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Applying to Global Epi or standard Epi programs

Discussion in 'Public Health Degrees (Masters and Doctoral)' started by WHOdriscoll91, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. WHOdriscoll91

    WHOdriscoll91 2+ Year Member

    May 10, 2012
    I'm currently applying to grad schools for my MPH in Epidemiology. I always planned on working in the Global Health concentration of Epi, but so far all the internships and my current job are domestically oriented. Should I apply for a regular Epi degree or apply to Global Health focused epi programs with the chance of my application being less competitive?

    Also, this is specifically geared towards Emory, where Global Epidemiology and Epidemiology are separate programs. I'm less worried about programs where Global Health is a concentration within the Epi program.
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  3. Bolingbroke


    May 23, 2014
    A lot of folks who work in global health don't even have an MPH, but what they do have is expertise and a skill set in a particular field. It is perfectly reasonable to apply to straight MPH Epi programs, and do that as you can, probably, in most programs adjust your coursework to do some more global health related stuff. Some people even really nail down their hard skills that much more with a masters in biostatistics, or a masters in Epidemiology.

    I think that global health is hard to quantify into a set of classroom courses, your post-MPH career will open up some opportunities there, as well as possible short experiences during school, depending on the program. I don't think that an NGO, or WHO would look at a resume with "MPH in Global Epidemiology" and give that more weight (if any) than an "MPH in Epidemiology, with a strong interest in global health."

    I think the benefit is mostly for the student in that if you do an MPH in Global Epidemiology, then you have that much more perspective in terms of what problems you'd like to work on in the future. If you go to a school with real connections in different countries, with the CDC/NGOs, then you can take advantage of that, regardless of whether it shows up on the degree title or not.

    Do you want to work in a foreign/developing country, or just for an organization that does such work?
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2014
    WHOdriscoll91 likes this.
  4. WHOdriscoll91

    WHOdriscoll91 2+ Year Member

    May 10, 2012
    That makes me feel alot better. Where I've been looking seems to have alot of Global Health courses available for all concentrations. I won't get so hung up on looking at programs with Global in the title.

    Well with Global Epi I know that I will in most, if not all cases, be US based post-MPH. The differences in global health and developed world health are what I find interesting. My fear was that when I apply, since my working background is completely domestic in content, that I would not be competitive for a global epi program.
  5. tasoylatte


    Sep 23, 2014
    Atlanta, GA
    Can't remember if it was posted on SDN or not but this is a great read if you're interested in global health:

    The most important thing, IMO, is having skillsets that global health jobs need, like monitoring and evaluation, data analysis, project management, etc. If you don't have to skills yet, look for internships during your MPH that can build those skills. If you don't go that route try to gain expertise in epidemiology, biostats, etc. These are just some things I've seen and have gone through in my pursuit of working in the global health arena.
  6. IntriguedStudent

    IntriguedStudent Oops 2+ Year Member

    Aug 20, 2014
    Chicago, IL
    Another thing that you can consider with Emory's program at least is that they allow you to apply to up to three concentrations. So, you could always apply to the Global Epi program as your #1 and then put Epi in the #2 spot. However, as Bolingbroke said, I don't think it will make too much of a difference in the long run. A lot of the Epi programs out there will let you tailor your experience towards Global Health. Future employers are going to care much more about your skill set than what concentration you chose.

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