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Bachelor of Science in Public Health

About

Health and its ability to influence quality of life is never an isolated incident without cause. Economic, social, cultural, and political factors play a role in disease prevention, health promotion, and service delivery across cities, states, and the world as a whole. While doctors serve individual patients, public health professionals examine the field from a holistic level, analyzing why particular diseases affect certain populations and championing strategies to strengthen and support communities. 

Saginaw Valley State University’s Bachelor of Science in Public Health transforms you into a professional ready to persevere on behalf of society’s most vulnerable members. A flexible curriculum with a choice of health promotion and administrative tracks shepherds you into becoming a change agent, where, out in the workforce, you’ll strive to improve access to healthcare and analyze and control the spread of disease.  

Illuminating both angles of public health, this comprehensive, rigorous program is firmly rooted in science, preparing you to understand the obstacles communities face through courses in experimental biology, epidemiology, and healthy aging. At the same time, topics shed light on the inner workings of the healthcare system and its multifaceted structure.  

Beyond the classroom, SVSU seeks to have our public health students make an impact before they graduate. The Department of Public Health stresses the importance of experiential learning, both for seeing real-world usage of theories explored during discussions and for gaining a foothold to build your career. Through this approach, our students prepare to face tomorrow’s challenges by thoroughly understanding applications of public health principles and relevant tools, conducting research in the field, and examining societal factors in reference to access and delivery.  

For more information, contact the College of Health and Human Services at hhs@svsu.edu.

Cardinal Points

  • SVSU students study abroad in New Zealand, Zambia, Cambodia, China, England, India, Indonesia and Vietnam to gain an international understanding of healthcare.

  • Fieldwork placements for students to gain experience in the field of public health and health administration.

  • The Public Health program has outstanding faculty who are widely published, have received numerous research grants and are considered scholars within their chosen disciplines. 

We want our students to feel fully engaged with the field of public health, no matter which track suits their career goals. Reflecting this, the core curriculum delivers a comprehensive perspective of the field’s principles and practices, presenting a versatile foundation to explore the science-leaning health promotions track or strengthen your leadership skills studying health administration.  

While completing your Basic Skills and General Education requirements, you’ll allocate some of your courses toward experimental biology, statistics, professional ethics, critical writing, anatomy, and physiology. These subjects assist you with excelling in the major’s core courses (27 credit hours). You’ll be introduced to the field’s pressing issues, principles, and research methodology for assessing health behaviors and problems and discover how healthcare is delivered, including through the use of technology and the structure of the U.S. healthcare system.  

Branching out into more policy-relevant subjects, the core covers public health practices at local through national levels, helps expand your multicultural competence, and touches on epidemiology. In the process, you’ll see how cultural, socioeconomic, and ethnic variables affect healthcare delivery, how diseases are distributed, and the methods organizations use when tracking an outbreak through a community. 

At this stage, required fieldwork serves as a counterpoint to the classroom. Your assignment is designed to provide greater insight into public health’s practical applications and help you build connections to start your future career or make the decision to attend graduate school.  

You’ll then specialize your knowledge based on how you see yourself empowering communities and promoting public health: 

  • Health Promotion Track (18 Credit Hours): Delve into specific population health concerns, with emphasis placed on aging and chronic illness and their respective care needs, while learning the theories and applications of health behavior change. This track further encourages you to think about revolutionizing health education and the delivery of services and how to design, implement, and evaluate health promotion programs.  
  • Health Administration (20 Credit Hours): You’ll gain an understanding of general business concepts while being exposed to the operational aspects of the healthcare system. In the process, you’ll become familiar with accreditation standards, relevant legislation, and regulation and find your leadership style to sustain and improve organizational functioning.

Review the program’s structure and all course descriptions. 

All students attending SVSU must complete a minimum of 124 credit hours to graduate. Along with all general education requirements, students enrolled in the Bachelor’s in Public Health degree program must select a complementary minor.  

Recommended Minors

Our Students After Graduation...

Employers

Health Departments
Nonprofit Agencies
Schools
Hospitals
Emergency Management Agencies

Graduate Programs

Saginaw Valley State University
MPH program and MBA with Health Administration concentration program

Career Opportunities

Health Educator
Health Promotion Specialist
Health Program Coordinator
Environmental Health Sanitarian
Healthcare/Hospital Budget Analyst
Healthcare/Hospital Computer Systems Analyst
Healthcare/Hospital Human Resources Specialist
Healthcare/Hospital Quality and Process Improvement Specialist
Long Term Care Activity Coordinator

Increasing demand for healthcare services has translated into a rise in roles for public health professionals. Those ready to contribute to research, discuss the influence social factors have on population health, and conceive strategies toward change will flourish and make an impact in health education, policy, healthcare administration, the nonprofit sector, or a government organization.

  • Job responsibilities span promoting healthy lifestyles, administrative duties, disease and injury prevention, improving individual and community care access, and promoting health equity.  

Fully integrated into social networks, SVSU Connect is a valuable networking space dedicated to the community of SVSU students, faculty and alumni which cultivates a culture of helping and giving back. In addition to connecting with each other, students at all points along their journey can reach out to alumni mentors for guidance and insight into making the most of their SVSU experience and successfully transitioning into life after graduation.