Public health professionals are social workers, medical researchers, health educators, and patient advocates. They investigate water quality and infectious diseases to protect individuals and communities. The majority of Nebraska’s two million residents are between 18 and 65 years of age — 9.2% of whom are uninsured — and more than 30% of Nebraskans are obese. The state needs qualified public health professionals to address these issues.

…graduates with an online MPH programs in Nebraska will find plenty of employment opportunities in the state.

Recent initiatives in Nebraska include policies to improve adult care and accommodations for breastfeeding mothers. The BLS projects public health workers, such as epidemiologists, will experience growth through 2026. Because of Nebraska’s health concerns and its commitment to improving public health, graduates with an online MPH programs in Nebraska will find plenty of employment opportunities in the state.

Nebraska has implemented public health initiatives based in areas such as community and rural outreach, environmental health, and emergency preparedness. Public health professionals assess health concerns in these areas and ensure adherence to laws and regulations. They also research new initiatives to continue improving residents’ health.

Current programs in Nebraska support children and families, developmentally disabled populations, and those in need of long-term care. The most recent Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services plan emphasizes family togetherness, drug and abuse prevention, technology utilization in healthcare, and overall program efficiency.

Public health internships may be paid or unpaid, and interns usually earn course credit for their work. Public health programs in Nebraska often require internships, which expose students to real-world experiences and provide opportunities to explore specific interests. Internships are open to undergraduate and graduate students, while fellowships are reserved for graduate and postgraduate students. Fellowships are funded and may be part of a student’s academic program. They emphasize research and expertise in a particular area and often lead to full-time employment.

University of Nebraska-Kearney Undergraduate Public Health Internship

Undergraduate students who have completed at least 90 credit hours with a GPA of 2.5 or higher may apply for this 15-week internship. The internship involves 300 hours of public health work at an approved location.

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Centers For Disease Control Summer Graduate Environmental Health Internship

The CDC offers a nine-week summer internship for graduate students studying environmental health as part of their master’s of public health degree. The paid internship is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

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National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program (NBBTP) Internship

Two annual NBBTP internships take place at the National Institutes of Health facility in Maryland. Interns learn about the science, regulations, safety, and management of biosafety and biocontainment events. Internships last one year, with the possibility of extension.

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Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health Internship in Public Health

This paid internship is open to students in master’s or doctoral degree programs in public health. Applicants must submit a résumé, two references, an essay explaining their public health interests, and official transcripts.

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Pathways Program Internships

These internships are open to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students interested in careers with the federal government. Interns work with the agency related to their career goals in a part- or full-time position.

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Public health careers vary depending upon degree level and professional experience. Higher education and more experience command higher wages. For example, community healthcare workers must have a high school diploma and on-the-job training, while epidemiologists must have a master’s of public health. Community healthcare workers earn a mean salary of $37,330, and epidemiologists, with their advanced degree, earn a median annual salary of $70,820.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Nebraska 660 $22.25 $46,280
United States 63,260 $32.60 $67,810

Source: BLS

Public Health Employers in Nebraska

For professionals with an MPH, Nebraska offers a range of career opportunities. Online MPH programs in Nebraska prepares students to work at hospitals, county health departments, schools, and community outreach agencies. Most of Nebraska’s job opportunities are in metropolitan centers in the eastern part of the state, but public health professionals can find employment in rural areas, as well.

Employers Number of Employees
University of Nebraska Omaha School of Public Health 176
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services 77

Public Health Research Centers in Nebraska

Public health programs in Nebraska prepare students to research and investigate issues facing individuals and communities in the state. Graduates interested in research careers should explore research centers in Nebraska. These employers of public health professionals allow graduates to continue research they may have begun as students and to initiate new investigations.

  • Creighton University Hereditary Cancer Center: Creighton’s Hereditary Cancer Center focuses on prevention and identification of hereditary disorders. By monitoring communities and conducting studies, the center researches cancer and uses the information to educate the public about risk factors, prevention, and treatment.
  • Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases: Based at the University of Nebraska Omaha, the Eppley Institute for Research performs laboratory studies on different types of cancers. Professionals at the institute use its vast facilities and state-of-the-art equipment to treat, research, and screen for cancer.
  • Catholic Health Initiative Research Center: In partnership with Creighton University, the CHI Research Center conducts studies and clinical trials to support and inform healthcare professionals and improve patient treatment.

Public Health Professional Organizations in Nebraska

Professional organizations for public health workers provide support and networking opportunities. Many students join professional organizations to meet scholars, network with employers, and get information about continuing education and job opportunities. Public health organizations often hold annual conferences, during which members present research to the public health community. Many public health organizations provide job boards, continuing education programs, and recent news related to the field.

  • Public Health Association of Nebraska: This organization unites Nebraska’s public health professionals to advocate for the field and educate the public. The association emphasizes Nebraska’s place in a national context. Members receive discounts on events, public health updates, and access to statewide networking opportunities.
  • Nebraska Environmental Health Association: This association emphasizes cooperation among state agencies and public health professionals to promote environmental health in Nebraska. Members are environmental health professionals who volunteer their time to educate others about environmental health. Members receive state and national legislation updates regarding environmental health.
  • American Public Health Association: APHA members are public health professionals from across the country. The association offers continuing education resources, webinars, job postings, and the latest public health research and news. Members receive career service assistance and discounts on professional development sessions and APHA events.

There are several specialty-based licenses available to public health professionals in Nebraska. Licensure and certification lend credibility to professionals and improve job prospects. Many employers prefer to hire licensed or certified public health professionals. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services monitors public health licensure in the state and determines which fields require licensure.

Many employers prefer to hire licensed or certified public health professionals.

In Nebraska, some public health positions require certification. For example, after completing a bachelor’s degree, environmental health workers must apply for state certification and pass a state exam. Graduates of online MPH programs in Nebraska who pursue positions as health educators do not need licensure, but teacher certification greatly improves marketability.

Accreditation means an MPH program meets set standards of academic quality and is crucial to ensuring your degree will be recognized by other institutions and by employers after graduation. Regional accreditation is the most common and the most highly regarded. Public health programs in Nebraska are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. National accreditation is typically reserved for career-focused or for-profit schools and is not as prestigious as regional accreditation.

Online MPH programs in Nebraska may also hold field-specific accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), a specialized accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Some employers require public health professionals to hold a degree from a CEPH-accredited program. Those pursuing certification from the National Board of Public Health Examiners must have graduated from a CEPH-accredited institution.

University of Nebraska Medical Center

Nebraska’s only public medical institution of higher education, UNMC integrates innovative research and community outreach into its academic program. The university’s academic programs emphasize collaborative learning. Low student-to-teacher ratios ensure that students are able to interact with their peers and professors. The school serves nearly 4,000 students each year.

A leader among public health programs in Nebraska, this school’s master of public health equips students with foundational knowledge of public health practices. The 45-credit curriculum includes 21 credits of core courses and 12 credits of concentration courses. Core courses cover topics in health behavior, epidemiology, and applied research. Concentration courses allow students to hone their skills in one of three marketable areas: biostatistics, environmental and occupational health, or public health practice.

Students with an emphasis in biostatistics acquire quantitative skills needed to conduct public health research. Topics include categorical data analysis and biostatistical methods. The environmental and occupational health concentration familiarizes students with contemporary environmental concerns with a focus on agriculture. Students gain knowledge of toxicology and industrial safety. The third concentration option, public health practice, emphasizes training in program planning and evaluation. Students learn how to effectively manage public health programs and receive training in healthcare finance. All three concentrations conclude with service learning and a capstone experience.

This program admits new students in the spring and fall. In addition to submitting official transcripts and GRE scores, prospective students complete a Schools of Public Health Application Service application. Candidates with a graduate degree from a regionally accredited school or a public health certificate from UNMC may request a GRE waiver. Other admission requirements include three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume.

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Weitz PHWE Scholarship

This scholarship supports current public health workers in Nebraska as they pursue public health certification or an MPH degree.

Amount Offered: Need-based
Scholarship Deadline: July 1
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be employed by a public health agency serving Nebraskans, must their employer’s support to pursue a degree in public health, and must be admitted into a public health program.

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Medical Group Management Association Midwest Section Scholarships

These scholarships support students with experience or potential in medical practice management professions, including public health, healthcare administration, and business administration.

Amount Offered: $2,500
Scholarship Deadline: May 1
Eligibility Requirements: The recipient must be an undergraduate or graduate student in a public health, healthcare administration, or business administration program in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, or Wisconsin.

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Chancellor Robert D. Sparks, M.D., Pre-Professional Student Scholarship in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

This scholarship is awarded to a student majoring in a field related to health promotion or disease prevention at any University of Nebraska campus.

Amount Offered: $1,000
Scholarship Deadline: February 15
Eligibility Requirements: The student must be enrolled in a field related to health promotion or disease prevention at any University of Nebraska campus.

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Chancellor Robert De. Sparks, M.D., Public Health Research Student Award

This financial award supports a student’s research during a public health-based project at the University of Nebraska Omaha College of Public Health.

Amount Offered: $1,500
Scholarship Deadline: February 1
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a graduate student enrolled in the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Omaha who is in good standing and has a defined research project.

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Carruth J. Wagner, M.D., Scholarship in Public Health

This scholarship covers tuition and fees for one academic year in support of two MPH and two MS/Ph.D students at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Amount Offered: $1,000
Scholarship Deadline: February 1
Eligibility Requirements: The recipient must be enrolled in an MPH or a doctoral program at the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Omaha, must be in good academic standing, and must have a defined research project.

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Patte L. Martin Scholarship

This scholarship supports first-generation public health undergraduate or graduate students enrolled at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Amount Offered: $1,000
Scholarship Deadline: February 1
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a first-generation undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a public health degree at the the University of Nebraska Omaha.

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Public Workforce Expansion Scholarship

This scholarship supports public health professionals pursuing advanced degrees in public health.

Amount Offered: Unspecified
Scholarship Deadline: April 21 (currently enrolled); July 1 (new fall enrollees)
Eligibility Requirements: The recipient must be enrolled in an MPH program in Nebraska and must be employed by a public health institution in the state.

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