Graduate public health programs in Maryland offer exciting options to those pursuing public health careers. Home to several reputable research centers, universities, and student resources, Maryland serves as a rich and varied terrain for higher education. For example, U.S. News & World Report currently ranks Maryland 18th in overall public health, 14th in healthcare, and sixth in access to healthcare.

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) report projects an 18.4% increase in available positions for epidemiologists by 2024.

Public health careers in Maryland are on the rise, with the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) report projecting an 18.4% increase in available positions for epidemiologists alone by 2024. Certain careers in the field require a master’s degree in public health (MPH) and obtaining one increases the competitiveness of any resume. Online MPH programs in Maryland demonstrate the quality of the state’s public health programs and make use of location-specific resources while providing greater flexibility for students.

Maryland utilizes an all-payer model for healthcare, a system unique to the state. This innovative approach shifts financing from a basis in volume of services to hospital-specific global revenues and value-based incentives. Although rates vary depending on the hospital, within each hospital rates are set across the board for patients — with some exceptions — regardless of insurance status. Though not without challenges, the new system has to date sparked increased access to healthcare among Maryland’s population. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene discusses the progress of the all-payer model, and ongoing and adjusted initiatives in the Maryland Population Health Improvement Plan. Regarding 2017 targets, the plan — which includes 39 specific measures — spans five areas: healthy beginnings, healthy living, healthy communities, access to healthcare, and quality preventative care.

While both internships and fellowships supplement professional and academic development, the two feature a few notable key differences: An internship places a student or trainee (often an undergraduate) within an organization to work either with or without pay to satisfy qualification requirements or gain work experience. A fellowship more often consists of an academic or honorary appointment and/or award of financial aid at graduate or post-graduate levels. Internships and Fellowships connected to public health programs in Maryland include the following:

National Cancer Institute Health Communications Internship Program (HCIP)

Graduate students and recent graduate degree recipients undertake six or 12-month paid internships in either health communications or science writing tracks at one of three National Cancer Institute (NCI) campuses in Maryland. Applications are available through the HCIP website.

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Public Health Application for Student Experience (PHASE)

A non-paid, for-credit internship, PHASE enables Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (JHSPH) graduate students to gain experience through on-site projects in a state-level public health department. To participate, students must register through JHSPH.

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Baltimore City Health Department Internships

The Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD), the oldest health department in the United States, offers unpaid internships throughout the year in campaigns, communications, finance and administration, and senior health insurance. Candidates may send the BCHD resumes and cover letters directly to apply.

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James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement (RISE) Fellowship Program

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded, nine-week summer program, the fellowship involves travel between Baltimore and Atlanta, Georgia. Fellows receive a stipend and potential additional assistance, along with mentored research and professional development experiences. Candidates must complete an online application.

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Bloomberg Master of Public Health Fellows Program

Fellows receive full-tuition scholarships to aid them in obtaining the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School’s Master of Public Health (MPH). After graduating, fellows work for collaborating organizations for at least one year. Both candidates and their collaborating organizations must submit applications online.

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Public health official salaries vary depending on experience, credentials, and place of residence. For example, completion of one of the on-campus or online MPH programs in Maryland leads to greater familiarity within relevant programs, organizations, and departments specific to the state, increasing competency for those seeking public health careers in Maryland. The data in the table below, sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), compares the overall employment, hourly mean wage, and annual mean wage of Epidemiologists and Health Educators in Maryland versus the entire United States. With around 3.5% of these positions in the country being filled in Maryland, hourly mean wage and annual mean wage both rate significantly higher in the state than national numbers.

 EmploymentHourly Mean WageAnnual Mean Wage
Maryland2,230$40.38$83,975
United States63,260$32.60$67,810

Source: BLS

Public Health Employers in Maryland

Public health employers in Maryland include government organizations, private companies, universities, and research institutions. The table below lists the three largest employers for the public health sector in Maryland and their total number of employees. Surveying the top employers in Maryland helps students to plan long-term and seek out a career in public health (or a related field) after graduation.

EmployersNumber of Employees
University of Maryland Medical System24,185
Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System23,810
National Institute of Health17,940

Public Health Research Centers in Maryland

Maryland’s manifold public health research centers provide additional potential career tracks for students. The centers listed below each focus on particular aspects of public health research while also providing specialized occupational and academic opportunities for researchers and professionals.

  • Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness (JHCPHP): Two CDC-funded programs compose the JHCPHP, the John Hopkins Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center (JH~PERRC) and the John Hopkins Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (JH~PERLC). The JHCPHP staff and faculty focus on public health emergency preparedness systems research and training.
  • Fogarty International Center: The Fogarty International Center connects the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) with the larger global health community, supporting research and training for both U.S. and foreign investigators working on disease prediction, prevention, and containment in the developing world.
  • University of Maryland Prevention Research Center (UMD-PRC): Founded with a CDC Prevention Research Center Program cooperative agreement, the UMD-PRC aims to address health disparities through combined service, teaching, and research in collaboration with community-based organizations and vulnerable populations.

Public Health Professional Organizations in Maryland

Professional public health organizations in Maryland plug public health students and recent graduates into state, national,or global networks of peers and potential mentors. Most professional organizations hold annual meetings, give members access to resources such as career services and continuing education, and generally expand connections catalyzing professional and academic opportunities. Connecting through professional organizations helps members reach leading figures in their chosen fields, expanding job and research leads.

  • Maryland Public Health Association (MdPHA): A statewide, nonprofit organization aiming to improve public health, MdPHA holds annual meetings, legislative events, quarterly member meetings, networking dinners, and social hours. The organization also provides members with program news, event and job announcements, and grant opportunities.
  • Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL): The APHL represents U.S. state and local governmental health laboratories, aiming to improve laboratory systems serving public health in the U.S. and globally. Members access professional development and training, networking and laboratory connections, technical assistance, and relevant news and information.
  • Maryland Rural Health Association (MRHA): The MRHA, a nonprofit organization centered around education and advocacy for improving health of rural communities and their residents, holds an annual conference and ongoing events. The MRHA also produces a member-oriented newsletter and a variety of other internal publications.

Certain public health professions in Maryland require professionals to maintain licenses and certifications. For example, the Maryland Department of Health requires that environmental health specialists gain licensure by meeting education, experience, and examination standards. The minimum general requirements include a degree from an accredited college or university and at least 24 months of experience, but applicants with a master’s degree in public health (considered a combination of education and experience) also qualify for examination requirements. Other optional licenses and certificates give professionals a leg up in competitive fields, indicating mastery of core skills. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health certificate programs, for instance, cover a wide range of public health topics and make programs available in person or online to both Hopkins students and non-degree students.

Regional and national accreditation agencies create operating standards for professional institutions and programs, and schools receive accreditation after meeting these quality standards through peer review. Independent organizations designate national accreditation, focusing on trade-specific and career-oriented fields of study. In contrast, six organizations, limiting their scope to a particular region and focusing on academic and research-oriented fields of study, grant regional accreditation. Regional accreditation stands as the more popular option, and most regionally accredited schools only accept credits from other regionally accredited schools. The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools awards regional accreditation for Maryland schools. However, in the public health field, some career opportunities remain available only to graduates from programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), a national accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Johns Hopkins University

Opened in 1876 as “America’s first research university,” Johns Hopkins University ranks as one of the nation’s elite institutions of higher learning. Twenty-seven Nobel laureates hold ties to Johns Hopkins, with 14 winning the honor for contributions in medicine. The MPH program at Johns Hopkins stands out among public health programs in Maryland in terms of its comprehensiveness. This 80-credit MPH is meant to enhance the existing competencies of public health professionals and further their abilities to address present-day global health issues by using a multidisciplinary, evidence-based approach.

Core courses include problem solving, statistical reasoning, and epidemiologic inference in public health, which introduces the methods and principles used to carry out epidemiological investigations of disease. MPH candidates also complete a practicum of at least 100 hours, plus a capstone experience. The online MPH at Johns Hopkins is a hybrid program with approximately 80% of the curriculum delivered through the internet. However, learners must make campus visits of one to two weeks every year, amounting to a total of about four weeks over the course of the entire program. Students can complete residency requirements during the summer, fall, or winter terms, where they engage in intensives that explore a specific area of public health, such as biostatistics. Distance learners take two to three years to earn their degree, depending on their course load.

The program offers three matriculation dates each year and terms last eight weeks. To apply, students should have at least two years of post-baccalaureate health-related experience. Applications should include three letters of recommendation and a personal statement that explains how studying public health relates to a prospective student’s career aspirations. The average GPA of new MPH students is 3.5.

Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant Program (WSSAG)

The WSSAG program awards assistance to students who seek to work in particular career/occupational programs in Maryland upon graduation. The program emphasizes careers facing workforce shortages, especially in public service.

Amount Offered: $1,000-$4,000 per year, depending on institution and course load
Scholarship Deadline: July 1
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must meet merit and need-based criteria, live in Maryland, enroll either in a part-time or full-time graduate program at a Maryland college or university, and sign a promissory note agreeing to begin service obligation in an associated employment field after graduation.

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Delegate Scholarship

The Maryland Delegate Scholarship awards assistance to Maryland students directly through their delegates. The state allocates members of the House of Delegates an annual budget which they may grant to students of their legislative district at their discretion.

Amount Offered: $200-$11,530 per year (not to exceed $19,000 total)
Scholarship Deadline: Applicants must complete FAFSA and contact delegates by March 1.
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must demonstrate financial need, live in Maryland, and enroll either in a part-time or full-time graduate program at a Maryland college or university.

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Senatorial Scholarship

The Maryland Senatorial Scholarship awards assistance to Maryland students through their senators. The state allocates senators an annual budget which they may grant to students of their state at their discretion.

Amount Offered: $400-$11,530 per year (not to exceed $19,000 total)
Scholarship Deadline: Applicants must complete FAFSA and contact senators by March 1.
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must demonstrate financial need, live in Maryland, and enroll either in a part-time or full-time graduate program at a Maryland college or university.

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The Welch Scholarship

Awarded to all new online/part-time MPH students at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, this scholarship celebrates founding dean William Henry Welch and the 100th anniversary of the Bloomberg school.

Amount Offered: $250 per credit for up to 80 credits
Scholarship Deadline: Scholarship deadlines coincide with application deadlines on July 1st and December 1st.
Eligibility Requirements: All new online/part-time MPH students at the John Hopkins School of Public Health receive the Welch Scholarship.

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Jon Christian Merkel Scholarship Fund

The Jon Christian Merkel Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to three students per academic year based on financial need and academic excellence through the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Amount Offered: $2,000
Scholarship Deadline: Deadlines announced through University of Maryland, Baltimore website.
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be enrolled at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and demonstrate financial need and academic excellence. Jon Christian Merkel Scholarship Fund gives preference to students who demonstrate an interest in service.

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Lois Young-Thomas Memorial Scholarship and Leadership Guild Endowment

The Lois Young-Thomas Memorial Scholarship and Leadership Guild Endowment awards two students per academic year who are enrolled in full-time graduate or professional programs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Amount Offered: $7,500
Scholarship Deadline: Deadlines announced through University of Maryland, Baltimore website.
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must maintain good academic standing in a full-time graduate or professional program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, show leadership initiative and demonstrate service achievement in the university or larger community. The awarding organization gives preference to first-year students in financial need with an interest in starting their careers in Maryland.

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President's Scholarship Fund

The President’s Scholarship Fund awards 10 annual scholarships in support of students enrolled at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Amount Offered: $2,400
Scholarship Deadline: Deadlines announced through the University of Maryland, Baltimore website.
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be enrolled at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and demonstrate “academic excellence” and financial need. Preference given to students expressing interest in service.

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Bloomberg Master of Public Health Fellows Program

The Bloomberg Master of Public Health Fellows Program awards full tuition to fellows through the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Recipients must commit to working one year with collaborating organization after graduation.

Amount Offered: Full tuition plus a small stipend.
Scholarship Deadline: December 1st
Eligibility Requirements: Ideally, applicants already work in critical fields of public health and must complete the full Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health application along with an individual fellowship application form and collaborating organization form. Collaborating organizations must nominate applicants.

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American Indian Graduate Scholars Program

The American Indian Graduate Scholars Program awards support to Native master’s students in public health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Amount Offered: Based on availability, but may include up to full tuition and stipend.
Scholarship Deadline: November 1st for Winter Institute and May 1st for Summer Institute
Eligibility Requirements: Bachelor’s degree is required, with a minimum GPA of 2.75

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Edward T. and Mary A. Conroy Memorial Scholarship Program and Jean B. Cryor Memorial Scholarship Program

This scholarship program awards financial support to direct family members of public service members and others who lost lives or suffered significant or permanent disabilities in the line of duty or in acts of violence.

Amount Offered: Award amount not to exceed full tuition and mandatory fees.
Scholarship Deadline: July 15th
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must reside in Maryland, enroll in a full-time or part-time program at a Maryland college or university, and relate directly (as sons, daughters, stepchildren, or spouses who have not remarried) to individuals including military service members, Vietnam MIA/POWs, school employees, state public safety workers or volunteers, and victims in the September 11th attacks who either lost their lives, suffered permanent disabilities, suffered significant disabilities and exhausted related federal support funds in incidents of violence or in the line of duty.

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