Graduates of online MPA programs are crucial to the health and well-being of Arkansas residents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Arkansas ranked second in the nation for death from stroke in 2014. It also ranked fourth for death by heart disease and chronic lower respiratory disease.

Arkansas currently employs only 40 epidemiologists, with employment expected to grow 9.8% by 2024.

According to Projections Central, Arkansas currently employs only 40 epidemiologists, with employment expected to grow only 9.8% by 2024. Without question, students in public health programs in Arkansas have an opportunity to improve public health and reduce mortality rates in the state.

Arkansas strives to improve residents’ quality of life by reducing health disparities and mitigating preventable and treatable illnesses. The Arkansas Department of Health offers services such as the Growing Healthy Communities Program, which helps communities reduce obesity through environmental and policy changes. In addition, the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program is designed to prevent young people from using tobacco while helping people of all ages overcome tobacco addiction. The Arkansas Wellness Coalition improves the quality of care for certain costly, high-risk diseases and develops materials that reference nationally recognized standards, such as those promoted by U.S. Healthy People 2020 and the American Heart Association.

Online MPH programs in Arkansas may offer internships that eventually lead to fellowships. While internships may be paid or unpaid experiences that complement degree coursework, fellowships are paid experiences to help graduates build professional credentials. Most accredited online MPH programs in Arkansas offer both internship and fellowship opportunities.

Arkansas Center for Health Improvement

This nonpartisan health policy center offers a health education internship that requires strong research and writing skills. Interns work 10 to 15 hours per week under the supervision of the director of communications. Applicants can apply online.

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Bechtel Corporation

This company offers an environmental, safety, and health internship to support the project safety supervisor or safety and health manager. Applicants submit materials through the company’s online careers portal.

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Arkansas Department of Health

The Environmental Health College Intern Program allows interns to assist with short- and long-term projects while being mentored by senior staff. Applicants can apply online.

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Applied Public Health Informatics Fellowship

The CDC and collaborators, collectively known as Strengthening Health Systems through Interprofessionals Education partners, offer this fellowship. During the one-year program, recent graduates train under the supervision of a skilled mentor. Apply online.

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Directors of Health Promotion and Education

The Health Promotion Policy Fellowship addresses public health and health disparities and provides professional leadership opportunities in state and local health departments. The fellowship program accepts applications online.

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Graduates of master’s of public health online programs pursue meaningful careers positively impacting others’ lives. The small number of healthcare professionals, such as epidemiologists, in Arkansas puts MPH degree holders in high demand. The degree qualifies professionals for leadership roles as public health officials. Earning potential depends on experience, profession, and state of residence. The following table shows mean wages for public health professionals.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Arkansas 180 $25.74 $53,540
United States 63,260 $32.60 $67,810

Source: BLS

Public Health Employers in Arkansas

Working for a large employer affords greater professional opportunities. These employers recruit for a large number of positions that demand the expertise acquired during public health programs in Arkansas. These employers are frequently established and respected, which can strengthen your resume.

Employers Number of Employees
Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield More than 2,700
Arkansas Department of Human Services More than 7,500
University of Arkansas 4,580

Public Health Research Centers in Arkansas

Public health research centers offer employment opportunities for graduates of online MPH programs. Research professionals are part of cutting-edge initiatives that solve health concerns for people across Arkansas and the U.S. Research positions further establish your expertise in the public health field.

  • Arkansas Prevention Research Center: Established by the Fay W. Booman College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Services in 2009, this facility develops approaches to promote health and prevent disease.
  • Arkansas Center for Health Disparities: Housed within the Fay W. Booman College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Services, this center improves access to preventative health for racial and ethnic minorities.
  • Arkansas Children’s Research Institute: This center promotes innovation in pediatric medicine — including studies in birth defects, diabetes-related complexities, and childhood diseases — to better ensure all children lead healthy lives.

Public Health Professional Organizations in Arkansas

Members of public health professional organizations network with experts committed to addressing health concerns that affect society. In addition to building your knowledge of the field, joining a professional organization allows access to fellowship opportunities, innovative research projects, and job openings. Membership connects you with public health professionals across the country and provides opportunities to build your professional reputation.

  • Arkansas Public Health Association: Established in 1947 and organized during the annual conference of the Arkansas State Board of Health, this organization protects the public’s personal and environmental health.
  • Arkansas Society for Public Health Education: SOPHE encourages, advances, and supports the health of Arkansas residents. The organization strengthens professionalism in the field by developing standards for the practice of health education.
  • Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists: Representing public health epidemiologists, this organization offers information and education to these professionals and establishes relationships with state and health agencies.

Earning the CPH shows you are a lifelong learner, which enables you to make decisions and be a thought leader.

The National Board of Public Health Examiners offers the Certified in Public Health (CPH) designation, which demonstrates knowledge and understanding of critical subject matter in public health sciences and verifies expertise in the field. While the CPH is not required for most jobs, the credential communicates to potential employers that you meet or exceed the national standard in public health.

Earning the CPH shows you are a lifelong learner, which enables you to make decisions and be a thought leader. To sit for this computer-based exam, individuals must have a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of professional experience in public health. The exam covers topics such as biostatistics, epidemiology, and environmental health sciences. You may be eligible for a discount on the exam based on your alma mater, employer, or professional association membership.

The best public health programs in Arkansas are accredited, which ensures the coursework meets rigorous standards. The Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognize six regional bodies that accredit schools across the country, including those with online programs.

Along with regional accreditation, look for an online MPH program with accreditation from the Council of Education for Public Health, an independent, field-specific agency recognized by the ED. Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Healthcare Management Education also indicates high standards.

SYMPTOMA Better Diagnosis Scholarship

Founded by SYMPTOMA, an online database of health symptoms, this scholarship supports students who are working to finance their studies. Awards are presented to six highly qualified applicants.

Amount Offered: $500 per year
Scholarship Deadline: January 31
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a current student, who is working to finance their studies.

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Citrix ShareFile Innovation Scholarship

This scholarship helps students pursuing innovative opportunities. Applicants must write an essay of 500 to 800 words about innovation that has significantly impacted their life.

Amount Offered: $2,000–5,000
Scholarship Deadline: December 15
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a current student enrolled in an accredited U.S. university, college, or trade school.

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Albert W. Dent Graduate Scholarship

Named in honor of the first African American fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, this scholarship is awarded to 15 students per year. The scholarship supports minority students in healthcare management graduate programs.

Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: March 31
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a minority student enrolled in their final year of graduate studies and must demonstrate financial need.

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Bill and Mary Russell Health Care Scholarship

This scholarship supports students in healthcare-related programs and is offered through the Heartland Foundation, which champions healthy communities in the U.S.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: April 15
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be from specific counties in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, or Nebraska.

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Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship

Sponsored by the Guttmacher Institute, this scholarship funds future leaders in sexual and reproductive health and rights by supporting students earning advanced degrees in public health or public policy.

Amount Offered: $15,000
Scholarship Deadline: February
Eligibility Requirements: Preference is given to those who demonstrate financial need.

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Florence Young Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship supports students of American Indian descent who are pursuing a master’s degree in public health.

Amount Offered: $1,500
Scholarship Deadline: Varies
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must demonstrate financial need and merit and must verify their tribal affiliation.

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Florida Public Health Association

This membership organization, comprising Florida’s public health experts, educators, and administrators, offers a scholarship to support graduate students in public health programs.

Amount Offered: $350 and one-year FPHA membership
Scholarship Deadline: June 23
Eligibility Requirements: The Applicant must be a current member of the Florida Public Health Association and must be willing to remain in Florida at least one year to contribute to its public health system.

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Lynn Adamson Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship supports female graduate students pursuing a health-related career. The scholarship honors Adamson, who demonstrated leadership in healthcare while battling multiple sclerosis.

Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: February 19
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be enrolled in a graduate program in the San Francisco Bay Area or will be admitted into one during the fall term of the current year.

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National Hispanic Health Foundation Professional Student Scholarship Program

This scholarship fund is an effort to mitigate the dearth of Hispanic-serving healthcare professionals in the U.S.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: October 6
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be enrolled full-time in an accredited public health graduate program and must demonstrate a commitment to the Hispanic community. Applicants are not required to be Hispanic.

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National Environmental Health Association/American Academy of Sanitarians Scholarship

This scholarship is available to graduate students in public health who are interested in environmental health. These two organizations have collaborated for this scholarship since 1984.

Amount Offered: $2,000
Scholarship Deadline: March 15
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be enrolled in a school approved by either the National Environmental Health Association or the Environmental Health Accreditation Council.

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