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Public Health Studies

Public health seeks to protect and promote the health of communities. It addresses some of the greatest global challenges of our time: infectious diseases including AIDS and avian flu, chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes, as well as violence and injury. Public health takes a proactive, preventive approach to health and emphasizes the pursuit of health equity.

The Public Health Studies program at Elon prepares students with the knowledge and skills to address the public health challenges of the 21st century. Majors examine health and illness as complex biological, behavioral, social, political and economic phenomena. Students learn how to use population health data to inform interventions that empower communities and promote healthier lifestyles and environments both domestically and internationally. As a result, students are prepared to enter the workplace in public health settings and/or continue their education in the field of public health or related fields.

Elon's Public Health Studies program has allowed me to study one of the most crucial fields pertaining to the well-being of the world population today. I have been able to travel and see first-hand the need for basic preventive measures that would improve health and prevent disease in communities around the world. I hope to take what I have learned at Elon and continue to study and pursue a career in global health and sustainable development.

Meagan Harrison '12

Course of study

The public health major prepares students with a strong grounding in the discipline of public health with 28 hours of core courses. Additionally, students take 16 hours within one of two interdisciplinary focal areas: socio-cultural context of health or mathematical and biological aspects of health and illness, as well as an elective course. The inclusion of interdisciplinary coursework through the focal areas gives many students enough flexibility to double major in a complementary discipline.

"The PHS program prepared me to enter a doctoral program to pursue a career as a researcher.  Through classes and hands-on work with at-risk communities, I became well versed in the broader social context of health problems. After completing the PHS program, I am better able to develop research questions that, if addressed, may improve the lives of often marginalized populations."

                                                                Jamie Albright '13
                                                                Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student, University of Virginia

Hands-on experience

Students have multiple opportunities to get real-world public health experience. Two of the core courses, "Introduction to Public Health" and "Research Methods in Public Health," involve a field-based project where students address a local public health issue. Additionally, the practicum gives students three weeks of full-time experience in a public health organization during winter or summer term.

I enjoy how Public Health combines my love for helping others and my interest in the medical field. I think the public health field will continue to explode as our health needs increase and I, as an educated individual, feel the need to use my talents and better the health of our nation.

Katie Seringer '12

Exciting Futures

The outlook for careers in public health is strong and continues to expand. Majors are prepared to enter the workforce in local, state, national or international public health organizations, or to continue on to graduate study in public health or a related discipline.

“As a PHS major at Elon, my understanding of ‘health’ has been challenged and changed. I have developed a comprehensive understanding of health care. I have realized the incredible impact and value of preventative, holistic approaches to health, as well as their increasingly important role in today’s world. My experiences as a PHS major have motivated me to explore health in rural India through a Post-Graduate Fellowship, and equipped me to serve people better as I pursue a career as a physician assistant.”

                                                                 Alyssa Dilly '13
                                                                 Elon Post-Graduate Fellow,
                                                                 The Comprehensive Rural Health Project, Jamkhed, India

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