Public Health Oath

In 2008, the Columbia Mailman School community, led by Dean Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH, created a Public Health Oath which inspires and guides our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Today, our students recite the Oath at orientation and commencement. 


The Public Health Oath

Health is a human right. The public health community exists to safeguard that right. It is a defining element of a civil society. Public health represents the collective actions necessary to protect the health of all people. Through prevention science and practice we can accomplish this goal. As a public health professional, guided by these principles, I declare the following:

  • I will work to ensure that all people have the chance to live full and productive lives, free from avoidable disease, injury, and disability, and are supported in their pursuit of physical, mental, and social well-being.
  • I will hold myself to the highest ethics, standards, values, and responsibilities as I move forward the science and practice of public health.
  • I will work in partnership with communities and uphold the rights, values, beliefs, and cultures of those individuals and populations with whom I work.
  • I will rely on evidence to support my decisions and actions, and translate that evidence into policies and programs that improve health for all.
  • I will add to the body of research and knowledge and share my discoveries freely.
  • I will continuously seek new information and be open to ideas that can better protect and promote the health of populations.
  • I will advance health literacy for all and seek equity and justice for marginalized populations.
  • With this oath, I commit to the ideals and mission of public health.


Watch the Class of 2020 Recite the Public Health Oath