What is Public Health?
The mission of Public Health is to preserve, promote, and improve the health and well being of populations, communities, and individuals. To fulfill this mission, we foster collaborations among public health and the health professions in education, research, and service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Public Health at UT Austin
- I submitted an application to the Public Health major. Now what?
- How can I get involved in Public Health at UT (even if I'm not a major)?
Public Health Career
- Why pursue a career in public health?
- Who should consider a undergraduate degree in public health?
- What are the career opportunities in public health?
- Where do public health professionals work?
- Do I need an advanced degree to work in the field of public health?
- What kind of job title can I expect after graduating with a degree in public health?
Public Health Major
Applications are reviewed and students are admitted on a rolling basis during both the fall and spring semesters. A maximum of 50 students are admitted to the major each semester. Students who are accepted into the major are notified as decisions are made. All admitted students are enrolled in PBH 317: "Introduction to Public Health" for the long semester following their admission. A grade of B- or better in PBH 317 is required to continue in the major.
Join Texas Public Health! Becoming a member of this student organization is a great way to get involved in public health at UT whether you are thinking about applying to the major or already admitted. All students are welcome to participate in the many activities they organize. To learn more and get involved in this organization click here.
Public Health Career
Public health is an exciting and growing field of study.
The field challenges its professionals to confront complex health issues, such
as improving access to health care, controlling infectious disease, and
reducing environmental hazards, violence, substance abuse, and injury.
- Public health is a diverse and dynamic field.
Public Health professionals come from varying educational backgrounds and can
specialize in an array of fields. A host of specialists, including teachers,
journalists, researchers, administrators, environmentalists, demographers,
social workers, laboratory scientists, and attorneys, work to protect the
health of the public.
- Public health is a field geared toward serving others.
Public health professionals serve local, national, and international
communities. They are leaders who meet the many exciting challenges in
protecting the public's health today and in the future.
- Public health is a rewarding field. The field of public health offers great personal fulfillment - working towards improving people's health and well being is a rewarding day's work.
Public health is a field that offers an abundance of job opportunities to suit a variety of interests and skills. Whether you are more interested in crunching numbers, conducting research, or working with people, there is a place for you in the field of public health. Recent college graduates and those that have been in the field for years have something to offer and to gain in this field. Public health is ideal for those that gain satisfaction knowing that they are working to improve the lives of others.
While there are dozens of specialties in public health, most career opportunities are found in the following fields.
- Health Services Administration
- Health Education/Behavioral Science
- Environmental Health
- International Health
- Public Health Practice/Program Management
- Biomedical Laboratory
Public health professionals work in both the public and private sectors. Many public health graduates will find work in the public sector in local, state, or federal health departments. The jobs available at health departments range from Food Safety Inspectors to Health Educators; from Policy Analysts to Epidemiologists. Other public health professionals will find work in university systems as researchers.
Those interested in working for a non-profit organization can find jobs in health advocacy, policy, or research for organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the Red Cross, or a local non-profit that focuses on specific health issues.
Still other public health professionals will find work in the private sector - working in randomized control trials for pharmaceutical companies or for health insurance companies.
While it is possible to gain experience in the field without an advanced degree, most public health professionals need at least a Masters degree for career advancement. For more information on this topics, see the Frequently Asked Question: How can a graduate degree in public health enhance my career opportunities?
Job titles, position descriptions, and salary ranges of recent public health graduates will vary greatly based on their course of study and interests. Some sample career titles taken from www.publichealthjobs.net in September 2005 are listed below:
- Public Health Management Analyst
- Director of Programs and Services
- Health Communications Specialist
- Research Scientist
- Environmental Health Intelligence Analyst
- Manager, Breastfeeding Initiatives