Students interested in earning a master of public health online in Wisconsin are in luck—the state offers numerous graduate programs aimed at preparing students for lucrative careers in the local and national public health markets. Wisconsin is a leading provider of innovative, high-quality public health college programs, with many of its universities ranking among the nation’s best schools of medicine, health sciences, and public health. The University of Wisconsin is home to the first fully integrated school of medicine and public health in the U.S., offering one of the largest selections of public health graduate programs in the state.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 9.4% increase in health educator jobs in Wisconsin over the next seven years.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 9.4% increase in health educator jobs in Wisconsin over the next seven years, adding 150 employment opportunities to the state’s already thriving job market. Wisconsin’s dedication to long-term public health initiatives and higher education programs seems to be paying off: a recent study conducted by the state’s department of health services reported 54% of all adult residents felt their general health status was “excellent or very good”. Read on to learn more about some of the most comprehensive and convenient online MPH programs in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services is strongly committed to improving the quality of life for its residents through cost-effective public health programs. The state supports a wealth of public service programs and partnerships, including aging and disability resource centers, the eHealth program, and the Medicaid state plan. The DHS has also prioritized several critical public health projects as of 2016. One priority initiative centers on expanding mental healthcare for state residents, utilizing a $30 million dollar investment for the creation of the Office of Children’s Mental Health, the expansion of peer-run respite centers, and funding for additional forensic units at the Mendota Mental Health Center. Another key initiative, Dementia-Capable Wisconsin, aims to redesign the state’s dementia care system by providing enhanced support and education services to state residents living with dementia and their families. Additional initiatives include foodshare training programs, healthcare entitlement reform, and fraud prevention in public assistance programs.

While internships and fellowships are often used interchangeably to describe a field experience opportunity for students, they are inherently different. Internships are most often sought after by undergraduate students, though some exist for graduate students, and may be paid or unpaid. They allow students to gain experience in a real-life work environment; for many interns, this is their first exposure to both a professional setting and day-to-day duties in their field of interest. By contrast, fellowships are typically reserved for graduate students who have some prior experience in the field and are more committed to a particular field of interest. Most fellows are awarded a stipend to ease the financial burden of maintaining full-time work and school. Students pursuing online MPH programs in Wisconsin are eligible for both internships and fellowships in this discipline. Below are just some of the options available.

The Wisconsin Population Health Service Fellowship Program

This fellowship is a two-year program designed to provide intensive field training in community-oriented, nonprofit, governmental, and health service organizations for graduate students in public health and allied sciences disciplines. The program emphasizes workforce development skills that are specific to public health needs in the state. Application requires a master’s or doctoral degree, relevant work experience, and three letters of recommendation. Recipients receive a competitive salary with benefits for the duration of the fellowship.
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Community Health Internship Program (CHIP)

CHIP offers summer internships to public health students in Milwaukee and surrounding areas in Wisconsin. The program offers placements within local health departments to provide field experience and mentoring services to students interested in community health careers. Students receive a stipend of $2,400 for making a full-time commitment to the eight-week program.
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Public Health Madison and Dane County Internships

Wisconsin’s public health department for Madison and Dane counties offers internships and other volunteer opportunities for academic credit through various local health programs. Internships offer students practical experience to prepare them for careers within the state’s public health workforce.
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Wisconsin Medical Society (WMS) Foundation Summer Fellowship Program

WMS offers fellowships to students enrolled at the Medical College of Wisconsin or the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Summer fellowships are designed to provide students with the opportunity to conduct research under the supervision of a local public health professional. A $3500 stipend is awarded to fellows accepted into the program.
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The earning potential of public health officials depends on their experience, credentials, and state of residence. Online MPH programs in Wisconsin qualify graduates for a variety of job options in state, local, and private hospitals, as well as government agencies, and religious, civic, and other professional organizations. Employment for graduates of a master of public health online in Wisconsin is projected to increase by 16% by 2024, with hourly and annual mean wages nearly on par with the national average, according to the latest information from the BLS.

EmploymentHourly Mean WageAnnual Mean Wage
Wisconsin1,660$29.41$61,170
United States63,260$32.60$67,810

Source: BLS

Public Health Employers in Wisconsin

As in most states, online MPH programs in Wisconsin prepare graduates to work for some of the region’s largest and most prominent employers. Students looking to enter the field of public health, including epidemiology, health education, and health research, may find it easier to get a job after graduation by pursuing one of many local, lucrative employment options through the University of Wisconsin, UW-Madison, or the UW University Hospital.

EmployersNumber of Employees
University of Wisconsin16,000
University of Wisconsin-Madison14,464
UW University Hospital7,447

Public Health Research Centers in Wisconsin

Students earning their MPH in Wisconsin can find a wealth of opportunities to supplement their education through the state’s renowned research centers. The University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health and Population Health Institute have incorporated graduate students into their continuing education and community health research initiatives for decades, while the Center for Urban Population Health offers community-centered projects to enhance graduate-level research studies in public health in the state.

  • University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health: The School of Medicine and Public Health at UW is recognized among top research institutions for turning scientific lab discoveries into practical outreach initiatives and applications for the community. Faculty host research programs and graduate training projects for all aspects of health science.
  • University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute: The Department of Population Health Sciences at UW hosts dozens of research projects at any given time, in categories including epidemiology, global health, health policy, and public health systems. Projects centered on public health issues specific to Wisconsin typically involve master’s and PhD candidates in medical and public health programs at UW.
  • Center for Urban Population Health: Through partnerships with the University of Wisconsin, UW Milwaukee, and Aurora Health Care, the Center for Urban Population Health practices community-based participatory research as its primary method of improving health in urban communities of Milwaukee and surrounding areas of Wisconsin. Grassroots efforts include developing assessment tools, collecting community data, and evaluating results to inform future community outreach initiatives.

Public Health Professional Organizations in Wisconsin

While some students may question the value of joining a professional organization, current students and recent graduates of an online MPH program in Wisconsin may find the state’s associations useful for professional development. Organizations such as the Wisconsin Public Health Association, the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association, and the Wisconsin Medical Society encourage membership among students and aspiring public health professionals interested in increasing job prospects and building a network of like-minded alumni in the field. Perks typically include discounts for events, exclusive ongoing education opportunities, and a newsletter subscription.

  • Wisconsin Public Health Association: The WPHA is the state’s largest organization of public health professionals, offering both regular and organizational membership. Benefits of joining the WPHA include reduced rates for public health conferences and other events, free webinars and training opportunities, and participation in a section or committee of the WPHA Board.
  • Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association: The WPHCA offers membership to health centers, Indian tribal health clinics, and individuals. In addition to perks including conference discounts, training and ongoing education opportunities, and subscription to a monthly newsletter, individual members are eligible to be elected representatives of the WPHCA’s Board of Directors.
  • Wisconsin Medical Society: The Wisconsin Medical Society is committed to improving the health of state residents by strengthening its workforce of healthcare providers and public health professionals. Among WMS’ most prominent member-driven initiatives is the Honoring Choices Wisconsin program, which provides members with professional development, continuing education, and peer-to-peer networking opportunities.

Though public health officials are not required to hold licensure or be certified in the state of Wisconsin, some students choose to obtain the optional credentials.

Though public health officials are not required to hold licensure or be certified in the state of Wisconsin, some students choose to obtain the optional Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES) credential, both offered by the NCHEC. A student who has completed at least a bachelor’s degree and has at least 25 hours of coursework in a major specific to health education, including community health education, public health education, or school health education, is eligible to sit for the CHES exam. The MCHES exam is open to those with and without prior CHES certification. To sit for the exam students should have a master of public health (or higher), as well as at least five years of active field experience. While most online MPH programs in Wisconsin do not lead to CHES or MCHES certification, some schools offer supplemental programs to students looking to impress prospective employers with additional credentials.

As with institutional accreditation at any reputable school, accreditation for public health programs is key to maintaining the utmost standards for higher education in the field. Wisconsin colleges and universities may receive institutional accreditation nationally through the Higher Learning Commission, or regionally through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Either form of accreditation is acceptable, though regional agencies tend to be more stringent throughout the accreditation process and therefore more highly regarded. In addition to institutional endorsement, some public health programs in Wisconsin may be individually accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.

Medical College of Wisconsin

One of Wisconsin’s leaders in medical research, the Medical College of Wisconsin currently conducts over 3,000 research studies. The school operates several innovative research centers that examine topics pertinent to public health, including patient care and outcomes research, AIDS intervention, and health and equity. Students enrolled in the college’s online master of public health have the opportunity to participate in ongoing research projects as well as beginning their own. Graduates of this program possess the skills necessary to conduct public health research.

The 42-credit curriculum includes topics in epidemiological methods, community health assessment, and biostatistics. This program focuses on the promotion of population health through the implementation of culturally sensitive prevention programs. These public health efforts facilitate disease reduction through community education. In addition to acquiring knowledge of research methods, students gain a solid foundation in areas such as public health administration, environmental health, and theories of epidemiology. This program’s numerous electives allow students to develop a personalized plan of study that reflects their professional goals. Elective topics include global health, healthcare finance, and public health leadership. The program also offers a course in maternal and child health every other year.

Online students typically earn their degree in two to five years. There are no on-campus requirements. Coursework is delivered through the Desire to Learn platform. Students should dedicate approximately six to 10 hours per week to each course. Instead of the full master’s program, students may choose to pursue the graduate certificate in public health or the graduate certificate in community health assessment and planning.

To apply to this MPH in Wisconsin, students must submit GRE scores, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and an online application. Potential students should have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Transfer students may apply up to 14 credits toward the degree.

MD-MPH Dual Degree Scholarship

This scholarship offered by the University of Wisconsin is intended to help financially support students during the years of study in the MD-MPH dual degree.

Amount Offered: $10,000 and $15,000
Scholarship Deadline: February 1
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants should have a strong interest in working with underserved Wisconsin populations and be an MD student planning to enroll in the MPH program.
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Prevention Innovations in Medical Education (PRIME) Madison Award

This initiative aims to incentivize student involvement in public health programs in disparaged areas of Madison, WI. The scholarship offers five project options per year.

Amount Offered: $2,500
Scholarship Deadline: January 4
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be an MD student in the Path of Distinction program at University of Wisconsin; priority is given to MPH or MD-MPH dual degree students.
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Amy Hunter-Wilson, MD, Scholarship

This award offered by the Wisconsin Medical Society is named for Dr. Hunter-Wilson, the founder of the State Board of Health’s essential nutrition program and a pioneer in maternal and child health improvements in Wisconsin.

Amount Offered: $1,000+
Scholarship Deadline: February 1
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants should be of American Indian ancestry and be pursuing an advanced education in medicine, nursing, or a related health field.
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WMAA Perlson Scholarship (TRIUMPH)

This scholarship, offered by Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health at University of Wisconsin, is designed to support aspiring public health professionals in the Milwaukee area.

Amount Offered: $2,500
Scholarship Deadline: February 1
Eligibility Requirements: Students must be TRIUMPH M4 students at UW who are planning to serve urban disadvantaged populations and/or establish practice in Milwaukee after graduation.
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National Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship

This scholarship, sponsored by the National Hispanic Health Foundation, recognizes Hispanic students enrolled full-time in graduate-level dental, medical, nursing, pharmacy, and public health and policy programs across the U.S.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: October 6
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants should be enrolled in or accepted into graduate-level study in an approved healthcare or health related discipline and have at least a 3.0 GPA. Hispanic ancestry is not required, though students must have an affinity for the health of the Hispanic community and be willing to participate in NHHF scholars alumni activities.
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Florence Young Memorial Scholarship

This national scholarship, sponsored by the Association of American Indian Affairs, was created to support Native American students in their pursuit of art, law, and public health programs.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: December 15
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must verify their membership in a continental U.S. or Alaska native tribe. They must have at least a 2.5 GPA and be enrolled full-time in an accredited graduate program.
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The NEHA/AAS/APU Scholarship

Awarded by the National Environmental Health Association, this graduate scholarship supports students enrolled in a public health or related program with a declared major in environmental health sciences.

Amount Offered: $2,000
Scholarship Deadline: February 1
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must have at least one semester of graduate study remaining to be eligible for the award.
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AAIA Elizabeth and Sherman Asche Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship offered by the Association of American Indian Affairs was created to encourage students of Native American descent to pursue careers in public health, health sciences, and other related disciplines.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: December 15
Eligibility Requirements: The award is open to undergraduate and graduate students who are members of a U.S. or Alaskan native tribe.
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Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship for Outreach and Health Communications to Reduce Tobacco Use Among Priority Populations

Sponsored by the Truth Initiative, the Adams Scholarship was created to support students’ public health education efforts to increase awareness of tobacco’s harmful effects in underserved populations across the U.S.

Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: April 30
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be U.S. citizens with a GPA of at least 2.0 who are pursuing a program in public health, social work, communications, liberal arts, education, or a related field.
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Paul Ambrose Scholars Program

Sponsored by the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, this scholarship was created to support graduate students enrolled in accredited programs in medicine, health science, and public health across the U.S.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: November 20
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be enrolled in an approved area if graduate study; those studying public health must be in an APTR-member-affiliated program in this discipline.
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