Public Health Degree

Public health is an effort to promote, maintain, preserve and improve the health of large populations that constitute a society. This general term includes numerous wide-ranging initiatives to ensure public health, including disease prevention, life prolongation and citizen education. While traditional medical care treats individuals, the entire population of a community or a society is considered to be the patient of public health professionals and their activities.

While much of medicine is concerned with cures, public health concentrates on education and prevention, such as vaccination programs. Delivering a cure only becomes the aim in times of widespread outbreak of an infectious disease. Worldwide, the greatest current concerns in the field of public health include smoking, diabetes and HIV/AIDS.

Public Health Degrees

Most positions in the field of public health typically require a minimum of a master’s degree to qualify. The most common degree in this field is the MPH (Master of Public Health), which is currently offered by 37 accredited colleges.

Public Health Fields

As an umbrella category, public health contains numerous subdisciplines and career opportunities. These typically include epidemiology, biostatistics and various health services, including environmental and occupational health.

  • Biostatistics

    Biostatisticians apply the science of statistics to topics which directly affect the health and safety of populations.

  • Environmental Health

    This position deals with the interaction of populations and their environment, including the potential health risks of pollution, pesticides and other health-threatening hazards.

  • Epidemiology

    These scientists perform fieldwork to determine the cause and origin of epidemics and infectious diseases, and to assist in controlling their spread.

  • Health Services Administration

    This administrative position combines science, a background in health education and strong business skills to oversee budgets, policies and services for health care related organizations.

  • International Health

    This field takes a global view toward public health care, combining aspects of all public health care disciplines to address the prevention of pandemics, the maintenance of health in developed countries, and the improvement of health and of the quality of life in undeveloped areas.

  • Maternal and Child Health

    These health care professionals specialize in ensuring the health and welfare of mothers during pregnancy and of their children, before and following birth. This can include vaccinations as well as providing information.

  • Public Health Laboratory Practice

    Similar to epidemiology, professionals in this field screen, test, diagnose, and assist in the development of treatments and control for diseases which threaten communities and populations, whether transmitted via air, water or food.

  • Public Health Policy

    These advocates interact with legal and legislative officials at all levels of government, as well as with political action groups, to enact laws beneficial to the public health and safety, such as seatbelt laws and anti-smoking regulations.

  • Bioethics Consultant

    Bioethics consultants analyze issues and assist physicians to resolve ethical dilemmas in patient cases.

  • Advanced Start Health and Wellness

    Do you enjoy counseling and educating others about living a healthy and balanced life? A degree in health and wellness could allow you to do just that.

  • Advanced Start Health Science

    A degree in Advanced Start Health Science could help put you on the path to success. Not only will you increase your knowledge of applied health science, but you’ll develop skills that will enable you to help others make smart decisions for their own health.

  • Advanced Start Human Services

    Program graduates often make a difference in the lives of those who need it most. In just two years, you could earn this bachelor’s degree and be on your way to a new or better career — assisting others at the same time!

  • Advanced Start Public Health

    Public health workers are concerned with how environmental variables affect the health of a general population. They study how to contain the spread of disease or manage a natural disaster. They work in hospitals, law enforcement and government agencies, striving to improve the general health and quality of life for the communities they serve.

  • Health and Wellness

    You’re passionate about healthy living, and you care about helping others. You’re excited about both ancient mind-body-spirit concepts and the latest advances in preventative care. If this sounds like you, we’ve found an area of study that’s sure to satisfy your nurturing spirit.



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