Santa Clara University

Public Health Science

About Us

"As we move to reform our health care system, it is critical to remember that improving the conditions in which people are born, grow, learn, live, age, and die will have a great and, in some cases, an even more lasting impact on health than changes in medical care per se."
                                    
--Former Surgeon General David Satcher                                                                                                              

The Public Health Science (PHS) major is an interdisciplinary degree focused on the health of human populations and individuals. Students will gain a solid foundation in biology and chemistry to understand the functioning of the human body in health and disease. The major further explores the influences of environmental and social factors on human health through required and elective public health courses, as well as relevant courses in the social sciences and humanities. Through the senior capstone and mandatory internship, PHS majors engage in health-focused service and research projects that apply their education to real-world public health problems, and integrate learning across disciplines. Students are encouraged to study abroad to gain perspective on global health issues.

Public Health Science majors will be well-prepared for careers, graduate education, or professional training in public health or health-related professions, including medicine and nursing. There are many career options in the field of public health, including healthcare administration, planning, and public policy; epidemiology and disease surveillance; clinical research and clinical trials management; health-related education and social work; health and science communication; and basic research.

Students intending to pursue a medical degree, or post-graduate training in other health-related professions, should contact the University pre-health advisor to discuss prerequisites for admission to such programs. Many require a full year of physics coursework (e.g., PHYS 11–13 or 31–33) and completion of the organic chemistry series (CHEM 33) in addition to the requirements for the Public Health Science major.