Public Health, B.A.

female student in front of her laptop looking at presentation

What Is A Degree In Public Health?

UC Merced’s Public Health Degree is an interdisciplinary program drawing on the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities to promote health, prevent disease, prolong life and improve quality of life through organized efforts by society.

Focusing on the health and well-being of populations, our degree in Public Health complements medicine’s concern for individuals with diseases. Through activities ranging from basic research to frontline efforts such as vaccination programs, promotion of health lifestyles and environments, disease control, and leadership on health policy formation, students involved in our public health programs will make diverse, far reaching contributions to societal well-being.

To learn more about the field and the impact of public health professionals, visit the ASPPH web site.


UC Merced offers both public health undergraduate major (BA) and minor degree programs, which aim to provide students with broad knowledge through rigorous course work in an intellectually challenging environment, hands-on experience in public health research, and ample opportunity to work directly with expert faculty. UC Merced alumni with an undergraduate degree in public health will be well prepared to meet the high demand for public health degree jobs at both the state and national level.


In a world where we face increasing challenges to public health, the need for workers in the sector is in high demand. UC Merced’s public health degree courses prepare graduates to enter into a variety of fields within the industry. Our experienced faculty members help prepare their students with the analytical tools to identify and work towards solving obstacles and the interpersonal and communications skills needed to work with the variety of populations affected by public health problems. Once you receive a degree from our public health college you can expect to pursue work in the following fields:

  • Health Services Administration
  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Education/Behavioral Science
  • Environmental Health
  • International Health
  • Nutrition
  • Public Health Practice/Program Management
  • Biomedical Laboratory

What Can You Do With A Public Health Degree?

  • Annual Job Openings in CA: 12,708
  • 10-year Projected Job Market Growth:17.4%
  • Median Wage in California: $93,279

Upon graduation, you might become*:

  • Health Educator
  • Public Information Officer
  • Public Health Administrator
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Environmental Health and Safety Director
  • Medical and Health Services Managers
  • Environmental Program Manager
  • Community Health Worker
  • Case Manager
  • *Registered Nurse

*Careers with * typically require further education and training.