facebook icon twitter youtube

View Printable Public Health Description

Public Health


Description of the Major:

Public Health is defined as the art and science of helping people change their lifestyles to move toward states of optimal health.  When you work in the field of health promotion, you will assist others in making lifestyle changes by enhancing awareness, changing behavior or creating environments that support better health practices.  The public health major blends instruction from biology, psychology, sociology, marketing, epidemiology, statistics and medicine into applications addressing current health problems facing our communities.

The Student Experience:

  • There is a growing demand for culturally diverse outreach workers trained in behavioral and community-based intervention technologies to both educate and empower at-risk populations to improve their health status.

  • The increased emphasis on integrating health promotion and disease prevention in health plans will increase future career opportunities in primary care settings and community-based outreach programs.
  • Students desiring careers in allied health fields such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, communication science and physician's assistant may complete prerequisites for these programs within the public health degree.
  • Students who are interested in exercise science may complete the health promotion degree with an option in exercise science.  This option is designed for students who desire to work in wellness or personal training centers.
  • The health services leadership option is a directed course of study to broaden students' understanding of the complex issues facing future health care and public health professionals.  This option is recommended for those who wish to go directly into the workforce upon graduation.
  • An option in communication may also be completed with the health promotion degree.  Health communication is beneficial to promoting and protecting the public's helath and may serve as a venue for health policy advocacy.
  • Completion of the program qualifies graduates to apply for certification through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC) as a Certified Health Specialist (CHES). CHES certification is encouraged by many health professionals in the state and nation and is required in some states.
  • Students have the opportunity to participate in a nine-credit hour internship for one semester in a health-related agency such as Conway Medical Wellness and Fitness Center, ShareCare, Department of Health and Environmental Control, Rape Crisis Center, Shoreline Behavioral Health Services, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the American Cancer Society.

Beyond the Classroom:

Health promotion programmer, health information specialist, corporate wellness, personal trainer, environmental educator, maternal/child nutrition consultant, teen pregnancy prevention coordinator, family service specialist, youth educator, alcohol educator, tobacco educator, health education coordinator, health policy advocate, pharmaceutical sales representative and medical sales.

For more information: