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Academic Programs

Public Health

Person with a stethoscope around their neck

Public health is a broad field that focuses on improving the health of communities and specific populations with a focus on prevention. The program fosters critical thinking regardless of discipline, and is designed to equip future doctors, lawyers, journalists, teachers and business owners to examine the impact of sociocultural, political, environmental, biological, organizational and economic factors on health and wellness. Salem College offers a bachelor of arts in public health and a minor in public health.

Student Experience

Students in the Public Health program take classes that help them understand how societal, cultural, environmental, economic, and biological factors impact the health of communities and lives of the people they interact with regardless of their potential professions. The program focuses on helping students to develop critical thinking skills to understand the impact of societal issues and concerns that lead to poor population health outcomes and why some populations are healthier than others. Students completing the bachelor’s degree will also be prepared to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc., and work in local, state, federal government, and non-profit health-related organizations. Salem offers a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health.

Health Leadership Highlights

  • As an interdisciplinary major, Public Health offers students the opportunity to understand the multiple levels at which health occurs and to focus on addressing health equity and social factors that impact health.
  • Students will take classes that focus on population health, global health, the impact of race, gender, ethnicity, and other identities on health, health promotion, environmental aspects of health, and leading public health organizations.
  • Ultimately, students will apply skills learned through classwork to an internship experience to prepare them to enter the workplace and/or pursue graduate education in public health or related fields.

Jobs and Outcomes

Public health practitioners are change agents who promote physical and mental health and wellness, prevent disease and develop policy to improve healthcare and access to healthcare for individuals, communities and larger populations. With a bachelor’s degree, students will be prepared to enter graduate school in a variety of fields, including public health, nutrition, medicine and social work. Graduates will also be eligible to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist exam through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. Career opportunities for public health practitioners exist at the local, state, national and international levels within government, nonprofit organizations, and private healthcare companies and occupations include:

  • Epidemiologist
  • Health Policy Analyst
  • Public Health Planner
  • Corporate Wellness Specialist
  • Public Health Educator

Program Leadership

To meet other faculty, please go to the faculty/staff directory.

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