Public Health

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Program Overview

Rooted in science and social justice, public health is a prevention-oriented, multi-disciplinary field that promotes conditions to protect and improve the health of people and communities. Public Health workers are involved in a variety of roles including but not limited to 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.

The public health program consists of a 30-credit major or 18-credit minor that will provide students with the opportunity to learn more about the health issues facing communities.

The major/minor is appropriate for students who are:

  • Interested in a broad career focus that may encompass governance, advocacy, social justice, diplomacy, environmental studies, international development, healthcare delivery, behavioral and social sciences, communication/media or health informatics
  • Excited by the idea of prevention of disease at a broader scale than the individual patient
  • Motivated by social justice and reduction of health disparities both locally and globally

Fairfield University's Public Health Program is an applicant for accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Our initial application was accepted on September 7, 2018. Our CEPH site visit is tentatively planned for fall, 2020.

Letter From The Director

Welcome to Fairfield University’s Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies Bachelor of Science in public health program. Our mission is to graduate students who can improve the health of entire populations through skillful assessment and delivery of evidence-based interventions that target the prevention of disease and injury. Public health is a multi-disciplinary science that aims to protect and improve the health of people and their communities. As public health professionals we seek to prevent problems from happening or recurring through activities such as immunizations, sanitation, and educational programs. Our efforts target mothers, children, and other special populations, designing policies that benefit population health, implementing disease control services and evaluating program outcomes. Beyond needing more trained public health workers, there is a need for training that reflects today’s evolving challenges such as obesity, opiate abuse, Zika, climate change, and child abuse . We are in a time that requires programs to address health inequities through graduating social justice-oriented change agents who are equipped to lead and advocate as they work in interdisciplinary teams.

At Fairfield, we are excited to offer a unique interdisciplinary curriculum that allows students to work with expert faculty in public health and other areas like nursing, communication and psychology. Students will gain a better understanding of diverse stakeholder perspectives as they navigate classroom and internship experiences. The Bachelor of Science program in public health will graduate individuals who have a solid introductory foundation to public health with a distinctive emphasis on social justice and will be prepared for entry-level positions at a wide range of governmental, non-profit and academic organizations both in the US and abroad.

If you have passion for making the world a better place and a desire to work at the intersection of science, practice, and policy, then Public Health may be the career for you. In an integrated fashion it draws on all dimensions of a Fairfield University education making it uniquely satisfying for impact-oriented professionals. And no field has more relevance for advancing social justice at its most basic level. If you enjoy science but want to have a multidisciplinary career, if want to make a difference in the health of populations, locally or abroad, and if you are committed to working for health equity, consider a degree in Public Health. If you have questions feel free to contact Dr. Jessica Alicea-Planas, jplanas@fairfield.edu.

Jessica Alicea-Planas PhD, RN, MPH, CHES
Undergraduate Public Health Program Director

Program Requirements

The coursework for the Public Health major and minor reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the field by having students take courses in biological sciences, environmental science, nursing, the humanities, social sciences, and administration.

Major Requirements

Students complete 30-credits, including a field internship and capstone experience.

In addition to the major requirements, students are required to take an immersion field internship. These internship opportunities provide students with transformative and hands-on experience in the field. 

Through the internship tracks, students will have the opportunity to intern at diverse organizations such as intergovernmental agencies, humanitarian organizations, state public health agencies, and local hospitals.

Minor Requirements:

For a minor in Public Health, students will complete 18-credits.

  • PB 101: Public Health and Social Justice
  • BI 216: Epidemiology
  • BI 317: Applied Biostatistics
  • PB 201: Public Health, Disease, and Injury
  • HS 101: Introduction to Health Studies
  • BI/CH 76: Introduction to Environmental Science

Life After Fairfield

Fairfield has a long history of success in preparing students with a solid foundation for the health professions. With the growing demand in the Public Health field, students can find a number of career opportunities in government agencies, and with contractors, think tanks, international agencies, humanitarian organizations and foundations as well as the corporate sector or in academia.

Learn about how Fairfield's Academic & Career Development Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

Undergraduate Admission

With a long history of preparing men and women for careers in the expanding fields of medicine and health studies and ranked as one of the nation’s best nursing schools, The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies is dedicated to delivering an excellent, comprehensive education to our students.

Applications for the Public Health program are evaluated by the Office of Admission.

Faculty

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