Public Health

Make a difference where you live, work, and play with a bachelor’s degree in public health

Public health is an integral part of our community—it connects us all. It’s the science of protecting and improving the health of the people around you. Make a difference where you live, work, and play.

In this diverse field, the public health major is for students who have an interest in the sociocultural aspects of health or are interested in learning how we can prevent disease and disability within our communities. Students may be interested in work focusing on health education and promotion, public health policy, public health nursing, or non-profit/governmental work. This major works very well as a double major with many other academic offerings.


Student Experience

Public health is by its very nature an interdisciplinary subject. It combines the five core public health areas: social and behavioral sciences, epidemiology, health policy and management, biostatistics, and occupational and environmental health sciences, along with political science, sociology, psychology, and other social sciences – it is a true liberal arts discipline.

Earn substantial experience in the field prior to graduation with an internship in your area of interest. Possible internship placements include local government, community health clinics, health outreach organizations, and more.

Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes – Public Health
1. Describe the philosophy, history and core values, concepts, functions of public health.
2. Describe the scientific foundations of biological and life sciences as they relate to human health and disease.
3. Describe the environmental, socio-economic, cultural, psychological, and behavioral contributions that impact human health and health disparities locally and globally.
4. Utilize research tools, including data collection and use, analysis, and statistics and evidence-based approaches to ethically investigate public health issues..
5. Explain characteristics of U.S. public policy related to healthcare.
6. Describe fundamental concepts and processes of project implementation, including planning, assessment and evaluation for addressing the major health needs and concerns of a population.
7. Identify the intended audience and needs and utilize appropriate communication techniques for public health issues.
8. Utilize project management principles to plan, assess, and evaluate projects related to public health.


The bachelor of public health major contains a mixture of applied learning and research opportunities starting in your first semester.

Double majoring or minoring in related coursework can strengthen your resume. Students may consider pre-medical or pre-health coursework, Spanish, English writing, sociology, business, and communications.

Highlighted Courses

Fundamentals in Public Health
This course will provide a broad overview of the field of public health and provide an understanding of how public health affects everyone’s daily life and contributes and influences health and well-being of individuals and communities. This course aims to go beyond individual prevention and aims to provide students with a better understanding of the larger social and population-based factors that influence health and well-being of populations.

A course in the fundamentals of nutrition and how they relate to exercise, metabolism, weight control, and maturational development.

Diabetes, Heart Disease, & Cancer
This in-depth study course will address one of these major diseases each week. Students will generate questions about each disease and learn answers via research, visits to treatment centers and dialogue with researchers, doctors, caregivers, insurance experts, patient advocates and government officials. The course will be an investigative inquiry-driven attempt to get the latest information on three of the biggest health challenges that face every American today. Teams of students will try to understand and present both sides of controversial issues related to these diseases.

Sociology in Action
Through hands-on activities inside the classroom and community-based learning in the “real world,” students will be introduced to the ways in which sociologists approach the world. The relationship between individuals and society, ideas about how the world operates, and the dynamic process of social change will be emphasized as students learn to think sociologically.

Public Health Courses


Degree Requirements

Division of Molecular, Life & Health Sciences
Kate Cooper, Ph.D., Chair

Requirements for the major in Public Health (B.A.)
The B.A. in Public Health is for students who have an interest in the sociocultural aspects of health. Students may be interested in work focusing on health education and promotion, public health policy and administration, public health nursing, or non-profit/governmental work.
Major Requirements for Public Health (B.A.) 

Related Majors & Minors
Business Administration, B.A.  
International Studies, B.A.  
Philosophy, B.A.  
Politics, B.A.  
Criminal Justice, B.A.  
Sociology, B.A.  
Social Work, B.A.   
Business Minor  
Ethics, Minor
Gender Studies Minor  
Peace and Justice Minor
Sociology Minor

Career Opportunities

What can I do with a public health major?

As a public health major, you will be prepared for a variety of careers. Here are some examples of fields you can enter:

  • Infectious disease
  • Food safety and nutrition
  • Chronic disease
  • Public safety
  • Global health
  • Public health administration
  • Environmental health

Supporting Your Investment

Loras takes great pride in supporting your investment – both through providing an exceptional learning experience and in sharing the cost of your degree. 100% of Loras students receive financial aid. We have scholarships, grants and special awards for all students based on their achievements and financial need.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take me to earn my Loras degree?

Most students earn their undergraduate degree in four years or less. If you have questions about transferring any previously earned credits or degrees, please see our Transfer Student Information.

How much is tuition?

At Loras College, financial access to education is one of our defining values. We are committed to helping all of our students make their degree affordable. We partner with every student and family to understand their unique financial needs ensuring 100% of Loras students receive financial aid. Scholarships, grants and special awards are offered to all students based on their achievements and financial need. Loras is consistently ranked as one of the best universities for return on investment.  View our Tuition and Fees page.

How do I apply for schlarships and financial aid?

Submit your federal FAFSA, apply to Loras College and review our financial aid resources for detailed information, scholarship opportunities and much more.

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Getting involved is a great opportunity to try something new, develop leadership skills, attend cultural events, or advocate for a cause close to your heart. 

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Meet Our Professors

Kate Cooper, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Chair, Division of Molecular, Life & Health Sciences
Biomedical Sciences Program Director
563.588.7956 |
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Elaina Biechler, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Kinesiology
Coaching Leadership Program Director
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Molly M. McDonald Figgins, Ph.D., ATC
Associate Professor of Athletic Training
Athletic Training Program Director
563.588.7995 |
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Ulrike Schultz, MD, MPH
Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical/Pre-Health Program Director & Pre-Health Advisor
563.588.7255 |
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