What is Public Health?

Public Health Solves Problems

Public health addresses the grand challenges of the world — it helps find ways to deliver clean water, make health care affordable, stop infectious diseases before an epidemic begins, or create more livable cities. Through research, teaching, community work, and outreach, public health promotes better health and quality of life for all people.

Public Health Takes a Team

Public health is a multidisciplinary field and includes such subfields as epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, policy, health economics, occupational safety, and many more. Public health practitioners often work alongside doctors, lawyers, veterinarians, dietitians, community development workers, dentists, communications experts, and pharmacists, many of whom also have public health degrees.

Public Health has an Impact

From local interventions to world-wide initiatives, public health is far-reaching. Historical public health initiatives, such as vaccinations and the use of condoms, have had a global impact on population health. Our faculty’s work spans the spectrum, from helping a local clinic provide free services to leading an Ebola vaccine trial in Liberia.

Public Health Recognizes Disparities

Populations who are greatly affected by diseases often have limited access to health care. These health disparities are based on ethnicity, race, or socioeconomic status and public health practitioners recognize that this is a problem. Much work in public health addresses these issues and works to make health care accessible to all populations.

Learn more about the field from the American Public Health Association.

See our degrees and programs in public health.

woman standing in front of tractor
Doctor and man discussing something in hallway
Faculty member with Somali woman