Undergrad public health degree to launch this fall

The University of Pittsburgh will officially welcome its inaugural class of public health undergraduate students in the fall 2022 semester.

So far, Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health, also known as Pitt Public Health, has received more than 800 applications from interested local, regional and international graduating high school seniors, according to Maureen Lichtveld, dean and professor of population health at the school.

The program had a soft launch during the fall 2021 semester, and 133 undergraduate students across the University participated.

Lichtveld attributed the growing interest in the Bachelor of Science in Public Health program, which has exceeded her expectations, to the societal issues highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, undeniable health inequities and global climate change have clearly sparked a passion for public health among the next generation,” Lichtveld said in a Jan. 13 news release.

Students admitted into the program will complete coursework locally and abroad, work with community leaders to solve health threats and volunteer for 120 hours.

One core part of the program, unique to Pitt, is the required “Essentials of Health Equity: Exploring Social and Structural Determinants of Health” course. The course will focus on highlighting and addressing health inequities across various populations and communities.

“Students are coming to us with such enthusiasm and passion for solving today’s most pressing public health issues,” Mara Leff, director of undergraduate curriculum at Pitt Public Health said in the news release. “The future of the field of public health looks brighter with this incoming cohort of young people.”