College of Public Health

This is the first version of the 2024–25 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

Undergraduate major: public health (BA, BS)

Undergraduate certificate: public health

Graduate degrees: MHA; MPH; MS; PhD

Graduate certificates: agricultural safety and health; biostatistics; emerging infectious disease epidemiology; healthcare management; public health; translational and clinical investigation


The College of Public Health, established in 1999, is a partner with the Carver College of Medicine and the colleges of Dentistry, Nursing, and Pharmacy in striving to improve human health and well-being. Consistent with the interdisciplinary traditions of public health, the college also collaborates with non-health science colleges across the university and with other Iowa Board of Regents institutions, state and local agencies, and the private sector.

Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of communities. Professionals in this field use specialized knowledge and skills to better understand the root causes of diseases and injuries and, whenever possible, develop strategies to prevent them.

A population-based approach to health is a distinguishing feature of public health and of the college. For public health practitioners—a wide range of professionals including physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, social workers, nutritionists, environmental scientists, health educators, and health service administrators—the primary focus is on the health of entire communities rather than individual patients. Tools that public health professionals use to improve and enhance quality of life include analytical methods to identify, describe, and monitor the health of communities and populations at risk; education and prevention programs, methods of assuring access to appropriate and cost-effective care; and formulation of sound public policies.

The public health approach has led to many important health improvements over the past century. Vaccination campaigns, improved sanitation, fluoridation of drinking water, and efforts to reduce tobacco use are among the most recognizable public health initiatives. Public health programs also have led to safer workplaces, a reduction of deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke, improved motor vehicle safety, and the creation of effective health systems to provide care to those who need it. Today, public health professionals play an important role worldwide in seeking better approaches to complex issues such as quality of life for the elderly, drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, new and reemerging infectious diseases, bioterrorism, health literacy, nutrition, and food safety.

The College of Public Health provides educational opportunities to students campuswide. In addition to training and educating public health students, the college welcomes students from the Tippie College of Business, the Carver College of Medicine, the Graduate College, and the colleges of Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Law, Nursing, and Pharmacy who enroll in public health courses. Undergraduate students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and graduate students from programs such as anthropology, microbiology, and statistics also register for public health courses. The college's faculty members, staff members, and graduate and postdoctoral students contribute to teaching and research activities throughout the health sciences campus and provide services to Iowa and the nation. Partnerships for teaching and research extend across the campus. This background provides a rich array of educational opportunities.

College of Public Health building taken in the fall.

The college includes the departments of Biostatistics, Community and Behavioral Health, Epidemiology, Health Management and Policy, and Occupational and Environmental Health. It offers programs leading to two undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS). It also offers programs leading to four graduate degrees: Master of Health Administration (MHA), Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Science (MS), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). In addition, it offers the Certificate in Agricultural Safety and Health, the Certificate in Biostatistics, the Certificate in Emerging Infectious Disease Epidemiology, the Certificate in Healthcare Management, the undergraduate Certificate in Public Health, the graduate Certificate in Public Health, and the Certificate in Translational and Clinical Investigation.

The undergraduate and graduate programs of the college are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the accrediting body for schools and programs of public health. Three programs in the college also are accredited: the industrial hygiene MS training program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the Master of Health Administration is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), and the Occupational Medicine Residency is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).


The college's faculty includes members with single appointments in the College of Public Health as well as secondary and adjunct appointments. See the Faculty A-to-Z List on the college's website for more information.