Studying Public Health

Public health is a vast and interdisciplinary field, and includes practitioners and researchers from a wide range of backgrounds. While some prospective students know exactly what their area of focus will be, many others feel drawn to the field in general, or to several areas within it.

Finding the right public health school and program is just the first in a series of crucial steps you’ll take in becoming a public health professional. If you know that you want to pursue a career in public health but haven’t fully explored all that the field encompasses, consider the following before applying to a program.

Define your interests.

What is it about public health that interests you? Not all students will be interested in creating policy, evaluating programs in resource poor settings, or creating nutritional programs in urban settings. Where do your interests and goals fit into the field of public health?

Narrow your focus (just a bit).

The field of public health is large, and your interests probably span several of our departments and/or certificates. You’re not alone; the School is interdisciplinary because public health is interdisciplinary. Keep that broad perspective, but consider what topics and issue-areas are of greatest interest to you. Read about the research going on at SPH and across Boston University — see how your interests align with those of our faculty. Check out the courses we offer. Learn about how you can get involved in the issues that most resonate with you through SPH student organizations and practice initiatives.

Find the program that’s right for you.

Read about our academic programs and learn about how your background, interests, and goals align with each. We want you to be confident that you’re applying to the program that will best help you achieve your goals. You can also use our Certificate Matching and Career Pathways tool to explore career options for various certificate combinations for the MPH degree program.

Check Career Outcomes

What can you do with a degree in Public Health?

Consider taking courses as a non-degree student

Learn more about non-degree course options prior to matriculation.

Population Health Exchange

Would you be interested in gaining additional skills in a less traditional format? Check out BUSPH’s Population Health Exchange (PHX) for online and in-person courses, webinars, podcasts, and more to stay engaged, enhance your public health toolkit, and keep the conversation going!

NEW: Essentials of Biostatistics with JMP® | Online | Noncredit | 40 hours| Get a comprehensive introduction to the use of biostatistics in the field of public health with this PHX class. Taught by SPH Associate Dean for Education and Professor of Biostatistics, Lisa Sullivan.

Visit SPH!

Visit campus and get a feel for our School community. That is the best way to know if SPH is the best fit for your personal, professional, academic, and career goals.

As you learn about our offerings, please don’t hesitate to contact Admissions with any questions. We look forward to the prospect of seeing you on campus!