Public Health

The study of public health is dedicated to understanding and improving the health and wellbeing of all people. The public health major at Pacific University is designed to develop students’ abilities to understand, analyze, problem-solve and communicate effectively in a complicated, international and rapidly changing world. Pacific’s public health program integrates health science, social science and humanistic approaches to addressing global health challenges.

Program Highlights

  • Pursue either a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts degree in public health
  • Complete a faculty-supervised internship as part of the major
  • Pursue particular career avenues within public health, including community health, health promotion, public policy or cross-cultural work
  • Emphasize global and environmental health, essential to addressing the health needs of the future
  • Study an interdisciplinary curriculum that draws from the social sciences, natural sciences and humanities to develop the broadest possible skill sets and competencies
  • Build skills in effective communication with the public, the research community and the media
  • Cultivate the highest ethical standards


Pacific public health students study core courses within public health, such as introductory public health, epidemiology, environmental health and global health. We also know that public health workers need a broad set of skills and abilities to be effective in promoting health and wellbeing. So our students complete their public health major by choosing courses from biology, chemistry, economics, environmental sciences, ethics, media arts, politics, psychology, sociology, social work, and the humanities.


Students studying public health are often interested in pursuing careers in the public sector, working with health departments, policymakers or organizations such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Others are interested in working with nonprofit organizations or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that promote better health both domestically and abroad. Still other public health graduates will pursue private-sector employment within the insurance or healthcare industries. Public health graduates are prepared for careers in health departments, hospitals, nonprofit organizations, universities, family violence prevention organizations, disaster relief organizations, and state and federal agencies. Many students choose to combine undergraduate public health education with graduate studies in public health or the health professions.

Professional Practicum Coordinator
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Anthropolgy, Social Work, and Public Health
Interim Dean, College of Arts & Sciences