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Frequently Asked Questions

Which undergraduate school should I attend in order to get accepted to a graduate school of public health?


Our advice is simply to attend the best undergraduate school that you can get accepted to.

What undergraduate major should I choose?


It depends on what area of public health you are interested in studying. Students of public health come from a variety of educational backgrounds; a quality undergraduate education will be a plus for any applicant.

However, there are some undergraduate majors that can be beneficial when applying to a school of public health. For example, if you are interested in epidemiology or biostatistics, a math major or basic science major is ideal. For Behavioral Sciences or Health Education, you might want to consider sociology, psychology or anthropology as a major. For studying Health Services Administration, you might want to consider a business background. To study Global Health, a social science degree is helpful. For those who want to study Environmental Health, you might want to study either a biology/chemistry. Maternal and Child Health lends itself to both biology or social sciences.

All schools of public health require competence in effective communication (both verbal and written); therefore, students should try to take advantage of undergraduate opportunities to hone these skills.

How can I get experience in public health before I apply to a school?

There are many options for individuals who are looking to get experience before applying to a school of public health.

  • Working part-time or full-time at a hospital or health clinic, such as working on an immunization program, a reproductive health clinic or a health promotion program.
  • Volunteering for a non-profit direct services organization such as a Whitman-Walker clinic or a local chapter of the American Red Cross.
  • Working at a non-profit organization that is directly involved in public health advocacy and policy.
  • Working or volunteering for a local health department.
  • Taking an internship at a U.S. federal agency via the Student Educational Employment Program
  • Exploring options provided by public service organizations such as www.peacecorps.org, www.americorps.org, www.idealist.org or www.teachforamerica.org

Some schools have programs for future students that offer opportuntities to get experience before applying to graduate school, so it is advisable to also contact schools of public health directly to inquire about such programs.

Which schools of public Health have Master s International programs with the Peace Corps?

SUNY Albany School of Public Health
Boston University School of Public Health
Emory University Rollins School of Public Health
George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Loma Linda University School of Public Health
Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
University of Alabama, Birmingham School of Public Health
University of Illinois, Chicago School of Public Health
University of South Florida College of Public Health
University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine

For more information about the Peace Corps Master's International programs in public health, please see:

Does ASPH rate or recommend schools of public health?


ASPH does not rate or recommend the schools of public health or provide any type of ranking. There are private rankings (such as US News & World Report Best Graduate Schools edition) but ASPH does not endorse them. The schools of public health are all accredited based on high standards, therefore, all accredited schools offer strong public health curricula.

What is the accrediting body for schools of public health?


The accrediting body for schools of public health is the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the US Department of Education to accredit schools of public health. These schools prepare students for entry into careers in public health. For more information, visit CEPH's web site at at www.ceph.org.

Why should I attend a CEPH accredited school of public health?

Accredited schools of public health periodically undergo a rigorous accreditation process and are all held to very high standards, which means students can be assured of a quality education. Attendance at an accredited school of public health offers benefits that may not be present at other institutions. For example, accredited schools of public health must offer a doctoral degree, a degree in each of the core areas of public health, and be an independent academic institution, rather than a department within a medical or other health professions school.

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