Students who want to make a difference as epidemiologists, health educators, or healthcare managers can enjoy lucrative careers in the growing field of public health. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that job opportunities for health educators in Texas will grow at a rate of 28% while job opportunities for epidemiologists will increase by 19.1% by 2024. Texas’ large population, diverse racial composition, and growing number of senior citizens mean its healthcare sector is creating new jobs daily. More than 4.3 million Texans do not have health insurance, including 623,000 children. That’s about 1.75 times as many as the national average.
The U.S. Department of Labor projects that job opportunities for health educators in Texas will grow at a rate of 28%.
Thanks to its large Latino and African American communities, Texas is a perfect location for students seeking careers in Hispanic or African American healthcare. The state is home to Dallas, the nation’s fourth largest metropolitan area, as well as many rural communities. Earning an MPH in Texas allows healthcare professionals to serve and educate all communities, especially those in need of help.
The Texas Department of State Health Services is focusing its public health initiatives on West Nile, Zika Virus, and Hurricane Harvey. As part of its hurricane relief efforts, the department is overseeing programs such as providing vaccinations to people injured in the storm or its aftermath. While mosquitos bearing the Zika Virus are not present in Texas, travelers who can contract the illness are. The department is preparing for the possible transmission of the virus in Texas. FInally, the department is monitoring cases of the West Nile Virus and conducting public health campaigns to limit its spread.
The department of health services also works in emergency preparedness, general health and wellness, and infectious disease control. An aging population means diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and influenza get special attention. As with any state, the department’s activities includes obesity reduction and anti-smoking campaigns.
Internships and fellowships give students opportunities to engage in research and practice in their chosen fields. Interns accept paid or unpaid professional posts while still students or just after graduation. Fellows are graduate students or recent graduates who receive a stipend or salary. Future public health professionals can gain experience through internships and fellowships across the U.S. and around the world. The following are some fellowships and internships available to students earning an online MPH in Texas.
- Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
Schweitzer Fellows help address chronic health conditions through their work in Gabon and at 14 sites in underserved communities across the U.S., including Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston/Galveston.
- Health Equity Internship
Directors of Public Health Promotion and Education award this internship to students at minority-serving institutions, including HBCUs, HSIs and Tribal Colleges. Cardiovascular disease, obesity, and nutrition are of particular interest to this organization’s program.
- Pedro Zamora Public Policy Fellowship
Students interested in HIV/AIDS work can receive a semester-long fellowship from AIDS United to focus on public policy. This program accepts applications on a rolling basis.
- SOPHE/CDC Student Fellowship in Unintentional Injury Prevention
Powered by the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, these fellowships award a $2,000 stipend to students learning more about brain injuries, prescription drug overdose, preventing vehicle injury, or senior adult falls.
- Global Health Fellows Program II
Professionals with two years of experience and a graduate degree can apply to be a public health fellow with USAID. About 85% of these fellows work in Washington, D.C. and the remainder serve overseas.
Public health professionals earn salaries dependent on their experience, credentials, and location. Public health and related career fields like nursing and allied health are growing quickly in Texas thanks to the state’s swelling population. Wages also exceed the national average. Epidemiologists, health educators, and healthcare managers living in Houston and Dallas have easy access to employers like Baylor Healthcare System, Texas Health Resources, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Epidemiologists in Texas earn an average of $88,600, health educators earn $54,740 and community health workers earn $41,400, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
|Employment||Hourly Mean Wage||Annual Mean Wage|
Public Health Employers in Texas
The BLS projects that epidemiology job openings will grow at a rate of 9%, and healthcare manager job openings will grow 20% by 2026. Both fields are growing even faster in Texas. Since experts expect Texas’ population to swell to 45 million people by 2040, healthcare will remain one of Texas’ fastest-expanding sectors, making the state a great place for professionals with a master’s in public health online in Texas.
|Employers||Number of Employees|
|MD Anderson Cancer Center||17,000|
|UTMB General Surgery||10,000|
|Influenza Research Center||9,000|
Public Health Research Centers in Texas
After finishing an online MPH program in Texas, students can expect to find stimulating careers in public health research. Researchers examine relevant health trends and environmental risks. They also disseminate their findings to government agencies, legislators, and healthcare professionals. By interning or volunteering in a research center, students can gain rich professional experiences that can boost their career prospects.
- Texas Public Health Training Center (TPHTR): TPHTR is a resource created in partnership with the Texas A&M Health Science Center, the University of Texas School of Public Health, and University of North Texas Health Science Center. It is home to the Texas Healthy Homes Training Center and has been state certified as a community health worker training program.
- Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living: Part of the University of Texas, the Dell Center’s projects focus on children’s health promotion, healthy eating, understanding the health concerns of firefighters, and encouraging greater regulation of tobacco.
- Center for Population & Aging: Located at Texas A&M University, this research center exists to help scholars understand and encourage successful aging. Goals include promoting independent living, understanding chronic illness, and improving overall health.
Public Health Professional Organizations in Texas
Like membership associations in other fields, public health organizations promote the profession’s goals, lobby for industry-friendly public policy, and advance members’ careers. New public health professionals as well as learners in online MPH programs can benefit from the American Public Health Association’s student and early-career membership options. Many other statewide organizations offer similar opportunities. Student members can also gain valuable networking experience and professional development opportunities at events like the Texas Society for Public Health Education’s annual conference.
- Texas Society for Public Health Education: Hosting a national conference and a variety of awards, this regional affiliate of the Society for Public Health Education also promotes research, advocacy, and networking opportunities in public health.
- Texas Public Health Coalition: Professional organizations dedicated to health promotion and disease prevention compose this coalition’s base. Its mission is to develop public health leadership and advocate for health-related public policy initiatives.
- Texas Public Health Association: This statewide affiliate of the American Public Health Association is composed of public health officials who seek to improve the lives of state residents through publications, scholarships, events, a jobs board, and advocacy.
Many students in online MPH programs in Texas focus their studies on health education, healthcare administration, or epidemiology.
The Texas Medical Board provides a public health license to qualifying physicians. Applicants for this license must be physicians who meet the additional requirements for public health service in Texas. The Texas Department of State Health Services grants a variety of public health related licenses such as licenses for midwives, dieticians, and athletic trainers.
Many students in online MPH programs in Texas focus their studies on health education, healthcare administration, or epidemiology. In Texas, health educators receive their certification from the Texas Education Association. The Texas Department of State Health Services licenses nursing facility administrators. These professionals can also become board certified through the American College of Healthcare Executives. Epidemiologists receive private certification from either the Certification Board for Infection Control and Epidemiology (CBIC) or the Association for Professional in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).
Accreditation is the process by which U.S.-based institutions of higher education validate their programs. Private accrediting agencies appraise each school, reviewing its mission, faculty, coursework, and financial structure. These accrediting agencies can be either regional or national. Most professionals consider regional accreditation the gold standard for higher education. In Texas, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools grants regional accreditation. It regularly reviews members to determine their future accreditation standing.
National and programmatic accreditation agencies review schools with specific educational programs. The Council on Education for Public Health accredits higher education institutions that provide public health programs in Texas and throughout the country. Digital learners seeking online MPH programs in Texas should look first for schools that hold both regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditation is essential for academic and professional recognition, while national accreditation is helpful but not necessary.
- Texas A&M Health Science Center
Based in College Station, Texas A&M offers one of the most respected public health programs in Texas. The master’s of public health is a multidisciplinary program that provides skills, training, and the knowledge necessary for careers in the field. The six available concentrations include biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, and health policy and management. Only the epidemiology concentration is available entirely online.
The degree is among online mph programs in Texas that require students to earn 45 credits, which includes 18 core and 24 concentration and elective credits. The program culminates in a three-credit practicum, during which students learn from established public health professionals and apply learned concepts in a real-world setting.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Students interested in the epidemiology or biostatistics track must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and applicants to the health policy or health promotion track must have a minimum 2.75 GPA. Prospective students must submit three letters of recommendation, a current resume, official transcripts, and a statement of purpose.
- University of North Texas Health Science Center
Located in Fort Worth, the University of North Texas Health Science Center offers a holistic master’s of public health that covers topics including health policy, community health, behavioral health studies, and environmental health. Students can specialize in epidemiology, maternal and child health, or public health practice.
Students take between nine and 12 credits each semester, and most full-time students graduate in two years. Students in the cohort-based program progress through the curriculum with a small group of peers, which provides opportunities to network and collaborate on projects. The MPH program culminates in a 600-hour practicum, which students complete over three terms. During the practicum experience, students learn from experienced public health professionals.
Texas residents receive discounted tuition rates, and the university offers a Dean’s Incoming Student Scholarship for students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and submit college transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a personal essay, a current resume, and standardized test scores.
- JCC Association Graduate Scholarship
The JCC Association offers scholarships to Jewish students pursuing a master’s degree in fields related to the organization’s mission and mandate. Options include education, health, and social work. Recipients must work for JCC either after graduation or before enrolling.
Amount Offered: $10,000 (renewable for a second year)
Scholarship Deadline: February 1
Eligibility Requirements: Full-time graduate study; Pursuing first degree in a field related to JCC’s mission; Willingness to intern at a JCC site
- National Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship Program
To increase the number of Hispanic students in healthcare, the National Hispanic Health Foundation funds this scholarship for U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and DACA Dreamers. The scholarship requires academic excellence, commitment to Hispanic health, and a history of leadership.
Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: October 6
Eligibility Requirements: Be a graduate student; Have a 3.0 GPA; Demonstrate commitment to the Hispanic community’s health
- Texas Public Health Association Scholarships
Recipients of the TPHA scholarship must show academic achievement, high character, and financial need. A member of the TPHA must endorse each applicant.
Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: July 10
Eligibility Requirements: Be a member of TPHA or have a TPHA family member; Have a 2.5 GPA; Enroll in a program relevant to public health
- TYLENOL® Future Care Scholarship
Students who show promise in the healthcare professions can receive scholarships of $5,000 and $10,000. Tylenol chooses recipients based on college GPA, academic accomplishments, and community involvement.
Amount Offered: $5,000 – $10,000
Scholarship Deadline: June 30
Eligibility Requirements: Be a resident of the United States; Enroll in a public health program with the intention of treating patients; Have at least one year of school remaining; Not be an employee or family member of an employee of certain Tylenol-related companies
- MGMA Southern Section Scholarship
Funded by the American College of Medical Practice Executives, this scholarship helps pay for the education of future medical practice managers. Public health is one of the programs for which students can receive funding.
Amount Offered: $2,500
Scholarship Deadline: May 1
Eligibility Requirements: Study at a U.S. university; Enroll in a public health program; Reside in an eligible state
- Cathy L. Brock Memorial Scholarship
Founded in memory of Cathy L. Brock, Director of Operations for the American Hospital Association’s Health Research and Educational Trust, this scholarship’s purpose is to help increase diversity in the healthcare management professions.
Amount Offered: $1,000
Scholarship Deadline: May 1
Eligibility Requirements: Hold U.S. citizenship; Have a 3.0 GPA; Show interest in healthcare finance; Demonstrate financial hardship
National Arab American Medical Association
Medical Student Houston Scholarship
Students of Arab descent studying healthcare are eligible for this scholarship. The Houston chapter of the NAAMA expects recipients to enroll in classes or do clinical work in the Houston area. Applicants must include letters of recommendation and an up-to-date CV.
Amount Offered: $1,500
Scholarship Deadline: Rolling
Eligibility Requirements: Be of Arab heritage; Enroll in a recognized healthcare school in Houston; Attend Houston AAMA chapter meetings
- Good Neighbor Scholarship Program
The State of Texas offers this award to students from all nations in the Western hemisphere except Cuba and the U.S. Recipients must study at a Texas public college or university.
Amount Offered: One year of tuition
Scholarship Deadline: March 15
Eligibility Requirements: Be a non-U.S. resident from an eligible country; Show intent to return to your home country after completing the degree program
- Rural Health Competitive Scholarship
Students in the health sciences programs at Texas Tech University can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must demonstrate academic excellence.
Amount Offered: $500-$2,000
Scholarship Deadline: December 1
Eligibility Requirements: Be a Texas Tech student; Hold acceptable undergraduate GPA and GRE scores; Pass interview (if required)
- The Gerry C. Gunnin, Ph.D. Public Health Memorial Fellowship
Public health students in Texas can apply for this fellowship, which provides a $10,000 scholarship and a $5,000 living stipend during a 10-week internship at Texas Health Resources in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Amount Offered: $10,000 + $5,000 stipend during internship
Scholarship Deadline: June 2
Eligibility Requirements: Be a full-time public health student in Texas; Be able to work a 10-week internship at Texas Health Resources in Dallas/Fort Worth; Have a GPA of 3.0 or higher