Students enrolled in a public health program have dozens of study paths from which to choose. Whether you concentrate in food safety or population sciences, the field has expansive opportunities for specialization.
Aging – Focuses on solutions to aging-related challenges, promoting healthy aging, longevity and disability prevention, and the relationship between health risk factors and aging.
Biomedical Lab Sciences – Focuses on laboratory techniques in areas such as microbiology, immunology, virology, molecular biology, as applied to research on public health issues.
Biostatistics – Study of theories and techniques for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting quantitative data relevant to public health issues.
Chronic Disease – Focuses on the etiology and prevention of chronic disease, while addressing interventions such as policy change, education, and various services to reduce chronic disease morbidity and mortality at the level of community and individual behavior.
Clinical Research – Use of statistical methods in the design and execution of studies involving a person or group of persons and addressing public health problems.
Communication Sciences and Disorders – Focuses on the practice of public health as applied to disorders of speech production/perception, hearing, and language organization.
Community Health – Focuses on work with defined communities to identify and resolve public health problems and to promote well-being.
Dental Public Health – The science of preventing dental diseases and promoting dental health on a community basis, including dental education of the public, applied dental research, and administration of group dental care programs.
Environmental Health – Study of assessment, control, and prevention of factors in the environment that can adversely affect the health of present and future generations.
Epidemiology – Application of the scientific method to the study of disease in populations for the purpose of prevention and control.
Exercise Science – The theory-based, research-led study of the impact of physical exercise on the body and health.
Food Safety – Focuses on identification and decreasing the risk to the public from foodborne illness by surveillance, monitoring occurrences of bacterial pathogens, and response to public complaints.
Genetics – Explores the impact of genes on public health and disease prevention, including how genes and the environment interact to affect distribution of disease in human populations.
Global Health – Study of health across national boundaries and of socioeconomic, cultural, and other factors causing disease that transcend national borders, ethnicity, and other divisions.
Health Administration – Study of the skills, values, and conceptual abilities needed for management roles in health care, health policy, and public health.
Health Economics/Health Finance – Study of the composition, use, and impact of finances that fund all components of the public health system. This includes the pricing, production, and distribution of health services.
Health Education/Behavioral Sciences – Interdisciplinary study focusing on how health education can affect behavior and lifestyle decisions that have an impact on public health.
Health Law – The impact of law on the furnishing and administration of health services, and study of legal structures that define government’s authority in the interest of public health.
Health Promotion and Communications – Organized response to promote health and prevent illness, injury, and disability using communication mediums.
Health Services Research – Research on the cost, access, and quality of the health care system, and on policy issues affecting the organization, financing, and delivery of health care services.
Immunology – The relationship between body systems, pathogens, and immunity, the development and function of immune cells, and the mechanisms of disease and immunology.
Infectious Diseases – Study of illnesses resulting from the transmission of microbial agents through diverse pathogens, disease surveillance, outbreak investigation, and the prevention of infectious diseases.
Informatics – Interdisciplinary science dealing with the structure, acquisition, and use of biomedical information, ranging from theoretical model contraction to building and evaluating applied systems.
Injury/Violence – The study of the epidemiology, risk factors, and effective prevention strategies for unintentional and violence-related injury.
Management and Health Policy – Study of legislative, administrative, and budget systems affecting health services, competencies associated with health care management, and the role of leadership in public health.
Maternal and Child Health – Focuses on the improvement of public health delivery systems for women, children, and their families through advocacy, education, and research.
Mental Health – Emphasizes early intervention, prevention of mental illness, and promotion of mental health through public health education.
Minority Health and Health Disparities – Addresses factors causing gaps in quality of health care across social, ethnic, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic groups.
Multicultural Studies – Focuses on the impact of social identities in determining behavior during illness and decisions regarding care, and the importance of understanding basic attitudes of a cultural group for successful health promotion and prevention programs.
Neuroscience – An interdisciplinary field which may include research in areas such as molecular neuroscience, neurophysiology, and computational modeling, with applications for vaccine development, response to bioterrorism attacks, and control or prevention of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Nutrition/Public Health Nutrition – Focuses on the improvement of the nutritional health of the whole population and vulnerable subgroups within the population, and emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention.
Occupational Health/Industrial Hygiene – Focuses on the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, communication, prevention, and control of environmental stressors in the workplace that may result in injury, illness or impairment, or affect the wellbeing of the community.
Parasitology – Study of human parasites and of public health measures that contribute to the prevention and control of diseases caused by parasites.
Population and Reproductive Health – Factors influencing human reproductive health and dynamics of population growth with the goal of avoiding disease and disability related to sexuality and reproduction.
Population Sciences – Study of the science of demography and health implications of major population issues, including population size, composition, distribution, and change.
Preparedness Response and Recovery – Focuses on the public health infrastructure needed to monitor the environment, assess needs of vulnerable populations, and allocate resources in times of community emergency.
Public Health Ethics – Involves a systematic process to clarify, prioritize, and justify possible courses of public health action based on ethical principles, values and beliefs of stakeholders, and scientific and other information. Public ethics is a field of study that seeks to clarify principles guiding actions, and a field of practice that applies relevant principles and values to decision making.
Public Health Leadership – Prepares public health practitioners with knowledge and skills needed to mobilize, coordinate, and direct broad collaborative actions within the complex public health system.
Public Health Medicine – Protects and improves the health of the community through preventive medicine by providing public health training for clinicians such as doctors, dentists, and nurses.
Public Health Policy – The collected laws, regulations, and approaches taken to making decisions and implementing policy to protect the health of communities and populations. Public health policy issues include a wide range of topics including health care reform, insurance reform, prevention of communicable diseases, food safety, and stem cell research.
Public Health Practice – Application of knowledge and competencies in performance of essential public health services.
Risk Assessment – Determination of the probability that a specific public health environmental or other threat will occur, with a focus on adverse health effects, risk perception, communication, and management.
Social Determinants of Health – Study of the political, cultural, and societal systems that influence behaviors and lifestyle decisions that have an impact on health.
Substance Use/Harm Reduction – Study of theory and methods for research on substance use and community-based prevention, control, and treatment.
Toxicology – Study of the adverse effects of chemicals or other physical agents on human beings and other living organisms.
Tropical Medicine – Deals with infectious and other diseases occurring or originating primarily in tropical and subtropical regions.
Veterinary Public Health – Study of the prevention and control of zoonotic diseases—transmissible from animals to humans—in both animal and human populations.
Women’s Health – Etiology, prevention, and treatment of public health problems affecting women and other high-risk groups.