6 Things You Should Know Before Applying to an Online Public Health Degree

Public Health is distinct from other clinical professions

Clinical professions, such as medicine and nursing, primarily focus on treating individuals after they have become ill. Public health focuses on prevention, rather than treatment. By doing so, it has a great impact on the health of both individuals and populations. Understanding the differences between public health and the clinical health professions will be an important first step before deciding to embark on a public health education.

Students can begin their public health education as fully online graduate certificate student

As a CEPH-accredited school the School of Public Health at IU offers a growing variety of  fully online programs. You can begin your studies in public health by earning a 15-credit certificate. Studying public health as a graduate certificate student can prepare you for further education and potential career growth in the field. An undergraduate public health degree is not necessary for admission into the Graduate Certificate program. Our students come from a variety of educational backgrounds.

Learn more: http://mypublichealthdirect.indiana.edu/programs/index.shtml

An online Graduate Certificate or MS degree in Public Health require a number of entrance requirements for application.

Admissions to our school’s online programs follow the same processes as our residential programs. Admissions committees take a balanced approach in reviewing graduate entrance exam scores (not required for Certificate programs), GPA, and other aspects of an applicant’s record, such as a career achievement, professional experience and clarity of career goals. Admissions decisions are based on an overall assessment of applicants’ ability to be successful. Applicants are encouraged to contact our office for information and advising. Please email: 

Learn more: Graduate Certificate (http://mypublichealthdirect.indiana.edu/get-started/admission-grad-cert.shtml) and MS Degree (http://mypublichealthdirect.indiana.edu/get-started/admission-masters.shtml)

International students should be aware of language-related application requirements before applying.

International applicants are required to submit the TOEFL, which measures English-language competency. While international applicants are encouraged to have somebody they trust review their essays and application, they must never have the person write the essay for them. SOPHAS provides useful guidelines on how to avoid plagiarism—or the act of using somebody else’s words, writing, or ideas as your own—in your application. International students are strongly advised to contact our office with questions or concerns regarding application to our online programs.

There are many ways you can familiarize yourself with the field and network with practitioners.

The public health field holds hundreds of professional and academic conferences across the country, and many of those are open to the public. Before applying to a graduate program in public health, potential applicants are encouraged to visit one of these conferences. Become familiar with latest research in the field, network with accomplished public health professionals, and develop your own vision of how you the role you want to play in the evolving field of public health. See our events calendar for related conferences of interest.

Public health graduates have successful careers in a variety of fields.

Because public health is interdisciplinary and relates to a wide spectrum of health-related global challenges, graduates find work in a number of areas. Many graduates will establish their careers in a hospital or health care provider setting, while others will work for federal and local governments, community-based organizations, or university settings. In addition to these main places of employment, some public health graduates may work at a non-profit organization or in the private sector. Within these job settings, public health graduates may be involved in research, policy, advocacy, educational programming, intervention design, or global disease prevention efforts.