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Author Topic: Public Health  (Read 4167 times)

kc8198

  • Newbie
Public Health
« on: May 17, 2008, 04:46 PM »
Is there anyone who is currently a Public Health major, especially the Natural Sciences track? I'm seriously considering this major since I plan to be premed. Why did you choose this over more "typical" premed majors like Biology and do you think you made a good choice? How well does this major prepare you for med school applications?
Thanks!

JHU_Kate

  • Hopkins Alumni
Public Health
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2008, 08:17 PM »
Hi, kc8198! I'm not majoring in Public Health - Natural Sciences. However, I know quite a few people who are - including some of the current students on this message board! Hopefully, you'll get to hear a response from them soon. In the meantime, I hope I can fill you in on your question a bit. Different people choose to major in Public Health - Natural Sciences for different reasons. Some of the reasons I've heard include people liking the flexibility of the major, as well as people preferring to be less science-focused and learn more about the different issues surrounding healthcare. As far as preparation for medical school applications is concerned, Public Health - Natural Sciences will definitely help you! The major's requirements include all the science courses necessary to apply to medical school, not to mention it will expose you to various issues surrounding healthcare.

By the way, while he's not the only student on this message board majoring in Public Health - Natural Sciences, Phil does talk about many public health issues in his blog. You can check it out here: http://hopkins.typepad.com/phillip

Also, as general pre-med advice (I'm pre-med, too), I recommend you take a look at the different majors you're considering at Hopkins (including Public Health - Natural Sciences), choose the major you like most, and stick with it! As long as you take - and do well in - the minimum math and science courses required for medical school applications as a college undergraduate, you don't need to worry whether your major "sufficiently" prepares you for medical school applications. :)
JHU_Kate
Class of 2010
Neuroscience Major
Classics Minor
Senior Arts Certificate Candidate in Dance

http://blogs.hopkins-interactive.com/kate

kc8198

  • Newbie
Public Health
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2008, 04:25 PM »
Thanks so much Kate! I'll definitely be contacting Phil about his experiences.

JHU_Kate

  • Hopkins Alumni
Public Health
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2008, 04:58 PM »
By the way, I forgot to mention that Roxi's blog might also be a good resource regarding Public Health - Natural Sciences: http://hopkins.typepad.com/roxi
JHU_Kate
Class of 2010
Neuroscience Major
Classics Minor
Senior Arts Certificate Candidate in Dance

http://blogs.hopkins-interactive.com/kate

JHU_Stefanie

  • Hopkins Student
Public Health
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2008, 02:33 PM »
Hey there!

I'm actually a Public Health (Natural Science) follower!  I suppose I am an interesting case though because I took a lot of different classes.  When I say this, I mean that although I am technically a Public Health student, I also took upper-level courses in Neuroscience and Biology as well.  I opted to stay with Public Health because as Kate said, it really gives another perspective of health care.  By taking the core classes on Public Health, I learned that medicine is far beyond just science.  Honestly, learning about the U.S. Health Care system and comparing them to others -- which you will do in the core class called "Health Policy and Management" -- really opened my eyes to the various problems that doctors, nurses, and other health practitioners are dealing with (along with their patients).  Even taking Social Science classes like "Medical Sociology" was very helpful is just being reminded of what kind of struggles different populations face in terms of health care.  Honestly speaking, I think Health Policy & Management at least should be required by all pre-meds.

But this does not mean that I don't have a strong science background.  I could have easily graduated a year early with a Bachelor of Science in Cellular & Molecular Biology or even Neuroscience!  But I opted to learn a different component of health care, and I believe it'll make me a better health care practitioner in the future.

I hope this helps!  Honestly, the majors are so open regardless.  You can  be a Neuroscience major and take Public Health clases or the other way around.  It ultimately is just a stepping stone for medical school, right?  It's all about what you learn, and I think it's a great idea to explore different majors throughout your stay at Hopkins.  You'll learn a lot by seeing different approaches to science and medicine as a whole.

OhMalarky

  • Newbie
Public Health
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2009, 08:07 PM »
Hey y'all!! I think Public Health would be a stellar major for me if I were to be accepted to Hopkins because I love social science AND natural science! I just had a couple of inquiries.  I know that the natural science focus is awesome for medical school. Is the social science track known to have a good reputation with law schools? One thing that makes me apprehensive about this really popular major and with the school itself is that I worry about being the bottom of the barrel.  I will have had 7 AP classes: biology, lit, lang, spanish lang, us history, us gov, and calc ab.  I imagine everybody having already taken AP chem, physics, economics, etc. etc.  Are my fears well founded? Can I go to undergrad forever? Public health, biology, history, anthropology, and behavioral biology all look amazing; Hopkins has too many tempting majors.  haha :) Thanks!

JHU_Mandy

  • Hopkins Alumni
Public Health
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2009, 11:02 AM »
You're absolutely right; public health is a really great interdisciplinary major!  You definitely don't have to worry about being the "bottom of the barrel," as public health majors come from all different backgrounds and have all different interests and goals in mind.

I'm sure the social sciences track would be a good education if you're thinking about law school, especially if you're interested in heath policy.  In general, I feel like the public health program gives students a broad education and prepares us for pretty much anything we could want to do after graduation.  I'm actually on the natural sciences track and planning to go to law school.

You don't need to come in with any specific APs, though it does help open up your schedule a little bit.  Coming in with AP Bio will meet one of the public health requirements (should you choose that route), as would Calc AB.  I personally came in having taken 5 AP classes and one class at a nearby university and never felt disadvantaged or anything like that, even though there are those students who had done way more.  It's not about numbers or anything, just about your own experiences and what you want to do with them.

Also, if you're curious, here's Hopkins' AP credit policy: http://www.jhu.edu/admis/apply/apib.html

Hope this helps!  Feel free to ask us any follow-up questions you may have.
mandy
jhu class of 2011
public health studies
read my blog!

JHU_Dominique

  • Hopkins Student
Public Health
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2009, 08:53 PM »
Another PH major here! Do not worry, for the vast majority of freshmen coming in as pre med take intro chem 1, while a sizable amount take organic chemistry (the next level of chem up).

Many freshmen come in without any AP credits at all and end up graduating on time and double majoring and doing whatever they want. Do the best you can on the AP exams and see what you get. They do open up your schedule and allow you to take more classes outside of your major (don't worry, even if you don't come with any credits you can still take classes outside of the major), and/or make more room for a minor. I will say, the PH major has changed since last year, so double majoring/minoring is harder. So again I am with Mandy--just take courses in all of those areas you like and go from there!
JHU_Dominique
c/o 2012 , Public Health Studies Major; Africana Studies Minor

Ask me a question! http://www.hopkins-interactive.com/forums/meet-the-class-of-2012/meet-jhu_dominique-baltimore-md/

Read my bloggity-blog: http://blogs.hopkins-interactive.com/dominique/

BlitzBishop

  • Newbie
Public Health
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2010, 02:05 PM »
Hi there, I'm a prospective JHU student interested in the pre health track. I know JHU's Public Health program is renown for its academic excellence and research opportunities; however, could anyone clarify the different tracks, i.e. the natural science track vs the social science? And, in the natural science track, do you focus on specific fields, like biochemistry and molecular biology at the undergraduate level as the website suggests?

Thanks so much!

JHU_Mandy

  • Hopkins Alumni
Public Health
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2010, 09:44 PM »
Hello,

The Public Health Studies major has actually changed for students in the class of 2013 and beyond, so you'd have an entirely different experience from those described by the current students on this board.  There is no longer a natural sciences or social sciences distinction, for starters.  You can read the overview of the Public Health Studies requirements here: http://krieger.jhu.edu/publichealth/academics/

Do note that you can take any courses you'd like -- be it biochemistry or cell bio or a language, etc., etc. -- and still be a Public Health Studies major.
mandy
jhu class of 2011
public health studies
read my blog!

acejhu3

  • Newbie
Public Health
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2010, 09:27 PM »
Hey guys, I read through and I don't think this question has been asked already. ;)

So I went to the Open House on the 23rd and attended the Public Health presentation, and I was very, very impressed. However, the professor said that Public Health is currently the largest major on campus (400+ students). Do you find that the classes, esp. the "core" requirement classes for the major, are really big? I'm not a fan of big classes, and honeslty class size would be a deciding factor when I declared my major, because I'm just the kind of person that needs that personal connection with my teachers.
If anyone could offer insight on this I would really appreciate it.
Thanks!

Ashley

JHU_LaurenB

  • Hopkins Student
Public Health
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2010, 05:18 AM »
Hi Ashley, Thats a great question!

I'm a Public Health major and I'm also minoring in Econ and English, so I think I can answer this one. Hopkins definitely does have a fairly large Public Health program, but they have changed it since I declared my major, so it might be changing a little in size now (it will no longer have two "tracks" to specialize in).

As a PH major you do have to take a few core classes: Epidemiology, Health Policy & Management, Environment and Your Health, and I think three others that I can't think of right now. Those six classes are definitely not small, but they all do break down into 20 person sections and you can get to know your professor really well if that's what you want.

They are pretty big classes, but those are only six out of your whole major--everything else is in your hands. You have two concentrations within a social sciences focus, so I chose History and Poli Sci as my concentrations--these classes, which take up a lot more of my time at Hopkins, are much smaller. I've taken Global Public Health Since 1945, Chinese Cultural Revolution, and a bunch of others for those concentrations, and you can pick and choose these classes to suit your own preferences. I know some people who love big lectures, and they've been able to find classes that suit them, while one of my roommates refuses to take a big class (she's also a public health major) and she's managed to fill three years with classes where she knows the professor well. It really is totally up to you.

The great thing about Public Health being such a big program at Hopkins is the resources you get as a result. Public health advising is incredible, the study abroad office knows your major requirements, the career center has tons of jobs for you, and then you have research opportunities everywhere you look because of the Bloomberg School of Public Health, as well. It really is a great subject to study, and Hopkins is one of the few universities where you can pursue Public Health as an undergrad. Don't let the fact that you might have to take a few big lectures turn you off, you might find you really love them!

Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

Lauren
Lauren Brown
Class of 2012
Public Health Studies & Economics

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Ask me a question!

acejhu3

  • Newbie
Public Health
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2010, 08:48 PM »
Thanks Lauren, your response really helped a lot!
It's not that I'm expecting to never take a large lecture course-- I know these are inevitable. But one of my major decision factors for where to apply/attend has been "Am I going to be a PERSON, or just a number there?" You know?
But I'm very glad to hear of all the flexibility you've had as a PH major and, as I said, the presentation really impressed me-- before the Open House, Public Health wasn't even really a major I was considering, but I went to the presentation just for the heck of it, and the professor completely changed my mind! :)

There's just one point you made that I'd like you to clarify, please?

"You have two concentrations within a social sciences focus, so I chose History and Poli Sci as my focuses..."

What exactly do you mean by this? Are your focuses within the major, and is every major required to have two? Are they similar to minors? Do they relate to public health, such as the concentrations under the Neuroscience major relate to different aspects of Neuroscience?
I'm just a little confused, I didn't see any mention of this on the Department website.

Again, I don't mean to be needy, haha, thank you for all you've done already!

Ashley

JHU_Saznin

  • Hopkins Student
Public Health
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2010, 02:40 PM »
Hi Ashley,

I am a Public Health major as well, but I just want to clarify a few things for you.
The major no longer requires you to choose between a natural science or social science track. The social sciences track used to require you to pick two concentrations, ranging from history and poli sci to africana studies and environmental engineering. The reason you didn't see this on the department website is because this requirement no longer applies to anyone other than the class of 2011 and 2012.

If you're wondering how the major is constructed, take a look at the major checklist here (click on Public Health Studies Major Class of 2013 or later):
http://www.advising.jhu.edu/degree_checklist.php
JHU_Saznin
Public Health, Class of 2012
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JHU_Dominique

  • Hopkins Student
Public Health
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2010, 04:03 PM »
ya saznin is right...the major was changed to make it more unified and more, public-healthy for lack of a better (or real) term. :P

And about the big classes...I was worried about that too but in each of my large classes, I have been able to talk with the professors one on one if I ever needed to. I remember sitting down with my biostats professor after class one day and asking him questions one on one, I did the same with others. It may be more intimidating but it's definitely easy. Also, you can build close relationships with your public health advisers..my adviser and i are really close and we have very good communication and she looks out for me...so I think you get the best of both worlds!

Intimacy of a smaller major but all the resources of a large one. :)

HTH Ashley!
JHU_Dominique
c/o 2012 , Public Health Studies Major; Africana Studies Minor

Ask me a question! http://www.hopkins-interactive.com/forums/meet-the-class-of-2012/meet-jhu_dominique-baltimore-md/

Read my bloggity-blog: http://blogs.hopkins-interactive.com/dominique/

JHU_LaurenB

  • Hopkins Student
Public Health
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2010, 06:50 AM »
whoops! so sorry i messed that one up, i've been abroad all semester so haven't gotten a chance to see what this new Public Health major is like, sorry to confuse you! looks like saznin and dominique know their stuff though!
Lauren Brown
Class of 2012
Public Health Studies & Economics

Visit my blog!
Ask me a question!