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Public Health

Make a real change in the lives of hundreds, thousands – even millions – of people.

Shenandoah’s Bachelor of Science in Public Health program prepares you to identify the causes of disease; understand the principles and practices of health promotion, disease/injury prevention and protection; understand national/international public health issues from historical, social, cultural and scientific perspectives; and integrate knowledge and methods into the practice of public health.

Through the program’s interdisciplinary nature, you can specialize or add a major or minor based on your individual area of interest and career goals.

Program Purpose

Among the most serious problems facing the American public both now and for many years to come is public health. Despite spending more on healthcare than any other nation in the world, we rank near the bottom on the list of similar, developed nations on all major health indicators. 

  • An aging population,
  • Emerging infectious diseases and re-emerging old diseases,
  • Navigating healthcare providers and treatment options,
  • Designer medications,
  • Ever-rising healthcare costs,
  • Increasing rates of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease,
  • Threats of bioterrorism
  • Delivery of vaccinations and disease prevention to rural and poor population

These factors pose major challenges for healthcare recipients, their families, care providers, and those who pay for services and medications. 

Public health involves all levels of a community to work toward the common goal of promoting health and well-being and preventing disease. The work of public health involves government, advocacy groups, policy, schools, healthcare providers, occupational settings, community groups, and most of all, you.  

What Our Program Offers You

What our students learn/Skills you will acquire

As a public health professional, you’ll work with government officials, advocacy groups, policymakers, schools, health care providers, occupational settings, and community groups toward the common goal of promoting health and well-being and preventing disease.

What kind of issues/problems does this major prepare you to solve?

Our graduates become community health educators, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, emergency preparedness coordinators, public health nurses, health program administrators or hospital administrators, health economists, health communications specialists, nutritionists, workplace health promotion directors, international health specialists and diabetes educators.

What makes our program unique?

Our program’s small classes and interactive learning environment mean you’ll receive individualized attention from experienced and caring faculty mentors. The flexible, interdisciplinary curriculum is tailored to your interests, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to gain hands-on experience through internships, medical mission trips and faculty research projects.  

Careers in Public Health

  • Community Health Educator
  • Epidemiologist
  • Biostatistician
  • Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
  • Public Health Nurse
  • Health Program Administrator/Hospital Administrator
  • Health Economist
  • Health Communications            
  • Nutritionist
  • Workplace Health Promotion Director
  • International Health Specialist 
  • Diabetes Educator

Public Health Student Internships

While not required, students are highly encouraged to gain field experience in their junior or senior year in the Public Health program after the majority of course requirements are completed.  Most internships are unpaid, though there are some paid opportunities. 

Guidelines for 3-credit internship: PH-490

  • Students must obtain their own internship position with guidance and approval by the Program Director before registering for the course
  • Acquisition of an in-site mentor/advisor
  • At least 120 hours of on-site work
  • Written assignments, final paper and presentation graded by the Instructor
  • *GPA of at least 2.75 to register

Here are some sites where our PH students have interned in the past: 2012-2013

  • Lord Fairfax Health Department – Environmental Health Division
  • Lord Fairfax Health Department – Health Education programs
  • American Red Cross
  • ABBA Care of Winchester
  • University of Michigan Future Public Health Scholars Program
  • Healthy Families of Shenandoah Valley
  • Research Assistantships with SU Public Health Faculty
  • VA Hospital in Connecticut – Patient Quality Division
  • Community Partners and Language Access Program – Valley Health