Public Health Undergraduate

Southern's bachelor's degree in public health, one of the first in the country, prepares students to assume positions in a broad array of public health careers, increasing their potential for job placement and allowing them to make a meaningful and enduring difference in the world. Students will gain a strong general background in areas of knowledge basic to public health, experience applying public health knowledge through independent research, a field-placement experience under qualified supervision, and specialized coursework in health promotion.

You can also minor in public health, in one of three areas:

  • Public Health -- Focuses on the nature and role of the public health model as it affects health and disease
  • Wellness -- Addresses personal behaviors and environmental conditions that impact the quality of personal and public health
  • Nutrition -- Intended to provide the student with a background in nutrition for personal and community application

In the Public Health major, students graduate knowing how to promote, maintain and enhance the public's health. In today's complex world, the field of public health is becoming an increasingly vital part of our daily lives. It's a field in which professionals can make a difference, whether they're researching and tracking the spread of disease, running awareness campaigns in community agencies, advising corporations on health programs, or maintaining a safe environment.

In the undergraduate program students study an array of public health topics with emphases on health promotion. The program at Southern is intensively hands- on, with many class activities centering on community-service and a culminating internship where students get real world experience working with a public health or community agency.

Southern's public health graduates are leaders in Connecticut’s state and local health department, as well as community-based agencies, hospitals, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, and nonprofit agencies. Our graduates work to eliminate health inequities, organize community responses to health problems, address the AIDS epidemic; promote a healthy environment, design public health policies and interventions, and lead international health relief efforts.

Program Requirements | Academic Map

The Department of Public Health is excited to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Health & Wellness Coaching. Health and wellness coaching is a new and growing field, with coaches becoming an integral prevention partner for insurance companies, health care organizations, and for those who want to run their own health businesses. Coaches work with individuals to address critical health needs and create individualized plans. Coaches can work on a variety of areas, including obesity reduction/diet/exercise, mental health, stress management, substance use reduction (alcohol, tobacco, other drugs), and chronic disease (diabetes, cardiovascular) management.

Our program is designed so that graduates can apply for a variety of jobs, including Health & Wellness Coach, Worksite Health Coach, and Behavioral Health Technicians. The program was designed so that graduates can sit for the National Board of Health & Wellness Coaching certification exam (approval in process). Corporate Wellness Programs are currently growing, according to the US Department of Labor, because lifestyle related chronic diseases are linked to 70% of our nation’s medical costs. The need to reduce medical costs by both worksites and individuals is important to reducing medical-cost related poverty.

While health care offices and Corporate Wellness Programs, including Connecticut-based WellSpark, are a strong placement area for certified coaches, there are other employment options. Our program includes management courses so graduates can create their own practices, allowing for freedom and control over workload. Digital apps and platforms, including Noom and Fitbit, offer upgrade options to work one-on-one with personalized health coaches, which is another strong avenue for employment.

Program Requirements | Academic Map

With a minor in Nutrition, students complete 18 credits of introductory nutrition courses, including: meal management, community nutrition, and food hygiene. This minor provides students a foundation for applying good nutrition principles in professional settings and personal choices.

Program Requirements

With a minor in Public Health, students complete 18 credits of core public health courses, including: epidemiology, health policy, social and behavioral sciences, and introduction to public health. This minor could lead students towards furthering their education in public health (ie. BS or MPH in public health) and will give them a foundation of knowing how to promote, maintain and enhance the public’s health.

Program Requirements

With a minor in Wellness, students complete 18 credits in courses that focus on personal wellbeing and enrichment, such as: stress management, women’s/men’s health, and health across the life span. Students acquire skills and knowledge in how to live their healthiest and become their best selves through healthy behaviors and lifestyles.

Program Requirements