Undergraduate Public Health Interest Designation

What does “public health interest” mean?

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has a designation called “public health interest” for students who are not sure if they want to declare public health as a major or who don’t qualify for direct admission to the BA or BS degree programs right out of high school.

If you are a public health interest student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences- you MUST apply for standard admission during your first year to become a Public Health Major. You do not automatically matriculate into the Public Health Major. For information on how to apply to the Public Health Major through standard admission, please go here.

Who are public health interest students?

Public health interest students are students in any other college on the UI campus (such as the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Tippie College of Business, College of Engineering, etc) for their first year before applying to the College of Public Health.

Students are eligible to apply to the College of Public Health’s undergraduate degree programs if they meet the standard admission requirements by the end of their first year of undergraduate study at the University of Iowa.

Do I take different classes my first year as a public health interest student than if I were directly admitted?

Nope. You can and must take the same courses your first year as directly admitted students (CPH:2099 and CPH:1600), with the exception of CPH:1050. This course will be waived for you.

Why should I declare a public health interest?

Students interested in learning more about the public health major may want to declare the public health interest, which indicates the student’s interest in learning more about public health, the major’s requirements, and about how and when to apply.  Public health interest is not a major but helps students to be matched with advisors with an expertise in this field. Any undergraduate at UI, regardless of college, may declare the public health interest. For more information on the field of public health, please click here.

How do I declare a Public Health Interest?

Let your advisor know or contact us.

Where can I find out more?

Contact us or come to one of our information sessions

I didn’t declare a public health interest, can I still apply for the major?

Yes- as long as you have satisfied the requirements for standard admission to the College of Public Health.

How do I apply for the Public Health Major?

In order to apply, you must complete the online application for current UI students changing colleges by February 1. Completion of this application does not guarantee admission to the program. Your admission will be contingent on satisfying the following requirements by the end of the semester in which you apply:

  • completion of at least 12 s.h. at the University of Iowa;
  • completion of CPH:1400 Fundamentals of Public Health with a grade of B or higher;
  • completion of CPH:1600 Public Health Science: Inquiry and Investigation in Public Health with a grade of B- or higher; and
  • a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 2.75 in all courses taken at the University of Iowa and in all college-level course work attempted.

Students who are denied admission may file an Appeal for Denial of Admission to the College of Public Health if they can provide documentation of extenuating circumstances that affected their academic performance.


Questions or comments? Contact Katie McCullough. This page was last reviewed on June 12, 2017.