Public Health Studies

Major only

Public health is society's organized effort to protect, promote, and restore people's health. Students in public health studies take core courses in epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy and management, and environmental health. Students study the scientific, political, and cultural causes of disease, the medical treatments for disease, and the many ways to prevent and treat public health crises around the world.

Highlights of the Hopkins Program

A Public Health Studies (PHS) major offers a flexible, challenging, and contemporary curriculum that may include coursework in ethics, the natural sciences, policy, economics, or environmental issues, among other areas. Through these varied options, the PHS program provides rigorous preparation for advanced study in public health, law, medicine, and related fields. The program is a beneficial undergraduate pursuit not only for students planning to enter MHS/MPH and Ph.D. programs, but also for premedical and prelaw students.

In addition to courses at the School of Arts and Sciences, as seniors, all PHS majors take at least a semester's worth of graduate courses at the Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH). Many of the other students in these classes have advanced degrees and/or significant field experiences as working public health professionals. Classes at JHSPH provide a powerful capstone experience and an authentic introduction to graduate level study.


Sample First Semester Schedule
  • Introduction to Public Health (AS.280.101)
  • General Biology I (AS.020.151) and General Biology Lab I (AS.020.153)
  • Calculus I (AS.110.106)
  • Lower-Level Social Science course related to public health (from approved list)
  • Elective (e.g. Writing Intensive, Humanities course, Freshman Seminar)
  • Total 12-17 credits

**Pre-med students may consider taking Intro Chemistry and chem lab instead of General Biology.  Consult the Guide for Pre-Health Students on the Office of Pre-Professional Advising website.**


If you are curious about majoring in Public Health, or are interested in finding out more about the field in general and what you can do with it, you may contact a member of the Public Health advising team:

Career Exploration

Skill Set

The “real world” skills you’ll develop with a major in Public Health:

  • Appreciation of the role of public health in society and the historical development of the field in the ongoing quest to improve the health and well-being of global populations.
  • Understanding of the basic principles and the experimental basis of the various fields of public health and exhibit competencies related to the logical relationships of those fields in promoting disease prevention.
  • Developing as a capable problem solver in the natural sciences using laboratory instruments and empirical methods to draw valid conclusions from experimental data.
  • Developing as a capable problem solver in the social sciences using critical thinking, effective synthesis of complex ideas, and analytic methods to draw valid conclusions from quantitative and qualitative data sources.
  • Developing competence using computers for computation, data acquisition, numerical control, and information acquisition and processing, including bibliographic resources and current periodicals database systems. 
  • Acquiring the skills required for clear and cogent written and oral communication in public health.
  • Being prepared for success in graduate programs in public health studies or in professional (medical, dental, veterinary) school.

Career Center

Looking for information about majors, careers, and finding jobs and internships?
Visit the Career Center’s website: