Public Health - Preliminary Information

Undergraduate Coursework ~ Standardized Tests ~ Recommended Extracurriculars

Undergraduate Coursework

The required undergraduate coursework varies from school to school, and within a school from field of study to field of study. You will need to research the schools and programs to which you wish to apply in advance to ensure you complete all of your requirements.

If you are a freshman or a sophomore, and have not thought much about your application, keep this information in mind when choosing courses:

Many of the concentrations will simply require a bachelor's degree. Nonetheless, we encourage you to take a full year of math and English, and at least a full year of biology, as part of your coursework.

The fields of study that will require specific courses and/or specific undergraduate majors are relatively intuitive. A field of study such as epidemiology will require heavy science preparation as an undergraduate, and you should thus plan on majoring in a science or at least taking several upper division courses. On the other hand, a field of study such as Health Service Administration will require less science preparation, but will look favorably on heavier coursework in English or economics.

To find out more about requirements, consult the following link.

Standardized Tests

Most schools require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The GRE is a computer-based test similar to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). You can prepare for it using independent study materials or by taking a prep course. Whatever you choose, you should take advantage of the free practice software available on the GRE website (

Recommended Extracurriculars

These depend on your desired field of study. We recommend getting research experience for fields of study such as epidemiology or environmental health and work experience for fields of study such as behavioral science/health education or health services administration.

With any field, volunteer work is always encouraged. Visit our Volunteer page for ideas and lists of opportunities.