Majoring in Public Health

Welcome to the School of Public Health

Public health seeks to improve human health through the development and application of knowledge that prevents disease, protects the public from harm, and promotes health throughout the state, the nation, and the world.

Under the public health major, undergraduates will develop and apply knowledge from multiple disciplines for the promotion and protection of the health of the human population, giving due consideration to principles of human rights and cultural perspectives that abound in our multicultural country and world.

The bachelor of arts degree in public health is primarily intended to prepare students for graduate study in public health. Those who choose to work after obtaining their BA are usually employed by government, private, and nonprofit organizations in careers such as survey workers, educators, or research project associates.

About a Capped Major

Public Health is a capped major and unfortunately, every semester we have to turn away great candidates due to limited capacity. This is why we encourage all students to actively work toward an alternative major.

Advising and Support

All students interested in the undergraduate major—or the field of public health in general—are encouraged to consult with an academic advisor.

Undergraduate Public Health Major Program Director
Lisa Barcellos 

Undergraduate Public Health Major Advisors
Kimberly Henderson
Patricia Cruz

Sign up for an undergraduate advising appointment.

Public Health Peer Advisors
Find drop-in hours

What Have Students Done with a Public Health Degree?

Depending on emphasis, the Bachelor of Arts degree in public health prepares students for graduate study in a variety of fields including public health, public policy, and nutrition. Students who choose to work after obtaining their BA are employed by government, private, and nonprofit organizations as survey workers, educators, and research project associates.

If you’re an undergraduate student majoring in public health, or even just interested in health, consider joining the Cal Undergraduate Public Health Coalition. It’s a great way to network with other students who share your interests and participate in volunteer opportunities.

Contact Us With Questions

Our staff and faculty are available to answer any questions you may have throughout your undergraduate experience. You may find answers to some of your questions in our Frequently Asked Questions section. For even more information, please email