The public health arena offers a variety of opportunities to people interested in providing healthcare to patients. Graduates with a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Pennsylvania are in a position to help both communities and individuals. Professionals who complete online MPH programs in Pennsylvania qualify for work as epidemiologists, data analysts, researchers, and medical administrators.

The BLS also expects jobs in epidemiology to grow 9% through 2024.

Pennsylvania’s population continues to endure air pollution, drug-related deaths, and limited federal funding for public health initiatives. Consequently, graduates of public health programs in Pennsylvania focused on these specialities may enjoy a favorable job market. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that Pennsylvania’s healthcare and educational sectors are the state’s largest economic drivers. The BLS also expects jobs in epidemiology to grow 9% through 2024.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Health assesses, plans, directs, and oversees state health initiatives. Some of Pennsylvania’s notable public health campaigns include the following:

  • The Highmark Foundation’s Olweus Bullying Prevention Campaign affects more than 210,000 students. In addition to student and family resources, Highmark offers continuing education options to educators.
  • The Keystone 10 initiative provides dedicated support and protection to nursing mothers and their infants. In collaboration with Pennsylvania’s birthing centers, Keystone 10 helps mothers with the breastfeeding process.
  • The Pennsylvania Healthy Corner Store Initiative combats food shortages. Participating inner-city stores receive incentives in exchange for selling and promoting healthier foods.

Internships and fellowships serve different purposes. Interns receive credit hours that count toward undergraduate degree requirements. Interns are not typically paid. Graduate and post-graduate students, however, can elect to complete a fellowship that provides training, networking opportunities, and a stipend for living expenses.

Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs

Participants in this 9-month program develop projects that improve Pittsburgh’s public health. Fellows work in electoral politics, organized labor, business, government, media, and philanthropy.

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Leland International Hunger Fellowship

In this intensive two-year program, fellows combine policy study and fieldwork to mitigate the food security crises in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Fellows work in very small cohorts and travel abroad for at least one year.

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Albert Schweitzer Fellowship

Graduate fellows find solutions to chronic health issues complicated by poverty, lack of education, and poor access to medical care. Pennsylvania Department of Health Internship (PADOH): PADOH interns attend monthly grand rounds and public board meetings, strategize about public health solutions, and conduct [collapsible_single title=”research in various public health subspecialties.

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Bridging the Gaps

This Pittsburgh-based, paid internship focuses on meeting the healthcare needs of underserved populations. The program also supports healthcare and public health providers working with these populations.

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Graduates of online MPH programs in Pennsylvania can expect fair compensation.The following table shows that salaries for public health professionals in Pennsylvania align with public health professions across the U.S.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Pennsylvania 2,250 $32.57 $67,750
United States 63,260 $32.60 $67,810

Source: BLS

Public Health Employers in Pennsylvania

Public health professionals often find employment with large organizations like government agencies. The BLS lists government agencies as the most popular employer of epidemiologists — followed closely by universities and private research institutions. Graduates from online MPH programs in Pennsylvania can seek employment from large public health institutions.

Employers Number of Employees
University of Pennsylvania 40,400
Pennsylvania State U. 17,000

Public Health Research Centers in Pennsylvania

A master of public health online in Pennsylvania provides graduates with the skills and training needed to work in research. Researchers work at research facilities that find solutions to public health problems. Examples of these centers in Pennsylvania can be found below.

  • The University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Public Health Initiatives promotes interdisciplinary research and practice in public health. The Center facilitates research and collaboration across all university departments and works in concert with the university’s MPH program.
  • Penn State College of Medicine Department of Public Health Sciences: Serving as a support facility for Penn State College of Medicine and the Hershey Medical Center, this research organization offers its research computing and data management services for external public health research.
  • Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC): This non-profit organization partners with government, community, foundation, and business entities to research public health problems. PHMC offers support services like promotion, outreach, planning, technical assistance, and research.

Public Health Professional Organizations in Pennsylvania

Public health organizations offer continuing education options, guest lectures, industry news coverage, access to scholarly literature, and networking events that enrich public affairs official’s lives. Students enrolled in public health programs in Pennsylvania can benefit from memberships, mentor/mentee coaching, and job boards. Below, is a useful list of organizations to MPH holders in Pennsylvania.

  • American Public Health Association: Members of this organization enjoy benefits like professional development opportunities, networking events, online multidisciplinary collaboration tools, legislative updates, access to scholarly publications, a jobs board, and continuing education resources.
  • Pennsylvania Public Health Association: This organization improves the health of Pennsylvania residents by emphasizing education, research, policy, healthcare delivery services, and legislation. Members attend networking events, complete continuing education requirements, and keep up on industry trends.
  • National Association of Community Health Centers: This organization advocates for the medically underserved, for uninsured Americans, and for the community health centers that deliver their healthcare. Membership benefits include advocacy assistance, professional development, networking opportunities, continuing education credits, and technical training.

…graduates of master of public health online programs in Pennsylvania can apply for state credentials in disaster and crisis outreach, addiction recovery, and substance abuse intervention.

Pennsylvania does not require certification for the practice of public health. It does, however, require credentials for some public health functions. For example, graduates of master of public health online programs in Pennsylvania can apply for state credentials in disaster and crisis outreach, addiction recovery, and substance abuse intervention. Graduates may also qualify for credentials from the National Board of Public Health Examiners, the National Commission for Health Education, the National Environmental Health Association,or the Public Health Practitioner Certification Board. Any of these certifications signifies expertise in a given field.

Receiving accreditation means that the academic and admissions policies of a college or university have been vetted by a neutral third party. National accreditation focuses on the quality of the educational format; for instance, online learners should look for national accreditation by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. Regional accreditation refers to a geographic area of the country and focuses on academic rigor. Regional accreditation carries the most weight. Programmatic accreditation depends on subject-specific approval granted by authoritative bodies within the discipline. As you review online MPH programs in Pennsylvania, stay alert to accreditations from the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, the Public Health Accreditation Board, and the American Public Health Association.

Temple University

Temple University began with evening tutelage in founding minister Russell Conwell’s Baptist Temple. Today, the school enrolls more than 38,000 students annually, including international students participating in Temple’s distance education programs. Temple offers an MPH in social and behavioral sciences and an MPH in health policy and management. Students pursuing either online master’s of public health program must complete 45 credits to graduate.

The health policy and management program offers concentrations in health leadership and health policy. The health leadership concentration prepares students for management positions in public health organizations and explores leadership styles, concepts of budget and finance, and the use of information technology to promote public health. The health policy concentration provides an overview of policy development and prepares students to analyze population health to inform policy decisions. Both concentrations include coursework in public health advocacy, health economics, and health policy research methods.

The MPH in social and behavioral sciences focuses on health promotion and equips students with clinical skills necessary for careers in health counseling and public health education. Course topics include social epidemiology, health psychology, and issues of stress and change.

One of the most flexible public health programs in Pennsylvania, Temple’s MPH program is designed for part-time students and comprises six-week courses. Most students complete the accelerated program in three years. The program incorporates both synchronous and asynchronous instruction, including a six-credit fieldwork experience. Students complete an internship at a public health facility and develop a research project that includes data analysis, a final report, and an oral defense.

Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics Foundation

The Eat Right Foundation Scholarship awards roughly 400 scholarships to eligible graduate students in accredited public health programs focused on nutrition.

Amount Offered: $500 – $10,000
Scholarship Deadline: April 17
Eligibility Requirements: Must be a member of ANDF, be in the second year of a baccalaureate in dietetics, or be in a graduate internship or in an accredited graduate degree program.

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Association of Food & Drug Officials

Eligible students are invited to apply for the George M. Burditt Scholarship, the Betsy B. Woodward Scholarship, or the Denise C. Rooney Scholarship. Each is designed to further the study of food, drugs, and consumer safety.

Amount Offered: $1,500 each
Scholarship Deadline: February 1
Eligibility Requirements: Students must have a 3.0 minimum GPA, be in the third year of program, and enter a career in consumer product safety, research, or quality control.

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American College of Healthcare Executives

The ACHE established the Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship in honor of its first African-American fellow. Fifteen of these scholarships are awarded annually to minority students pursuing graduate degrees in healthcare management.

Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: March 31
Eligibility Requirements: Must be a minority student who is able to demonstrate financial need, and who is a full-time student in an MHA program.

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Guttmacher Institute

The Guttmacher Institute awards the Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship to one graduate student in the discipline each year.

Amount Offered: $15,000
Scholarship Deadline: February 14
Eligibility Requirements: Must be a full-time graduate student in accredited public health program and demonstrate financial need.

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Association on American Indian Affairs

Florence Young was a philanthropist interested in Native American art and culture. Upon her death, AAIA began offering scholarships that reflected her interests.

Amount Offered: $1,500
Eligibility Requirements: Full-time Native American graduate students in public health, law, or art.

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Health Occupations Students of America

The HOSA-STEM partnership offers leadership training, internships, and the opportunity to apply for numerous multidisciplinary scholarships in allied healthcare or public policy.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: March 15
Eligibility Requirements: Must be enrolled in allied health, nursing, or public policy degree programs.

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National Hispanic Health Foundation

The only national scholarship dedicated to Hispanic students in healthcare, the Professional Student Scholar Program closes the gap in Latino representation within the healthcare professions. About 20 scholarships are awarded each year.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: October 6
Eligibility Requirements: Must be enrolled full-time in a program that leads to a graduate degree, have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and must commit to service in the Latino community.

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Tylenol

Tylenol awards Future Care Scholarships to 40 students who demonstrate leadership, academic excellence, community involvement, and a passion for healthcare or public policy.

Amount Offered: $5,000; $10,000
Scholarship Deadline: June 30
Eligibility Requirements: Must be enrolled in a graduate program in public health or in other healthcare-adjacent professions.

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Society for Public Health Education

SOPHE members may apply for the Vivian Drenckhahn Student Scholarship. Graduate students in accredited schools who are pursuing health education degrees, demonstrate prior academic excellence, and show financial need are eligible.

Amount Offered: $1,500
Scholarship Deadline: October 15
Eligibility Requirements: National membership in SOPHE and must have completed one-third of an academic program.

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Jewish Community Center Association

The JCC Association offers its Graduate Scholars Program to students aspiring to careers within the JCC. Awards may take the form of a scholarship or a tuition-assistance program and may require a work commitment after graduation.

Amount Offered: $10,000 x 2 years
Scholarship Deadline: February 1
Eligibility Requirements: Admission is competitive. Successful applicants must demonstrate a passion for educating community members about public health and Jewish culture.

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