Public Health

COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH
The College of Public Health was created to bridge public safety and health career pathways and to address a nationwide shortage of public health workers by the year 2020 (Source: Association of Schools of Public Health, 2009). Kent State University’s College of Public Health offers a baccalaureate program, the Bachelor of Science in Public Health (B.S.P.H.) degree. The B.S.P.H. addresses the health of populations and communities through instruction, service and community-based research. Students who want to expand their knowledge can pursue the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees at Kent State University.

Public health is the science, art and practice of protecting and improving the health of the population. Public health involves many different professions that have one thing in common — they are focused on the health of a community or population. Graduates of public health typically work in organizations such as public health departments, human services agencies, hospitals, insurance companies, corporate worksites , wellness centers, community health organizations, family planning clinics and managed care facilities. In a 2008 report issued by the American Public Health Association, it was estimated that an additional 250,000 public health workers will be needed in the United States by the year 2020.

The B.S.P.H. Degree Program

Students in the B.S.P.H. program at Kent State University gain knowledge and skills in the five disciplines of public health: biostatistics, epidemiology, health policy and management, social and behavioral sciences and environmental health. Students learn about the public healthcare system in the United States and abroad and emerging global health concerns such as pandemic infectious disease and new threats to the environment.

Online B.S.P.H.

Math and English prepared students have the opportunity to complete the B.S.P.H. with the allied health concentration, health promotion and education concentration, and health services administration concentration without ever having to come to campus. This completely online program allows working students, those who do not live near a Kent State campus, or anyone who requires a flexible schedule, to complete a degree in public health.

Program Requirements

The public health major requires the completion of required Kent Core courses, public health courses, public health concentration courses and approved electives. The five areas of concentration are listed below. Student may take electives exploring public health issues such as drug abuse and violence prevention, gerontological studies, global and international health, health disparities, HIV/STD and sexuality studies and public health nutrition.

Allied Health Concentration

The allied health concentration seeks to augment the career portfolio of the allied health professional or student. Students interested in this concentration must currently hold or must be actively pursuing a state licensure in an allied health field. This concentration adds depth to the students’ prior clinical experiences by adding the liberal education and public health components to broaden their professional career path. Students holding state licensure may be eligible to receive up to 12 hours of upper-division credit for their prior experience and demonstrated competency in select areas. Students in this concentration will be exposed to broad areas of public health including epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, global health and health policy — thus preparing students to meet the increased demands for a trained and educated public health workforce. This concentration is offered 100 percent online or in person.

Environmental Health Sciences Concentration

The environmental health sciences concentration prepares students to help reduce the burden of human illness that results from natural and man-made environmental exposures. The courses train students for a challenging, dynamic and interdisciplinary career focused on public health risks associated with human invasion of the environment. Students learn the use of risk assessment to effect policy change, along with the administration and enforcement of environmental and public health laws. Graduates typically enter the public health workforce at local, state and national levels. They also work in academic institutions, for private industry and for international health agencies.

Global Health Concentration

The global health concentration aims to educate students in identifying and working to address the critical public health and human needs of diverse, underserved and vulnerable populations locally and globally. Students learn the need for multidisciplinary (biological and social sciences) approaches and cooperation to address the major global public health problems. Students have the opportunity to focus on a specific aspect of global health (e.g., HIV/AIDS, health policy, health disparities, health education, environmental health and nutrition) through various elective groupings. The global health concentration prepares students to work at entry-level positions in public health with local, regional, national or international public health agencies in both public and private sectors. Students who pursue this concentration are required to participate in an education-abroad experience and complete two years of foreign language.

Health Services Administration Concentration

The health services administration concentration prepares students for entry-level administrative positions in a variety of settings, including governmental and public health agencies, hospitals, non-profit organizations and other health-related settings. It also establishes a foundation for graduate work in health policy and management as well as a broad range of other fields, including public health, law, medicine, dentistry, business administration, public administration, and social work. Students analyze national and local public health infrastructure, evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare delivery and explore legal and ethical issues associated with health services administration. Graduates typically enter the workforce as care coordinators, interns, assistant or associate project managers, data managers, patient navigators, and health educators. In addition, students are encouraged to pair this concentration with a minor. This concentration is offered 100 percent online or in person.

Health Promotion and Education Concentration

The health promotion and education concentration focuses on the social determinants of health behaviors. Such behaviors include alcohol, tobacco, other drug use, exercise, physical activity, injury and violence and sexual activity. Prevention approaches address community-level strategies to promote healthy behaviors, including media, policy and educational initiatives. Students typically work in the public sector in social service agencies or nonprofit agencies. There is also a demand in the private sector as large corporations actively promote healthy lifestyles among employees as a means of increasing productivity and lowering healthcare costs. This concentration is offered 100 percent online or in person.

Pre-Medicine, Dentistry, Osteopathy Concentration

The pre-medicine, dentistry, osteopathy concentration includes preparatory courses for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), the Dental Admissions Test (DAT), and other professional schools. Courses include those in the Kent Core, public health core requirements, concentration electives and general electives. The overall curriculum of the Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree program focusing on biological, social and economic determinants of health, prevention and control of diseases, introduction to biostatistics and public health research, makes this program highly desirable for admission to professional schools. The unique features of the program open new opportunities and offers competitive advantages for students seeking to enter into clinical medicine.

Minor in Public Health

The public health minor integrates key aspects of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, communities and individuals. Students who choose to augment their current baccalaureate major by adding the public health minor increase their awareness of emerging issues in public health, the social and behavioral aspects of preventing disease, environmental health concepts, the changing U.S. healthcare system and the monitoring of diseases in the community through applied public health research.

Certificate In Public Health

The public health certificate integrates key aspects of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, communities and individuals. The certificate program is aimed at students who are interested in gaining exposure to the field of public health, who do not intend to pursue a bachelor’s degree or who already hold a bachelor’s or associate degree and wish to broaden their knowledge of public health. Certificate graduates have an understanding of emerging issues in public health, the social and behavioral aspects of preventing disease, environmental health concepts, the changing U.S. healthcare system and the monitoring of diseases in the community through applied public health research.

Research

The faculty members of the College of Public Health have an established record of grant-funded scholarship with a combined total of $29 million in externally funded research during their careers. The faculty produce cutting-edge research to advance the knowledge of how to keep people safe, healthy and productive.

Advising

Students interested in connecting with a professional or faculty advisor should call 330-672-6500 or email publichealth@kent.edu for assistance.

Scholarships

Students are encouraged to apply to Kent State University prior to Jan. 15, to ensure that they are considered for incoming freshman scholarships awarded by the Admissions Office, Honors College and the Student Financial Aid Office.