Concerned about the prevalence of diabetes, lack of safe water supplies, emerging infectious diseases, cancer, or the widespread use of prescription drugs? Inspired by the debates over health care legislation? Want to take a role in confronting the monumental health challenges facing undeveloped nations? With a degree in public and community health, you’ll be ready to help people make sense of conflicting societal messages about how best to eat, live, work, and exercise. You can also be a leader in government, nonprofit organizations, and communities to guide them in adopting more ethical, fair, and cost-effective public health policies.
Public health focuses on health promotion and disease/injury prevention rather than on diagnosing and treating illnesses and conditions after they occur. Public health professionals often adopt a "big picture" perspective. Public health is an extremely broad field and, as such, can be an attractive option if you are looking for an undergraduate major that focuses on health but are not quite ready to specialize yet.
Most public health professionals eventually specialize in an area in graduate school, in interests such as:
- Behavioral science/health education
- Environmental health sciences
- Global health
- Health administration and management
- Maternal and child health
- Public health policy