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Harvard University, School of Public Health

The overarching mission of the Harvard School of Public Health is to advance the public’s health through learning, discovery, and communication.

To pursue this mission, the School produces knowledge through research, reproduces knowledge through higher education, and translates knowledge into evidence that can be communicated to the public, policy makers, and practitioners to advance the health of populations.


• to provide the highest level of education to public health scientists, practitioners, and leaders

• to foster new discoveries leading to improved health for the people of this country and all nations

• to strengthen health capacities and services for communities

• to inform policy debate, disseminate health information, and increase awareness of health as a public good and fundamental right.

The field of public health is inherently multi-disciplinary. So, too, are the interests and expertise of the School’s faculty and students, which extend across the biological, quantitative, and social sciences. With our roots in the basic sciences, we are able to confront the most pressing diseases of our time—AIDS, cancer, and heart disease—by adding to our knowledge of the biological, chemical, genetic, and societal forces underlying disease. Core quantitative disciplines like epidemiology and biostatistics are fundamental to analyzing the broad impact of health problems, allowing us to look beyond individuals to entire populations. And, because preventing disease is at the heart of public health, we also pursue the social sciences to better understand societal influences of health-related behaviors and to inform public policy—both of which are critical elements to educating and empowering people to lead healthier lives.

From advancing scientific discovery to educating national and international leaders, the Harvard School of Public Health has been at the forefront of efforts to benefit the health of populations worldwide. Shaping new ideas in our field and communicating them effectively will continue to be priorities in the years ahead as we serve society’s changing health needs.

See also: Core values, concepts, and principles of the Harvard School of Public Health

Diversity statement and mission

The field of public health holds a comprehensive concern for all of the communities of the world. The Harvard School of Public Health embodies this broad and inclusive vision in its overarching mission to advance the public's health through learning, discovery, and communication. Diversity among our faculty, students, and staff is both critical to our progress in this mission and central to academic excellence.

Nevertheless, while public health is both for and about everyone, there are groups that have been historically underrepresented at U.S. schools of public health. HSPH is committed to providing opportunities for those groups within the learning, working, researching, and teaching communities of the school. Through educational field trips for local grade- and high-school students to visit HSPH classrooms, career-building internships for high school students, master's and doctoral degree programs, postdoctoral research fellowships, and teaching and faculty opportunities, the school strives to increase diversity at all levels.

At Harvard School of Public Health, we respect and value the inherent worth of each individual. We are committed to tolerance, sensitivity, understanding, and mutual respect within our community. We hereby affirm our commitment to providing a rich and welcoming environment for all.

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