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Funded MPH and PhD Programs in Public Health?

Discussion in 'Public Health Degrees (Masters and Doctoral)' started by publichealthpolicynerd, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. publichealthpolicynerd

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    Hello,

    Do you know of any MPH programs that are known to offer teaching, research, etc. assistant-ships or funding for MPH students?

    Do you know which doctoral programs in public health that are most likely to offer full funding for MS-PhD students?

    Additional information:

    I am applying to both MPH and PhD programs this fall. I graduated from UC Berkeley with an undergraduate degree in Public Health and minor in Public Policy and have been working in public health research focused on MCH at UCSF for the past year. I know I want to eventually pursue a doctoral program in Public Health, but I also understand that doctoral programs are very competitive and difficult to get into without a prior masters degree and significant research experience. I expect to be a competitive applicant for MPH programs, however.

    Thanks, and I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
     
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  3. Stories

    Stories Life Afficianado
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    All PhD programs have some mechanisms in place for funding. But not every student admitted will received these funding offers. The same situation will present itself for any field for grad school. Often, fellowships from inside (or outside) the department, project funding (from a professor), department project, or center project funds can sometimes be used to fund students.

    How competitive the student is, how good that student's fit with a specific project/subject area, and untied funding all account for possibilities for getting funded.
     
  4. Masgniw

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    This is a little misleading/vague. I think it's more accurate to say most PhD programs work to help fund their students to some degree. Some will cover tuition, some with do both tuition and a stipend, some will do part of tuition. However, not a lot of those will out right guarantee money, especially as funding sources change year to year. There are also programs that just don't offer any money up front. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Pitt is one of these).

    Regardless of what's offered up front, there is almost always a way for the student to defer or cover costs at the university. TA/RA type jobs (even outside of the department) open up on a rolling basis and can heavily supplement whatever the initial offer might have been. In most circumstances, a savvy student who is willing to send a lot of emails to department coordinators, professors, etc can find work that effectively funds their studies. In any case, it's likely some combination of a fellowship/grant/scholarship and TA/RA work is going to be part of what's needed to get a student taken care of financially.

    MPH funding is a lot harder to come by in my experience. Often programs have very little infrastructure for funding Master's level students and finding work independently is harder, partially due to lack of experience relative to doctoral students who are often more qualified candidates. Student savvy is a MUST, here. You've got to be willing to look hard and far for work and scholarships.

    If you find yourself in this position, I'd take a hard look at the research institutes and research-focused faculty members who are constantly bringing in new grants that need staffing.
     
  5. Stories

    Stories Life Afficianado
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    Yes, I meant to be vague in that every school and even department will handle how student funding is managed. There's no one method by which students get covered. Several mechanisms are in place for students to get funding, but not all students will get covered that are offered admission. Funding comes from many different sources and so it can be sometimes confusing and difficult. Contacting schools is always a good place to get started to find out what projects and professors have funding available to cover a student (or a few).

    My personal opinion is that applying broadly will offer the most options. There are enough opportunities out there that someone will offer some opportunities for your studies to not cost much of anything. It may not necessarily be your top choice school, but there are plenty of opportunities to not have to go into debt to get a PhD. MPH is another matter, usually, though.
     
  6. PeanutBrittle

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    No offense, but this advice is also very generalized, or vague! I mean, this is all stuff that the average person applying to grad school would already know, or would assume, such as, "My personal opinion is that applying broadly will offer the most options." I doubt there is anyone who thinks that not applying broadly would offer more options!
     
    #5 PeanutBrittle, Aug 10, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
  7. Masgniw

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    The truth is it's virtually impossible to give the OP more specific answer. Each school is different, each department is different, the funding scenario changes annually (or even term-by-term), and the individual student experience varies person to person (even within the same school based on uneven funding through faculty members, student experience/qualification, student need, etc).

    The important thing to relate is
    • You've got to hustle - lots of emails to coordinators, profs, and current students. Even better, make phone calls or set in person meetings if possible.
    • You've got to jump in head first - a lot of times, money wont start showing up until you officially make you decision.
    • You've got to have a back up plan - if fellowship A and RA job B don't come through, you need to have a plan to work at coffee shop C or take out loan D.
    • You've got to have faith - No matter what happens, you'll make it work. Even if the school stiffs you in year 1, you can come back in year 2 with guns blazing and get yourself the funding you deserve.
    If you want to exchange PMs, I can tell you what my experience is this year in my PhD program. But, even if the OP got into my exact program next year, they'd likely have a very unique set of circumstance that would dictate their funding situation.
     
  8. Stories

    Stories Life Afficianado
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    The OP was looking for general advice and he/she has only begun research into applications. It's a still an information gathering phase so broad advice is still welcome, as we don't know what the OP does/doesn't know.
     
  9. PeanutBrittle

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    Actually, the OP is looking for specific information. Such as:

    Just because somebody is in an "information gathering phase" doesn't mean that they don't have specific questions. If you haven't heard of an MPH'er getting a teaching assistantship, or something else, you can always say just that as that is a specific answer to a rather specific question.
     
  10. Stories

    Stories Life Afficianado
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    I answered the PhD portion of the question.
     
  11. PeanutBrittle

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    Meh. Not impossible, just modestly time consuming!

    The OP seems to just want to know if some rare MPH programs have funding opportunities, as well as the state of funding of some public health related PhD programs. For example is says on Brown's website that all PhD students in Epidemiology get an offer of funding. I would guess that PhD students in Epidemiology in the US generally are able to secure funding.

    For the DrPH program at JHU, the website says that the school is committed to helping students in the program find funding.

    In general, I would say that MPH programs don't offer funding for the degree, but the OP would need to do some leg-work to see what options there are. Posting on a message board is just part of that leg work, somebody from an MPH program might chime in and say they got funding somehow.

    Probably the OP should come up with a list of schools he/she is interested in and then research the funding issue on their own. Nothing wrong with asking this question on a message board, but posters wouldn't have time to do all the legwork for this person, unless they have firsthand knowledge of a specific school.
     
    #10 PeanutBrittle, Aug 11, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
  12. publichealthpolicynerd

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    Thanks, Stories! My question was kind of vague, and you answered it pretty thoroughly. Also, thanks so much for contributing so much to all of the public health threads on here -- you always have really great responses and you obviously know a lot about the field. I appreciate your help. The broad approach (apply to a variety of programs and see what happens) is what I'm going for, at this point.
     
  13. publichealthpolicynerd

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    Thanks, PeanutBrittle. I've been noting whether on not schools express a dedication to funding their PhD students, but sometimes its not explicitly stated on department websites. I'm trying to finalize my list of programs (both PhD and MPH) to apply to, and hearing from folks about their program funding situation could be helpful, as there may be some great programs I haven't considered that are committed to helping their students financially.
     
  14. brwneydRA

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    Sending you a message regarding my experience with MPH funding!
     

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