Skip to main content

Click "Menu" to toggle open, click "Menu" again to close

Undergraduate FAQs

General Questions

Public health is all around us: in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the foods we eat. Many questions of our era involve public health. Are we living healthy lives? How does climate change affect health? Are children getting the nutrition they need to grow? And among the most pressing issues is whether communities have access to affordable, quality healthcare.

People in the United States live an average of 30 years longer than they did in 1900. 25 years of this gain can be attributed to innovations in public health.

The CDC: Top 10 Public Health Achievements of the Past Century

  • Vaccinations
  • Safer workplaces
  • Motor-vehicle safety
  • Control of infectious diseases
  • Decline in deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke
  • Recognition of tobacco use as a health hazard
  • Fluoridation of drinking water
  • Healthier mothers and babies
  • Safer and healthier foods
  • Family planning

Some resources to explore the field of public health:

  • Discover Public Health
  • Study Public Health
  • What Is Public Health
  • American Public Health Association: What Is Public Health?
  • CDC Foundation: What Is Public Health?

Tucson

The College of Public Health is based in Tucson, Arizona in the Arizona Health Sciences Center, which is just north of the main University of Arizona campus. The Health Sciences Center has a fully staffed library, small bookstore, coffee shops, and a cafeteria. The Health Sciences Center is also home to the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy, as well as biomedical research space and various centers our faculty and students contribute to, such as the Cancer Center and the Respiratory Center.

Phoenix

We also have a Phoenix Campus, which is located in downtown Phoenix at 7th St. Van Buren. Sharing space with the UA College of Medicine Phoenix, the College of Pharmacy, and the College of Nursing, this campus offers many opportunities for practice-based learning in a large, urban environment. The three degree programs offered in Phoenix are the MPH in Public Health Practice, the MPH in Health Services Administration, and the dual MD/MPH programs, which are partial distance-learning programs.

Arizona's first and only accredited college of public health, the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health is uniquely situated in the culturally rich and diverse Southwest. Distinguished for our outstanding community-based research and for our focus on eliminating health disparities, we offer outstanding opportunities to students for education, research, and community involvement. The College's interdisciplinary activities are enhanced by being part of the Health Sciences Center with campuses in Tucson and Phoenix.

Training students for the real world with rigorous, discussion-based classes and strong faculty mentoring.

World class research by faculty who focus on communities living in the Southwest, along the US/Mexico border, and globally.

Connected with communities with expertise in health disparities and community-based participatory research, particularly among Latinx and American Indian communities.

Diversity. The College of Public Health consistently ranks among the top 5 of the accredited schools of public health for American Indian and Hispanic students, and is home to a large cohort of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

Outstanding service learning opportunities offer students the chance to gain hands on experience in the application of public health principles in border health, rural health, urban health, sun safety, and more.

Active student groups including the Public Health Student Alliance, the Global Health Alliance, the Student Environmental Health Sciences Association, and the Social Justice Symposium Committee.

State of the Art Facilities Drachman Hall features high-tech, comfortable classroom and meeting space.

Tucson and Phoenix have 350 days of sun each year and outstanding opportunities for hiking, cycling, and other outdoor activities.

Public Health Advising Questions

Students interested in adding the pre-public health major and/or meeting with a public health Academic Advisor should follow the instructions on the public health pre major page.

You can learn more about your Academic Advisor and about how undergraduate advising works in our college on the undergraduate advising page.

Students can also visit The Hub for up-to-date information on course registration, email and communication tips, and other advising resources.

You can learn more about your Academic Advisor and about how undergraduate advising works in our college on the undergraduate advising page.

Students can also visit The Hub for up-to-date information on course registration, email and communication tips, and other advising resources.

Yes! Learn more about the Online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a major in Public Health by visiting our Online Bachelors page.

In addition to our fully online Bachelor of Science in Public Health, some public health courses for main campus students are offered in an online format. Courses offered online each semester are designated as “fully online” as their instruction mode in the UA course search, and are usually reflected as a ‘101’ or “iCourse” section.

Pre-public health is a major within the College of Public Health. Pre-Health is not a major, it is a student designation assigned to students who declare that they are interested in pursuing health professions. Pre-health advisors work with students in all majors and can help you plan any courses or experiences you may need outside of your major to prepare for health care focused graduate and professional school programs.

Pre-Health:

The Pre-Health Professions Advising Center provides advising services to University of Arizona students in all majors planning to pursue a health profession. The center's advisors help students explore interests, skills, and goals and examine academic requirements for entrance to professional schools in medicine, dentistry, nursing, physical therapy, physician assistant studies and other health related professions. Individual advising, workshops, and informational resources are available to students and alumni as they prepare for the health professional school admission process. To register as a pre-health student and meet with a pre-health advisor visit the Pre-Health Professions Advising Center page

How do you know it's time for you to apply for major admission?

Talk with your Academic Advisor to strategize about the timing of your application so that you can maximize opportunities that come from being in the major.

Things to consider:

  • Have you met the prerequisite requirements?
  • Would you like to make progress towards graduation and start taking 400-level courses? Due to demand, public health 400 level classes are restricted to students in the professional major. In order to not delay graduation, be sure to allow for a minimum of two semesters in the professional major.
  • Are you are a main campus student who would like to qualify to apply for public health scholarships and/or take on student leadership positions? Being part of the professional major is often a requirement for public health scholarship eligibility and for holding leadership positions in our college organizations.

Main campus students: do note, when classified as part of the professional major, there is differential tuition of a $50/credit.

Faculty in the Zuckerman College of Public health and UA Global Initiatives partner to offer several Faculty led study abroad programs uniquely tailored for Public Health students. Learn more about each of these programs on our undergrad study abroad page.

In addition to Faculty led public health study abroad opportunities, students can also explore hundreds of other study abroad options by exploring the UA Global Initiatives website and by meeting with a study abroad coordinator.

The priority registration dates are released a few weeks into the current semester. The information is available from the University Registrar's Office. It tends to occur near the middle of the semester each year. Please note that Winter and Summer session registration have their own dates, and this information is typically updated at different times. You can check on the Summer-Winter page for more information.

Learn more about how applications to our professional major are processed by visiting our Public Health Major page.

Learn more about professional major application deadlines on our Public Health Major page.

Students in the main campus public health major are charged a $50/unit differential fee. The differential fees are used for programs that provide student resources and experiences, including but not limited to: increase in course offerings, smaller class sizes, new faculty members, academic advising, scholarships, professional skill development, expanded internship opportunities, career networking, travel funding for conferences, etc. Students in the fully online program do not pay differential tuition, but do have a per-unit cost structure (currently $525/unit).

The option to choose an emphasis is one of the most exciting aspects of the B.S. in Public Health degree! Each emphasis area contains a variety of courses in a specific area of public health. You will have the ability build a unique experience by choosing the specific courses within the emphasis that align with future goals. We recommend discussing your goals and strategizing with your advisor before applying to the professional major.

The Public Health Curriculum Guide has a list of potential public health electives. In addition to these courses, any emphasis courses (from any emphasis area) completed beyond the four required emphaasis courses can count as public health electives too. Please note that many of the public health electives are 400-level courses, which require students to be admitted to the professional public health major first.

Find the advisor for the department of interest at the University Advising Resource Center. Please be sure to meet with advisors for each degree, major, and minor each semester!

Please review our resources available on our Transfer Students page.

If you earned credit, the exams will appear on your advisement report with the code "T" for Test Credit. They will also appear on your Transfer Credit Report in UAccess. The catalog indicates potential application to a UA degree. Please schedule an appointment with your advisor to confirm course credit towards specific programs.

Class standing is based upon the number of units that you have completed. You can find more information under the Class Standing/Classification Policy in the Academic Catalog.
-Freshman = 1-29 units
-Sophomore = 30-59 units
-Junior = 60-89 units
-Senior = 90+ units

If you wish to take greater than 19 units, you may petition the College of Public Health using the Petition to Raise Semester Unit Cap. Students who have a GPA below a 3.00 may not increase their maximum units.

Public Health Students cannot have their semester unit cap raised above 19 units in any semester they are enrolled in Internship Units (HPS 493A or HPS 493B).

The Registrar's Office handles all transcripts. Visit their website to find specific information about where to send college level transcripts.

Public Health Minor Questions

Learn more about declaring a minor by visiting our Public Health Minor page.

You can learn more about your Academic Advisor and about how undergraduate advising works by visiting our Undergraduate Advising page.

You can learn more about your Academic Advisor and about how undergraduate advising works by visiting our Undergraduate Advising page.

Yes! Learn more about the Online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a major in Public Health by visiting our Online Bachelors page.

In addition to our fully online Bachelor of Science in Public Health, some public health courses for main campus students are offered in an online format. Courses offered online each semester are designated as “fully online” as their instruction mode in the UA course search.

The Public Health Curriculum Guide has a list of potential public health electives. In addition to these courses, any emphasis courses (from any emphasis) completed beyond the four required emphasis courses can count as electives too. Please note that many of the public health electives are 400-level courses, which require minor students to request permission to enroll in the course from their public heatlh advisor. Public health minor students must complete HPS 178, HPS 200, and EPID 309 first before they are eligible to enroll in any 400 level public health coursework.

Faculty in the Zuckerman College of Public health and UA Global Initiatives partner to offer several Faculty led study abroad programs uniquely tailored for Public Health students. Learn more about each of these programs on our undergrad study abroad page.

In addition to Faculty led public health study abroad opportunities, students can also explore hundreds of other study abroad options by exploring the UA Global Initiatives website and by meeting with a study abroad coordinator.

Public Health Internship & Engagement Questions

Information on internships, including how to secure a public health internship, can be found on our Undergraduate Internships page.

All Public Health Students will earn an Engaged Learning notation on their transcript by completing their required Public Health internship. However, you are also encouraged to complete additional engagement opportunities while you’re a student!

There are many opportunities to get involved with student engagement at the University of Arizona!

  1. You can take a course that has engagement attributes attached to it. For a list of courses that have engagement attributes, visit the UAccess Schedule page , select "Main Campus" and then search courses by "Course Attribute." Searches can be narrowed down by selecting "Student Engagement Activity" or "Student Engagement Competency."
  2. The University of Arizona also awards engagement notations for the meaningful experiences you have outside of the classroom! There is a growing menu of out-of-class experiences that will also earn you the engaged learning notation on your official transcript. For more information about a particular experience, click the experience title for a description. For enrollment into a particular out-of-class experience, email the contact listed on the experience's page.

Public Health Career Questions

For accreditation purposes, we check with our alums one year post-graduation. At that point, over 86% of respondents have a position in public health or are pursuing further training (such as a health professional schools or graduate school).

While the College doesn’t offer placement services, our Office of Student Services and Alumni Affairs does partner with the main campus Career Services office to provide workshops regarding resumes, CVs, cover letter writing, social networking, mock interviews, networking with alums, and more.

Public Health Graduate Programs Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about Public Health Graduate programs can be found on the Graduate FAQs page

Student Life Questions

Tucson is very active! Year round people partake in biking, hiking, running, etc. Although there are a lot of things to do on and around campus, we suggest driving to find beautiful hiking trails and skiing opportunities. For more information check out the Visit Tucson website.

Tucson is very much a “College Town” in which the whole city stands behind and supports UA initiatives, developments, and athletics. We have noticed that Tucson has a distinct southwestern charm that reflects the historic housing districts and local businesses that help make up Tucson. We really appreciate the breadth of community events that take place at various times throughout the year. Such as: Tucson Meet Yourself, the twice-annual Fourth Avenue Street Fair, the All Souls Procession, and Cyclovia. Within an hour’s drive of Tucson, there are great camping spots in various state parks, wine tastings in Sonoita, and a trip through history in Tombstone. Although the university, downtown, and nightlife is centrally located and easily accessible, Tucson is rather spread out. Also, Tucson stays roughly 7-10 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than Phoenix and other central Arizona cities.

There are many ways to get involved with student organizations on campus. View our list of active student organizations on our Undergraduate Student Clubs and Organizations page.

There are also many on-campus student groups outside of the College of Public Health that you may explore and get involved in. A list of the existing clubs on campus may be found on the ASUA website.

Volunteering in town is an excellent way to better understand and connect to the diverse community of Tucson. While there are many places to volunteer your time, the following list may help guide you in your search. Some opportunities are ongoing, while others are fun, one-time events, ranging from folk festivals to short-term migrant shelters.

Some popular opportunities among students include:

VolunteerUA: VolunteerUA sends out a newsletter with different volunteer opportunities, and also offers a volunteer matching service based on your personal interests. Most of these include ongoing opportunities.

The Volunteer Center of United Way is also an excellent resource for students searching for volunteer opportunities.

There is truly no shortage of excellent community organizations in Tucson and Phoenix, and volunteering may help guide you towards a fitting internship or research project.

This resource list is designed to help students, faculty, and staff find resources on campus around diversity, inclusion, and civility. Please contact us at coph-admit@email.arizona.edu to share additional resources for this list.

The University of Arizona