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interested in Public Health/epidemiology

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Feb 22, 2006
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I've always been interested in epidemics, the spread of disease, factors of disease, those sorts of things. I have worked for my uncle that is a dentist for years, and years ago i decided that I want to be a dentist. The dental app process is very very difficult. I will be starting my third application cycle. Anyway, after my bachelors degree, I went back to my university and took a semester of graduate classes in biology. Something was missing, and I just didn't do that well. I got a 3.0 for the semester. I always toyed around with the idea of public health, but it always seemed out of the question because I was never near a school. Now I am moving near a fairly expensive public health graduate school, and the idea is really interesting me. So after this long explanation, I have a few questions for you all. Are graduate assistantships usually easy to come by in MPH schools? I know in bio graduate programs most grad students get them. I would need this to do this because tutition at this university is very high. What kinds of research possibilities are there? Also, what kinds of things are you guys learning in your classes? It seems like a stupid question, but I'm just trying to figure out if this interest I have in me is what I think it is. I would eventually love to work in a health dept, either in public health dentistry, or epidemiology. Any input? Any advice?

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I think one of the best aspects of public health education is how many professionals are using public health to shape perspectives in other fields (public health-nurses, -doctors, -dentists, -lawyers...you get the idea). But you don't always get what you pay for at public health schools. I have friends at really expensive private programs who are expected to act as teaching or research assistants without compensation. At my state school, about half of us are paid research or teaching assistants. Some others get jobs in the medical center here or at the health department, or are professionals already who take school part-time. Your best bet is to call the student affairs office and find out what your school's policy is. Good luck!
thanks for the input!
On the website for the school i'm looking into, they award assistantships for about 1000 a month, which would be great. They also wave nine hours of coursework a semester. So I know they offer them, I just don't know how easy/common they are to come by. Plus, with my straight bio background, i'm used to TAs doing research and teaching undergrad classes. I just don't know what kidns of things MPH majors do for theirs, but i'm sure I would enjoy it much more. I think i'm really going to look into the program because I am increasingly unhappy with continuing my biology education. I've gotten to the point where I'm really not learning anything new or interesting to what I want to do in my field.