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About the Public Health Major
Helping People Lead Better Lives Through Healthier Choices
Public health practitioners focus on keeping people healthy. Their goal is to prevent illness and injury and encourage behaviors that are beneficial to health and well-being. They do so through organized, interdisciplinary efforts that address the physical, mental and environmental health concerns of communities and populations at risk. Public health practitioners improve and enhance our quality of life in ways both large and small—from implementing vaccination programs to educating people about the risks of drug and alcohol abuse to advocating for public policy that promotes a safer and healthier society for everyone.
We also explore global issues such as the critical links between public health and social and economic development. You’ll learn about the public policy making process in regard to public health and how environmental risks such as air and water quality, food safety, vector-borne diseases and pesticides impact individuals and communities.
Public Health Is a Growing Field That Provides a Career with Choice, Flexibility and Impact
The core segments of public health include:
- Health Services Administration: Working in leadership and management to develop and implement programming designed to create positive health outcomes or respond to concerns in times of crisis
- Biostatistics: Using statistics to interpret scientific data related to public health
- Epidemiology: Understanding how and why diseases spread and applying that knowledge toward preventative strategies
- Behavioral Sciences/Health Education: Developing wellness and other educational programming that encourages people to adopt healthier lifestyles and make better choices
- Environmental Health Sciences: Exploring how factors such as indoor and outdoor pollution and water quality affect health
Students in the public health major become eligible to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist exam offered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. NCHEC's voluntary professional certification program establishes a national standard for individual health education practitioners. Health educators are professionals who design, conduct and evaluate activities that help improve the health of all people.