Pre-public Health

Graduates from CSB/SJU who have earned graduate degrees in public health have majored in fields as diverse as peace studies, biochemistry, nutrition, biology, and political science .

Preparation and Resources

Public health is a diverse and growing field that offers many career options for people from a variety of educational backgrounds.  Whether you are interested in the natural sciences, social sciences, education, or anything in between, chances are that you will find a position you enjoy in the field of public health.  Public health professionals are essential to keeping our communities safe and healthy, and the work they do is extremely rewarding.

Most Common Degrees:

  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Master of Health Administration (MHA)
  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

Graduate School - A typical application would include:

  • Completed application and payment of fee (The majority of schools of public health participate in SOPHAS).
  • A personal statement describing the student's interest in and potential for contributing to the field of public health.
  • A resume reflecting work/volunteer history.
  • Evidence of an earned baccalaureate or graduate degree or equivalent from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • Official transcripts of all academic work.
  • A strong undergraduate record overall, with a grade point average of 3.0 or better in the subject of the major.
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic or professional references.
  • Most institutions require submission of one standardized test (e.g. GRE, MCAT, GMAT) scores within the last five years.  Some institutions may allow for substitution of DAT or LSAT.

How can I get experience in public health before I apply to a school?

  • Work part-time or full-time at a hospital or health clinic, for an immunization program, a reproductive health clinic, or a health promotion program.
  • Volunteer for a non-profit direct services organization, such as Whitman-Walker clinic or a local chapter of the American Red Cross.
  • Work at a non-profit organization that is directly involved in public health advocacy and policy.
  • Work or volunteer for a local health department.
  • Take an internship at a U.S. federal agency via the Student Educational Employment Program.
  • Explore options provided by public service organizations such as Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Idealist, and Teach for America.

Sample Careers in Public Health:

Academic Policy Advisor Health Educator Public Health Professor Laboratory Director
Legislative Policy Advisor Mental Health Researcher Disease Ecologist Public Health Lawyer
Management Policy Advisor Communications Specialist State Environmentalist Public Health Dentist
State Epidemiologist Journalist Federal Environmentalist Local Health Officer
Research Epidemiologist Corporate Medical Director Reproductive Health Specialist Nurse Educator
Pharmacoepidemiologist Public Health Veterinarian International HIV Specialist Nutritionist
Behavior Scientist Director of Family Health Tropical Disease Specialist

Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals

CSB/SJU Alum Profiles:

Faculty contacts to discuss public health careers:

Additional Resources: