Minnesota provides excellent educational and professional resources for those pursuing a public health career. Schools like the University of Minnesota boast a nationally-ranked School of Public Health that prepares students through education, research, outreach, and collaborations with other departments, including the Medical School. The school also maintains a strong partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health, which enhances students’ educations.

Numerous universities also provide online MPH programs in Minnesota, giving students the same quality education with the flexibility of completing it at home.

Minnesotans suffer from cancer, heart disease, and unintentional injury as the top three causes of death, as well as high outbreaks of West Nile Virus due to large summertime mosquito populations that carry the virus. Numerous universities also provide online MPH programs in Minnesota, giving students the same quality education with the flexibility of completing it at home. Experts project 12% growth in health education positions within Minnesota over the next several years.

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Public Health Initiatives in Minnesota

The Comprehensive Cancer Control Program is an initiative for Minnesota to decrease the negative impact of cancer across the state. Funded by the CDC, the program addresses prevention, detection, treatment options, survivorship, and hospice care. Farm to School provides a healthy eating initiative for schools to offer nourishing food from nearby farms while teaching students about where their food comes from. Obesity rates continue to rise in Minnesota, where rates for adults rose from 26.1% to 27.8% between 2015-16. Some cancers, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and several other diseases stem directly from obesity. Minnesota created the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership to combat statewide obesity by promoting healthy eating and active lifestyles and set aside $17.5 million in grant funding for the wellbeing of the state’s 87 counties and 10 trial-nation communities.

Public Health Internships & Fellowships in Minnesota

Students in online MPH programs in Minnesota often require an internship or fellowship to apply what they learned in a professional setting. An internship lasts from a few months to a year and may be unpaid. Fellowships run for one to two years and usually provide financial compensation. This list provides internship and fellowship options for public health students:

Preventative Medicine Fellowship (Minnesota)

This Mayo Clinic graduate fellowship allows students to attend clinical rotations in Rochester while studying for their MPH at University of Minnesota. This fellowship covers tuition and provides a stipend, plus benefits.

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Research Fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology & Prevention

Offered by the University of Minnesota, this fellowship supports predoctoral students with a master’s degree in public health who are studying in the school’s epidemiology Ph.D. program. The fellowship focuses on cardiovascular disease trends within individuals and general populations.

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Population Health Internship

The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF) provides graduate students enrolled in an accredited health-related program with professional hands-on experience in public health and treats them as valuable team members within MHIF.

Minnesota Obesity Prevention Training

A fellowship enabling predoctoral public health students to receive interdisciplinary training with a mandatory foundation course, attend regular seminars, actively participate in research, and benefit from a monthly obesity research group.

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Center for Leadership Education in Maternal & Child Public Health Research Assistantships

MCH students can apply for this semester-long position. The center provides students with research opportunities on child, female, reproductive, and family health. Students present their findings to professionals, prospective MCH students, and graduate school populations.

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Public Health Careers in Minnesota

The salary for a public health professional depends on several factors, including your speciality, credentials, experience, and location. Epidemiologists in Minnesota earn an average of $22,600 more than health educators in the state. Nationwide, 51% of epidemiologists have one to four years of experience, meaning that many employees in the field are relatively inexperienced, at a time when the demand for experienced epidemiologists is expected to grow. Skills such as program development knowledge as a health educator results in an average 11% higher salary. The table below provides the average employment, hourly mean wage, and annual mean wage for epidemiologists and health educators.

 EmploymentHourly Mean WageAnnual Mean Wage
United States63,260$32.60$67,810

Source: BLS

Public Health Employers in Minnesota

Recent graduates from MPH programs in Minnesota find the most success seeking work when looking at large companies in the state. Minneapolis and Rochester hold three of the largest hospitals where public health graduates have a good chance of finding entry-level positions. The table below lists the top employers in the state.

EmployersNumber of Employees
Mayo Clinic St. Mary’s Hospital28,144
Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital8,200
University of Minnesota Medical Center-East Bank8,000

Public Health Research Centers in Minnesota

Graduates from public health programs in Minnesota need to find reputable research centers within the state if they want to pursue a research-based career. From research universities with public health departments to medical centers classified as teaching hospitals, the list below provides three research centers offering public health focuses with world-class facilities and staff.

  • University of Minnesota School of Public Health: A university-based research center tackling public health issues at home and abroad. The center’s strategy is prevention-centered, population-focused, and collaborative-based research.
  • Mayo Clinic: The patient-driven research facilities within this medical center specialize in basic, clinical, epidemiological, and translational research. Patients help provide researchers with data to improve medications, medical devices, diagnostic tools, and treatment protocols.
  • Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF): This nonprofit research organization focuses on finding ways to minimize heart disease and change current prevention, diagnostic, and treatment approaches within medical fields. MHIF collaborates with the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

Public Health Professional Organizations in Minnesota

Public health students and recent graduates benefit from joining local professional organizations in the field. These statewide professional organizations provide great networking opportunities at annual conferences or locally-held events. Public health organizations also provide educational information on public health CE programs, including online MPH programs in Minnesota. Career services, such as job boards and mentorships from experienced public health professionals, are another benefit of membership.

  • Minnesota Public Health Association: This nonprofit organization prides itself on advocating as an independent voice for public health throughout the state. A student membership gains access to networking events, leadership development training, mentorship, and monthly newsletters.
  • Local Public Health Association of Minnesota: This organization is a government-based association that provides advocacy and leadership for health issues concerning the state’s general population. While membership allows only experienced public health professionals to join, this association provides a great resource for students regarding public health legislation.
  • Health Equity Work Group: This group provides visibility to health inequalities within the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and around the country. Only University of Minnesota students and faculty qualify for membership.

Public Health Certifications and Licenses in Minnesota

The University of Minnesota offers public health professionals licenses and certificates related to specializations within the field. Optional certificates like the Public Health Core Concepts allow students to obtain certification in public health without ever stepping foot on-campus. On average, students complete this certificate in two years. This certification qualifies students to take the voluntary Public Health Certification Exam (CPH Exam) if they have three years of public health experience or a graduate degree in a relevant field. Students also qualify for the CPH Exam without certification if they graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public health and have five years of work experience, or obtained a graduate or doctoral degree from an approved public health program. The University of Minnesota also offers advanced certificates on clinical research, public health in food protection, and global health.

Accreditation for Online Public Health Master’s Programs in Minnesota

Reputable online MPH programs in Minnesota need proper accreditation. Online schools receive accreditation on regional or national levels. Regional accreditation accounts for 85% of all colleges within the U.S. and usually covers four- and two-year universities in a specific area. National accreditation focuses on career, trade, or vocational schools and tends to cost less than its regional counterpart. Due to a specialized focus, nationally-accredited universities maintain fewer standardized regulations than those holding a regional accreditation. For online public health schools in Minnesota, students should seek schools accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (North Central Association of Schools and Colleges merged with this company). The Council on Education for Public Health also accredits the University of Minnesota’s public health programs.

Directory of Online Master’s in Public Health Programs in Minnesota

University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota is a public research university that serves nearly 48,000 students through four campuses and online. U of M has a long history of offering public health education, dating back to 1874 with a class on sanitary science, hygiene, and epidemic disease.

The online MPH in Minnesota program at U of M prepares students for leadership roles in population health and community awareness. This comprehensive degree offers 10 concentrations, two of which take place through online or blended formats. The public health practice concentration consists of 47 credits and includes field work. The program concludes with a culminating experience with five options, including sitting for the CPH exam. Most students complete the program in two years.

The public health administration and policy concentration is an executive track for working professionals, ideal for those beginning their careers with at least three years of experience and who work in public and population health. The 42-credit track focuses on management, health policy, and leadership. All executive MPH candidates must complete a master’s project, which can be tied to the student’s professional work. Students move through the program in a cohort, blending online and on-campus coursework that can be completed in 25 months. Students may be required to occasionally visit campus.

Applicants should hold a baccalaureate degree. Application requirements include transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose.

Scholarships for Public Health Master’s Degrees in Minnesota

MGMA Midwest Section Scholarship

For students pursuing medical practice management-related programs, including public health. The Medical Group Management Association, which advocates for meaningful change in the healthcare field, funds this scholarship.

Amount Offered: $2,500
Scholarship Deadline: May 1
Eligibility Requirements: Students accepted into a public health graduate program and reside in Minnesota (or surrounding states). Only first-, second-, and third-year graduate students qualify.

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Minnesota GLBT Educational Fund Awards

Several GLBT students receive this grant every year to fund their post-secondary education. This grant exists to provide a platform for outstanding GLBT students and promote a positive image of them.

Amount Offered: $500-$1,000
Scholarship Deadline: Feb. 1
Eligibility Requirements: Students must attend post-secondary school in Minnesota, and identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transsexual and attend their first or second year of graduate school.

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KASF Scholarship – Midwestern Regional Chapter

The Korean American Scholarship Foundation gives qualified Korean American students financial assistance for graduate studies. This foundation judges applicants on academic performance, community involvement, recommendations, a personal essay, and financial aid need.

Amount Offered: $500 to $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: July 16
Eligibility Requirements: Full-time, first or second year of graduate school Korean-American students. Must attend a school in the Midwest, including Minnesota.

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Indian Health Service Health Professions Scholarship

This scholarship offers financial help to qualified Alaska Native and American Indian graduate students. Recipients must complete a two-year service commitment at an Indian health facility upon finishing their clinical training.

Amount Offered: Full scholarship (including a monthly stipend for living expenses)
Scholarship Deadline: March 28
Eligibility Requirements: Students must prove family ties to recognized Tribes, provide an acceptance letter to an eligible graduate health degree program, and have a minimum GPA of 2.0.

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The AIGC Fellowship

The American Indian Graduate Center gifts an average of $1,200,000 in fellowships to over 400 Alaska Native and American Indian graduate and professional learners annually.

Amount Offered: $1,000-$5,000
Scholarship Deadline: June 1
Eligibility Requirements: Must possess proof of American Indian and Alaska Native heritage, and enrolled in a full-time graduate program.

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American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarship

A nonprofit organization that assists Native American students through scholarships to help them achieve higher education degrees. Scholarship funds come from both private donors and public corporations.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: May 31
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must possess full-time enrollment in a graduate program, a 2.0 GPA, and proven American Indian ancestry.

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Irvin C. & Viola Natzel Scholarship

The Trinity Lutheran Church in Owatonna offers five scholarships to students who attend or start attending a higher education program. The Trinity Foundation Committee chooses the recipients.

Amount Offered: $2,000
Scholarship Deadline: April 1
Eligibility Requirements: Students must have ties to the Trinity Lutheran Church, since the scholarship requires a recommendation letter from a church member. Recipients may only receive this scholarship once during their time as graduate students.

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Melanie and June Nelson Scholarship

This annual scholarship allows one student studying healthcare or education to receive financial aid for their higher education goals. The church announces the scholarship winner at the baccalaureate service.

Amount Offered: $1,000
Scholarship Deadline: April 1
Eligibility Requirements: Individual must attend the Trinity Lutheran Church in Owatonna. No restriction on the location of the educational institution. One time application only.

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Lowell and Leslie Kruse Scholarship for Community Performance Excellence

Qualifying graduate students pursuing their degree in MPH or MHA at the University of Minnesota’s SPH must demonstrate a deep commitment to improving the health of the specific community they choose to work within during their careers.

Amount Offered: Up to $15,000 ($5,000 per semester for up to three semesters)
Scholarship Deadline: Nov. 22
Eligibility Requirements: First-time, full-time graduate student with good academic standing.

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University of Minnesota School of Public Health Alumni Scholarship

This scholarship allows qualifying graduate students of any program in the SPH to receive financial assistance. Associated with the SPH Alumni Community that numbers 10,500 individuals around the world, this scholarship helps promotes promising students within the school.

Amount Offered: Between $2,500 and $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: March 6
Eligibility Requirements: Requirements include one academic year of good grades, have at least two semesters of courses left, and attending a program on at least a half-time basis. Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

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