Undergraduate Courses in Public Health

Undergrads: PROTECT the health of populations

The COVID-19 pandemic put public health in the global spotlight and emphasizes the need for a strong and dynamic public health workforce. Pitt Public Health has a long history of preparing generations of leaders to meet the needs of our communities and we are excited to expand into undergraduate education. We now offer public health undergraduate elective courses. 

In addition to tackling infectious diseases like COVID-19, public health professionals are equipped to help mitigate current and prevent future global health challenges. The climate crisis, health equity, and the infodemic of misinformation are among many critical public health issues. 

While clinicians such as nurses or physicians focus on treating individuals, public health practitioners apply quantitative, social, and biological science tools – plus tools from almost every other field – to address the health needs of entire populations. To learn more, enroll in one or more of our newly created undergraduate courses taught by experts in public health. 


Covering the fundamental components of public health and incorporating active learning activities

Fall term courses (also offered in the spring)!

  • Introduction to Public Health is the foundation for your future in public health. It provides an overview of key public health concepts and applications. 
  • Public Health Biology introduces you to the biological basis of the most pressing global public health challenges of the 21st century.
  • Essentials of Health Equity explores the social and structural determinants of health and engages in a critical exploration of the intersectionality of health disparities. 

View the fall schedule...

Spring Term Courses

  • Biostatistics provides an overview of statistical methods used in public health practice and research and hands on training to apply methods using statistical software. 
  • Community-based Approaches in Public Health explores how community and cultures impact health and well-being, the importance of partnering engagement and intervention development.
  • Environmental Health Sciences covers fundamental concepts of environmental processes, exposures, agents, and disparities influencing disease progression. 
  • Epidemiology introduces the data-driven science of understanding the health of populations and the prevention and control of diseases. 
  • Health Policy and Management provides a framework for understanding the social, political, legal, and economic dimensions of the U.S. health and public health systems. 

Pitt Public Health COVID-19 News

Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study

KDKA CBS NEWS — Fueled by a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Pitt researchers are studying and combating false online information about vaccines. “Vaccines are often the victim of their own success,” said BCHS doctoral student Beth Hoffman, a research assistant at the Center for Research on Behavioral Health, Media and Technology. “I think one of the reasons we’ve seen a rise in anti-vaccine sentiment over the years is people are l... 

Pitt public health expert sees vaccine distribution issues continuing, but overall COVID-19 situation improving

WTAE PITTSBURGH — HPM's Mark Roberts said this decentralized system where people are calling around to pharmacies and providers on their own is inefficient, but it may be too late to change it. Roberts was optimistic that as more doses become available to providers that the stress surrounding those over 65 will dissipate. "The fact is, it’s getting better. And as more and more, if we’re really going to be able to get 11, 12, 15 million vaccines ... 

J&J vaccine effective in preventing severe disease; a mother's COVID-19 antibodies may protect newborns

REUTERS -  Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine was 66% effective in preventing moderate and severe COVID-19 in a late-stage global trial with nearly 44,000 volunteers that includes regions with worrisome variants of the virus. "Right now, any protection and additional vaccine is great," said HPM's Walid Gellad . "The key is not only overall efficacy but specifically efficacy against severe disease, hospitalization, and death."  


Contact Mara Leff with questions or for more information. 

Meet a master's student


Meet Julia Donnelly, Health Justice Scholar  

Meet Julia Donnelly, Health Justice Scholar

Julia Donnelly (BCHS MPH '21) is a second-year student who is also pursuing a Certificate in Health Equity. "After taking the Seminar in Health Equity, I developed an interest in studying the incarcerated and reentry populations. I am specifically interested in how racial disparities in policing, s... (03/03/2021)

Meet Taylor Robinson, Health Justice Scholar 

Meet Taylor Robinson, Health Justice Scholar

Research with a health disparities focus is the core of Taylor Robinson's (EPI MPH '22) pursuits. She has been involved in research throughout college and in high school. In college, she was an intern in the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Internship and was a 2019 Amgen NIH Scholar. Her research ... (03/03/2021)

Meet Jamie Martina, Health Justice Scholar 

Meet Jamie Martina, Health Justice Scholar

"Over the summer, I conducted my first qualitative research study to gauge the experiences sex workers have had with health care professionals and the barriers to obtaining regular health care," said Jamie Martina (BCHS MPH '23). "Preliminary findings showed that there was a desire to trust health ... (03/03/2021)
View more student profiles & news