Public Health

Overview of Field

Public Health promotes and protects the health of all people and their communities. Public Health improves the quality of lives, helps children thrive, reduces human suffering, and saves money. While the health care industry treats people who are sick, public health aims to prevent people from getting sick or injured in the first place. Public health also focuses on entire populations, while health care focuses on individual patients.

Examples of Public Health:

  • Tracking disease outbreaks and vaccinating communities to avoid the spread of disease
  • Setting safety standards to protect workers
  • Developing school nutrition programs to ensure kids have access to healthy food
  • Advocating for laws to keep people safe
  • Working to prevent gun violence
  • Addressing the impact of climate change on our health
  • Declaring racism as a public health crisis

Career Exploration

Examples of Careers in Public Health:

  • Restaurant Inspectors
  • Community Health Workers
  • Nutritionists
  • Social workers
  • Public Health Physicians
  • Policymakers
  • Health Educators
  • Biostatisticians
  • Disease Preparedness Researcher
  • State/Federal Environmentalists
  • Addiction Treatment Program Developer
  • Vaccine Researcher
  • Global Infectious Disease Analyst

Applying to Public Health

Application timelines can vary depending on the specific public health graduate program. You will need to check the individual school websites for information on the application process.

For UofL SPHIS graduate programs, most applicants for wanting a fall start will need to apply on or before July 1st (international applicants); July 25th (domestic applicants). There are limited spring and summer semester starts depending on the program.

Pre-requisite Completion

Public Health pre-requisites can vary depending on the graduate program.

 For UofL SPHIS, most require:

  • Bachelor’s degree from accredited institution or its equivalent
  • Recommended minimum GPA 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • If the candidate’s primary language is not English, one of the following is required:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam with a minimum score of 90 (after conversion for test type)
    • Passing the exit examination for the advanced level of the Intensive English as a Second Language Program at the University of Louisville
    • ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates) certification
    • Degree from an accredited U.S. institution - this requires provisional admission with evaluation of English language competency and potential requirement to pass the exit examination for the advanced level of the Intensive English as a Second Language Program at the University of Louisville

For specific UofL requirements:
UofL Public Health Graduate Programs

GRE Exam

UofL SPHIS Graduate Programs do not require the GRE except for the Master of Public Health Biostatistics concentration.

Suggested test preparation resources:

Building your Resume

UofL Student Involvement Recognized Student Organizations (RSO’s):

These student organizations are active as of Fall 2023. You can find all active student organizations by visiting engage.

National Organizations & Resources