The field of public health is as broad as it is important, covering everything from preparations for potential influenza pandemics and vaccination programs to investigation of food-borne disease outbreaks and environmental issues to tobacco use and violence reduction programs as well as hundreds of other areas.
Formally stated, “Public health is the science and art of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention. Public health helps improve the health and well being of people in local communities and across our nation. Public health helps people who are less fortunate to achieve a healthier lifestyle” (www.aspph.org/discover/).
Major areas of many public health programs include epidemiology (and therefore biostatistics), health planning and management, population studies, community health, nutrition, infectious disease, and international health, but other areas are often found as well. The basic public health degree is a M. P. H., generally a result of a 1-2 year program. Those wishing to teach at schools of public health will often have a Dr. P. H.
Curriculum and Career Planning
- Course work - Preparation at Alfred for a career in public health does not require a fixed set of courses but rather a broad liberal arts foundation which might include courses in biology and chemistry and environmental studies. A solid grounding in statistics and data analysis is useful throughout most public health areas.
- Credential File/Dossier - Alfred University's Career Development Center provides detailed instructions on preparing your credential file/dossier. In addition, there is a pre-health dossier checklist to make sure your credential file/dossier is complete.