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PH from an econ track


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Hi everyone,

I know that I want to study public health/epidemiology/disease control, but I am extremely interested in entering the field through health economics. As a major in both political science and molecular biology, my plan would be to complete a masters in economics, focusing research on health and disease, then move onto an health economics or health policy/epidemiology PhD. Any thoughts on how the job market would view me? My long-term goal is to work for WHO or another health organization as an analyst.

Also, thoughts on LSE's MSc in health policy, economics, and management? And other master's with economics included? Or economics with great PH study options?


Edited by aajenkin
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  • 1 month later...

I think you have a fair amount of flexibility. It's really about your skill set and your work history. Keep in mind that health policy and epi are going to be pretty different fields with some key differences in skills. Since you're interested in both health econ and epi, it might be wise to actually do an MPH first. The MPH will expose you to both those fields. Depending on what concentration / program you choose, you can focus your electives in the other field (or even switch into that field after a semester if you feel compelled).

My experience is with the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory. Here, the Health Policy and Management (HPM) folks get a fair bit of health econ, some accounting, etc. Other MPH programs probably have more dedicated health economics programs. I'm not sure how much econ you've taken for your political science degree, but getting up to intermediate macro / micro would be great.

For advice, I think it depends on financial aid, location, etc. If you get a health economics degree, you should be qualified to apply to many PhD public health programs. If you get an MPH with some economics, you should be qualified to apply to many PhD econ programs. I have a little econ background, but not enough to give advice about the job market.

Ultimately, I don't think you have any bad options here. You're not locked-in to a certain track at the Master's level, though it will certainly influence the direction of your career.

Let me know if that helps.

Edit: As an aside, Emory public health students can take as many classes--in any department--as they want. It's all included in tuition. So you could take elective work in more advaced econ here if you were an HPM or Epi public health student. Not sure if other PH programs offer similar deals.

Edited by ZeroFlux
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