Master in Health Sciences: International Health Degree Overview

An individual who holds a master's degree in international health or global health can be prepared for educational, administrative and research positions within governments and international agencies. The work generally focuses on underserved and less-advantaged populations.

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Master's Degree in International Health or Global Health

While international health and global health are the most common names for such a degree program, some schools may offer Master of Science in Public Health or Master of Science programs with a concentration in one of a variety of areas, such as epidemiology or maternal and child health. During a 1- to 2-year program, students may focus on general international health issues or choose a specialty area. Most programs include an internship during which students gain hands-on field experience. In some cases, students studying global health may have the opportunity to take part in a fellowship program, which could include attending special events and engaging in a mentorship experience.

Educational Prerequisites

An applicant must typically possess a bachelor's degree for admission, preferably related to the specialty the student wishes to pursue. Some schools have minimum GPA requirements for undergraduate coursework, while others set minimum GRE scores.

Course Topics

The curriculum for such a master's degree can vary largely based on the concentration the student is pursuing. Some students may focus largely on nutrition, while others could study the economics of health policy. Course offerings could include:

  • Community vaccine trials
  • Changing health behavior
  • Financial management
  • Water-borne diseases
  • Analysis of popular diets
  • Public information campaigns
  • Mother and child care

Popular Career Options

Individuals with master's degrees in international health have a wide variety of career options. They can be hands-on community health care coordinators or work with an international agency or a government to set health policy. Possible career options could include:

  • Community health worker
  • Researcher
  • Program manager
  • Grant writer
  • Development officer

Health educators can work in a number of places, including colleges, health care facilities, nonprofit organizations and public health departments. From 2012 to 2022, these workers had a 21% increase in employment, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Health educators had a median salary of $48,790 as of 2012.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of international or global health programs could go on to work towards earning Doctor of Science, Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Public Health degrees. Such programs could prepare students for work in academia or research, and could include subjects of study in areas like epidemiology, nutrition and health systems.

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