Student working with man

Public Health Major/Minor

What is Public Health?

Why are people sick? Why are whole communities sicker than others? What can be changed to make a community healthier, both physically and mentally?

Public health looks further than the biological factors that affect community health in order to identify societal issues that contribute to a healthy community. Informed by health education, biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, intervention, and health services administration, public health professionals bring information, awareness, and solutions to families and communities to improve their health and wellness.

A Healthy Community

If you are passionate about people, health, and social justice, a major in Public Health could give you analytical and personal approaches, leveraged by the expertise of several health-related professions, to address critical family and community health issues.

Public Health majors learn to address the causes of poor health and human diseases, analyze societal health problems, use community data to develop solutions for health issues, and serve communities in health-related areas. In a semester-long senior capstone, you will work with fellow Public Health majors to develop a system of improvement for the common welfare of a community.

Combine Public Health with Other Majors

Community and global health classes are supplemented by a variety of classes in Christian ministries, environmental science, economics, management, social and behavioral science, and natural and applied science—allowing students to choose the best classes to fit their career goals.

The Public Health major can be effectively combined with other majors and minors to provide a deeper understanding of sustainable ways to serve. Here is a sampling of careers you can pursue in public health by combining our major with another:

  • Public Health + Biology — Biostatisticians analyze data to determine the cause of disease and illness within our communities. These professionals study the data to forecast scenarios and make informed decisions regarding health trends.
  • Public Health + Biology — Epidemiologists study food-born and viral outbreaks among our communities. They research and often discover the causes of disease or injury, and how it's spread.
  • Public Health + Environmental Science — The field of environmental health studies how our health is affected by our surroundings. Some of these effects stem from air, water, soil, and genetics and how they relate to the rest of the environment.
  • Public Health + Psychology — Behavioral psychologists work with communities to promote healthy habits that hinder or eliminate the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, addictive behaviors, and unsafe conduct. They develop educational programs to perpetuate healthy living.
  • Public Health + Psychology — Maternal and child health professionals work with women and children to facilitate healthy pregnancies and childhood development. Through research, education, and advocacy, their efforts improve the lives of women, children, and their families.
  • Public Health + Exercise Science — This field works with community members of all ages to develop healthy eating and exercise habits. Educating people about nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle choices, they seek to improve the overall health and wellness of communities.
  • Public Health + International Studies — Cultures and ethnic groups around the world have different health issues related to all areas of public health. Professionals with a global perspective are needed to bring education and advocacy to these communities.
Study and Serve Abroad with Public Health

Every other J-term, students have the opportunity to travel to Ecuador and work in various communities with an organization called MAP International. Students collect data and conduct research on community health. This experience has led to summer practicums with MAP for many students.

Students can also travel to Belize over J-term. Our Public Health and Kinesiology majors volunteer in the community of Belmopan and educate people in schools, senior communities, churches, and children’s homes about the benefits of exercise and healthy eating.

Public Health Minor

If you are interested in better understanding the societal and environmental factors influencing community health, consider adding a minor in Public Health. This minor pairs especially well with Social Work, Philosophy, Biology, and Sociology majors.

Public Health Curriculum & Degree Options

Students interested in course descriptions and academic policies can check out our Undergraduate Catalog here.

Contact the Public Health Program

Dr. Sylvanna Bielko, Assistant Professor of Public Health

Dr. Michael Guebert, Department Chair and Professor of Environmental Science, Public Health & Sustainable Development