A Quick Look at The College of Public Health

The University of Iowa College of Public Health (CPH) is part of a major research university and serves as a comprehensive public health resource for the state of Iowa, the Midwest region, and the nation. The college, founded in 1999, offers undergraduate degrees and advanced training leading to master’s and doctoral degrees as well as combined degree options.

The College of Public Health takes pride in its multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to addressing public health challenges and training the next generation of public health leaders, educators, and researchers. Learn more about the history, mission and strategic plan of the college.


The College of Public Health enrolls over 400 students across all its departments. Degree programs include graduate level (master’s and doctoral programs) and as of fall 2016, a new public health bachelor’s degree program (BA and BS options). In addition, a combined undergraduate-to-graduate program provides opportunities for students interested in health sciences to earn both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years, rather than the usual six years. Read more about CPH degree programs.


The College of Public Health, with more than 25 interdisciplinary centers, fosters a vibrant, multidisciplinary research program. A special emphasis is given to rural public health issues, including agricultural safety and health, environmental health, occupational health, zoonotic infectious disease, health and aging, community-based nutrition and childhood obesity prevention, health communication, and organization of health care in rural settings.

Outreach and Service

CPH faculty, staff, and students provide critical public health outreach to each of Iowa’s 99 counties. Learn more about the College’s role in strengthening communities through innovative education, research, and public health practice programs here.

What is public health?

Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of communities.

Professionals in this field use specialized knowledge and skills to better understand the root causes of diseases and injuries and, whenever possible, develop strategies to prevent them. Public health promotes healthy lifestyles to combat cancer, diabetes, and obesity; develops vaccines to stop the spread of infectious diseases; ensures the safety of the food supply, as well as new drugs and medical technologies; implements programs that protect workers’ health; and shapes policies that ensure quality health care.

It is a collaborative, diverse field that attracts people who want to improve human health by applying skills from areas such as behavioral and social science, environmental science, math and statistics, laboratory science, and policy development.