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Public Health (B.S.)

The Bachelor of Science in public health prepares students to protect and improve the health of individuals and communities through a challenging academic program with experiential learning opportunities.

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. In the field of public health, you will assist others in making lifestyle changes by enhancing awareness, changing behavior or creating environments that support better health practices.

CCU students pursuing a generalist public health degree with a health promotion focus gain an understanding of disease and illness, epidemiology, statistics, behavior approaches to public health, environmental health, public health policy and advocacy, and health care systems. The major blends instruction from biology, chemistry, political science, psychology, sociology, marketing, communication and medicine into applications addressing current health problems facing our community.

The Bachelor of Science in public health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) as a stand-alone baccalaureate program (2016-23).

The Department of Health Sciences, where our world class faculty prepare students to impact the wellness of citizens every day, offers the following exciting programs:

  • Public Health (B.S.)
  • Health Administration (B.S. completion)
  • Nursing (B.S. completion)
  • Health Education Teacher Certification Add-on (endorsement)
The Student Experience

The generalist public health degree fulfills the nine public health domains: overview of public health; role and importance of data; identify and address population health challenges; human health; determinants of health; project implementation; overview of the health system; health policy, law, ethics and economics; and health communications.

A focus on health promotion prepares students with the following skills: assessing individual and community needs; planning health education and promotion programs; implementing and administering health education and promotion strategies; conducting evaluation and research within public health disciplines; serving as a health education resource person; and communicating and advocating for health education and public health through grant writing, working with the media, and coalition building.

Program completion qualifies graduates to apply for certification through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). CHES certification is encouraged by many health professionals and is required in some states.

Beyond the Classroom

There is a growing demand for culturally diverse outreach workers trained in behavioral and community-based intervention technologies to educate and empower at-risk populations to improve their health status. The increased emphasis on integrating public health and disease prevention in health plans will increase future career opportunities in primary care settings and community-based outreach programs.

Graduates find careers in many areas of public health such as: health educator; health promotion program planner; food inspector; nutrition specialist; health information specialist; corporate wellness coordinator; personal trainer; environmental educator; health policy advocate; teen pregnancy prevention coordinator; maternal and child nutrition consultant; and pharmaceutical/medical sales, to name a few.

Graduates may also choose to pursue complementary post-graduate degrees in public health; global health; health communication; health administration; law; social work; nursing; dietetics; and allied health programs.

Courses

Students have the flexibility of declaring a minor (18-22 credit hours) or completing one of four cognate options (15 credit hours) for a complementary area of study and/or to complete prerequisites for graduate studies:

  1. General Cognate, where students may take 100-200 level basicscience courses as needed prerequisites for graduate degrees such as medicine, physician’s assistant, occupational or physical therapy; or take 300-400 level coursework outside of the major to complement specific career interests.
  2. Communication Cognate (pre-approved sequence of courses);
  3. Exercise Science Cognate (pre-approved sequence of courses); and
  4. Health Services Leadership Cognate (pre-approved sequence of courses).

In the final semester, students participate in two cumulative experiences:

  1. An internship in a local, national or international health-related agency; and
  2. A capstone review course that ends with a comprehensive exam of required course content and concepts.

Fredanna M'Cormack McGough, Ph.D.
Chairperson
Department of Health Sciences
Swain Hall 136
843-349-2991
fmcorma@coastal.edu

Pamela English
Administrative Specialist
Department of Health Sciences
Swain Hall 138
843-349-6568
penglish@coastal.edu