Our Community

Peter Berman with students

No Typical Student

No matter where you grew up or what your prior professional experience has been, there is no “typical” background for students entering the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Expect to eat lunch in the cafeteria with students from a wide variety of backgrounds, ranging from practicing medical doctors to experienced professionals, entrepreneurs, and many others. Colleagues on a class project could include a former congressional aide, a reporter, two environmental scientists, a social worker, and a surgeon—all pursuing careers in public health. A new lab project may attract students who have done research as undergraduates or master’s students, as well as an engineer, an endocrinologist, or a veterinarian interested in pursuing a basic science discipline to solve a public health problem.

Diverse and Collaborative

The breadth and diversity of professional backgrounds found at Harvard Chan is only part of the strength of our student body. Our collaborative group of more than 1,000 students comes from around the U.S. and more than 60 countries. Approximately 60 percent of our students are women. Roughly 32 percent are international, and of students from the U.S., just over 16 percent are members of underrepresented minority groups.

Student interests outside the classroom are as varied and eclectic as each individual’s professional and personal backgrounds. Students arrive as doctors, lawyers, policy advisers, humanitarian workers, CEOs, and many other things. They leave prepared to to make a difference in public health as outstanding thinkers, scientists, teachers, entrepreneurs, and organizational leaders.

A Global Faculty

The intellectual and cultural diversity of our faculty mirrors that of our students. Faculty come from around the world, and have expertise in areas ranging from epidemiology and biostatistics to environmental health and nutrition, from public policy to health communications. Some have research doctorates, some are MDs, some are experienced policymakers, and some are well-known authors. Some have been in public health careers all their lives, while others came to public health by way of fields including politics, law, engineering, and veterinary science.

A Common Calling

Whatever their backgrounds, our students, faculty, and staff have a shared vision: to serve society and improve the world’s health.