Essential Public Health Series

The Movement

ASPPH Undergraduate Public Health Network

The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) has taken the lead in developing a national effort to enhance undergraduate public health education. ASPPH has developed a growing network of bachelor’s degree granting programs both those in schools and programs of public health and those with “standalone” degree programs without associated graduate degrees in public health. Community college faculty and those with developing undergraduate public health programs may participate in meetings and receive newsletters.

Among the growing list of undergraduate activities are annual retreats and meetings, regular communications and newsletters, a small grant program to encourage innovations, and the Riegelman Award for Excellent in Undergraduate Public Health Education. ASPPH is also developing pathway programs to encourage community college students to pursue public health education and connect undergraduate public health students to the workforce.

See more information on ASPPH and undergraduate public health education.

CEPH Accreditation of Undergraduate Public Health

The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is the accrediting body for public health schools and programs including undergraduate programs as well as graduate programs. In recent years CEPH has developed a certification process for standalone undergraduate public health bachelor’s degree programs i.e. public health degree programs in institutions without graduate public health programs.

CEPH is engaged in updating and revising the criteria for standalone programs. These changes are expected to also be considered for Schools and Programs as part of the 2026 accreditation review.

See more information on the CEPH accreditation criteria for Schools and Programs as well as for standalone undergraduate programs.

Integrating Public Health into Clinical and General Education/ Professional Education

Interest in public health education in clinical disciplines has increased substantially in recent years as well as in general education of a wide range of undergraduate students.

The Healthy People Curriculum Task Force made up of 8 health professions educational associations has developed the Clinical Prevention and Population Health curriculum framework to guide the development of prevention and population health education for clinical health professions.

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Integration of public health into a wide range of disciplines as well as into general education is becoming an important priority. Health in All Education is a new effort to outline a framework for the integration of health into disciplinary as well as general education.

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Critical Component Elements of an Undergraduate Major

The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) recommends the following Critical Component Elements, as guidance for those programs that wish to prepare a graduate to enter the workforce and/or to pursue advanced studies in public health or other health professions. Download the following for the critical component elements and recommended books in the Essential Public Health series that can be used to fulfill the critical component elements.

Critical Component Elements Document

Resources for Undergraduate Public Health Education

This list of resources includes links to reports, policy statements, and curricular models, as well as national media and higher education press, and other selected publications.

Download the document.

10 Questions to Ask When Starting an Undergraduate Public Health Program

Considering launching a new undergraduate Public Health major or minor at your institution? Here are 10 Questions to consider:

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Careers in Public Health

With the growth in undergraduate public health there has been a new emphasis on encouraging careers in public health including governmental public health. To facilitate this process Academic Health Departments in over half the States have been created to provide experiential learning opportunities.

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Job opportunities for bachelor’s degree graduates in public health include a wide array of areas within and outside traditional public health fields.

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The National Board of Public Health Examiners offers the Certify in Public Health(CPH) examination. Bachelor’s degree graduates with work experience are eligible to take this examination which is becoming a useful career development credential.

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