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uc merced school of public health

uc merced school of public health

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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, MERCED


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Pre-Health Advising
School of Natural Sciences

Contact Information

Erica Robbins, M.S.
E:  [email protected]
**Email is the preferred method of communication** 

Jenn Souza, M.A.
E: [email protected]
**Email is the preferred method of communication** 
 

Public Health

Public Health School Requirements

Public health involves various specialty areas that address the physical, mental and environmental health concerns of communities and populations at risk for disease and injury. Its goal is to improve and enhance quality of life through the application of health promotion and disease prevention technologies and interventions. Public health is open to all undergraduate students in a variety of majors, from the biological sciences to social sciences.

Public health workers have the following goals:

  • assessing and monitoring the health of communities and populations at risk, and identifying health problems and priorities;
  • collaborating with community and government leaders and formulating public policy to solve local and national health problems and priorities;
  • assuring all populations have access to appropriate and cost-effective care, including health promotion and disease prevention services, and evaluating the effectiveness of that care

​How is Public Health Different From the Other Health Professions?

Public health comprises many professional disciplines such as medicine, dentistry, nursing, optometry, nutrition, social work, environmental sciences, health education, health services administration and the behavioral sciences, and its activities focus on entire populations rather than on individual patients.

The population-based approach to health:

  • works to eradicate life-threatening diseases (e.g. smallpox, polio);
  • works to control and prevent infectious diseases and outbreaks (e.g. measles, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and Ebola virus);
  • works to reduce death and disability from unintentional injuries through formulations of policies designed to protect the safety of the public (e.g. seat belt and worker safety laws);
  • promotes healthy lifestyles to prevent chronic diseases (e.g. cancer, heart disease, obesity);
  • educates populations at risk to reduce sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy and infant mortality;
  • facilitates community empowerment to improve mental health, reduce substance abuse and violence;
  • works to assure access to cost-effective care;
  • evaluates the effectiveness of clinical and community-based interventions;
  • works to assure drinking and recreational water is safe;
  • works to prevent pollution of air and land through enforcement of regulatory control and management of hazardous wastes;
  • formulates policies to increase the quality of health care at local and/or state levels

The Difference Between a School and a Program

Schools of public health and public health programs differ in size and the opportunities they provide. In a school of public health, different departments focus on specific public health areas. This means more concentration areas will be offered. A public health program is part of a medical school or graduate school department and usually has a single focus, such as health education. However, an MPH or related degree will have the same credibility, regardless of the institution.

Criteria and Requirements for Applying

  • GPA – some schools only look at the upper division coursework.
  • Standardized test score – The general GRE is required. Some schools also accept the MCAT, especially for applicants to joint degree programs.
  • Experience – volunteer work and internships are always helpful. Up to two years of paid work experience may be required, depending on the school.
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation – from both professors and work supervisors.
  • Interview – not conducted by all schools; phone or in-person format depends on school.

Areas of Concentration

Regardless of their specialties, all students take introductory courses in biostatistics and epidemiological sciences basic to public health. Most schools also require one or more courses in health administration, environmental health and behavioral sciences. These core areas are essential for an MPH and recommended for all degree candidates.

Once an area of concentration has been chosen, a student can develop a course of study geared to his/her individual professional goals, and encompassing classroom activity, field experience and a significant research or laboratory project. Many schools either require or strongly recommend some type of work experience before enrollment and most encourage their students to seek summer employment that will further develop and enrich their public health background.

Specific concentrations include:

  • Public health practice and program management
  • Health services administration
  • Biostatistics
  • Biomedical and laboratory practice
  • Epidemiology
  • Nutrition
  • Behavioral sciences/health education
  • Occupational safety and health
  • International/global health
  • Environmental health sciences
  • Maternal and child health

UC Merced students interested in pursuing advanced study in public health are encouraged to add the public health minor available through the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. More information on the minor can be found at the Public Health website .

Public Health in California

  • California State University, Fresno – Master’s of Public Health Program
  • California State University, Long Beach – Master’s of Public Health Program
  • California State University, Northridge – Master’s of Public Health Program
  • California State University, San Francisco – Master’s of Public Health Program
  • California State University, San Diego – Graduate School of Public Health
  • California State University, San Jose – Master’s of Public Health Program
  • Loma Linda University – School of Public Health
  • UC Berkeley – School of Public Health
  • UC Davis – Master’s of Public Health Program
  • UCLA – School of Public Health
  • University of Southern California – Master’s of Public Health Program

University of California, Merced

5200 North Lake Rd. Merced, CA 95343 T: (209) 228-4400

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Public Health

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Home › For Students › SSHA Majors › Public Health

Public Health aims to promote health, prevent disease, prolong life and improve quality of life through organized efforts of society. Focusing on the health and wellbeing of populations, Public Health complements medicine’s concern for individuals with diseases. Through activities ranging from basic research, to frontline efforts such as vaccination programs, promotion of healthy lifestyles and environments, disease control, and leadership on health policy formation, Public Health issues and outcomes touch the lives of people throughout the world. Public Health is an interdisciplinary field drawing on the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities. One of the most important themes in Public Health is the disparities in health observed in different groups, for example related to economic resources and race/ethnicity, which is a focus in this curriculum.

Public Health Four Year Major Plans

Below, please find four year plans for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Health. Students should choose the plan that corresponds to the catalog year in which they matriculated to UC Merced. For more information on catalog rights, please click here .

2015-2016
2016-2017
2017-2018

Public Health Major Planning Guides

Below, please find planning guides for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Health. Students should choose the planning guide that corresponds to the catalog year in which they matriculated to UC Merced. For more information on catalog rights, please click here .

2014-2015

Important Public Health Major Documents

Planned 2014-2015 Course Offerings
PSY 190 Course Equivalents to Public Health Courses

Public Health Major Elective Courses

  • PH 104: Health and the Media
  • PH 113: Latino and Immigrant Health
  • PH 125: Emerging Public Health Threats
  • PH 135: Public Health Genetics
  • PH 137: Insects and Public Health
  • PH 185: Introduction to Health and Biomedical Ethics
  • PSY 147: Health Psychology
  • PSY 124: Health Disparities
  • ANTH 120: Introduction to Medical Anthropology
  • ANTH 121: Ethnomedicine
  • BIO 010: Genetics, Stem Cells and Development
  • BIO 060: Nutrition
  • BIO 140: Genetics
  • BIO 161: Human Physiology
  • ECON 145: Health Economics

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