California is the nation’s most populous state, with 38 million people. With that large population comes many employment possibilities in public health, particularly for those who earn their Master’s Degree in Public Health, or MPH.
California boasts an excellent university system, and there are many excellent programs in the state where you can earn your MPH in many specialties.
On this page, we outline the very best master’s of public health programs in California which deserve your consideration. We also detail available scholarships, fellowships, assistantships and internships in public health in California, and also career options and salary information for public health professionals in this state.
Here is what we have found for you about public health graduate education in California:
UCLA Fielding Master’s in Public Health Program
UCLA Fielding was founded in 1961 as a health college, and has quickly become a leading accredited program in the state. The school provides a research and career focus on a variety of health areas of study, ensuring that students get the latest information and best resources in order to prepare for their careers in the health industry. This school features a variety of departments and centers that are all committed to helping students get more out of their education.
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Master’s in Public Health
Students accepted into the strict MPH program are required to choose a concentration for their degree in order to determine their course track. They must complete core courses in all of the main areas such as biostatistics, community health, epidemiology, health services, environmental health, public health, health policy, and administration. Additionally, students must complete all required practical experience and other projects prior to graduation.
Address: UCLA School of Public Health
650 Charles E Young Dr S, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Phone: (310) 825-6381
San Jose State University Master’s in Public Health Program
SJSU has a commitment to providing students with the educational resources that they deserve. When it comes to higher education, they understand the importance of specialized degrees and varied career options for their students. There is a sense of community on this campus, which allows students to have the chance to learn more about the real world than just what they are taught in the classroom. SJSU is focused on helping students succeed and providing the tools and resources necessary to do so.
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Master’s in Public Health
Students enrolled at SJSU will be given the choice between the campus MPH program and the distance learning option, depending on their educational needs. Both programs require students to take the time to choose a concentration so that they can complete core courses and practical experience in their field of study. Internships, practicum, capstone projects, and thesis projects will be assigned to students in this program as necessary in order to complete the degree program.
Address: San Jose State University, One Washington Square
San José, CA 95192-0052
San Diego State University Master’s in Public Health Program
San Diego State University’s Graduate School of Public Health was established in 1980 as part of an initiative to increase awareness of careers in health and human services. This is one of only four accredited public health schools in the state, offering a focus on education, research, and community involvement throughout the educational experience and carrying into the career world. As a part of SDSU, the school is backed by a longstanding reputation of heritage, success, and a drive to educate students for the future.
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Master’s in Public Health
Students accepted into this program are required to complete 51 credit hours of education and choose from one of five fields of specialization. These include biometry, environmental health, health promotion, health services administration, and epidemiology. All programs require completion of core courses, as well as necessary research, practicum, or other experience to demonstrate knowledge before the MPH degree is earned.
Address: SDSU Graduate School of Public Health
Hardy Tower 119, 5500 Campanile Dr.
San Diego CA 92182-4162
Phone: (619) 594-6317
MPH Scholarships and Fellowships
While attending graduate school can be expensive in some cases, there is plenty of scholarship and fellowship support for MPH candidates in California. Our research revealed these excellent opportunities:
- University of California-Berkeley: Berkeley offers a limited number of merit based and need based fellowships and scholarships. Merit-based scholarships are awarded for MPH candidates who have a GPA of at least 3.5, and are given out only by nomination from staff.
- University of Southern California: The public health school at USC awards scholarships, assistantships and fellowships to both public health students and medical students. These awards are merit-based only and you need to have at least a 3.5 to qualify for most awards.
- California State University Northridge: This university offers an MPH program that has a variety of financial support, including assistantships and scholarships. For most assistantships, you will work as a research assistant to a professor on his or her area of interest. In return, you typically will receive a partial discount on tuition and a stipend in some cases.
- University of California-Irvine: This university offers many fellowships for which an MPH student can qualify. These include the ARCs Fellowship, the Brython Davis Fellowship, the Chancellor’s Club Fellowship, the Fletcher Jones Fellowship, the Gordon Hein Fellowship, and the La Verne Noyes Fellowship.
- University of San Francisco: USF offers a variety of scholarship and loan remission options. Some of these include opportunities in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the National Health Service Corps. Typically, you will need to commit to a term of service in one of these organizations. In turn, part of your tuition is reimbursed or loan is forgiven.
- University of California-Los Angeles: At UCLA, the public health department offers grants, fellowships, traineeships, teaching assistantships and graduate student researcher appointments. Support that is based only on need also is provided in loans and work study. You can receive both a department award or a graduate division award based on financial need.
- San Diego State University: The graduate school at SDSU offers some scholarships and grants. Competition is strong for these scholarships, and you will need to make sure your GPA is high, and you should have at least two years of related public health work experience.
California Public Health Internships
Many students interested in public health need more work experience in the field to qualify for graduate school. And most MPH candidates need to complete a practicum or internship to complete their degree requirements. Some of the public health internship opportunities in California include these excellent opportunities:
- California Family Health Council: CFHC has developed unique internships that give public health students the chance to work in diverse health settings around the state to give them experience in sexual and reproductive health care. You can choose from many internships at the CFHC offices, or also in county health departments, free clinics, community clinics and family planning centers.
- County of Los Angeles Public Health: There are many internships available for both undergraduate and graduate students in the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Some of the opportunities include HIV epidemiology and prevention; emergency readiness; women’s health, control of tobacco, environmental health or community health.
- California Department of Public Health: Internships in the Department of Public Health are designed for undergraduates and graduates. You will need to be able to commit to at least one semester or quarter for your internship work. One difference with internships from regular volunteering is that you will receive college credit from your MPH program for your work.
- University of California-Berkeley: The public health school at Berkeley requires you to have an internship to graduate from its MPH program. The department organizes more than 100 summer and part time internships for its MPH students. These internships are paid and are with community partners, employers and alumni in many public health settings: health departments, health systems, community organizations, academic organizations and state and federal agencies.
- Health Career Connection: This national organization offers 10 week, full time summer internships for qualified graduate students who are interested in a career in health, medicine or public health. You will be placed in health clinics, hospitals, policy based agencies, health advocacy groups or public health departments. HCC places its candidates in these areas in California: San Francisco Bay Area, Greater Los Angeles/San Diego, San Joaquin Valley.
- University of Southern California: USC provides internship placement services for many of its MPH students or for those interested in earning their MPH. Some of the organizations in which it places students: NIH, NSF, John Hopkins Center for Global Health Leadership, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
- Touro University California: This university provides international internships for medical and public health students. The idea is to be exposed to diseases and illnesses that you would not usually see in the a US setting, and to give students an idea of the future work possibilities in a public health career abroad.
- San Mateo County Health System: This program offers work opportunities and practical learning experiences in public policy, public health and public administration. You could work in epidemiology, health communications, environmental health or community engagement.
MPH Degree Salary in California
Public health salaries in general in the US are increasing, due to the higher demand for many health professionals. There also is an increasing trend towards preventive medicine, as this reduces health care costs. According to Indeed.com, in California, the average public health salary is $68,000.
Related MPH Jobs in California
Please review the various average salaries for public health jobs in California. Generally, you will find in California that with a master’s degree in public health, you will earn towards the higher end of the pay scale for most public health professions.
California Career Opportunities for MPH Grads
A public health career in California has many different options, given the large population and diversity of the state. No matter if your interests lie in epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, health education or health policy, you can find an exciting career in public health in California.
Overall, California is showing that it is recovering from the recent recession, which officially ended in early 2010. Job growth is on the upswing in California. This is helped by the fact that most public health jobs are seeing rapid expansion in the US. For example, epidemiologists jobs are expected to increase nationally by 24% in the next eight years. We expect to see a similar rate of growth in public health jobs in California.
Public health professionals in California are highly diverse in their origins and job descriptions. They may be teachers, administrators or healthcare professionals. They assist in developing and designing public health programs that improve the general health of the communities they serve.
Some of the most desirable and exciting places to work in California with your MPH degree include:
- California Department of Public Health – The California Department of Public Health provides programs and resources that promote the overall health and well-being of the Californians. With a MPH degree, you can help develop policies and protocols in the field of Public Health for various healthcare agencies in the state.
- Los Angeles County Department of Public Health – The LA County Department of Health works to help citizens within its jurisdiction live healthier lives. Public health professionals help create and implement various healthcare and health education programs in the area.
- University of California, Los Angeles – The Jonathan and Karin Field of Public Health at University of California, Los Angeles is one of the most popular Public Health Colleges in the country. You can work here as a researcher, faculty member or as an administrator.
- The Center on Social Disparities in Health – The Center for Social Disparities in Health conducts collects information and conducts research to help policymakers in Public Health. It is great place to work, especially if you are interested in research.
- Kaiser Permanente – Kaiser Permanente is one of the largest providers of healthcare in Northern California. The clinics and hospitals also seek services of Public health professionals to develop and implement health education programs for their patients.
- University of California, Berkley – The UC Berkley School of Public Health is one of 49 schools accredited by Council on Education for Public Health. The University offers faculty and administrative positions to MPH graduates from time to time.
- American Cancer Society – The American Cancer Society offers information and resources to cancer patients to help fight the life threatening disease. Although the nonprofit relies heavily on its volunteers, it hires public health professionals and other personnel to design and implement health education programs for its members and users.
- Stanford University – Stanford University is one of the top universities of the world. Located in the tech-savvy Bay Area, the University’s School of Public Health is one of the best in the country.
- St Jude Children’s Hospital – St Jude Hospital is an acute care hospital for children in Southern California. It offers treatment for wide variety of illness of all age groups. As a public health professional, you may help the hospital implement various healthcare and health education programs for their patients.
- San Francisco Department of Public Health – The San Francisco Department of Public Health is one of largest public health agencies on the West Coast. It offers several resources and services to all its residents.
- California Prison Healthcare Services – California Prison and Correctional Healthcare Services promote the health and safety of thousands of inmates in various California prisons. The agency employs MPH graduates to oversee the implementation of its program.
- Sutter Health – Sutter Health is one of the largest networks of hospitals and healthcare facilities in Northern California. There may be several opportunities for public health professionals at their facilities.
- American Heart Association – The American Heart Association strives to educate patients and the general public about causes and effects of heart disease and stroke. Their California chapter offices and affiliates may employ public health professionals to oversee their health education programs. It was voted as one of the best nonprofits to work for in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
- Fremont Unified School District – The Fremont Unified school district is one of the leading school districts in California. They offer many regular and mental health programs to their students.
- Public Health Institute – The Public Health Institute works to promote research in the field of public health along with programs that strengthen the leadership. You can work at the institute as a researcher or an administrator.
California Public Health Research Organizations
The following organizations in California perform vital public health research:
- California Center for Public Health Advocacy: This organization deals with the underlying factors that contribute to serious public health problems, such as childhood obesity and the general health and well being of children of the state.
- California Public Health Policy and Research Branch: This branch of the California Department of Public Health has a variety of programs to support public health.
- Health Research for Action – UC Berkeley: This research center at Berkeley is designed to reduce disparities in public health. The organization specializes in research and resources to meet the needs of many audiences in California.
- Public Health Institute: This organization, with one center in California, generates and promotes research, leadership and partnerships to build stronger public health policy, programs and practices.
- UCLA Center for Health Policy Research: This is one of the top public health and general health policy research centers, and is the top source for health policy information in the state of California.
- University of California – Merced Health Sciences Research Institute: This organization has a wide range of health and medical research efforts, such as health disparities, environmental health, biomolecular research, biosimulation and modeling and cancer control.