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What is public health?

Broadly study how to protect the health and well-being of people and communities. Promote individual health behaviors by recommending best practices, prevent future illness by advocating for health screenings and protect the community by establishing minimum safety standards or regulations. With a large-scale perspective, public health focuses on local, national and global communities. 

Why public health at OSU?

The public health program uses a social justice framework to develop competent and diverse health professionals. You can choose between two major options to fit your career goals: community health or exercise and health. Develop a broad range of transferable skills like problem solving, leadership, cultural competency, teamwork, ethics and effective communication. These skills equip you for employment upon graduation or prepare you for further study in a variety of academic areas. Complete most prerequisite requirements (as degree electives) needed for graduate or professional school, including medical school. Courses available on the OSU-Stillwater and OSU-Tulsa campuses.

Career Paths

Career options may include:


Community Health

Develop the knowledge and skills to understand the multi-faceted nature of health issues, build community engagement, empower afflicted populations and facilitate problem solving with research-based strategies. The program's broad health and wellness curriculum prepares graduates to develop and implement preventative health services in community, corporate or clinical settings as well as pursue professional education in public health, healthcare administration, counseling and psychology and medical and allied health fields. Curriculum also provides preparation for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) professional exam. 


Exercise and Health

Incorporate comprehensive health knowledge into total wellness plans that help others enact healthy living choices. Graduates are well-prepared with the science-based insight and skills needed to enter careers as corporate wellness officers, trainers, lifestyle coaches or public health professionals or to pursue further professional study in chiropractic, allopathic or osteopathic medicine, athletic training, physical and occupational therapy or other allied health fields. Curriculum also provides preparation for professional certification exams to become Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES), exercise physiologists and group exercise instructors. 


Student Perspective

Kaitlyn Potter

“I chose public health because I believe that health is a human right. I want to be able to help people by preventing problems before they start. But, I also wanted to help people achieve their health goals by thinking beyond the individual and thinking about the community as a whole.”

- Kaitlyn Potter
Community health student

College of Education and Human Sciences

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