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Create a healthier community

Learn how public health professionals improve lives

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Apply what you've learned

Take what you learned at SRU into the workplace

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Take your skills to the next level

SRU provides graduates with the skills needed to pursue graduate programs

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Public Health

Offered by: Public Health

Slippery Rock University's Public Health major is perfect for students looking for a degree that prepares them for a career that will allow them to make a difference in their community or graduate program. Public Health is more than just working in a doctor's office or hospital. Through this program, students discover the importance of staying healthy and how to relay that message to others.

Public Health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through organized efforts. SRU's program emphasizes healthy lifestyles, multicultural health needs, research and advances in health, service learning, and use of the latest health-related computer technology. In this program, you'll learn how to combine science, skills, and beliefs to become an effective leader in whatever area of public health you work in.

Why Major in Public Health?

Good health is essential for all individuals, communities, private businesses, and industrial enterprises in our society. The dynamic and progressive Public Health program at SRU gives you the knowledge and skills to meet the growing demand for competent health professionals. This program provides you with hands-on learning experiences and the ability to turn education into action through student organizations.

The Collegiate Chapter of Pennsylvania Public Health Association at SRU allows students to meet alumni who are currently working in the field. Public Health majors also have other networking opportunities. Many students travel to attend state conferences. Organizations such as the Pre-Physician Assistant Club are designed to help bring together students with similar career or graduate school interests.

What Will You Learn?

In the Public Health program, you'll learn how to deliver health information and programs in community settings. You'll develop a strong background to prepare you for a future in fields such as:

  • Health promotion
  • Health education
  • Health data management
  • Further graduate study in a health-related field

Courses in this program include Nutrition and Health, Environmental Health, Biostatistics, and Nutrition and Epidemiology. Classes are taught by our full-time faculty and students gain valuable first-hand experience into how public health operates.

Careers In Public Health

As a graduate of SRU's Public Health program, you'll be prepared to execute health programs that target specific population groups, such as but not limited to those aimed at improving the quality of life for older adults, maternal programs designed to improve the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period. Our comprehensive curriculum incorporates a deep understanding of social determinants of health, and delves into critical areas like community health assessment, and program evaluation, environmental health, health statistics, gerontology, and substance use; equipping our graduates with the knowledge and skills to address complex public health challenges like:

  • Access to healthcare and healthy food: Many of our graduates pursue careers in organizations addressing disparities in healthcare access, food insecurity, and nutrition.
  • Mental health and substance abuse: our graduates work in various settings, developing and implementing prevention and intervention programs for substance abuse and mental health challenges, often linked to social factors.
  • Chronic disease management: Our alumni work with communities and individuals to manage chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, recognizing the role of social and economic factors in disease development and management.

Through internship opportunities with organizations like the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Children's Hospital, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the YMCA of Pittsburgh, and other national public health organizations, students gain hands-on experience tackling these critical issues at the community level.

Our program graduates are not just entering careers in health statistics and risk management, they are becoming changemakers, equipped to address the most pressing public health challenges of our time, both locally and globally.

Our Graduates work in settings such:

  • State and local health departments
  • Community-based wellness programs
  • Non-profit health organizations
  • Federal government health programs

The Public Health major also provides excellent preparation for graduate degree programs in fields like:

  • Physical Therapy*
  • Occupational Therapy*
  • Physician Assistant*
  • Masters and Doctoral Degrees in Public Health
  • Nursing
  • Medical Doctor (MD) / Osteopathic Physician (DO)
  • Adapted Physical Activity

The Public Health major also provides excellent preparation for roles such as:

  • Health Promotion Specialist
  • Health Educator
  • Wellness Program Director
  • Community Health Worker/Advocate
  • Public Health Program Coordinator
  • Non-profit Organization Employee
  • Public Health Research Specialist
  • State or Local Health Department Employee
  • Federal Government Health Program Employee (EPA, CDC, NIOSH, OSHA)
  • Substance Abuse and Risk Management Specialist
  • Health Statistician
  • Insurance Health Coach
  • Environmental Health Specialist
  • Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
  • Health Scientist
  • Health Education Specialist
  • Community health consultant
  • Health Education Coordinator
  • Program Specialist
  • Research Associate
  • Public Health Educator
  • Public Information Officer
  • Community Health Worker
  • Community Specialist
  • Social Service Specialist
  • Nongovernmental organizations
  • Intergovernmental Organizations
  • Faculty member/teacher

Earn your Public Health degree at SRU!

Slippery Rock University's Public Health major provides the basis for a rewarding career in health and wellness promotion or for a graduate program in a health-related field. Interested in learning more about the program? Request more information today!