About This Degree
USU's public health program is one of the oldest public health programs in the nation.
It is a popular major for students wishing to pursue medical or dental school, but also provides a wide variety of other career possibilities. The public health profession provides opportunities to promote general health and welfare with people in the community and in the workplace.
Traditionally, public health has focused on the study and prevention of communicable diseases through nutritional factors, immunization, and environmental sanitation. While these issues are still important, the profession has broadened its scope to include all aspects of disease prevention, environmental protection, and health promotion.
Public health students have access to a number of research facilities and labs, internship and field study opportunities, and mentoring from faculty members that bring extensive experience and knowledge from industry and national laboratories to the classroom. USU medical school and dental school applicants have a consistently high acceptance rate, and nearly all public health students receive job offers in their discipline.
This emphasis prepares students to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, and control occupational health hazards in the workplace. An industrial hygienist is responsible for inspection of the working environment, measurement of workers’ exposure to chemical, physical, and biological hazards, and implementation of control measures to provide a safe and healthy working environment. This emphasis is accredited by the Applied Science Accreditation of ABET, and the coursework prepares students to take an exam to be certified as professional industrial hygienists.
An environmental health and protection professional is primarily concerned with the investigation and prevention of health-related problems within a community. These problems include air and water pollution, solid and hazardous waste disposal, food-borne illnesses in public eating establishments, water and wastewater treatment, and insect and rodent disease. Graduates are eligible for the Utah Environmental Health Scientist-In-Training License and the Registered Environmental Health Specialist/ Sanitarian examination.
Public Health Education:
This emphasis prepares students to educate people about a variety of health issues. A public health educator assists people in developing positive health attitudes and behaviors. The public health education profession includes various responsibilities, such as teaching, research, program development, administrative duties, speaking before civic groups, arranging publicity campaigns, and coordinating the activities of various service organizations with those of governmental or community agencies. Graduates are qualified to take the Certified Health Education Specialist examination.
Career And Outcomes
Graduates in public health are qualified for the following careers:
Industrial Hygiene Emphasis
Students who emphasize in industrial hygiene generally work for private industries ensuring safety in a variety of workplace environments in the following careers:
- Certified Industrial hygienist
- Professional safety engineer
Environmental Health Emphasis
Graduates with an emphasis in environmental health primarily work for government-funded agencies in the following areas:
- Restaurant inspectors
- Food handling permit trainers
- Air and water quality sampling
- Waste water examination
- Disease outbreak control
Public Health Education Emphasis
Students who graduate with an emphasis in public health education generally work for government health departments in the following areas:
- Community health specialist
- Health department educator
- Public education campaigns, such as smoking or skin cancer awareness
- WIC education specialist
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