Science + Health

Uncover Your Curiosity

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Do you find yourself drawn to inquisition with a strong urge for innovation towards advancements towards analytical resolution? Does the thought of being engaged in life and global improvements excite you? Perhaps you are on the path towards becoming a scientist!

With the world at your fingertips, UCSB presents you with a number of opportunities, resources, and experts to help you build your career in Science + Health. Whether your interests lie in the life and physical sciences, health professions, biotechnology, environmental studies, physical geography, or other areas that ignite you, a career in Science + Health can put you at the forefront of humankind's greatest discoveries and advancements.



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Discover Options: Public Health

For complete information on assessing yourself, choosing majors, and exploring careers, review our starter tips to Discover Options in all careers as well as the specialized tips on this page.

What is Public Health?

Professionals in the Public Health sector dedicate their careers to improving the livelihoods of various populations; this is different from Clinical Healthcare, where professionals treat individual patients for their specific symptoms. In Public Health, professionals analyze the health problems and trends of the entire region (i.e. neighborhood, city, county) to determine what is impacting the residents’ health. Subsequently, they implement research tactics to determine manners in which they can reduce exposures and cases. Public health professionals are also concerned about whether the affected populations have access to effective healthcare resources. If all is done well by the public health officials, the entire community will experience improved living conditions.

Some common career paths in Public Health include: 

  • Biostatician
  • Dietician and Nutritionist 
  • Disease and Health Analyst
  • Emergency Management Specialist 
  • Epidemiologist
  • Global Health Educator 
  • Healthcare Policy Analyst 
  • Health Educators and Community Health Workers 
  • Microbiologist
  • Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
  • Pollution Analyst
  • Public Health Researcher 
  • Public Health Physician or Nurse 
  • Social and Community Service Managers 

This is by no means a comprehensive list of potential career paths in the realm of Public Health, thus we encourage you to explore additional options as you prepare for your career. This will help to ensure that you are on the best path for your personal aspirations.

Many students know very little about Public Health careers, however COVID-19’s prevalence in the community may demonstrate the impact these professionals have. Just like clinical healthcare roles, careers in Public Health can be both challenging and rewarding. 

Learn More 

To learn more about each of these career paths, check out the public health section on In addition, make sure to visit the UCSB Pre-Health Advising site for more information about various healthcare paths and how to prepare yourself at UCSB.


Academic Preparation

As you explore career paths in Public Health, know that many will come with specific educational demands. These can come in the form of prerequisite coursework for graduate school programs, or required background knowledge for certain career paths. Remember that there are many paths to get to where you are going, thus you are not tied to any majors. However, common majors for students pursuing this sector include:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Biopsychology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Geography
  • History of Public Policy and Law
  • Psychological and Brain Sciences
  • Sociology

Know that this is not an exhaustive list of applicable majors and that it is important to consider all UCSB Majors when determining your degree. For this area of study, enhancing your major with a minor such as foreign language, or Poverty, Inequality & Social Justice, or a certificate in Nutrition can augment your preparation for a career in Public Health. Whatever you decide, make sure it is something that you will enjoy for years down the road! 

Learn More

To learn more about majors relevant to Public Health, review the Public Health Tracks page. 


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