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Michigan MPH: Bringing together different professional backgrounds


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Online degree programs like the University of Michigan’s Master of Public Health (MPH) in Population and Health Sciences bring together learners from around the nation, and from a wide range of professional backgrounds, who are seeking to create a healthier world through research, education, and practice.

As a student in this program, you’re trained to approach public health issues at the population level by using a wide network of partners (like government, healthcare, industry, and social services organizations) to create broad solutions. You can learn to tackle complex health challenges such as chronic and infectious diseases, obesity and food insecurity, healthcare quality and costs, climate change and environmental health risks, and the health impact of socioeconomic inequalities. This multidisciplinary degree prepares you for a range of career fields related to public health—including biostatistics, epidemiology, community health, health management, and public health policy.

Hear what three students from the program had to say about how they’re applying the skills they’ve learned to the health-related we’re they love.

“Public health education has helped me build skills to work with coalitions. Nothing in public health happens in silos, and in the advocacy world that’s absolutely true. My coalition work has benefited from me doing this degree program side by side with my advocacy work.”

Dr. Rob Davidson, emergency medicine physician

“I was always more interested in those who had poor diets, who were getting a lot of cavities, and who were never taught to take care of their teeth—those are the people that need me most. Dentistry needs public health expertise because all healthcare should treat the whole person, and that means understanding the bigger picture to offer the best solutions.” 

Dr. Kristi Thomas, general practice dentist and clinic director

As nurses, we are trained to focus on the patient in front of us, but this can have drawbacks that public health helps us address. When we focus too closely on clinical factors, life outside the clinic setting can blur and we can miss important details. From the air we breathe to the water we drink, healthcare and communities are constantly intersecting, as are the fields of nursing and public health.

Chris Rudski, registered nurse

These students bring different backgrounds, skills, and experiences to their degree program, while sharing a common interest in advancing public health through healthcare and growing their careers.

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