Program Director: Mary Dahl Maher, Ph.D., MPH, CNM, RN; Professor: Mary Dahl Maher, Ph.D., MPH, CNM, RN; Assistant Professor: Y. Michael Chen, Ph.D.
A Bachelor’s degree with a major in public health prepares students for an entry level career in a public health area, a Master’s of Public Health (MPH), or an advanced degree in another profession. In addition, the core major courses in public health contribute significantly to the liberal education of students, helping them become global citizens who can intelligently respond with knowledge, practical skills and leadership to societal issues such as the social determinants of health, the need for health care, good nutrition, decent housing and a sustainable environment.
The B.S. is appropriate for students who are preparing for advanced education in health science or science-focused graduate and professional programs such as biostatistics, dentistry, epidemiology, environmental and occupational health sciences, medicine, nutritional sciences, pathobiology, pharmacy, and public health nursing. BS students may also have an interest in working in laboratory settings as their primary capacity.
Students who declare their intent as Public Health Majors will meet with the director of the program to explore their interests in order to identify an academic concentration to design the trajectory of their coursework. This student-directed concentration will be informed by the students’ interests, course availability, and the relevance of those courses selected for an internship, which represents a professional area of interest to them. The students will choose at least three pertinent courses in order to prepare them for a 3-credit internship relevant to their concentration.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the public health major, individuals will meet the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes, demonstrating through the application of knowledge, skills and responsibilities:
- The history and philosophy of public health as well as its core values, concepts and functions across the globe and in society the basic concepts, methods and tools of public health data collection, use and analysis and why evidence-based approaches are an essential part of public health practice;
- The concepts of population health, and the basic processes, approaches and interventions that identify and address the major health-related needs and concerns of populations;
- The underlying science of human health and disease including opportunities for promoting and protecting health across the life course;
- The socioeconomic, behavioral, biological, environmental and other factors that impact human health and contribute to health disparities;
- The fundamental concepts and features of project implementation, including planning, assessment and evaluation;
- The fundamental characteristics and organizational structures of the US health system as well as the differences in systems in other countries;
- Basic concepts of legal, ethical, economic and regulatory dimensions of health care and public health policy and the roles, influences and responsibilities of the different agencies and branches of government;
- Basic concepts of public health-specific communication, including technical and professional writing and the use of mass media and electronic technology and be able to apply knowledge in a basic research oriented project.