With the movement to improve the health of our nation and healthcare system, it is an exciting time to consider a degree in public health. Saint Francis offers a public health degree embedded in the liberal arts tradition, emphasizing personal and professional ethics, and based upon the University’s nationally-recognized Franciscan mission. In addition, Saint Francis offers a multitude of tracks, allowing students to specialize their public health degree and receive either a
Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts.
Start exploring your specialized public health degree today…
Welcome to the diverse and rewarding world of public health!
Whether your interests are already focused in public health or you only know that you want a career where you can help people and impact health, public health is worth a second look. Please contact our admission's office, schedule a tour, visit an open house or contact me personally to explore
Dr. Theresa Horner
What is Public Health? Public Health begins with an undergraduate degree that prepares you to work with people to improve health, prevent disease and make a difference in their lives. It is a fast growing field with a wide variety of entry level jobs locally, nationally, and globally.
What will I learn to do? You will learn to understand how people make decisions about their health and using that knowledge, you can support them in making healthy changes. You can also help people navigate the complex health system, answer questions about health insurances, design health programs, manage projects, and interpret and translate scientific information for the public. You will become an expert in identifying valid health data and effective programs, compiling and writing grants, making complex decisions, solving health-puzzles, and creating health education and marketing materials like movies, flyers, posters and more.
Where can I get a job after graduation? Many organizations hire public health professionals, such as government organizations, universities, hospitals, doctor's offices, nonprofit organizations, or schools. As a public health professional, some of the many areas you can work in include maternal and child health, disaster response and preparedness, infectious disease investigation, research, environmental health, workplace safety, child abuse awareness and reduction, community health, etc.
To explore career opportunities further, click here.
What if I already have a major? That’s great you already have a career path, but you may want to explore how a public health minor can set you apart from the competition. If your major is in another health science field, you may only need a few extra classes for the minor. If your major is in a program outside of health science, just five classes will give you a public health minor.
A Bachelor of Science in Public Health will give you an edge for applying to advanced education: "Medical schools are increasingly receptive to a wider range of undergraduate education. In fact, they are encouraging courses in behavioral and social sciences, including public health and epidemiology." Source: Riegelman R., Kirkwood, B. (2015) Public Health 101, Second edition. J&B Learning. p. 183.
As health practitioners, it is our job to educate the community on healthy
practices, communicate with our patients to gain a better understanding of what
we need to do as professionals to help them, and also to treat those who are
sick. Understanding this concept is the reason for earning an
undergraduate Public Health degree.
Public health, along with your advanced degree in any of the sciences, shows
that you have applicable skills to associate what you have learned and how you
can teach others healthier practices. This also makes you a more marketable
applicant for graduate and professional programs such as Medical school,
Dentistry school, and pharmacy. It shows that you understand more then the
concepts of science, but you understand the public issue of what health is and
how we can educate the community and put our preventative medicine into
With the MCAT changing to more of a holistic approach by including the
subjects of psychology and sociology, we see that medicine is not only looking
for a strong science component, but an applicable knowledge of health and
overall wellness, whether that is through prevention or education. The Public
Health degree helps you meet those goals and provide a holistic approach to your
Dr. Theresa M. Horner814.471.1332THorner@francis.edu
Meet our Faculty
The first two graduates of the Public Health program, William Myers and Austin Potts, were excited to begin spreading their knowledge of public health in their dream careers. William plans to work in disaster management, while Austin plans to work in environmental health.
Read more about their journeys in Public Health
= required field
Your email was sent successfully. Thank you for contacting me.
There was a problem sending your email. Try again later, or contact our webmaster.