Master of Public Health

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Why earn a Master of Public Health?
Do you dream of changing the world on a large scale? Consider a graduate degree in public health. This program will prepare you to improve the health of people and their communities. You will learn to research and find solutions for health issues and educate the public about healthcare best practices.

Public health professionals work in all kinds of settings including hospitals, non-profits, corporations, government agencies and schools to research and implement practices and policies that impact the health of large population groups.

High demand
In the post-COVID era, this fast-growing field will see job growth of 15-30 percent over the next ten years, which is much faster than average. Plus, median salaries for people who work in a variety of public health fields range from $70,000 - $100,000 per year (from

Broaden your possibilities
A master’s degree in public health also expands the scope of many other professions including physicians, dentists, physician assistants, and global development professionals. Combined with Union College’s biomedical science or international rescue and relief programs, the master’s of public health can be a great “gap year” to broaden your health knowledge and experience before applying to medical or PA school.

Who should take this degree?
This graduate degree is open to anyone with a bachelor’s degree but is ideally suited for students with a variety of healthcare-related degrees including nursing, physician assistant, international rescue and relief, social work, psychology, and biomedical science.

My international rescue and relief degree launched me on my career working in public safety, emergency management and consulting, but adding a master’s in public health was icing on the cake. Public health is a broad field. I believe my graduate degree was attractive to my employer because of how I can apply public health approaches to other complex scenarios, such as law enforcement and the criminal justice field. Particularly in this post-pandemic era, public health is interwoven into everything and every job, and a person with an MPH automatically has a leg up in the job-hunting game because of the awareness and skills that they can bring to any role.

Kiana Kabanje
Union College graduate and Communications Specialist with ICF contracted to the U.S. Department of Justice
photo Kiana Kabanje

Why study at Union College?

Get your master's degree in less time.

Get a master’s faster
The Union College Master’s of Public Health will typically take two years if you have already earned a bachelor’s degree. But if you combine this program with another Union College degree program, you can graduate faster.

  • 3+2 for international rescue and relief or biomedical science — this means that if you take either of these two undergraduate degrees, you can finish it along with your Master of Public Health in a total of five years — one year sooner.
  • 3+1 for a double master’s degree — you can complete your Master of Physician Assistant Studies and Master of Public Health at Union College in just four years — one year sooner than doing them separately.

Real-life experience
In your final semester, you’ll complete an applied practice experience. Much like an internship, this experience will place you in a public health setting where you’ll help meet the needs of the community and sharpen your practical skills.

A tradition of healthcare excellence

As a student at Union College, you’ll be able to leverage the university's broad experience in healthcare education in programs such as nursing, occupational therapy assistant, physician assistant studies and international rescue and relief. You’ll have access to modern training facilities and highly-experienced professors who will give you the personal attention you need to succeed.

My training in global health introduced me to complex topics in international health systems, healthcare economics, and the social determinants of health, while giving me the practical skills to collect data in the field to answer my own research questions. It has provided a "big picture" context for my clinical practice and contributed to my personal drive and motivation to affect changes on larger scales. I would recommend a master's in public health to anyone who is driven to reduce suffering in a population level. In the Emergency Room, I can only address the needs of one single patient at a time. But the essence of public health is to focus on groups rather than individuals — which is where real change can happen. The nature of that change can look like many things: promoting preventative healthcare, mitigating disease epidemics, training healthcare workers, improving the efficiency of testing and treatment strategies, and so much more.

Benjamin Herzel
Union College graduate currently completing an emergency medicine residency at Loma Linda University Medical Center
photo Nicole Samila

Some career options?


Work for public health departments for state and local governments investigating patterns and causes of disease and injury.

Job outlook
26% (much faster than average)

Median pay

Data from


Use mathematics and statistical research to help answer medical and public health questions.

Job outlook
31% growth (much faster than average)

Median pay

Data from