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Public Health

  • Bachelor of Science Major
  • Erie, Pennsylvania

Students enter Gannon’s public health major with the goal of creating a healthier world. Public health saves money, improves quality of life, helps children thrive and reduces human suffering; graduates can expect to pursue job opportunities or graduate work in public health or medicine.

  • GU Possibilities
    • The public health major is a new bachelor’s degree program at Gannon with the goal to create a healthier world. Public health saves money, improves our quality of life, helps children thrive, and reduces human suffering. Graduates can expect to pursue job opportunities or graduate work in public health or medicine.
    • There is a growing demand for culturally diverse outreach workers who can speak a second language and are trained in behavioral and community-based intervention technologies to both educate and empower populations at risk to improve and enhance their health status.
    • A major in public health will open doors to entry-level positions in a wide variety of health-related agencies, medical centers, long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, schools, private and public health organizations, as well as local, state and federal health departments. In addition, the program is appropriate for students interested in graduate study in a variety of health-related fields.

    You Will Learn

    Public health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through planned and organized efforts.  Focusing on health promotion and disease prevention and addressing complex health problems at the community level, students will learn to deliver health programs that target specific population groups and gain real-world experience through extensive classroom learning, hands-on experiences/service-learning and an internship in their field of interest.

    You Will Experience

    The major combines a foundation in health-related courses, sciences, humanities and social sciences with courses in one or more departments. In addition to the major requirements students will select a concentration track that will build on their personal and career goals and interests. There are three concentration tracks:

    • The health education/communication/community health track prepares students to pursue careers as health educators. Health educators are professionals who design, conduct and evaluate activities that help improve the health of all people.
    • The science track is designed for students who desire a broad, strong foundation in the core sciences that also incorporates health-related courses. Students in this track may use elective credits to complete requirements for pre-health professional programs or to prepare to enter graduate programs in health sciences/public health that require a strong science focus. 
    • The healthcare with management track is designed for students who want to focus their efforts on the business/management side of health care. This track is desirable for students who want to move into staff and administrative positions in the healthcare industry or to continue with graduate education in business or management.

    You Will Achieve

    Public health program graduates are employed everywhere in health care including: hospitals, health care management organizations, state and county health departments, non-profit organizations, nursing homes, community-based wellness programs, school districts and healthcare accrediting agencies. The public health field offers a wide range of career options.

    As professionals, public health alumni work in a variety of capacities to:

    • improve access to and advocate for health care for communities.
    • prevent and treat substance abuse.
    • assure the safety of our food supply.
    • contain the spread of infectious diseases.
    • deliver smoking cessation programs.

    Among the many position titles for public health professionals are: epidemiologist, wellness programs director,  health administrator, health educator, geriatric care manager, school health coordinator, community health worker, lab technician, health education consultant, diabetes educator or community school leader.

    The student who pursues a post-baccalaureate degree may enter graduate schools to prepare for careers as a physician, healthcare manager, medical scientist, public health advisor pharmacist, etc.

    You Will Earn

    Salaries in the field vary depending on the location and type of organization.

    • community school leaders: $58,000
    • health educators: $42,000
    • health service managers: $88,000
    • medical scientists: $76,000
    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( and/or PayScale (  

    You Will Study

    Example Course Descriptions

    Some of the unique courses within the curriculum include:

    PUBH 300: Public Health

    This course introduces the study of community and societal health as a whole. It explores factors that maintain good health and factors that can be influenced to promote health and prevent disease. The population health approach is discussed throughout the course as well as factors such as individual medical care, community-wide health projects, laws and other influences.

    PUBH 310: Epidemiology for Public Health

    This course will examine basic concepts of epidemiology as the study of patterns, causes and effects of health and disease in populations and its influence on public health policy. Students will be introduced to the history, basic concepts and methods of epidemiology as related to public health. The social, behavioral and cultural factors that influence public health will be explored.

    PUBH 400: Global Health

    This course will introduce students to the key concepts and issues related to global health. The impact of globalization on the patterns of disease and effective control methods will be emphasized. The effect of social, economic and cultural factors on global health issues will be introduced.

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.