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Should I be pursuing a Master of Public Health degree if I'm not entirely sure where I want to be in public health? Would it be an issue to enter the program and then explore where I want to be in the program? Is it a common occurrence, or do people usually know what they're doing 100% when they enter the Master of Public Health program? 

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I am currently completing my MPH. Most people here do not know what they specifically want to focus on when they first start. Many places you can even change your department after first semester. It's a very flexible degree. 

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On 5/8/2017 at 11:11 AM, syza said:

I am currently completing my MPH. Most people here do not know what they specifically want to focus on when they first start. Many places you can even change your department after first semester. It's a very flexible degree. 

Thanks! If you don't mind me asking, what school/program are you currently attending? Also, how sure were you about the MPH program and your concentration when you went in doing it? 

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On 5/11/2017 at 0:37 AM, JohnSGrad95 said:

Thanks! If you don't mind me asking, what school/program are you currently attending? Also, how sure were you about the MPH program and your concentration when you went in doing it? 

I just graduated from the Sociomedical Sciences dept at Columbia. I was thinking between Epidemiology, Environmental Heath, and Sociomedical Sciences (SMS) depts for the MPH or PhD in a social sciences like Sociology of Health or Medical Anthropology. I wasn't set on my decision of SMS, but after my first semester I knew that was the department for me. At Columbia we all take the same classes in the first semester, the Columbia MPH Core. You can then change into other depts after that if you wish. It fortunately worked out well for me.

Edited by syza

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22 hours ago, syza said:

I just graduated from the Sociomedical Sciences dept at Columbia. I was thinking between Epidemiology, Environmental Heath, and Sociomedical Sciences (SMS) depts for the MPH or PhD in a social sciences like Sociology of Health or Medical Anthropology. I wasn't set on my decision of SMS, but after my first semester I knew that was the department for me. At Columbia we all take the same classes in the first semester, the Columbia MPH Core. You can then change into other depts after that if you wish. It fortunately worked out well for me.

Thanks! Did you know what you wanted to do career-wise entering the program (or do you know now), or did you just know where your interests were? 

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On 5/17/2017 at 11:23 PM, JohnSGrad95 said:

Thanks! Did you know what you wanted to do career-wise entering the program (or do you know now), or did you just know where your interests were? 

I wasn't really sure about it. I just knew I wanted to do some research focuses worked. Turns out my main interests are occupational health, environmental health, and substance use/mental health. I am currently looking for research jobs in those positions. I am also going to apply to PhD programs now with those interests in mind.

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Have you considered geography programs? Schools like UNC Chapel Hill and SUNY Buffalo have phenomenal programs in medical geography. This can include landscape/environmental epidemiology and social determinants of health. The methodology is pretty different than an MPH: this includes a fair bit of GIS (geographic information systems) and spatial modeling. 

My undergraduate research was tied to medical geography: specifically investigating how social demographics and location can impact life expectancy... I heavily debated between doing an Epi MPH or pursuing medical geography.

Edited by Shnoztastic
Typo

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