Colorado has consistently ranked as one of the top 10 healthiest states in the country. Three of the state’s cities (i.e., Boulder, Denver, and Fort Collins) also consistently rank among the healthiest cities in the country, and National Geographic recently ranked Boulder as the happiest city in the United States. Not surprisingly, Colorado has a strong public health industry that connects with the state’s health-focused culture. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that epidemiology jobs in this state are expected to increase by 25.8% between 2014 and 2024, while jobs for general healthcare practitioners are expected to increase by 22.9%. The BLS also reports that Colorado is one of the highest-paying states for epidemiologists. Because the state features a generally healthy population and positive trends in health career occupations, Colorado is an excellent place to earn an online public health master’s degree.
Colorado maintains its status as one of the country’s healthiest states by pursuing several public health goals. Colorado’s Commitment to Become the Healthiest State is a 2013 health policy agenda that outlines 18 initiatives to maintain and improve public health. This plan highlights four main goals: promote prevention and wellness regarding obesity, mental health, oral health, and substance abuse; expand coverage; improve health systems; and strengthen sustainability. These initiatives include the Healthy Economy, Healthy Colorado plan, which includes strategies to improve healthcare and wellbeing in the workplace.
Additionally, Colorado’s 10 Winnable Battles include health and environmental priorities in areas such as unwanted pregnancies, healthy air and clean water, infectious disease prevention, and mental health and substance abuse support. The University of Colorado Denver also manages several public health programs, including the American Indian and Alaska native health program.
Due to the state’s commitment to wellbeing, students pursuing an mph in Colorado have access to several internships and fellowships. Internships and fellowships offer slightly different experiences. Typically, a fellowship enhances a graduate or postgraduate student’s studies in their chosen field and involves a stipend. Internships can be awarded to undergraduate or graduate students, and these positions can be paid or unpaid. The list below contains more information about a few public health internships and fellowships in Colorado.
- Denver Health Medical Career Collaborative Program
Denver Health is an organization that provides healthcare and health education to all patients, regardless of their financial status. This organization offers 12-week internships to high school students.
- HealthBuffs Peer Education Program
HealthBuffs Peer Education Program: Offered through the University of Colorado, this internship lets students attend trainings and participate in semester-long projects related to student wellness and health.
- University of Colorado Hospital Fellowship
Students participating in this 12-month fellowship customize their experiences to fit their academic and professional interests. Fellows work with members of the hospital’s senior leadership team.
- Global Emergency Medicine Fellowship
This fellowship is offered through the University of Colorado’s health department and the Colorado School of Public Health. Fellows gain research skills and hands-on experiences related to global medicine as academic clinicians.
- World Health Organization Internship
Offered through a collaboration between the Colorado School of Public Health and the WHO, this fellowship provides students with the opportunity to travel to Geneva, Switzerland and study international public health policy.
The amount of money a public health official earns depends on their level of experience, where they live, and their specific position. For example, epidemiologists earn a median annual salary of $70,820, while health educators earn a median annual salary of $44,390. Earning your degree through one of the many online MPH programs in Colorado can also improve your chances of earning a higher-paying salary. The table below displays wage data from May 2016 for epidemiologists and health educators in Colorado. Average annual and hourly wages for these occupations are slightly lower than the national average.
|Employment||Hourly Mean Wage||Annual Mean Wage|
Public Health Employers in Colorado
While pursuing a master’s of public health online in Colorado, it may be prudent to learn about the state’s largest public health providers. Colorado is home to several major health organizations. The table below describes the top three public health employers in Colorado.
|Employers||Number of Employees|
|UC Health University of Colorado Hospital||7,110|
Public Health Research Centers in Colorado
Familiarizing yourself with the state’s largest research centers can also ease your job search after graduation; these organizations can provide useful connections in the world of public health. Colorado has a reputation for its science and health programs, and the state has several large research centers.
- Colorado School of Public Health: This institution represents a collaborative partnership between the University of Colorado Denver, Colorado State University, and the University of Northern Colorado. The school is home to several degree programs and research centers, including the Mountain and Plains Education and Research Center.
- Colorado Health Institute: The Colorado Health Institute is committed to providing evidence-based data and research to advance public health policy and support access to healthcare for all Colorado residents. The institute also provides services in healthcare evaluation and advising.
- Latino Research and Policy Center: Part of the Colorado School of Public Health, this center focuses on research, improving healthcare access, and eliminating health-related struggles that negatively affect the Latino community in Colorado.
- Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials: This professional association focuses on advocacy, initiatives, and research to improve the practice, financing, and structure of the state’s public health delivery system.
Public Health Professional Organizations in Colorado
Joining a professional organization enables workers to receive support from and collaborate with others in their field. These organizations also provide access to professional development opportunities such as trainings and conferences. Additionally, for individuals with degrees from an online MPH program in Colorado, professional organizations can provide potential employment opportunities. For example, the Public Health Alliance of Colorado features a job board that helps professionals in this field find work. Below are three major public health organizations in Colorado.
- Colorado Public Health Association: As the state’s largest and oldest network of public health professionals, the CPHA focuses on professional education, policy and advocacy, and professional development. This association’s opportunities include access to the Colorado Public Health mentoring program.
- Colorado Public Health Nursing Leaders: This professional organization connects nursing directors and other leaders across the state to improve public health nursing practices and policies.
- Colorado Directors of Environmental Health: The CDEH is a network between the environmental directors of local health agencies. This organization focuses on improving environmental health conditions and programs throughout Colorado and educating the public.
Colorado does not require public health professionals to have any specific certifications or licenses.
Colorado does not require public health professionals to have any specific certifications or licenses. However, licensure and certification can make you a more competitive candidate when searching for jobs. It can also help you advance in a specialized field of public health. For example, after earning a master’s degree in public health, epidemiologists can earn certification through the Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology; this board offers voluntary and periodic certification that ensures professionals meet certain practice and educational requirements. Some epidemiologists also earn voluntary certification through the American Medical Association or through the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.
You can also earn several different certifications from the Colorado School of Public Health, including certifications in Latino health, global public health, and public health preparedness and disaster response. For food safety inspectors, Colorado offers a retail food program, which ensures that professionals in this field can help establishments that serve food.
Attending an accredited school is crucial because many employers and universities do not accept credits or degrees from nonaccredited institutions. Accreditation is a process of external review that determines whether or not a school/program meets specific educational standards. Earning your degree from an accredited school ensures that you received a valid, quality education.
The two primary types of accreditation are regional and national. National accreditation is less widespread and is typically awarded to for-profit, religious, or vocational institutions. Regional accreditation is more widely accepted and is awarded to nonprofit and degree-focused schools. When looking for an online public health program in Colorado, be sure that it is regionally accredited. Additionally, look for programs with accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health. This agency promotes excellence in public health degree programs and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
- CSU Scholarship
The Colorado Environmental Health Association advances the cause of health issues related to the environment throughout the state. This association awards a scholarship to a CSU student focused on environmental health.
Eligibility Requirements: Recipient must be an upper-level undergraduate student or a graduate student in good academic standing at CSU who participates in environmental health organizations and projects.
- Judith Albino Diversity Scholarship Fund
Open to all students enrolled in public health programs in Colorado, this scholarship is offered to learners interested in public health, medicine, or psychology. The award amount varies based on individual interests and financial need.
Amount Offered: Amount varies
Scholarship Deadline: February 1
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants should be studying public health or medicine. Preference is given to students at the Colorado School of Public Health and to students who are members of federally recognized Native American tribes.
- ColoradoSPH at CSU Diversity Award
Offered through the Colorado School of Public Health, this scholarship is awarded to new students at CSU who are enrolled in the master’s of public health program.
Amount Offered: $5,000 per year for two years
Scholarship Deadline: Shortly after admission to CSU’s MPH program
Eligibility Requirements: Applicant should be newly enrolled in the MPH graduate program at CSU. The scholarship committee uses a wide definition of diversity when determining who will receive this award.
- Tom Douville Scholarship
Offered through the Colorado Environmental Health Association, this scholarship is for students working as interns in local health departments who are interested in environmental health.
Amount Offered: $250 to $1,000
Scholarship Deadline: August 5th
Eligibility Requirements: Recipients must be public or environmental health students at a Colorado university and an intern in a local health department.
- Hamman-Hoffman Epidemiology Scholarships
The Colorado School of Public Health offers this scholarship to students with financial need who contribute to the school’s diversity and will contribute to the public health profession’s diversity.
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be enrolled in the Colorado School of Public Health’s master’s program.
- Robinson Durst Scholarship
Offered through the Colorado School of Public Health’s Center for Global Health, this scholarship is awarded to health science graduate students pursuing global health projects.
Amount Offered: $2,000
Eligibility Requirements: Recipient must be a graduate student in a health-related program at one of the University of Colorado’s campuses. Preference is given to projects focused on the developing world.
- Orleans Graduate Research Fund
This scholarship funds research projects, including travel for professional conferences and/or to conduct research, to master’s students enrolled in Colorado School of Public Health programs.
Amount Offered: $500
Scholarship Deadline: August 11th or December 8th
Eligibility Requirements: Recipients should be graduate students enrolled in a Colorado School of Public Health program.
- Moran Scholarship Fund
Connected to the Colorado Trust, this scholarship is awarded to students who attend any of the three Colorado School of Public Health Campuses.
Amount Offered: Based on available funds
Scholarship Deadline: Offered shortly after admission into a Colorado School of Public Health program
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be Colorado residents enrolled at one of the Colorado School of Public Health’s three campuses.
- Rotary Scholarship
Several Denver-area rotary clubs partner with the Students for Global Health network to award this scholarship to a graduate student interested in global health.
Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be a Colorado master’s of public health student and must fit with the Rotary Club’s values of fellowship, service, and ethical conduct.
- Anna Christine Brinkerhoff Helms Scholarship
Colorado State University offers this scholarship to eligible public health graduate students.
Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: March 1st
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be enrolled in Colorado State University’s master’s of public health program.