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

Chaotic search for coronavirus treatments undermines efforts, says Angus

WASHINGTON POST - “It’s a cacophony—it’s not an orchestra. There’s no conductor,” said Pitt Med and HPM faculty's Derek Angus (BCHS '92), who is leading a covid-19 trial to test multiple therapies. “My heart aches over the complete chaos in the response.” The lack of coordination puts the world at risk of ending up with a raft of inconclusive and conflicting studies and little idea of what interventions work for the next wave of illness.  

Angus says the search for coronavirus treatments is jumbled

CNN – The scramble for successful treatments is disjointed and chaotic, according to Pitt Med's Derek Angus (BCHS '92). There are two million people who already have this disease. If even one in 10 has been able to participate in a trial, we could have gone through 100 different drugs by now and known definitively which ones worked or not. The disorder is global, and there aren’t enough tests right now to practice effective public health.  

What it’s like for IDM student Emerson Boggs and team to moderate Reddit’s wildly popular coronavirus forum

VICE MEDIA – Emerson Boggs (IDM PhD candidate) says, “I’m a virologist, so I probably spend more time than average looking at outbreaks. I started off as a fervent commenter, and then I wanted the ability to intervene because the science stuff got bad pretty quickly.” The subreddit is also rapidly outpacing traditional outbreak reporting. The ability to communicate back and forth easily has helped a lot of people.  


Contact Mara Leff with questions or for more information. 

Meet a master's student


Cornelio awarded Dissertation Grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research Quality 

Cornelio awarded Dissertation Grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Noelle Cornelio (HPM '22) was awarded a Health Services Research Dissertation R36 grant from AHRQ to support her dissertation project, "Impact of Medicaid Policies on Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries: Evidence from State Reforms." Approximately 12 million low-income Medicare beneficiaries are dual... (09/20/2021)

Four SWAN studies explore women's brain and heart health during midlife 

Four SWAN studies explore women's brain and heart health during midlife

NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING - Meaningful research from our students, alumni, and faculty suggest that midlife health may be an important determinant of cognitive function and heart health later on in life. Featuring work from four SWAN manuscripts, one led by EPI's Emma Barinas-Mitchell (EPI '98) f... (07/09/2021)

Baumann blogs about Health Policy and Planning article, asking Is criminalization the answer for ending a harmful practice in Nepal? 

Baumann blogs about Health Policy and Planning article, asking Is criminalization the answer for ending a harmful practice in Nepal?

HPP DEBATED - BCHS' Sara Baumann (BCHS '19) talks about a recent article in the journal Health Policy and Planning, Is criminalization the answer? Perspectives of community members and police on menstrual seclusion policy in Far-West Nepal. The study was completed by an interdisiplinary Pitt team i... (07/23/2021)
View more student profiles & news