Careers in Public Health

Public Health is a large field that works towards improving the health and well-being of all people. Public health practicioners work on global issues such as improving access to health care, controlling infectious disease, and reducing environmental hazards, violence, substance abuse, and injury.

Public health carries out its mission through organized, interdisciplinary efforts. They use technologies and interventions to promote health, prevent disease, and enhance quality of life. They assess the health of communities and develop and implement public policy. They work to make sure that all populations have access to appropriate and cost-effective care.

There are several degrees encompassed by the large area of Public Health. Some include:

  • Bachelors in Public Health,
  • Masters in Public Health,
  • Master of Science in Public Health,
  • Master of Healthcare Administration,
  • Master of Science,
  • Master of Science in Environmental Engineering,
  • Doctor of Public Health, and a
  • Doctor of Philosophy.

The study of public health is very broad. Coursework can include Biostatics, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology, Human Genetics, Health Services Administration and Infectious Diseases & Microbiology. Different programs focus on different aspects of the field. You will need to do some research to find a program that meets your interests and goals.

Requirements for Public Health Graduate Programs

Due to the breadth of the field, application requirements vary. Most of these programs encourage applicants to have:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.
  • Substantial knowledge in a discipline relevant to public health. You can get this knowledge either through study or experience.
  • A solid background in the natural and/or social sciences. Most programs look for coursework in biology, especially physiology and microbiology. Work in sociology, anthropology, political science, psychology, or economics is also valued.
  • Some professional or other relevant work experience is highly desirable for all candidates.