General Public Health


General Public Health is a track of study within the Accelerated MPH degree program intended for professionals from a wide array of fields that focuses on community health through means such as education, injury prevention, policy making and research. The track offers a broad participation in the field of public health as well as formal training in the methods and substantive areas of public health. As candidate career needs often require an interdisciplinary approach that goes beyond the scope of any single department within the School, General Public Health allows students to take advantage of the educational resources of more than one department.

The General Public Health Track is also available to students in the School’s dual degree programs offered in collaboration with other schools at Columbia University, including the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the School of Nursing, the School of Dental and Oral Surgery, and the School of International and Public Affairs. The track is occasionally offered to students with other professional degrees, such as law, journalism, or business, for which an individualized, interdisciplinary curriculum is deemed particularly suitable.

Application Requirements

Applicants to the General Public Health track are expected to identify area(s) of interest and the technical skills (administration, research, program development, etc.) they wish to acquire from the public health curriculum. Candidates generally have either a higher-level degree, such as an MD, or at least two years of full-time, healthcare-related work experience.

Residencies and fellowships, such as the SUNY–Stony Brook Preventive Medicine Fellowship, the General Preventive Medicine Residency Program at the Weill Cornell Medical College, and the Public Health Scholars Program, are available by separate application.


Each student’s program is planned individually in accordance with the six disciplines of public health: biostatistics, epidemiology, health policy and management, sociomedical sciences, environmental health sciences, and population and family health. The course of study includes all components of the Accelerated MPH, drawing coursework from educational resources throughout the Mailman School to address individual areas of interest and career goals. Students can choose electives from across Columbia University to supplement a particular area of focus.


Juli Parker