Is this career right for you?

  • Do you want to work in a career field that offers you many directions with which to take your education into practice?
  • Do you want to be part of a dynamic career field that is constantly adjusting to population needs and expanding?
  • Do you want to work with a wide variety of individuals and organizations?
  • Are you interested in being part of a meaningful career path that makes a big impact on the local community, as well as globally?

Career Paths

There are many career options within the field of public health. The following occupations in public health are just some of the many areas with which you could pursue:

  • Community and behavioral health
  • Disease prevention
  • Epidemiology research
  • Emergency healthcare management
  • Environmental health
  • Global health
  • Health communication
  • Health systems, management, and policy
  • Healthcare biostatistics and informatics
  • Healthcare communications
  • Maternal and child health
  • Medical healthcare
  • Mental healthcare
  • Nutrition
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Public affairs
  • Public health analyst
  • Public health nurse
  • Public health education
  • Public health and social work
  • Public policy and administration
  • Social and behavioral sciences
  • Urban and regional planning

The ASPPH provides a list of graduate schools of public health and public health programs that offer graduate-level training in public health. Graduate degrees range from master's level (i.e. MS, MSPH, MPH) to doctoral level (i.e. PhD, ScD, DrPH) in a variety of public health fields of study depending upon the institution or program. Pre-Health Advisors in the Office of Pre-Health Advising can provide personalized guidance and assistance for students interested in more information about graduate education in public health.


The multitude of options in careers also means that there are many options when it comes to your future graduate degree. Some schools may require very different courses for different paths. For example, if you were interested in biostatistics, you might need to take some math and statistics courses. On the other hand, if you were interested in maternal and child health, you might need to take developmental psychology. For this reason, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact courses you may need to gain entry into your future program. The below recommend a general list of courses that you could consider taking, but you should always check with your preferred school of choice for specific requirements.

A general list of courses to consider:

  • General biology
  • Introductory chemistry
  • College algebra, precalculus, or calculus
  • Statistics
  • Introductory psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Sociology
  • Communications

At CU Boulder, we offer a Certificate in Public Health, which asks students to take a minimum of 18 credit hours in a variety of course options. The certificate and subsequent required courses could greatly benefit your future application to a graduate program in Public Health, as they cover a wide variety of topics and allow you to specialize your education with courses that fit your future career needs. The Public Health Certificate Program offers a specific list of the courses required to complete the certificate. Students in good standing from any department on the CU Boulder campus are welcome to enroll in the Undergraduate Certificate in Public Health.

Updated June 2022