Trained public health professionals are currently in high demand in Michigan. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says employment in health care-related fields should grow steadily in the coming years, projecting that positions in the field will increase by 18% nationally by 2026. This growth rate significantly exceeds the national average for all jobs in the United States. This increase is driven by an aging population and a shift in health care policy to a system that more strongly emphasizes preventative care and population-based needs.

The BLS says employment in health care-related fields should grow steadily in the coming years, projecting that positions in the field will increase by 18% nationally by 2026.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in the broad and challenging field of public health, attending one of the many public health programs in Michigan can lead to exciting opportunities in epidemiology, environmental health, or public policy. Professionals who earn an MPH can take on leadership positions at nonprofits or health care organizations and help underserved communities obtain access to health care.

Michigan faces a number of daunting health challenges that are exacerbated by the state’s sagging economy. According to its Department of Community Health, Michigan ranks among the nation’s most troubled states in a variety of areas, including obesity, health disparities, limited access to care, infant mortality, and lack of insurance. The state also suffers from a high incidence of heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, and other chronic conditions.

To address these far-reaching health care challenges, Michigan announced a state health improvement plan in 2012. This multifaceted strategic plan set in motion a number of initiatives aimed at improving the health of all Michiganders and creating healthier communities across the state. This program relies on the participation of state health officials, health systems, nonprofits, and local governments. The plan aims to decrease obesity rates, promote healthy eating, increase access to health care, and decrease the usage of tobacco products.

Internships and fellowships provide rising young professionals important development and career opportunities. Many of these positions offer academic credit and/or financial compensation. Internships typically immerse undergraduates in a real-world setting in their chosen field, while fellowships tend to help enhance a graduate student’s education and refine their expertise.

University of Michigan School of Public Health Preventative Medicine Residency

This residency helps prepare professionals for careers in clinical preventive medicine and public health. Recipients gain important experience toward a degree in general epidemiology, environmental health sciences, health behavior and education, or health management and policy.
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Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Applied Epidemiology Fellowship

Recipients of this fellowship engage in two years of real-world training at a state or local health agency where they receive guidance and support from a professional mentor. The fellowship aims to help meet the nation’s growing need for epidemiologists.
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The Applied Public Health Informatics Fellowship

Offered through a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, and the National Association of County and City Health Officials, this fellowship prepares graduates for professional success in the fast-growing field of health informatics.
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University of Michigan Future Public Health Leaders Program

This program, funded by the CDC and overseen by the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, provides opportunities for underrepresented college students interested in public health.
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Raoul Wallenberg International Summer Travel Award

Students supported by this program receive funding to pursue community service projects in locations around the world. Recipients of the award receive up to $2,000 for their work. The program issues several grants each year.
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While demand for highly trained professionals in the field of public health is high, your salary will depend on a number of issues. Pay varies based on your professional experience, credentials, employer, and where you live. Regardless of these variables, graduating from online MPH programs in Michigan can help you pursue a more advanced career and increase your earning potential. The table below shows that public health employees in Michigan earn a salary slightly higher the national average in the field.

 EmploymentHourly Mean WageAnnual Mean Wage
Michigan150$32.86$68,340
United States63,260$32.60$67,810

Source: BLS

Public Health Employers in Michigan

After completing online MPH programs in Michigan, individuals seeking employment in the field of public health can pursue work at a variety of organizations, including public health systems, universities, and private corporations. The state hosts several large and respected health care organizations that provide graduates ample career opportunities.

EmployersNumber of Employees
University of Michigan (university and partnered health system)30,852
Beaumont Health22,225
Henry Ford Health System 17,332

Public Health Research Centers in Michigan

The state of Michigan houses dozens of public health research centers affiliated with higher education institutions. These centers focus on individual health issues and the health care-related crises facing the state. Individuals who earned an online MPH in Michigan should be aware of nearby research centers to maximize their career opportunities.

Public Health Professional Organizations in Michigan

Professional organizations host industry conferences and seminars that offer valuable networking and learning opportunities for individuals working in public health in Michigan. Membership keeps workers informed about the latest trends and best practices in their field, helping them succeed in their careers.

  • Michigan Public Health Association: As the official state affiliate of the national American Public Health Association, the MPHA works to improve health in Michigan through advocacy, professional development, and public awareness. The MPHA also connects researchers with real-world practitioners in the field of public health.
  • Michigan Association for Local Public Health: The MALPH supports local public health jurisdictions throughout Michigan. This association advocates for progressive public policy, serves as a liaison between local and state governments, and supports innovative public health programs and solutions.
  • Michigan Public Health Institute: As a nonprofit, the MPHI improves community health by promoting and implementing cutting-edge community health practices. The MPHI holds offices in both Lansing and Washington, D.C.

Depending on your field of specialization, you may need to acquire a certification or license to work in the field of public health in Michigan.

Depending on your field of specialization, you may need to acquire a certification or license to work in the field of public health in Michigan. The Division of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs oversees most licensing programs. This office regulates 25 health professions in the state, including workers in the areas of behavior analysis, medicine, and social work. While some licensing programs are mandatory, public health professionals can also advance their career by completing optional certificate programs. Universities and affiliated schools of public health offer a variety of licensing programs, including those that cover public health informatics, global health, and risk science.

The accreditation process protects students from fraud by ensuring that accredited schools offer reputable academic programs. Accreditation comes in two forms: regional and national. Regional accreditation typically holds more prestige than national accreditation. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is the organization tasked with awarding regional accreditation to schools in the state of Michigan. Universities and colleges must meet specific requirements in order to maintain their accreditation status.

It is important that students double check an institution’s accreditation status because some regionally-accredited universities do not accept transfer credits from institutions that only hold national accreditation. Additionally, the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) creates accreditation standards for academic programs that offer degrees related to the field of public health. Some employers may prefer students who earned their degree from a CEPH-accredited institution.

Andrews University

An inaugural class of 12 students matriculated in Andrews in 1874. Today, the Seventh-Day Adventist-affiliated university serves more than 3,000 students and offers approximately 130 undergraduate and 70 graduate programs. Located in Berrien Springs, within the Oronoko Charter Township (population: 9,193), Andrews uses distance education to reach students beyond geographic borders. The MPH in nutrition and wellness, for example, is the first and only CEPH-accredited nutrition and wellness program offered in the country.

The 42-credit program prepares professionals to serve their community and church, enhance the health of the populace, and promote a healthy lifestyle through personal and community efforts. The overarching goal of the MPH is to prevent disease and restore health at all levels. The MPH in nutrition and wellness at Andrews emphasizes vegetarian nutrition. The curriculum splits between 17 credits in core courses, 15 in the concentration of nutrition and wellness, and 10 for the practicum, research, and culminating activity. Concentration courses cover current issues surrounding nutrition and wellness, fitness and health promotion, and vegetarianism and disease prevention. As future public health agents, students will also study the administrative and managerial aspects of taking on leadership roles, including grant writing and program planning. The culminating activity includes a written exam, portfolio presentation, and exit interview with the department’s chair. There are no campus visits, and tuition for distance learning is half the cost of regular attendance.

To apply to the MPH in Michigan programs, prospective students should hold a four-year undergraduate degree with at least a 3.0 GPA. Applications should include three recommendations from professionals, resume or CV, and statement of purpose. Students who have a lower GPA or lack the co-requisites may still apply and be admitted on a provisional basis. The co-requisites are biology, physiology, or anatomy/physiology and two courses in nutrition at the introductory and intermediate levels.

Dorothy J. Thurston Graduate Scholarship

Sponsored by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, this program supports a full- or part-time student at an accredited university in Michigan.

Amount Offered: $2,000
Scholarship Deadline: April 1
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must reside in Kent County and have a GPA of 3.0.

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Dr. Noyes L. Avery Jr. And Ann E. Avery Scholarship

This program supports students pursuing medical or health-related degrees at the University of Michigan.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: April 1
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must attend or be in the process of applying to the University of Michigan, demonstrate financial need, and possess a GPA of at least 3.0.

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Guy D. & Mary Edith Halladay Graduate Scholarship

Sponsored by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, this scholarship supports residents of Kent County pursuing undergraduate or graduate study in Michigan.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: April 1
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants should have a sustained record of high academic achievement. They must also be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or an undocumented student with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival.

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King-Chavez-Parks Future Faculty Fellowship Program

Funded by the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez Parks Initiative, this program aims to increase underrepresented students pursuing academic careers.

Amount Offered: Up to $20,000
Scholarship Deadline: July 20
Eligibility Requirements: Recipients must agree to pursue and obtain a master’s degree at the University of Michigan within four years of receiving the award.

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Albert Schweitzer Fellowships

This program connects graduate students working in public health with community organizations to solve public health issues.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: November 1
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must work and study in the Detroit area and remain enrolled in their graduate program for the entirety of their fellowship years.

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Rackham Merit Fellowship Program

This fellowship program supports excellence and inclusiveness among the graduate student population at the University of Michigan.

Amount Offered: $10,200 per semester
Scholarship Deadline: April 15
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants need to demonstrate high academic achievement. They must also be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or an undocumented student with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival.

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CDC Summer Graduate Environmental Health Internship

This scholarship program benefits students who want to pursue high impact projects in the area of environmental health.

Amount Offered: $750 per week for nine weeks
Scholarship Deadline: February 28
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants should have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and must be a full-time graduate student during the time of the internship.

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Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship

Named in honor of Albert W. Dent, the first African-American Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, this program supports minority students in the field of health care.

Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: March 31
Eligibility Requirements: The program is available only to minority students, as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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HIMSS Foundation Scholarships

This program is supported by HIMSS North America, which is a nonprofit that supports health care improvements through technology. This scholarship aids graduate students studying health care information or management.

Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: January 31
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be full-time students at the time of their application and studying either health information or health management systems.

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Transamerica Retirement Solutions Scholarship

This scholarship is open to first- and second-year graduate students pursuing degrees in health care administration, public health, or related fields.

Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: January 1
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must demonstrate financial need, have a commitment to community service, and maintain a strong academic record.

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