accredited institution and must be a current HIMSS member.

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The following database includes all accredited master’s in public health programs in Georgia. Each of the accredited online programs below provides skills and knowledge necessary for a successful career in public health.

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  1. Emory University

    Private Masters 1 Programs Available

    Address & Contact Info

    • 1518 Clifton Rd., NE
    • Atlanta, GA
    • (404) 727-8720

    Degree Programs Available

    -C Non-Ceph Certified +O Available Online

    Masters

    • Master of Public Health in Applied Epidemiology +O
  2. Georgia Regents University

    Public Certificate 1 Programs Available

    Address & Contact Info

    • 1120 15th Street, Building EB1003
    • Augusta, GA
    • (706) 721-3436

    Degree Programs Available

    -C Non-Ceph Certified +O Available Online

    Certificate

    • Certificate in Health Information Administration -C +O