This is the time to enter into the public health sector — the demand for public health careers is expected to steadily grow over the next decade. This exciting field of study will introduce you to an array of fulfilling, diverse job opportunities that concentrate on human health, illnesses, disease prevention and the environment. Public health is integral to every society; it addresses the most pressing health concerns to date by going beyond traditional medical care provided by physicians and current healthcare systems. Through research, public policy and by supporting various organizations, public health graduates learn unique ways to indirectly and directly impact the well-being of a population.

Often labeled a “hot field for a global generation,” public health trains future leaders and advocates for a better tomorrow by offering a strong foundation for studying the health of human populations through education, research and practical, hands-on experience outside of the classroom. Beginning your freshman year, you’ll work directly with distinguished faculty on cutting-edge research. Additionally, Mercyhurst's liberal arts approach gives you an advantage — by combining the public health program with 15 other fields of study, you can create a unique, multidisciplinary undergraduate education that can lead you to a career that better fits your interests.

Learning Outcomes

  • Overview of Public Health
  • Address the history and philosophy of public health as well as its core values, concepts, and functions the globe and in society. A1-A2. Public Health History and Philosophy A3-A4. Core Public Health Values & Concepts A5-A6. Global and Societal Functions of Public Health
  • Role and Importance of Data in Public Health
  • Address the basic concepts, methods, and tools of public health data collection, use, and analysis and why evidence-based approaches are an essential part of public health practice
  • Identify and Addressing Population Health Challenges
  • Interact with diverse individuals and communities to successfully produce or impact an intended public health outcome.
  • Professionalism and ethics
  • Demonstrate ethical choices, values and professional practices implicit in public health decisions; consider the effect of choices on community stewardship, equity, social justice, and accountability; and commit to personal and institutional development.
  • Policy development and program planning
  • Plan for the design, development, implementation and evaluation of strategies to improve individual and community health.
  • Public health science
  • Apply knowledge of public health history and science (including biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health sciences and social and behavioral sciences) to solve public health problems.
  • Leadership and systems thinking
  • Recognize the roles and responsibilities of public health leaders. Recognize systems-level properties that result from dynamic interactions among human and social systems and how they affect the relations among individuals, groups, organizations, communities and environments.

Why Public Health?

Beyond the fact that a degree in public health can lead to fulfilling careers in medicine, health care, biotechnology and the life sciences, there is a strong and evidenced need for public health workers in the coming years. Studies show that America will be short by a quarter of a million public health workers by 2020, a number that represents one-third of the workforce needed to keep society healthy.

With only 16% of schools offer undergraduate public health programs, Mercyhurst public health graduates have excellent prospects of finding work in the field, entering one of the more than 50 graduate schools of public health or continuing on to medical school or a law school offering a health law program.

Examples of the jobs public health graduates can pursue include: epidemiologist, health educator, biostatistician, health services administrator, clinical outcomes specialist, infection control coordinator, research scientist, health communications specialist and environmental health intelligence analyst.

Contact Us

Maria Beatriz Torres, Ph.D., MPH, CHP, M.A.
Chair, Department of Public Health
Office: Hirt 312D
Phone: 814-824-3864