Global and Public Health

Public health is a broad discipline that focuses on the wellness, illness prevention, and health equity for individuals, populations, and communities. Career opportunities in global and public health are diverse, and include areas such as: health services administration, environmental health, data analysis, health policy, biostatistics, epidemiology, health education, mental health, behavioral science, international health, maternal and child health, public health practice, program management, capacity building, and global health delivery.

Finding Internships

Peruse the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Good Health & Well-Being) and related goal targets for areas where you’d like to make an impact in this field.  Consider getting international experience during the summer (and/or a post-graduate internship). Returning students can check out the MCS independent or third-party internship funding for opportunities abroad. Identify an organization whose mission you value and check their website for opportunities, or be proactive and contact them. Organizations that arrange international opportunities typically charge a fee and provide a range of services that might include: placement with a host organization, orientation, in-country support, housing assistance, training, and sometimes a stipend. Evaluate these organizations carefully to determine whether there’s a good match with the opportunity—as well as with the organization—and speak with several past participants about their experiences.

Finding Jobs

Entry-level jobs can be found in many settings including community health centers, research institutions, consulting firms, start-ups, government departments, international organizations, and more! Identify organizations whose mission you value and check their websites for entry-level opportunities. Learn more about the recruiting structure of the organizations to help you plan your approach. Consider a paid post-graduate internship or fellowship, if available. Identify your interest areas and seek opportunities that will help you get experience and build skills. Depending on how you’d like to contribute, foreign language ability, interpersonal skills, and cross-cultural competence are increasingly important.  Conduct informational interviews with alumni or peers who work in global or public health as a way of learning more about organizations and roles as well as getting referrals to potential hiring manager. Connect with employers through events hosted by MCS, student organizations, or other Harvard institutes.

Graduate and Professional Programs

In general, the M.P.H., M.H.A., M.S.G.H., and Dr.P.H. degrees are oriented toward practice in public health settings, such as health departments, managed care organizations, community-based programs, hospitals, international agencies, state and federal agencies, etc. The M.S.P.H. and Ph.D. programs are oriented toward careers in academics and research. To find and select public health schools you should begin your search with the Association of Schools of Public Health, which lists accredited programs.

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