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MCH Education and Career Options

Students chat with a physician at a networking lunch following the Drexel Maternal and Child Health Symposium

MCH trainees chat with Dr. Heather Burris, attending neonatologist at CHOP, at a networking lunch following Drexel's 2024 Maternal and Child Health Symposium.

What is Maternal and Child Health (MCH)?

Maternal and child health (MCH) is a broad field of public health that began by focusing on the health of women, infants, and children. MCH has expanded over the years, and today MCH populations include all pregnant persons, adolescents, LGBTQ+ individuals, children and youth with special health care needs, and families, including fathers.

MCH follows the lifecourse perspective – every phase of life impacts the next – and includes reproductive health, access to contraception, family-centered maternal and pediatric care, nutrition, the health of communities, and more.

What is Maternal and Child Health in Public Health?

Maternal and child health is an area of critical importance within public health.

MCH professionals work to address health disparities and create more equitable public health systems, programs, partnerships, and policies for MCH populations.

A commentary on the value of maternal and child health training in public health education (authored by a working group that included Drexel's MCH program director Dr. Renee Turchi) outlined just some of the perspectives in public health that are crucial to addressing MCH challenges, including:

  • Promoting health equity and social justice
  • Developing and assessing responsive community-based interventions
  • Challenging structures and policies that sustain inequities

Why is Maternal and Child Health Important?

Maternal and child health populations face vast disparities and poor health outcomes, while at the same time the number of diverse public health professionals trained in MCH are declining. Getting upstream and working with families and children early on fosters prevention and good public health practice.

MCH is not only about women and children, but also about men and all families, as well external factors and conditions beyond the individual (many of which are preventable). 

Maternal and child health has a direct effect on the health of an entire community, whether locally, regionally, nationally, or globally. Healthy families build healthy communities.

Is There a Demand for Maternal and Child Health Professionals?

Professionals with formal Maternal and Child Health (MCH) training are in high demand both in the US and internationally to promote conditions that improve the health of women, children, adolescents, and families.

The Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health offers a Maternal and Child Health graduate minor and a Maternal and Child Health online certificate

In addition, Drexel Dornsife infuses maternal and child health issues throughout our programs, centers, research, and curriculum. Public health topics that have a maternal and child health component include:

  • Global health
  • Community nutrition
  • Disability and health equity policy
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Environmental health
  • Immigrant health

Learn more about Drexel Dornsife's graduate minor, online certificate, and career options for those with MCH training:

Graduate Minor in Maternal and Child Health

The minor in Maternal and Child Health is a 12-credit minor that focuses on key public health issues affecting some of society's most vulnerable populations. Students enrolled in the minor have a wide range of MCH opportunities open to them, including mentorship, networking, internships, and funding.

Drexel Dornsife alums with an MCH minor go on to enter the MCH workforce, while others enroll in a doctoral program.

The Graduate Minor in Maternal and Child Health is open to all graduate students at Drexel University.

Online Certificate in Maternal and Child Health

The Online Certificate in Maternal and Child Health offers a tailored maternal and child health core curriculum with electives that provide knowledge of local, domestic, and global settings.

Students enrolled in the 18-credit certificate program become part of the Drexel MCH Program, which hosts online seminars, career events, journal club, and more throughout the academic year.

Career Options for Graduates with Training in Maternal and Child Health

MCH professionals develop creative public health strategies to address long-standing disparities and complex health outcomes occurring over the life course affecting MCH populations. Their work includes research; community needs assessments; program development, implementation, and evaluation; and policy development, among many other skills.

Topics in the field of maternal and child health include family planning and reproductive health; maternal mortality and morbidity; prenatal and postnatal care; infant mortality; infant, child, and adolescent health; children and youth with special health care needs; nutrition and breastfeeding; housing; violence; gender; disaster preparedness for MCH populations.

Alumni of Drexel Dornsife's MCH program have found post-graduate positions in the following settings:

  • Academic organizations
  • Clinical organizations
  • Local health departments
  • Federal agencies
  • MCH advocacy organizations
  • Community-based organizations

Read about successful careers of MCH program graduates who are putting their training into action.

Annually, MCH program's career networking event offers Dornsife students the chance to learn more about different opportunities and diverse careers in the MCH field.

What Can You Do With Maternal Child Health Training?

There are many job opportunities for individuals who pursue an MCH Minor or Certificate in Maternal and Child Health. Types of MCH careers include:

Program Manager Program Coordinator Research/Project Director
Public Health Advisor Assistant/Associate Professor MCH Epidemiologist
Health Educator Health Education Coordinator Clinical Data Analyst
Evaluation Specialist Nurse Specialist Maternal & Child Health Specialist
Research Scientist Health Policy Analyst/Advisor Statistical Manager
Consultant Outreach Manager Community Engagement Coordinator

Where Can You Work With Maternal and Child Health Training?

Those with MCH training may choose to pursue careers in a variety of settings such as:

  • Health Departments (city, county, or state)
  • Hospitals or health care centers/clinics
  • US and international nonprofit organizations
  • Social service agencies
  • Academic institutions
  • Research centers
  • Government agencies such as U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), and National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Drexel Dornsife's MCH program alumni shared advice on their chosen setting and career.

Contact Us to Begin Your MCH Career with Drexel Dornsife

Renee Turchi, MD, MPH, FAAP
MCH Program Director

Renee Davis, MD, MPH
MCH Program Coordinator & Research Associate


Are you ready to work towards a better, safer, and healthier world with a career in public health? Open yourself to opportunities at Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health.

Request more information

Apply today

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