Public Health & Health Administration

Public health professionals and health administrators don't directly treat patients. However, their impact is vast as they manage challenges and opportunities related to technology, demographics, regulatory requirements and other factors.

They act as guardians of community health by analyzing health trends, developing preventive programs and managing healthcare systems to ultimately shape healthier communities. 

Public health is the science and art of creating healthy communities through education, research and promotion of healthy lifestyles. In public health, the focus is on health promotion and disease/injury prevention rather than diagnosing and treating illnesses and conditions after they occur. 

Health administration is the business/management side of healthcare. Healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, plan, direct, coordinate and supervise the delivery of healthcare. 

The College of Charleston's pre-professional advising program is designed to guide your through the process  of preparing for and applying to schools and programs for an advanced public health or health administration degree.

Contact Health Professions Advising

Pre-Public Health & Health Admin Advising Guide

While there is no "pre-public health" or pre-health administration" majors at the College of Charleston, the following guide and consultation with your advisor can help prepare you for your application and potential admission to a public health/health administration program.
  • Undergraduate Preparation/Prerequisites

    Each public health/health administration program establishes its own set of prerequisites. Always check the programs you are most interested in applying to for complete requirements.

    Common prerequisites for Health Administration include the following:

    • Biology
    • Anatomy/Physiology
    • Accounting/Finance
    • Statistics
    • Healthcare operations/healthcare management
    • Social sciences (psychology, sociology or anthropology)
    • Information systems/health informatics

    Likewise, common prerequisites for Public Health include the following:

    • Biology
    • Statistics
    • Social sciences (psychology, sociology or anthropology)
    • Epidemiology
    • Environmental health
    • Public health overview
    • Communications/writing
    • Often recommended
      • Health policy
      • Health education
      • Global health
    View Catalog Course Descriptions
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

    The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is a standardized examination that may be required by some health administration or public health graduate programs. The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Master in Health Administration (residential track) does not require the GRE.

    Always check the programs you are interested in applying to for current requirements.

    The test covers basic mathematics and reading comprehension skills and is designed measure your general academic ability including critical thinking, analytical reasoning, quantitative reasoning and communication skills.

    The GRE consists of five sections.

    • Analytical Writing (One section)
    • Verbal Reasoning (Two sections)
    • Quantitative Reasoning (Two sections)
    Learn More on the GRE
  • Timeline

    First Year

    • Declare your major. Identify yourself as a pre-health profession student on the major declaration form.
    • Make an appointment/get to know your advisors. Discuss your academic game plan. Check in regularly to discuss your academic progress.
    • Begin taking your basic science courses.
    • Join a student organization (Public Health Society).
    • Begin shadowing/volunteer work.

    Sophomore Year

    • Continue with your sequence of courses.
    • Stay involved in extracurricular activities (shadowing, service, volunteer). Consider leadership positions in these groups.
    • Visit your professors during office hours (You will need letters of recommendation).
    • Visit Health Professions Advising to begin assessing competitiveness.
    • Identify the programs that you want to apply to. 

    Junior Year

    • Talk to Health Professions Advising Office about competitiveness.
    • Register for the GRE - if necessary (Fall). Don't miss the deadlines!
    • Study and take the GRE (Spring/Summer).
    • Begin work on you personal statement.
    • Identify 3-4 individuals to write letters of recommendation (Spring).
    • Complete and submit your application.
    • Continue obervation and professional activities.

    Senior Year

    • Meet with your advisor.
    • Get a degree audit and apply for graduation.
    • Ensure your application materials are organized and submitted within the deadlines (earlier is always better)
    • Prepare for interviews (if applicable).
    • Interview and wait.
    • Explore opportunities for financial aid.
    • Send updated transcripts directly to the schools to which you applied (Spring).
    • Discuss alternative plans with your advisor if necessary.
    • Finish your degree requirements and graduate.