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.
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.
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.
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
Contact the Public Health Program
Environmental Science, Public Health & Sustainable Development Department
In 1982, Taylor became one of the first Christian universities to offer a degree in Environmental Science. Today, Taylor’s Environmental Science, Public Health & Sustainable Development department strives to embody the mentality that science leads to stewardship and service. Our dedicated faculty lead our students to explore the ethical reasoning behind a faith-based pursuit of public health, environmental studies, and sustainability.
If you are a person who enjoys God’s creation; has concern for both people and the environment; and likes field study, scientific investigation, analysis, and finding solutions to problems in the environment, the Environmental Science, Public Health & Sustainable Development program may be right for you.
Students are given access to the award-winning Randall Environmental Center, where they can pursue research and immersive learning experiences. The building incorporates a state-of-the-art interior environmental design with outdoor views of the surrounding natural areas. Randall houses environmental growth chambers; a Geographic Information System; a greenhouse for horticultural projects; equipment for field research in botany, ecology, geology, soils, and hydrology; and large collections of rocks, minerals, and specimens.
Taylor hosts plenty of local environmental areas for Environmental Science, Public Health & Sustainable Development students to study, research, and gain hands-on experiences. Environmental Science, Public Health & Sustainable Development students have access to locations such as:
- Arboretum: Just outside the Randall Center resides a 145-acre arboretum that contains a variety of ecosystems used for teaching and research. Mature woodlands, meadows, a small pond, a prairie demonstration plot, and a 5-year succession plot are housed within the land. The arboretum is also home to instrumentation for ongoing monitoring of weather conditions within various ecosystems.
- Avis Prairie: Just across from the Taylor University campus is Avis Prairie, a 25-acre ecological restoration. Taylor students have conducted numerous field-based research projects there, including prairie succession and soil development, the effects of nutrient enrichment on prairie establishment and structure, strategies for increasing plant diversity, and the effects of flood events.
- Taylor “Square Mile”: A variety of research projects have been developed on this 600-acre property, including current environmental course projects, a reforestation project with periodic plantings and monitoring, and several graduate research projects. New uses and projects on the property are currently being explored and planned with student participation.
Environmental Science, Public Health & Sustainable Development majors are not limited to learning about the environment and sustainability in rural Indiana. Every student in the department participates in a summer course in Field Natural History of the Black Hills in South Dakota and studies abroad in either Guatemala, Costa Rica, or Ecuador. Some of our students choose to study geology, botany, zoology, and ecology on a weeklong camping trip to Yellowstone and Teton National Parks.