Public Health

Public Health

Building healthy, happy communities at the
global, local or personal scale.

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Local and global challenges to public health come in many forms: social and economic inequality, changes to the climate and environment, political upheaval, technological obstacles, lack of funding. Many of these problems require holistic, interdisciplinary approaches to overcome them.

Oglethorpe’s liberal arts approach encourages public health students to explore broader perspectives, creative solutions and “big picture thinking” – the ideal foundation for understanding complex challenges to health and wellness, and how to solve them.

The interdisciplinary Public Health Concentration at Oglethorpe enables students to…

  • Study culture, communication, and social and natural sciences in the context of individual and community health.
  • Develop knowledge and awareness of specific topics in public health today.
  • Get to know current public health professionals and learn from their experience.
  • Participate in activities that offer hands-on involvement in real-world challenges.

Oglethorpe’s Public Health Concentration is a brand new program developed to meet the interests and needs of our students. Available to all students regardless of major, it’s specially designed to draw on Oglethorpe’s trademark blend of intellectually stimulating liberal arts education and real-world focused, experience-based learning.

The program is designed to complement your major; it can take the place of a traditional minor. You must have sophomore standing to apply.

Offered as:

Concentration (available to all majors)

With a large, diverse population, a top-notch hospital system, outstanding research universities and the globally influential Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta is one of the best cities in the world to study public health.

  • The CDC’s leadership role in tackling 21st century health issues means that international experts in public health often visit Atlanta, offering Oglethorpe students excellent opportunities for lectures, events, seminars, networking and more.
  • A core requirement for the Public Health Concentration is the public health workshop, a seminar-style class that brings students face-to-face with public health professionals to tackle contemporary health and wellness issues in the classroom. You’ll hear guest lectures from Atlanta public health experts including scientists, policy advisors and communications professionals.
  • Oglethorpe is all about connecting students with Atlanta’s unique opportunities for experiential learning. In the case of public health, that means assigning each student to a relevant community organization. Over the course of the semester, you’ll complete at least 52 contact hours working in the field with the guidance of your community partner and your public health professors. You’ll build on these experiences with personal writing assignments and discussion with your classmates – connecting theory and practice.
  • Oglethorpe students intern and volunteer at a wide variety of organizations related to community health, including the American Lung Association, the Atlanta Urology Association, the Atlanta Offices of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Marcus Autism Center, National Institutes for Health (NIH), Northside Hospital, Providence Hospital, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Research Center, West Paces Ferry Hospital, Wesley Woods Health Center, and the YMCA.



Life expectancy is getting longer. The world population is growing older. Meanwhile, climate change is altering the environment, posing challenges like increased drought and disease. The field of public health is more important than ever, with meaningful work to be done around the globe. And analysts project 250,000 new public health jobs in the United States alone by 2020.

Public health professionals can specialize in many areas, including health policy, health communication, environmental health, epidemiology, biostatistics and behavioral health.

Your career options include:

  • Biostatistician
  • Environmental scientist
  • Field investigator
  • Epidemiologist
  • Healthcare administrator
  • Health educator
  • Policy analyst
  • Public relations or communications manager
  • Nurse midwife
  • Breastfeeding support coordinator
  • Refugee support coordinator
  • Social worker
  • Public health nurse

As a student in Oglethorpe’s Public Health Concentration, you’ll work with the Career Development staff to identify a path that fits your interests and skills – whether you’re most interested in the number-crunching side of things, or working with vulnerable populations, or hands-on data-gathering in the field. The team will guide you in creating a strong career strategy and a competitive resume.

The Oglethorpe Public Health Concentration also provides ideal preparation to excel in a related graduate program. Many students will go on to obtain a Master’s in Public Health.

  • Rosa Fowler ’18 studies at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill school of Public Health.

For detailed program requirements as well as lists of required and elective courses, please visit the Public Health Concentration website.

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