Contact Info


Leanne H. Field, Ph.D.
Director, Public Health, Health Information Technology and 
Medical Laboratory Science Programs
Main Office: PAI 1.06B
Phone: (512) 475-8897

Shawna Al-Mashouq, J.D.
Senior Academic Program Coordinator for Public Health
Main Office: GEA 319
Phone: (512) 471-3375

Maggie Rigney, M.A.
Assistant Academic Advisor,
Human Ecology Advising Center
Main Office: GEA 37
Phone: (512) 471-7219

Chris Connelly, M.Ed.
Senior Academic Advisor, CNS Center for First-Year Advising
Main Office: WCH 1.106
Phone: (512) 471-3796

The mission of Public Health is to preserve, promote, and improve the health and well being of populations, communities, and individuals. To fulfill this mission, we foster collaborations among public health and the health professions in education, research, and service.  For more information, go to What is Public Health?

Frequently Asked Questions

Public Health at UT Austin

How do I become a public health major?

Students not in the College of Natural Sciences follow the process for an Internal Transfer listed on the CNS Dean's Office website:

Students already in CNS can change their major to Entry-Level Public Health at any time by going to the Human Ecology Advising Center in GEA 37 and filling out the Change of Major form. 

Entry Level students complete these prerequisites, all with grades of at least a C-:  any calculus 1 course, CH 301 and 302, BIO 311C and 311D and the introductory course, PBH 317, Intro to Public Health, then take SDS 328M, BIO 325 and PBH 354, Epidemiology, to become Public Health majors.

Students should meet with the Public Health academic advisor in the School of Human Ecology to update their major code and degree audit profile, and choose a concentration.  They will then have access to the restricted upper division PBH courses, which are taken in sequence in a cohort.

How can I get involved in Public Health at UT (even if I'm not a major)?

Get actively involved in public health on campus and in our community! Join one of the public health-related Student Organizations:

  1. Texas Public Health
  2. Global Public Health Brigades at The University of Texas at Austin
  3. Student Health Advisory Committee
  4. Healthyhorns Peer Educators
  5. Wellness Network
  6. BeVocal Bystander Intervention Student Organization

What courses are in the concentrations?

Choose a concentration and take three courses:

  • Biostatistics and Public Health Informatics: BIO 321G; C S 303E, 313E, 327E, 329E (Topic: Elements of Computing in Society); GRG 360G; M 408D (or 408M and 408S), 340L, 358K, 362K, 362M; PBH 341R, 353; SDS 332.
  • Environmental Health Sciences: BIO 373, 373L, 375; C E 341, 342, 369L; GEO 302C, 346C, 476K, 476M; GRG 307C, 334C, 339K, 344K, 357, 360G; MNS 307, 320, 354Q; PBH 341R; URB 315.
  • Health Policy and Management: ECO 304K*, 304L*; GOV 357M (Topic 3: Supreme Court and Public Policy; Topic 4: Civil Liberties; Topic 7: Constitutional Structure of Power; Topic 8: Structure of Individual Liberties), 358*, 370L (Topic 23: Politics of Health Care); HDF 362; MAN 320F*; P A 325 (Topic: Advanced Seminar in Ethical Leadership); PBH 341R; PHL 325L or 325M, 347; SOC 354K*. 
  • Infectious Diseases and Public Health Microbiology: (note prerequisites) BIO 330, 230L, 336, 360K, 260L, 361, 361L; PBH 341R, 361P.
  • Nutrition: NTR 312R, 315, 321, 331, 337, 338W or 338H, 342, 365 (Topic 1: Vitamins and Minerals; Topic 4: Obesity and Metabolic Health); PBH 341R.
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences: (note only one advertising, communication or public relations course may be counted) ADV 305, 319, 334; CMS 306M, 315M, 332, 332K; HED 329K, 335, 360, 370K (Topic 1: Foundations of Health Promotion I), 371K, 373; MKT 320F; P R 305; PBH 341R; S W 310; SOC 319, 321K (Topic: Building the Sustainable City), 336D, 354K*, 369K.

           *courses may count as either a foundation course or as a concentration course

How can I register for PBH 317?

Registration for PBH 317 is open and unrestricted.

Public Health Career

Why pursue a career in public health?

  • Public health is an exciting and growing field of study. The field challenges its professionals to confront complex health issues, such as improving access to health care, controlling infectious disease, and reducing environmental hazards, violence, substance abuse, and injury. 
  • Public health is a diverse and dynamic field. Public health professionals come from varying educational backgrounds and can specialize in an array of fields. A host of specialists, including teachers, journalists, researchers, administrators, environmentalists, demographers, social workers, laboratory scientists, and attorneys, work to protect the health of the public. 
  • Public health is a field geared toward serving others. Public health professionals serve local, national, and international communities. They are leaders who meet the many exciting challenges in protecting the public's health today and in the future. 
  • Public health is a rewarding field.  The field of public health offers great personal satisfaction - working towards improving people's health and well-being is a fulfilling day's work.

Who should consider a degree in public health?

Public health is a field that offers an abundance of job opportunities to suit a variety of interests and skills. Whether you are interested in crunching numbers, conducting research, or working with people, there is a place for you in the field of public health. Recent college graduates and those that have been in the field for years have something to offer and to gain in this field. Public health is ideal for those who find satisfaction knowing that they are working to improve the lives of others.

What are the career opportunities in public health?

While there are dozens of specialties in public health, most career opportunities are found in the following fields:

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

The College's Career Center can help!  public health careers

Where do public health professionals work?

Public Health professionals work in both the public and private sectors. Many public health graduates will find work in the public sector in local, state, or federal health departments. The jobs available at health departments range from Food Safety Inspectors to Health Educators; from Policy Analysts to Epidemiologists. Other public health professionals will find work in university systems as researchers or educators.

Those interested in working for a non-profit organization can find jobs in health advocacy, policy, or research for organizations such as the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, the Red Cross, or a local non-profit that focuses on specific health issues, such as HIV/AIDS services or child nutrition, education and counseling.

Still other public health professionals will find work in the private sector working for pharmaceutical companies or for health insurance companies.  Others work across the globe with organizations that target childhood survival, malaria and water sanitation.

Do I need an advanced degree to work in the field of public health?

While it is possible to gain experience in the field without an advanced degree, many public health jobs require a graduate degree in public health.  Most public health professionals need at least a Masters' degree for career advancement.  A graduate degree in public health provides a competitive edge due to increased awareness of the factors which influence local, national and global legislative and social polices; broad-based, quantitative and qualitative problem solving skills; multidisciplinary and collaborative strategies for solving health-related problems; and enhanced communication skills working with diverse populations.  Graduates are ready to take on a leadership role in health promotion and disease prevention. The CNS Career Center can help you explore graduate school and assist in graduate school planning.

How can I get experience in Public Health?

We offer many programs and resources on campus to help you get experience in public health: 
1. UT Brownsville Summer Internship Program: Texas/Mexico Border Health (Summer)
3. Healthy Horns Peer Educators (Spring Application)
4. CMHC Peer Educators (Spring Application)
6. Peers Against Tobacco (Fall and Spring application)
7. SoHE Ambassadors (Spring Application)
If you aren’t sure how to get started, visit CNS Career Services. The Texas Institute for Discovery Education in Science (TIDES) office provides experiential learning consultations for students as well as a long list of Experiential Learning Opportunities for Public Health Students. If you already have an internship, but you want to get course credit for it, please check out the CNS Career Services Internships for Credit Program

What kind of job title can I expect after graduating with a degree in public health?

Job titles, position descriptions, and salary ranges of recent public health graduates will vary greatly based on their course of study and interests. Some sample career titles for jobs in Texas that do not require a graduate degree, taken from in May 2017, are listed below:

  • Public Health Program Specialist
  • Youth Engagement Coordinator
  • Public Health Preparedness Training Coordinator
  • Public Health Aide
  • Public Health Educator
  • Administrative Specialist II
  • Associate Guideline Advisor