Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health
What is the connection between heart disease and diabetes? Why do some communities have better access to health care than others? What’s our plan when disaster strikes? Public health experts investigate big, probing questions like these every day. While doctors and nurses are concerned with diagnosing and treating patients, public health professionals focus on disease prevention and wellness promotion in order to help create and maintain flourishing communities.
With a bachelor’s degree in public health from Loyola University New Orleans, you’ll gain an interdisciplinary understanding of public health that combines scientific exploration, research and communication skills, and ethical decision-making. Depending on your interests, you could research patterns in diseases, design fitness and nutrition programs for vulnerable populations, or help control and prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that nearly 14% of all jobs will be within the health care and social assistance industry by 2029, making it the fastest growing sector in the U.S. economy. You’ll prepare for highly in-demand roles in health care, communications, and community advocacy, or you can continue your studies to gain specialized skills.
Choose between a Bachelor of Science in Public Health, which emphasizes the natural sciences, or a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health, which offers the most flexibility to create your plan of study around your interests. Loyola also offers a Minor in Public Health, which can complement many different areas of study—from business administration to mass communication and journalism. If you’re interested in public health at Loyola, learn more about our admissions process and request more information to talk with an admissions counselor.
In Pursuit of Health Equity
At Loyola, our Jesuit identity reminds us to apply what we learn in the classroom and take action in service to others. We seek justice and dignity for all members of our community, especially those who are most vulnerable. At the core of our public health curriculum, you will explore the history of our healthcare systems in the United States, as well as their connection with human rights issues and systemic racism. You’ll look at public health from a global perspective and compare our health care policies to those in other countries. And you will reflect on your own purpose and the impact you can make on the world.
Careers in Public Health
Earning your bachelor’s degree in public health can prepare you for an expansive array of opportunities across industries, from marketing and communications to policy, advocacy, and education. You could work for private companies like health insurance providers, pharmaceutical companies, and hospitals, or for nonprofit and government agencies. Because of the growing demand for health-related roles, we estimate that a degree in public health is about 10% more lucrative than the average college degree, according to data from PayScale.
Some potential roles available to graduates include:
- Contact tracer
- Clinical trials manager
- Community health worker
- Public health analyst
- Health inspector
New Orleans is an important nexus for public health institutions, offering you a diverse and competitive job market upon graduation. Greater New Orleans, Inc. estimates that the public health sector accounts for more than 80,000 jobs in the region, with 15.6% growth in the industry from 2010 – 2020. You can gain professional experience while you learn with research opportunities and internships through local universities, hospital systems, government agencies, and medical schools. You can also connect your passion for public health to community initiatives through volunteer opportunities, service learning, and leadership development programs. You’ll graduate ready to take charge of your career.
A Pathway to Earning Your Master’s
As a public health major at Loyola, you may be eligible to start working toward your master’s degree in public health before you even graduate. In partnership with the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, eligible undergraduate students at Loyola have the opportunity to apply to Tulane’s Master of Public Health program starting in the spring of their junior year or fall of their senior year. Students who are accepted to the program can start taking master’s level courses at Tulane and may transfer up to 15 credits earned in the master’s program toward their undergraduate degree. Upon successful completion of Loyola’s undergraduate program, most students will be able to complete the remaining credits to earn their master’s degree in as little as one year and a half.
Collaboration Creates Innovation
Loyola’s interdisciplinary approach to public health combines expertise from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Nursing and Health. You’ll build a strong foundation in natural and social sciences, with the option to double major in a complementary area of study according to your interests—whether you want to start your own business, become a data analyst, or work as an investigative journalist. We'll give you the tools to create your own path.
Public health encompasses every aspect of our daily lives—from what’s stocked on the shelves at the grocery store to how we access medical care or what we do when disaster strikes. Both the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Public Health require 120 credits, with a focus on the following six competencies:
- Explain the history and philosophy of public health, as well as its core values, concepts, and functions at the local, state, tribal, national, and international levels.
- Demonstrate a proficiency in mathematics/statistics and the natural sciences.
- Articulate an understanding of the relationship between the social determinants of health and the health of individuals and their communities, as well as the constructs of institutional/structural racism, implicit bias, and equity.
- Develop an interdisciplinary conception of human suffering and critically apply medical ethics to tough public health decisions.
- Develop skills to communicate regarding public health in a culturally-competent manner.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of social justice, as well as social and political conditions as they relate to public health, with special attention to the Jesuit tradition.
Public Health Minor (24 credits)
The minor in public health consists of 24 credits, including three required public health courses (PH 100- Intro to Public Health, PH 300- Healthcare Systems, PH 350- Epidemiology), an approved statistics course, the first semester of second-year Spanish, and nine credits of public health-related electives approved for the program.
Public Health in a Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the biggest public health crises in our modern history. From researching and understanding the long-term effects of the virus to understanding how to prevent and reduce transmission in our communities, public health experts are on the frontline of the pandemic. At Loyola, our public health team conducts contact tracing, creates messaging to empower our students to make safe decisions, and collaborates across departments to develop a holistic public health strategy. As a public health major, you’ll explore how to prevent and reduce the impact of outbreaks like COVID-19 and create safer, more informed communities.
Our public health program was created with input from across the university. Faculty with diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise—from physics to philosophy to political science—served on the Public Health Advisory Committee to design an interdisciplinary program that reflects the growing demand for professionals in this field. Here’s what public health means to some of our committee members.
Dean Shelli Collins
College of Nursing and Health
Professor Kate Yurgil
Professor Joel MacClellan
Professor Naomi Yavneh
Languages and Cultures
Envision Your Future in Public Health
With a public health degree from Loyola University, you’ll gain a holistic understanding of health and wellness and the factors that contribute to a more equitable health care system. You can help create meaningful change and better prepare our society to tackle the biggest health issues of our time. Your future in public health starts here.