An examination of the growing US undergraduate public health movement

Beth Resnick, Suzanne Selig, Richard Riegelman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Objectives: With over 10,900 public health bachelor's degree graduates conferred in 2015, public health undergraduate education in the USA has become mainstream. However, with the recent establishment of a majority of the programs, the impact of the undergraduate programs remains largely unknown. This study examines a sample of undergraduate programs in public health to further elucidate the undergraduate landscape. Methods: Semi-structured interviews and a review of program websites from a sample of 39 institutions across the USA with undergraduate majors labeled as public health were conducted in 2015 to examine program content and operations. Results: Findings from the 39 programs reviewed demonstrated growing and diverse undergraduate public health programs rapidly evolving. While program enrollments, infrastructure, and curriculum varied among the individual programs, collectively, findings indicated increasing numbers of undergraduate students gaining knowledge and experience in matters related to the health of societies locally, nationally, and globally. Conclusions: Study findings suggest it is an opportune time for the field to offer guidance, support, and vision to these burgeoning undergraduate programs. Such engagement offers opportunities to advance the programs as well as increase the number of students attuned to societal health in whatever life roles they assume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
JournalPublic Health Reviews
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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