Careers in public health span the medical, dental, and law fields. Graduates of MPH programs improve healthcare and its outcomes in local, statewide, and international communities through health, policy, and communication initiatives.
The United Health Foundation ranks Delaware 31st in the nation for overall health
According to the Delaware Center for Health Promotion, 66% of Delaware adults are obese, and approximately 20% smoke. The United Health Foundation ranks Delaware 31st in the nation for overall health. These factors increase the need for public health professionals to assist Delaware’s state agencies, healthcare organizations, and research centers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects demand for health educators to increase 13.9% from 2014 to 2024.
For students earning their master’s in public health online, Delaware offers a variety of education and employment options.
Delaware’s Division of Public Health improves the health of residents through public health initiatives that promote flu vaccinations and tackle the drug addiction crisis. Major aspects of the division’s work include needle exchange and opioid overdose-reversal drug availability initiatives. The division recently announced a partnership with CVS to make naloxone available without a prescription at all CVS pharmacies in the state.
Other division programs are aimed at reducing obesity, improving the lives of children, preventing drug addiction, and lowering rates of infant mortality, unplanned pregnancy, and teen suicide. Education and communication initiatives help the division reach the populations at risk for these issues. The division’s Choose Health Delaware website provides information regarding health insurance and payment options.
Internships and fellowships provide valuable experience for MPH students. They solidify concepts learned during coursework and advance employment opportunities after graduation. Intensive fellowships typically last one to two years and are paid; they combine fieldwork with some coursework and are available to current students and recent graduates.
Internships have shorter durations and are typically unpaid positions meant to provide students with professional experience. Although the following internships and fellowships are not located in the state, they are available to students in public health programs in Delaware.
- David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship
This one-year public policy fellowship is based in Washington, D.C., and participants are paid monthly stipends. Fellows must have graduated from a master’s degree program at an institution holding membership with the Association of Schools and Programs in Public Health or the Association of University Programs in Health Administration.
- Applied Epidemiology Fellowship
This onsite training for epidemiologists is available through various health departments nationwide. The two-year paid program is managed by the CDC and the Health Resources and Services Administration.
- ASPPH Public Health Internship
The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health provides summer internships at its offices in Washington, D.C., to students who have completed their first year of graduate school. Interns receive a stipend to cover expenses and complete projects in public health education.
- Public Health Fellowship in Government
Fellows in this Washington, D.C., program work as staffers in the U.S. Congress on behalf of the American Public Health Association. The policy-focused position typically lasts one year.
- Administrative and Communication Internships and Externships
The CDC provides internships and externships through its public health law program in Atlanta, Georgia. This unpaid administrative and communication opportunity is for MPH students and involves work related to public health policy and law.
Graduates of online MPH programs in Delaware earn a salary slightly less than the national average. Exact salaries vary by experience and credentials such as professional certifications, which increase earning potential. Location also affects earning; salaries tend to be higher in urban areas than in rural areas. The following table shows mean wages of health educators in Delaware and the U.S.
|Employment||Hourly Mean Wage||Annual Mean Wage|
Public Health Employers in Delaware
Graduates seeking employment in Delaware’s public health field will find the most opportunities with large hospitals and organizations within the health system. Hospitals employ the largest number of health professionals and offer the highest salaries nationwide. Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services is another significant employer of public health professionals.
|Employers||Number of Employees|
|Christiana Care Health System||11,302|
|Delaware Department of Health and Social Services||4,365|
|Nemours Children’s Health System||3,795|
Public Health Research Centers in Delaware
For graduates with an MPH, Delaware offers opportunities to work in local public health research centers, which improve health outcomes and inform related state policy initiatives. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Training Center also serves as a continuing educator of public health professionals, helping them deepen their knowledge to better serve the public.
- University of Delaware’s Center for Community Research and Service: With two locations in Delaware, this research center’s initiatives improve equal access to healthcare and drive policy changes. Much of the public health research is performed in conjunction with the state’s largest hospitals and the Division of Public Health.
- Delaware Center for Health Promotion: The research conducted at this Delaware State University center improves the health of state residents. Staff members work with local organizations to develop and implement public programs, such as those to help residents quit smoking and to improve their diets.
- Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Center: Serving as a “Johns Hopkins Local Performance Site,” this center was founded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration and provides continuing education to public health professionals in Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., which strengthens the public health workforce and regional health system.
Public Health Professional Organizations in Delaware
Public health professionals focus on quality improvements through continuous changes to programs, policies, and practices. Students and graduates of public health programs in Delaware should promote these initiatives and be updated on the latest developments. Joining a professional organization provides access to networking experiences, educational events, and employment opportunities.
- Delaware Public Health Institute: This organization, established by the University of Delaware and the Public Health Management Corporation in Pennsylvania, improves public health issues through its network of healthcare institutions and professionals. Coalition members assist with initiatives, expand their professional networks, and access education opportunities.
- Delaware Public Health Association: This American Public Health Association affiliate provides members with networking and educational events, as well as publications to improve professional knowledge. The association’s annual meeting focuses on current public health issues and features the presentation of two prestigious awards. A student membership rate is available.
- Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology: This 15,000-member national organization is dedicated to preventing infection and improving patient and public health outcomes. The Delaware Valley and Philadelphia Chapter 015 serves members in Delaware.
The National Board of Public Health Examiners offers the Certified in Public Health (CPH) credential, which is an optional certification for public health professionals. By passing the CPH exam and remaining certified through continuing education, professionals demonstrate leadership within the field.
Delaware professionals with the CPH credential are competitive candidates for employment.
Delaware professionals with the CPH credential are competitive candidates for employment. Students may sit for the exam if they are currently enrolled in a public health program accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. Certification also helps employed public health professionals advance their careers and improve their earning potential.
When researching online MPH programs in Delaware, ensure each school is accredited. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is the regional accrediting body for schools in Delaware. Regional accreditation is more common and more highly regarded than national accreditation, which is typically reserved for vocational schools. Credits earned from nationally accredited institutions are difficult to transfer, and employers may not recognize degrees from nationally accredited schools.
Public health students should look for programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), which accredits public health schools and degree programs. CEPH accreditation may be required for federal and state employment, fellowship applications, and certification exams.
- Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship for Outreach and Health Communications to Reduce Tobacco Use Among Priority Populations
This scholarship is for public health students dedicated to reducing tobacco usage and secondhand smoke for minorities, the homeless, the poor, and LGBT communities.
Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: April 30
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must have performed community service related to tobacco usage in specific populations, must demonstrate financial need, and must have a minimum 2.0 GPA.
- Corris Boyd Scholars Program
The Association of University Programs in Health Administration offers this scholarship to minority students in healthcare graduate degree programs. The program delivers financial aid to students demonstrating leadership abilities.
Amount Offered: $40,000
Scholarship Deadline: April 17
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a minority student accepted into a graduate degree program at an institution accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education and must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.
- David A. Winston Scholarship Program
This scholarship provides financial aid for students dedicated to public health policy with the goal of expanding the pool of healthcare policy professionals at local and state levels.
Amount Offered: $10,000
Scholarship Deadline: April 2
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant should be in the first year of a graduate degree program in public health or policy at an AUPHA or ASPPH member institution and must have completed at least five courses.
- Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship
This scholarship is for minority students who require financial aid for tuition and expenses as they pursue a graduate degree in a healthcare management field.
Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: March 31
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a minority student in the first year of a healthcare management graduate degree program. Student members of the American College of Healthcare Executives are given priority.
- Vivian Drenckhahn Student Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to students pursuing a career in public health education who have financial need. The scholarship is paid directly to the the student’s college or university.
Amount Offered: $1,500
Scholarship Deadline: October 15
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a graduate student in a public health education program, must have completed one-third of the program coursework, and must have been a member of the Society for Public Health Education for at least three months.
- Foster G. McGaw Graduate Student Scholarship
This scholarship offsets tuition and costs for students committed to community services who are nearing completion of their graduate degree in public health.
Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: March 31
Eligibility Requirements: The student must be in the last year of a graduate program and must demonstrate financial need. Student members of the American College of Healthcare Executives are considered first.
- Florence Young Memorial Scholarship
Designed for students of Native American tribes recognized by the U.S. government, this scholarship assists MPH students with tuition costs.
Amount Offered: $1,500
Scholarship Deadline: December 15
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a graduate student in a public health program, must have a minimum GPA of 2.5, and must be a Native American with a tribal letter or documentation.
- AlgaeCal Health Scholarship
This scholarship requires a 750-word essay about a specific public health issue and how to address the issue with policy changes and public education.
Amount Offered: $1,000
Scholarship Deadline: June 30
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a graduate student and must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.
- HOSA Scholarships
This student organization offers a variety of scholarships to graduate students, including awards for students committed to community service and leadership.
Amount Offered: $2,000
Scholarship Deadline: March 15
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a member of STEM Premier and must be enrolled in a public health graduate degree program.
- Tylenol Future Care Scholarship
This scholarship benefits students planning careers in healthcare-related fields. Leadership skills, dedication to community, and proven academic excellence are considered.
Amount Offered: $5,000 or $10,000
Scholarship Deadline: June 30
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a graduate student in a health program with at least one year of studies remaining and must demonstrate community service efforts.