Harvard School of Public Health Catalog
Welcome to the Harvard School of Public Health
We invite you to explore the Harvard School of Public Health as you plan for an advanced degree in this dynamic field, which is so vital to the well-being of the world’s populations. First among our core values is the precept that health is a fundamental right of every human being. Our overarching mission is to advance the public’s health through learning, discovery, and communication. By studying here, you will become part of an unbroken tradition of leadership that extends for nearly a century.
At the Forefront
The Harvard School of Public Health, or HSPH, traces its history to the first professional training program in public health in the United States. Founded in 1913, the Harvard-MIT School for Health Officers led to the formal establishment of HSPH in 1922. Since its founding, the school, through its faculty and graduates, has been at the forefront of efforts to stem disease and promote health worldwide.
If you have been vaccinated for polio, stepped up your exercise program, never smoked, or been a designated driver, HSPH has affected your life for the better. From its beginning, the school has driven the improvement of the public’s length and quality of life. During the early years the focus was on infectious diseases, deadly workplace exposures, and sanitation – from Alice Hamilton’s pioneering studies of lead and mercury poisoning to Thomas Weller’s pathbreaking research on the polio virus and Philip Drinker’s invention of the iron lung. More recently HSPH has expanded its reach to new areas, including the effects of race, gender, class, and social isolation on health; the reform of national health systems; and cutting-edge research on the biomarkers of disease. Three Nobel Prizes, a Lasker Prize, five MacArthur Awards, presidential citations, and countless other honors attest to the excellence and significance of this work; and six HSPH alumni have led the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The HSPH Community
- A world-renowned faculty of nearly 400 members from the diverse fields and disciplines that constitute public health.
- A student population of more than 1,000 individuals throughout the United States and 62 other countries who represent an array of fields and include physicians, health services administrators, epidemiologists, nurses, dentists, lawyers, statisticians, environmental scientists, engineers, research assistants, psychologists, and social workers.
- Enrollment distribution of current students (percentages approximate): 34 percent in the interdisciplinary master of public health program, 26 percent in master of science programs, and 40 percent in doctoral (doctor of science, doctor of public health, or doctor of philosophy) programs.
- Part of the larger community in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area, which includes Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals, as well as Harvard University as a whole.