What is Public Health?

Public Health student in classroom sitting at laptop speaking with professor.

If there’s anything we’ve learned in recent years, it’s the importance of health and wellness, not only for ourselves but for our community.

In this blog post, we’ll define what public health is, why it matters, and how Meredith’s public health program is the perfect fit for you.

What is public health? 

Public health is the science of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through organized efforts. It differs from the usual healthcare approach because you’re working to prevent health risks versus treating those who are already sick or injured.

It is a rapidly growing and diverse field. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor said employment opportunities are expected to grow in the coming decade in response to global concerns such as emerging diseases, bioterrorism, infectious disease surveillance, and water resource issues.

If you think you would enjoy conducting field and lab research, formulating policies that affect community health and wellness, or working directly with people to improve their health, then public health may be the field for you!

Why is Public Health Important?

As we said, public health’s core function is to prevent health issues from happening or recurring in the community. Professionals in public health create educational programs, recommend policies, administer services, and conduct research to fend off future health problems.

Not only does public health work on prevention strategies, but it works to address and limit health disparities by promoting healthcare equity, accessibility, and quality. 

Why You Should Study Public Health at Meredith.

Public health covers a variety of disciplines, and here at Meredith, we provide three specific areas for students to specialize in; Biological Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Policy and Ethics.

At Meredith, you’ll gain a core curriculum in public health topics. Due to its interdisciplinary nature, it’s important to have general knowledge in all aspects of public health and build it into a specialty focus. 

Biological Sciences

If you choose to take the biological sciences public health track at Meredith, you’ll focus on epidemiology and environmental health.

In this program, you’ll learn the science of human health and disease, have opportunities to promote and protect health, and gain specialized instruction in the subject matter relevant to biological and environmental determinants of disease in populations.

Social and Behavioral Sciences

If you choose to pursue social and behavioral sciences in public health, you’ll focus on health behavior and education, and health policy and administration. 

Through this track, you’ll learn about the behavioral and socioeconomic factors impacting human health, and how they contribute to health disparities. 

Policy and Ethics

You’ll focus on health policy within this track, and learn about the basic concepts of legal, ethical, economic, and regulatory dimensions of health care and public health policy. You’ll also learn the roles, influences, and responsibilities of the different agencies and branches of government.


We’ll make sure you leave Meredith fully prepared to enter the field as a public health expert. And don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students about how Meredith gave them a strong education to pursue their passions.

Want to learn more about our public health major and careers in public health? Visit, today!

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