Ranked among the best nationwide, the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies continues to expand its programming to meet the growing need for health professionals locally and globally.
Fairfield’s new public health major and minor is a response to the increasing demand for workers with the knowledge and competencies of an entry-level public health professional. This includes both quantitative analytic skills and qualitative skills in communication and policy development. According to research, public health-related careers are projected to grow 16% annually through 2024. It is the first program offered under the health studies arm of Fairfield’s nationally ranked Egan School.
"This new major and minor in public health provides a logical extension of the great work the Egan School has done for healthcare," stated Dr. Meredith Wallace Kazer, dean and professor of the Egan School. "With the approval of the first non-nursing major in the Egan School, we are forging an exciting path toward interprofessional education that will benefit all students in the Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies."
The prevention-oriented, multi-disciplinary field of public health focuses on population approaches to achieving equity in health among members of a community. Rooted in science and social justice, also at the core of Fairfield’s Jesuit mission, public health promotes conditions to protect and improve the health of people and communities through outbreak investigation, humanitarian response, cancer and heart disease prevention, injury and violence prevention, environmental toxicology, advocacy, immunization, bioterrorism surveillance, food and drug quality, public health nutrition, zoonotic disease control, corporate wellness, and more.
Students within the public health major at Fairfield will be able to choose one of three tracks: U.S. Public Health, Global Public Health, and Nutrition. Courses in biological sciences, environmental engineering, nursing, the humanities, social sciences, and business administration will be offered.
In addition to the major requirements, students are required to take a 3-credit local health department field internship and a 9-credit immersion field internship in a higher-level agency for management policy and strategic experience. Internship and study abroad opportunities will provide students with transformative and hands-on field experience, through city and state health departments, federal agencies, and organizations such as the World Health Organization, National Institute of Public Health, AmeriCares, Save the Children, UNICEF, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.