Meredith College to Offer Public Health Major

Meredith College will begin offering public health as an undergraduate degree option in Fall 2014 and students are already expressing interest in the new program.

The new interdisciplinary academic program was approved by the College’s Board of Trustees at its fall meeting on October 25, 2013.

The program will provide a core curriculum that spans multiple disciplines to prepare students as public health generalists in a rapidly growing field.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the demand for public health professionals continues to rise in response to global concerns such as emerging diseases, bio-terrorism, infectious disease surveillance and water resource issues.  Employment opportunities in many public health fields are expected to grow in the coming decade.

“Public health takes a holistic approach, blending basic science with social and behavioral sciences to prevent disease and promote health in entire populations,” said Carolina Perez-Heydrich, Meredith’s public health program coordinator. 

In addition to the core curriculum, specific tracks within the public health major will provide students with opportunities to specialize in particular areas of public health.  Students can choose to complete one of three tracks: Policy and Ethics; Social and Behavioral Sciences; and Biological Sciences.

“The major reaches across many disciplines and allows a student to combine numerous interests into one academic program,” Perez-Heydrich said.

Graduates of Meredith’s public health program will be prepared for careers in research and public health practice. Upon completing the degree requirements of the Bachelor of Science in public health, graduates could serve as public health educators, community outreach workers, public health information specialists, communicable disease investigators, and other early career public health positions. Those who choose to earn advanced degrees can pursue careers as epidemiologists, environmental health specialists, public health program coordinators, health analysts, and health administrators, among other career paths.

Meredith’s new public health major will build on the strengths of the College’s existing academic programs. For the past decade, the College has invested resources to educate women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. One of the most visible examples of this focus is the College’s Science and Mathematics Building, which opened in 2003.

For more information on Meredith’s new public health major, contact Carolina Perez-Heydrich at or ( 919) 760-8020.

Learn more about Meredith’s program in public health

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