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General Public Health Major

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General Public Health

7,612 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
10,684 Master's Degrees Annually
#4 in Popularity
$59,660 Median Salary

Types of Degrees General Public Health Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many general public health graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 10,684
Bachelor’s Degree 7,614
Graduate Certificate 880
Doctor’s Degree 520
Associate’s Degree 171
Basic Certificate 36
Undergraduate Certificate 18

What General Public Health Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, general public health majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for General Public Health Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in general public health should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Skills for General Public Health Majors

general public health majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for General Public Health Majors

As a general public health major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What Can You Do With a General Public Health Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with general public health:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Community Health Workers 17.9% $39,540
Health Educators 14.6% $54,220
Health Specialties Professors 25.9% $97,370
Medical and Health Services Managers 20.5% $99,730

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in General Public Health?

7,614 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
80% Percent Women
54% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 80% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of general public health majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of General Public Health Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 1,077
Black or African American 1,187
Hispanic or Latino 1,419
White 3,116
International Students 198
Other Races/Ethnicities 617

Geographic Diversity

General Public Health appeals to people across the globe. About 2.6% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do General Public Health Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

General Public Health majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $43,480 to $113,730 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a General Public Health Major  ( 43480 to 113730 )
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )

Some careers associated with general public health require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for general public health careers below.

Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 2.5%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 0.7%
Some College Courses 0.7%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 25.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 42.6%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.2%
Master’s Degree 16.5%
Doctoral Degree 5.9%
Post-Doctoral Training 4.4%

Online General Public Health Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 401 schools offered some type of general public health program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 8 2
Certificate (1-2 years) 5 2
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 29 5
Bachelor’s Degree 77 32
Post-Baccalaureate 8 2
Master’s Degree 257 105
Post-Master’s 16 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 62 8
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 7 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 2 2

Is a Degree in General Public Health Worth It?

The median salary for a general public health grad is $59,660 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 50% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $395,200 after 20 years!


You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to general public health.

Major Number of Grads
Public Health Education and Promotion 4,529
Other Public Health 2,994
Health Services Administration 2,882
Community Health and Preventive Medicine 2,322
International Public Health/International Health 1,444
Environmental Health 1,229
Behavioral Aspects of Health 529
Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene 334
Health/Medical Physics 211
Maternal and Child Health 172


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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