U of M School of Public Health launches new undergraduate public health major

(ABC 6 News) – The University of Minnesota Board of Regents has approved an undergraduate major in public health.

The University says the new degree program will be aimed at meeting the state’s critical need for a skilled, diverse public health workforce.

The new Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in public health will be housed in the U of M’s School of Public Health (SPH), the state’s only public health school.

SPH research shows that the nation’s public health workforce is shrinking and at least 80,000 new employees are needed to meet the nation’s most basic public health needs. By equipping students with the knowledge and skills to obtain an entry-level position in public health practice, SPH’s undergraduate degree helps fill this gap. 

“This is the first time in our 78-year history that SPH has offered an undergraduate degree and we’re thrilled to be providing undergraduates with the opportunity to attend one of the world’s premier schools of public health,” said Timothy Beebe, SPH interim dean. “SPH experts continuously shape the field through cutting-edge research, innovative learning techniques and diverse community engagement. We look forward to welcoming a diverse group of undergraduates and giving them the chance to learn from SPH’s world-class faculty.”   

The undergraduate public health degree is designed to be a junior-admitting program, slated to launch with an inaugural class of current U of M students. The curriculum will focus on a number of critical areas, including creating effective public health strategies to prevent disease, promoting health in local communities and identifying and eliminating health inequalities.

Students graduating from the program will be prepared to work in a variety of areas — from public health education to research to data analysis — at local health departments, not-for-profit organizations, healthcare systems or standalone research entities.  

The program is expected to launch in the fall of 2023.

For more information about the program, CLICK HERE.