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

Politics, fear keep some people from disclosing contacts. Maseru talks solutions.

SPOTLIGHT PA – Contact tracing is crucial to keeping people safe but success relies on cooperation. “The key is building community trust,” said BCHS’s Noble Maseru. “If the people doing this work are known and respected in the community, residents will be more likely to trust that their information is being used for a good purpose.”  

Roberts breaks down 'herd immunity' strategy to combat novel coronavirus (video)

WTAE NEWS - In the absence of a vaccine, said HPM Chair Mark Roberts, at least 60% of the population must contract and recover from the virus. But 1 percent of COVID-19 cases are fatal. “That’s a huge number of deaths in Allegheny County to achieve herd immunity.” If we continue without vaccine, eventually we will achieve herd immunity, but it comes at a cost of lives lost and overwhelmed hospitals.  

My gym is reopening. Reed isn't sure it’s safe to work out there.

NPR - If you want to exercise indoors, it’s safer to do it at home, says IDM’s Doug Reed, an immunologist and aerobiologist. If you do go to the gym and you’re breathing heavily, it would be better to double your regular physical distance to 12 feet, because we don’t know exactly how far virus particles travel when people are breathing heavily. The potential for being infected or spreading the infection could be much higher.  


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)
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