University of California, Irvine

Program in Public Health

About the school

Program in Public Health

As part of the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences, the UCI Program in Public Health's mission is to create, integrate and translate population-based knowledge into preventive strategies for reducing the societal burden of human disease and disability. Established in 2003, the Program in Public Health is the only one of its kind in Orange County and one of three in the UC system.

UCI's Public Health program is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and is a member of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH). In coming years, the program will expand to become a School of Public Health. It currently offers a B.A. in Public Health Policy; a B.S. in Public Health Sciences; a Public Health minor; a Master's of Public Health with an emphasis in environmental health, epidemiology or sociocultural diversity and health; and doctorates in Public Health and Environmental Health Sciences. The Program has a total of 1258 undergraduate and 132 graduate students as of Fall 2020.

The program's curriculum brings a multidisciplinary approach to public health practice and research. Undergraduate students explore epidemiology, genetics, health informatics, chronic and infectious diseases, environmental and global health sciences, social and behavioral health sciences, and health policy and administration. Students are encouraged to learn through researching critical issues, such as air and water pollution, natural disasters and emergency health response, maternal and child health, and occupational health and industrial ecology.

Faculty members and alumni are pioneers in crucial areas of public health, taking part in innovative research, policy analysis, global environmental assessments, occupational health, and clinical and translational sciences that impact our region, nation and world.

Dean Bernadette Boden-Albala

Dr. Bernadette Boden-Albala is the Director and Founding Dean of the Program in Public Health in the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences at University of California, Irvine, where she is also a Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health and Disease Prevention.


  • Awarded $1.3 million grant by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention for a three-year joint project to improve health and ease the burden of chronic disease in Anaheim, Garden Grove and Santa Ana.
  • Named a top-scoring institution on the University Global Health Impact Report Card by the Universities Allied for Essential Medicines organization. UCI received higher marks than Harvard, Emory and Duke universities based on innovative research, equitable access to information, and ability to empower students.
  • Home to GHREAT, the Global Health Research Education and Translation, a program that promotes global health awareness and aims to develop a comprehensive global health research, education and training. Students who participate in GHREAT have opportunities to take part in a global health journal club, seminar series, a certificate program, peer mentor program, and collaboration with the UC Global Health Institute. GHREAT has projects in Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North and South America.
  • Home to cutting-edge research and community partnerships aiming to address the global COVID-19 pandemic
    • actOC: A partnership with the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) that tested COVID-19 antibodies in 3,000 Orange County residents to determine the true prevalence of the virus in the county with findings revealing disparities in risk across racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups
    • Santa Ana Surveillance Study: A study done in partnership with the City of Santa Ana to conduct antibody testing of 8,000 residents to determine community exposure and find opportunities for integration with the city’s existing infrastructure of COVID-19 mobile resource units
    • Health Equity Contact Tracing Workshop: A Summer workshop facilitated by faculty and graduate students to train local public health practitioners, students, community leaders, and residents to perform COVID-19 contact tracing through the lens of health equity
    • Surveillance of Emergency Responders’ Virus Exposure in Orange County (ServeOC): A study done in partnership with OCHCA to test COVID-19 antibodies in over 1,200 local first responders

Affiliated Programs

  • Center for Population, Inequality, and Policy
  • Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Developing Brains Laboratory
  • Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research
  • UC Global Health Institute
  • UCI Framework Program for Global Health
  • Center for Occupational and Environmental Health
  • Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative
  • Institute for Clinical and Translational Science
  • Institute for Transportation Studies
  • Pacific-Southwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • Urban Water Research Center