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Public HealthMajor

Founded on the principle of social justice, the concept of public health ensures that all citizens have the opportunity for good health. It is the art and science of protecting and improving population health through education, service and prevention.

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Only accredited school of public health in West Virginia


What is Public Health at WVU like?


Public health promotes and protects the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work and play. Public health professionals work to prevent illness and injuries, promote wellness and safety, encourage healthy behaviors, track disease outbreaks and determine why some populations are more likely to suffer from poor health than others.

Public health is a new field of study at the undergraduate level. In the past, colleges and universities throughout the country only offered graduate degrees in public health. Now, WVU students can start a career in public health after earning a bachelor’s degree.

Students who enroll in the BS in Public Health program are individuals who want to make a difference in their communities and improve the health and well-being of the people around them.

Public Health program highlights:

At a Glance

Next Steps

Interested in this major? Here are some suggested next steps:

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Fast Facts

What makes Public Health at WVU unique?

Research and Academic Opportunities

Living-Learning Communities (LLCs)

Live, study and pursue outside-the-classroom learning in a residence hall community that shares your interests:

Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU. Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Student Organizations

Connect with other students who share your academic interests as a member of:

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How does this degree prepare students for a career?

Potential careers for our graduates include public health information officer, health outreach specialist, health research assistant, emergency preparedness specialist, environmental health technician, health promotion specialist, public health program developer, behavioral health program coordinator, health promotion social marketer, health literacy specialist, global health worker, patient navigator, community health advocate, public health grant coordinator, community engagement specialist, consumer safety officer and health and wellness manager.

Possible employers include local and regional health departments, state public health agencies, healthcare providers, global health organizations, corporate worksite wellness programs, disaster planning and response agencies,the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), managed care organizations, educational institutions, special population health programs, the World Health Organization (WHO), environmental organizations, healthy living initiatives, public and other health foundations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), non-government organizations and non-profit agencies.

Possible Careers

Wondering what you can do with a degree from WVU's Public Health major? Check out these ideas from WVU Career Services and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). A median salary is the midpoint of what people typically earn—half of those surveyed earned above the median salary, and half earned below.

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.


What are the courses like in Public Health at WVU?

PUBH 101:
Introduction to Public and Community Health

This course will provide students with an overview of the principles and practice of public and community health. Students will learn about the history, core function and essential services of public health, as well as engage in discussions about current public health events and issues.

PUBH 201:
Global Perspectives of Public Health

chronic diseases, injuries and disasters. This introduction to global public health will strengthen students' perspectives and understanding of disease prevention and treatment issues in westernized and developing/underdeveloped countries. Topics include health disparities, economic/political structures/systems impacting health, maternal and child health (including family planning), socio-cultural factors affecting health care delivery and the global burden of infectious and

PUBH 202:
Social Determinants of Health

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the social factors/determinants that influence health. Theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of social determinants will be discussed from a social ecological perspective. The course is designed to help students develop basic literacy regarding social concepts and processes that influence health status and health disparities.

PUBH 331:
Introduction to Health Policy

This course provides an overview of the inner workings of health care policy making, from the legislative process to socioeconomic impacts, with both historical and modern perspectives. Students will explore factors that shape the United States health care system and policy, such as values, models, and stakeholders, and compare them to other countries for international context.

PUBH 334:
Emergency Preparedness for Public Health

This course provides an overview of the dimensions of disasters and emergencies through the lens of Public Health professionals with special focus on the rural environment and uses the Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program (HSEEP) model for the final exercise. Students completing this course will also complete several FEMA certifications during the course.

PUBH 338:
Public Health Project Management

Introduces students to the basics of project management: the process of initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing out a project. Project leadership is explored in the context of building effective project teams and maintaining stakeholder relationships. Concepts include developing and monitoring budgets, developing Gantt charts, reporting, working with stakeholders, flow charts and more.

PUBH 442:
Public Health in the Workplace

Overview of workplace health issues as they affect human health, including exposure to chemical, physical, biological and mechanical hazards. Basic occupational safety and health concepts, technologies and underlying data will be examined to better understand the potential solutions for workplace safety and human health issues.

Capstone Projects

Before graduating, all undergraduates in this major complete an academic project (or "capstone") to demonstrate their research, communication and critical thinking skills.

The Public Health Field Experience and Capstone provides students with opportunities to apply public health knowledge and skills outside of a typical classroom setting and build on their Public Health coursework. Students will typically spend six hours per week for the first 10–12 weeks of their final semester in this endeavor.

When possible, student placements are aligned with their interests, their selected area of emphasis and minor. Students in both the Community and Population Health and the Public Health Sciences areas of emphasis complete a group project for a local community partner. Students in the Patient Navigation Area of Emphasis complete rotations with two clinical partners and one community health navigation partner.

The Capstone comprises reflections of field placement experiences during the final semester and a poster presentation at the end, which is evaluated by faculty.

Cost and Aid

How much does Public Health at WVU cost? And how can you save?

Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates are available on our tuition website. Anyone who is not a current West Virginia resident, including international students, will be charged non-resident rates.

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Estimate your eligibility for merit scholarships at WVU Morgantown.

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Net Price Calculator

Estimate your cost of attendance and eligibility for financial aid and scholarships at any WVU System campus.

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Ways to Save

Here is a way for you to save on the cost of attending WVU in addition to university scholarships.

Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU.

Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits


What are the requirements to apply for Public Health at WVU?

To be admitted to WVU's Public Health major, first-time freshmen must meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2024-25 academic year. They also must meet one of the following admission requirements. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

Requirements for direct admission to the Public Health program:

  • GPA: 2.50
  • ACT Math: 19
  • SAT Math: 510

Requirements for direct admission to the Public Health program for test optional students:

  • GPA: 2.75

If you don't meet the admission requirements for WVU's Public Health major, check out some related programs.

Next Steps

I like this major. What are the next steps?

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Your first step to becoming a Mountaineer is applying for admission. Our online application makes the process as convenient as possible.

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Request Information

Want to know more about Public Health at WVU? Fill out the Request Information form to receive more information about the program and life at WVU.

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