The Public Health program is a practical-based curriculum focused on primary prevention of negative public health issues within community settings and is based on responsibilities and competencies associated with becoming a Certified Health Education Specialist. Coursework focuses on public and global health needs and issues; psychosocial science and epidemiology; skills associated with planning, implementing, administering, and evaluating community and public health programs; modifying health behaviors; grant writing; advocating for health policies; and professional preparation in the field of public health and community health education.
The Public Health program integrates classroom study with hands-on practical experiences in order to provide the student with a comprehensive level of academic preparation. Many courses include practical experiences and all majors complete both a capstone experience and semester-long internship in order to gain experience in their chosen career path. The program prepares students for careers in government-based public health agencies, nonprofit organizations, managed care organizations, medical and hospital centered education settings, and corporate health promotion settings. In addition, the program is appropriate for students interested in pursuing master’s degrees in public health (MPH), community health (MS), and health promotion (MS).
Students accepted into WMU who have not yet applied to the public health program can be enrolled as a pre-public health major. Public health program courses that can be completed as a pre-public health major include those listed as required cognates; emphasis; or required courses PH 2310, PH 2320 and PH 2340.
General information necessary for admission includes:
- Completion of the Public Health Undergraduate Application
- Submission of all academic transcripts
- Supplemental (personal) Statement
All applications are submitted to the Public Health Coordinator in the School of Interdisciplinary Health Programs. Deadlines for submitting applications are January 15, May 15, and October 1 of each year. Selection of students to be admitted to the program occurs after review of all applications by the Admissions and Student Services Committee composed of public health faculty. This is a competitive admissions process with a specific number of students admitted each year. Specific criteria for selection candidates are:
- Competitive overall grade point average
- Participation in community services, leadership activities, and volunteer experience
- Written communication skills, personal qualifications, and knowledge of the profession as evidenced in the supplemental statement