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Pre-Public Health Track at Hope College
What is Public Health?
Public Health is the science of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention. The best public health is invisible because prevention done well means communities are healthier. To find out more about Public Health, visit the URL, “What is Pubic Health?”
Public health has 5 core disciplines: environmental health, behavioral sciences/health education, epidemiology, biostatistics, and health services administration/policy. In addition to the core areas, other areas of concentration may include occupational safety and health, maternal and child health, public health program management and practice, biomedical and laboratory practice, nutrition, and international or global public health.
The most common degree for Public Health professionals is the Master of Public Health (MPH). Other degrees are Master of Science or Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) or PhD in Public Health.
What classes do I need to take? Courese required or recommended.
Students pursuing a graduate degree in Public Health may have a variety of academic majors, but there is coursework that can better prepare you for the field of study you choose. For example, coursework in biology and mathematics is highly recommended for students who plan to concentrate in Epidemiology or Biostatistics. For Behavioral Sciences/Health Education or Global Health, courses in sociology, psychology, education, or anthropology are beneficial. Health Services Administration students need a background in business and economics. A strong biology or chemistry background is helpful for the study of Environmental Health. All Schools of Public Health require competence in verbal and written communication. Therefore, students should take advantage of undergraduate opportunities to develop these skills.
While Schools of Public Health look for students with high graduate entrance exam scores and good college GPAs, other aspects of an applicant's record, such as extra-curricular achievement, community service, professionally related experience, and demonstrated motivation to achieve career goals are equally important. Typically, each of the five core fields of Public Health are in separate departments within a School of Public Health, and each department may set different requirements for admission. Therefore, it is important for students to refer to individual departments for specific course requirements. Many Schools of Public Health now use the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS) for primary applications to their programs, but some schools still use their own individual school application. You must check the school's website to determine the proper application procedure.
Useful Web Links to Information on Careers and Training in Public Health
Links to General Information
For academic advising related to the Pre-Public Health track at Hope College, please contact Professor T Prokopow.