According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare is the largest industry in Oklahoma. The state’s economy is based on agriculture and energy, and its two major centers of population and business are Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Each metropolitan area is home to universities, colleges, companies, and government agencies. Oklahoma’s healthcare industry also centers in these metropolitan areas, and the state has high rates of health issues, including obesity.

The BLS projects growth in public health careers, including a 9% growth for epidemiologists…

The BLS projects growth in public health careers, including a 9% growth for epidemiologists, a 29% growth for healthcare support workers, and a 13% growth for health technologists. Students throughout the Sooner State and the country prepare for these careers by earning a master’s of public health online in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma County Department of Community Health recognizes the health issues facing the region, including the high rate of heart disease. Oklahoma’s top health priorities include reducing tobacco use and combating obesity.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health offers resources for residents on its website, including locations for flu vaccinations and information about new legislation related to public health. The Center for the Advancement of Wellness promotes initiatives to improve residents’ health. The center operates and certifies programs, including one that promotes better nutrition for children.

Internships and fellowships provide experience for students and recent graduates. Internships are typically offered to undergraduate students and may be paid or unpaid. Fellowships, on the other hand, place graduate students in research roles. Fellows are almost always compensated and work in academic settings. Public health students may pursue a fellowship conducting statistical research or an internship in the billing department of a large hospital.

SAMHSA/CSAP Prevention Fellowship Program

Interns in this program work to prevent drug addiction. These five-month, paid internship opportunities are based in Oklahoma City and Tahlequah, where Northeastern State University is located.

More Information

Consumer Advocacy Internship at the Department of Mental Health

The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services offers internships in the spring, summer, and fall. Interns implement and promote substance abuse prevention programs.

More Information

University of Oklahoma Summer Internship

For master’s of health students, OU arranges internships with the largest healthcare providers in the state, such as INTEGRIS. The internships provide public health experience and help students forge connections with top employers.

More Information

PHI/CDC Global Health Fellowship Program

The Public Health Institute offers this program in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control for public health graduates. The one-year, renewable program allows Oklahoma students to study global public health.

More Information

CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellowship

This fellowship from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists is ideal for students interested in studying the spread of diseases. Fellows work in local and state offices studying the new and growing field of applied epidemiology.

More Information

Graduates of online MPH programs in Oklahoma pursue careers in areas such as epidemiology and health education. While there are relatively few epidemiologists in Oklahoma, the position is a popular choice for graduates of online MPH programs in Oklahoma. Epidemiologists average salaries of more than $60,000 per year. Although health educators in Oklahoma earn slightly less than epidemiologists, about $50,000 per year, there are far more health educator positions.
After earning a master’s of public health online in Oklahoma, graduates find public health education careers at universities, in government, and with private businesses. The largest number of public health jobs in Oklahoma are in or near Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Oklahoma 515 $27.03 $56,225
United States 63,260 $32.60 $67,810

Source: BLS

Public Health Employers in Oklahoma

Researching the largest employers in Oklahoma helps graduates of master’s in public health online programs find opportunities for employment and internships. The industry’s top employers present the best employment prospects. For recent graduates with an MPH, Oklahoma’s largest public health employers include the state government and medical centers.

Employers Number of Employees
State of Oklahoma 45,000
Tinker Air Force Base 26,000
INTEGRIS Medical Center 10,000

Public Health Research Centers in Oklahoma

While many public health graduates work for private businesses or public agencies, others pursue rewarding careers in research facilities, conducting experiments and surveys to improve treatment and public health policy. Learn about the state’s leading public health research locations to find career opportunities after graduation.

  • Public Health Laboratory: As part of the Oklahoma State Department of Health and Office of State Epidemiology, the public health lab conducts public health research for state, local, and tribal governments throughout Oklahoma.
  • University of Oklahoma Public Health: The University of Oklahoma’s public health department offers research specialities including American Indian diabetic research and biostatistics research design.
  • Strong Heart Study: Oklahoma has a long and complex history with American Indians. This university-affiliated research organization focuses on American Indian cardiovascular health.

Public Health Professional Organizations in Oklahoma

Professional organizations keep public health workers updated on recent news and findings in the field. Members of professional organizations have opportunities to attend conferences and pursue continuing education, and membership allows networking opportunities during which public health professionals share knowledge and create contacts that lead to job opportunities.

  • Oklahoma Public Health Association: OPHA is the only Oklahoma organization designed to unite the state’s public health professionals. The organization was created about the same time as the public health officer position.
  • The Oklahoma Primary Care Association: OKPCA is a professional organization for public health experts in the state. Members gather useful data from other health experts and educate others about public health initiatives.
  • Public Health Institute of Oklahoma: This professional organization comprises government officials, academic professionals, and medical professionals working to improve healthcare.

Online MPH programs in Oklahoma prepare students to earn licenses and certifications that benefit those in public health careers. Although most public health positions in Oklahoma do not require certification or licensure, additional credentials help graduates become more attractive job candidates. For example, earning the Certified in Public Health credential, offered by the National Board of Public Health Examiners, distinguishes job seekers from competition. Some states do require licensure or certification for certain jobs, so distance learners and students planning to practice in other states should research potential requirements.

While researching online MPH programs in Oklahoma, ensure each program you consider is accredited. Accreditation means the institution’s faculty, curriculum, and overall education meet set standards. Degrees conferred by accredited schools are recognized and respected by other institutions and by employers. Most online MPH programs in Oklahoma are regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Most online MPH programs in Oklahoma are regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Of the two main types of accreditation, regional accreditation is the more prestigious, popular, and important. National accreditation is typically reserved for vocational and for-profit schools; credits earned from nationally accredited institutions rarely transfer to regionally accredited schools. Public health students should also look for field-specific accreditation from the Council for Education in Public Health.

University of Oklahoma

OU is home to the the only MPH in Oklahoma with accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health. The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center houses seven colleges and enrolls about 4,000 students annually. Students in the interdisciplinary master’s of public health program explore issues within the U.S. healthcare system.

The curriculum incorporates topics in biostatistics and occupational health to develop well-rounded professionals. Coursework covers topics including healthcare quality management, health program evaluation, and public health biology and sanitation. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Certified in Public Health examination from the National Board of Public Health Examiners.

OU offers the MPH program in a hybrid format. Available concentrations include health administration and policy, health promotion science, and environmental health. Students complete 42–45 credit hours, including five core courses examining major theories of social and behavioral phenomena. Students in each concentration complete a practicum and a culminating experience, which consists of a written project related to the student’s practicum.

Select concentrations feature dual degree options; students specializing in health administration and policy can concurrently earn a doctor of medicine or juris doctor. Students in the health promotion sciences concentration can pursue a second major in social work.

OPHA Scholarship

This scholarship is available to OPHA members studying public health at an Oklahoma school.

Amount Offered: $1,000
Scholarship Deadline: September 20
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be an OHPA member.

See Scholarship

Erma Byrd Scholarship Program

This national scholarship supports students pursuing an MPH degree in occupational health and safety. Preference is given to Oklahoma students who are studying public health in relation to mining, drilling, or manufacturing.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: Rolling
Eligibility Requirements: The recipient must begin work within six months of graduation.

See Scholarship

Albert W Dent Graduate Student Scholarship

This scholarship, 15 of which are awarded each year, helps minority students pay for MPH, MHA, or MBA graduate health degrees.

Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: March 31
Eligibility Requirements: The student must be a minority, must be a U.S. citizen, and must demonstrate financial need.

See Scholarship

Tylenol Future Care Scholarship

The makers of Tylenol award 40 scholarships annually to undergraduate and graduate students of public health and medicine.

Amount Offered: $5,000–10,000
Scholarship Deadline: June 30
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a U.S. resident.

See Scholarship

Ted Greenberg Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship supports students in financial need who have a family member with a neurological disease.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: February 1
Eligibility Requirements: The student must have a family member with a neurological disease and must demonstrate financial need.

See Scholarship

Tulsa County Medical Society Foundation Scholarship

This scholarship supports prospective public health professionals and doctors who live in Tulsa and are pursuing a graduate degree in Oklahoma.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: July 1
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must have lived in Tulsa for at least five years.

See Scholarship

Indian Health Professions Program

This federally funded program offers a renewable scholarship for Oklahoma students in health-related programs.

Amount Offered: $7,000–12,000
Scholarship Deadline: February 1
Eligibility Requirements: Preference is given to American Indians.

See Scholarship

Club of OU Tulsa Scholarship

This scholarship awards cash and tuition waivers to OU-Tulsa students, including those studying public health.

Amount Offered: $2,000
Scholarship Deadline: March 1
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a University of Oklahoma Tulsa student.

See Scholarship

Indian Health Service Scholarship Program

This scholarship supports American Indians and Alaska Natives pursuing healthcare degrees.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: Rolling
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, must be a member of a Native American tribe, and must demonstrate academic achievement.

See Scholarship

APHA Scholarship

APHA offers free memberships and small cash awards to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students.

Amount Offered: $500 and free APHA membership
Scholarship Deadline: Rolling
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must submit an essay.

See Scholarship