Marshall University was the first to offer a public health undergraduate program in the state of West Virginia. Graduates of the program will be prepared to enter the exciting world of public health and to pursue graduate programs in public health or other health professions. The curriculum consists of 121 credit hours including the general education core requirements and a variety of health professions courses. Suggested electives will help graduates focus on their primary area of interest within the public health arena.
Why Choose This Major?
Public health offers many varied career pathways. The discipline of public health offers numerous dynamic career pathways. Public health professionals work in a variety of different areas (such as environmental health, communicable disease, maternal and child health), settings (for example, governmental agencies, hospitals, community-based organizations), and position types (such as, health educator, epidemiologist, community health program manager). Hence, you can tailor your career pathway to your interests and strengths to make a difference in your community. The U.S. has made significant strides in addressing many of the disease and injuries that plagued our country in the early 20th century due to the implementation of public health measures such as immunizations, improved sanitation, and facilitating the adoption of healthy behaviors. However, much work remains to address the burden of chronic diseases, emerging infectious diseases, and injury. Public health professionals are vital front-line workers needed to improve the health of all community members.
As aptly stated by C. Everett Koop, “Health care matters to some of us some of the time but public health matters to all of us all of the time.”
What is the admission process?
New students interested in this program should indicate their choice on their University Admissions Application. Current University students can change to Public Health by following the university college transfer process.
How long will it take to graduate?
Most students will be able to complete the degree in four academic years or 8 semesters of full time study.
Where do Public Health graduates work?
Health care is one of the largest and most rapidly growing industries in the country. Recent reports continue to show that the health care industry needs professionally trained managers. Existing trends, such as the aging population, increasing health care technology, rising costs, and the expansion of managed care, all further suggest that this need will continue to expand in the years ahead.
Most graduates from public health programs initially embark on entry-level management positions in public and private health care organizations: hospitals, nursing facilities, ambulatory care settings, HMO’s and other managed care organizations, home health agencies, health insurance companies, consulting firms, and governmental health agencies.
Some pursue careers in more policy-oriented positions in professional associations. Career growth into mid- or executive-level positions depends on many factors including one’s individual talents, preferences, and interests. Higher-level positions generally require a graduate degree.
Baccalaureate prepared public health graduates often pursue graduate school in business, public administration, law, policy, public health, or selected clinical programs.
What qualities distinguish students in this field?
- Above average academic background
- Good test scores
- Strong ties to the community through volunteer work and community service
- Interest in group dynamics, public policy, etc.