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Public Health is the study of how health issues affect populations, and the development of methods to improve the general well-being of the public at large. Public Health majors study the science and the politics behind Public Health policies. Whether investigating communicable diseases, working with the mentally ill, implementing nutrition programs, or studying policy, Public Health majors strive to fulfill the mission of the World Health Organization, as given in its definition of health: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Some schools further divide this major into separate concentrations, such as nutrition, biostatistics, and health administration. Other schools require classes in each of these areas.

Many Public Health programs begin at the graduate level, but some schools do offer this major to undergraduates. Graduate study is not necessarily required to work in Public Health, but it is definitely something to consider.


  • Biology I-II

  • Epidemiology

  • General Chemistry

  • General Psychology

  • Health and Public Policy

  • Introduction to Health Administration

  • Introduction to Public Health

  • Introduction to the U.S. Health Care System

  • Microbiology

  • Organic Chemistry

  • Principles of Statistical Inference

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health

  • Statistics


Classes in biology, chemistry, and advanced math will be useful, if not required. A second language (especially Spanish) couldn’t hurt, either.