Public health is the science and art of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention. Public health helps improve the health and well-being of people in local communities and around the globe. Public health works to prevent health problems before they occur.

Core areas of public health

While public health is defined in many different ways, the following is a list of core areas that are often associated with public health. For more information, visit What is Public Health?


Statistical science applied to health and biomedical data

Environmental Health

The impact of air, water and the built environment on health


The study of the frequency, distribution and determinants of disease

Health Administration and Management

Managing human and fiscal resources to deliver public health services

Global Health

Addressing health challenges across the world

Maternal and Child Health

Improving the health of women, children and their families


How food and nutrients impact the health of populations

Public Health Laboratory Practice

Diagnose, prevent, treat and control infectious disease

Public Health Policy

The role of policy and policy decisions on public health

Public Health Practice

Incorporating public health principles into clinical practice

Social and Behavioral Science

The study of social and behavioral determinants of health