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Public Health

B.S. in Public Health

The Public Health major prepares students for work as Public Health Educators. Graduates are prepared to identify health risks facing a diverse set of individuals and communities, develop and evaluate programs and other strategies to promote health and prevent disease, advocate for health-related legislation and policy, and serve as a source of accurate information for your community about health issues. The goal of the those working in public health is to prevent health problems from occurring and improve health and quality of life for individuals and communities. Graduates are prepared for careers in areas such as substance abuse prevention, nutrition and physical activity promotion, sexual health education, and are employed in local/state/national public health agencies or local/state non-profits. Completion of the Bachelor of Science in Public Health makes students eligible to sit for the Community Health Education Specialist Exam (CHES), a certification nationally recognized by employers as a gold standard in public health practice.


Students will be able to:

  • identify the behavioral/social determinants of diseases/illness/injuries occurring in diverse sets of communities.
  • create a public health program.
  • develop an evaluation plan for a public health program.
  • work effectively as public health professionals with other staff, programs and agencies through the implementation of a planned initiative with a community partner and focused on that agency’s area of expertise.

Career Outlook

Employment in public health fields is projected to increase 12 to 28 percent in the next 10 years.

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Othman Ladan ’19, a community health alum, returned to Ghana to educate Muslim women about breast cancer and co-founded an organization to help blind people.

“I majored in community health because I want to help people from low-income communities learn about their wellness and be a support system for them. Every professor genuinely cares about their students and helps prepare them for careers in disease prevention, injury prevention, sex education, and much more."

Grace Harwood '19 Community health major
Empowering Mothers

After graduating with a degree in community health, Danielle Thompson ’15 immediately landed a job with the New York State Department of Health. She’s now an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and in 2022 she launched her own business, Bloom Breastfeeding, to support new mothers with their breastfeeding goals.

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Expanding her Horizons

Relocating from Ghana to New York City when she was 10 years old, Jessica Semenyo ’22 found herself looking for a college experience away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. That’s when she discovered SUNY Potsdam. Over the past four years, she has embarked on many adventures through the Live Now program, while completing her degree in community health. After walking across the stage at commencement in May, Semenyo plans on attending graduate school to become a registered dietician.

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Coming Full Circle

Ever since graduating from SUNY Potsdam with a degree in community health, Missi Wooldridge ’08 has continued to make a positive impact on the world around her—focusing her career on drug policy reform and harm reduction. This fall, she will be giving back to her alma mater, and returning as an adjunct professor in the College’s fully online master’s degree program in community health.

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Caring for Others

Always encouraged by her mother to help those in need, Kristy Coyle ’22 has harnessed those values as she pursues a degree in community health at SUNY Potsdam. Her internships and faculty mentorship opportunities have reinforced her educational experiences—as she looks ahead to a career focused on assisting the less fortunate and educating the community about health disparities.

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