Public Health

Public health focuses on promoting the health of families and communities through education, prevention, and examining causes of disease while offering large scale solutions. Some public health intiatives include smoking cessation, managing obesity, and using sustainable practices to protect the environment.

Public Health Fact Sheet

EXPLORE Public Health

PREPARE for Public Health School

Confirm your interest in public health, prepare academically and develop the necessary skills and experience:

Academic Pre-Requisites

Identify School Pre-Requisites and the UC San Diego classes you can take to meet them. This varies greatly depending on area of concentration. Please check individual schools for their specific pre-requisites.




Click to learn more about gaining experience - clinical, service, leadership, and research.

APPLY to Public Health School

You apply to public health school in the fall, a year before you want to start the program. Identify programs that match your interests and complete an application.  Some steps take more time to complete than others, so plan ahead!

Schools & Program

Consider curriculum, clinical training options, location and cost


If required, Prepare, Practice and take the Graduate Record Examination


  • SOPHAS – the application service that compiles your transcripts, letters, essays and activities

Personal Essay

  •  Your personal essay is intended to give you the opportunity to submit a narrative to each school to which you are applying describing your past education, experience, and current professional career objectives.
  • 1500 words


Click here for more info and resources on your personal essay, interview tips, letters of evaluation and taking a gap year.

Student Organizations

Public health-related student groups include the following:

Public Health Brigades provides public health services to people in poor countries in Latin America.

Public Health Club at UCSD provides excellent opportunities to meet other public health students, faculty, local practitioners, and visiting programs.

Student Health Advocates gives students great experience working with public health issues at Student Health on campus.

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