This fall, the University of Iowa College of Public Health will welcome its initial cohort of undergraduates majoring in public health, becoming the first Iowa Regents institution to host an undergraduate degree in the field. The class consists of 32 students from seven different states, including 18 students from Iowa.
The UI public health bachelor’s degree will provide students with a basic understanding of the five core public health knowledge areas: biostatistics, social and behavioral sciences, epidemiology, health policy and management, and environmental health sciences.
It will be divided into two tracks — a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science. The BA track will focus on the community and behavioral aspects of public health for students interested in working in areas such as health education, health communication, health program development, and public health policy or preparing for advanced education in the social sciences, community and behavioral health, health policy and management, and other fields.
The BS track will have depth in the basic sciences for students who are interested in working in a laboratory setting or preparing for advanced education in biostatistics, dentistry, environmental health, epidemiology, medicine, nursing, occupational health, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine.
The College is also seeing increased interest in undergraduate level public health courses that are available to all students, regardless of major. According to director of undergraduate programs, Dr. Margaret Chorazy, registration for this fall’s Fundamentals of Public Health course has more than doubled since last year with over 150 students registered.
Additionally, the UI College of Public Health has students enrolled in an accelerated program that allows UI undergraduates to earn both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years, rather than the typical six years. Students participating in this undergraduate to graduate (U2G) program save a year of tuition and associated costs and have a one-year head start on their careers.