Public health aims to improve lives globally by focusing on prevention and intervention of programs to promote healthy lifestyles. A majority of the public health field focuses on epidemiological practices, informing public health policies, and on the development of educational and preventative programs to improve health care, prevent infectious diseases, and reduce environmentally hazardous issues.

The field of public health requires a profound understanding of the field and most often requires a higher degree. Masters programs in Public Health often require a keen quantitative analysis as most public health professions incorporate quantitative and qualitative research to supplement the work of public health.

Public Health Job Search

Career paths for those in public health are often within academic and research environments, hospital settings, corporations, government health care organizations and health care administrations.  Specifically, these career paths often utilize research and data (statistical) skills, use of managerial and business oriented skills, budgeting, strong writing skills, and a profound understanding of the field and current research. Well known organizations that employ public health officials include the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

A career path in public health can be easily molded to individual interests because of the vast variety for specialty concentrations within the field of public health. Master’s and doctoral degrees within the field of public health are very well adapted across research, government and academic environments and has been particularly popular and of use in a dual discipline. Some well-known dual disciplines include the fusion of public health and law, pharmacology, dentistry, mental health, research science, biostatistics, and community health.

Center for Career Education Resources

  • Factors to Consider: Graduate SchoolOffers information on the guidelines of pursuing graduate school including factors to consider when considering graduate school, the recommended timeline, selecting the correct school, funding graduate school, and information pertaining to the graduate process
  • LionSHARE: Organizations that have posted public health roles in the past include San Francisco Health Plan, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Department of Health and Human Services, The Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Care for the Homeless and Center to Advance Palliative Care
  • CCE Internship Programs: We sponsor a number of structured internship programs in a variety of fields in both domestic and international locations.
  • Career Fairs: Attend our career fairs and special events throughout the year including the Undergraduate and Spring Career Fairs.

Columbia Resources

External Resources

External Internship/Training Opportunities

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) — Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU): NSF created Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) to promote the advancement of research and give college students opportunities to inform their research interests. Upon gaining acceptance to these research positions, a generous stipend, housing accommodations and living arrangements are provided while attending the program. These research experiences take place during summer and can range anywhere from between 4-12 weeks. Application deadlines for these competitive research experiences are typically from February to March.
    • World Health Organization Internships (WHO): WHO offers a 6-12 week program to help build future leaders in public health. There are two internships rotations available, the summer rotation and the winter rotation.  The summer program accepts applications from December 1—January 31 and the winter program accepts applications from August 1—September 30. The internship program does not accommodate for travel costs and is a non-paid internship.

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