Mission Statement
The mission of the undergraduate major in Public Health Sciences is to utilize a strong foundation in liberal arts and public health to educate students on how to critically think and implement multidisciplinary public health strategies to promote health and well-being on a population basis.


  • Expose students to the historical and societal associations between determinants of health and health outcomes utilizing analytical thinking and critical assessment.
  • Provide students with a variety of professional development and  academically challenging experiences that prepare students to enter the public health workforce or graduate/professional schools.
  • Assist students with demonstrating creativity, inquisitiveness, and evidenced-based rigor in the application of public health problem-solving skills.

Interdisciplinary Perspective
The public health sciences undergraduate degree program is built upon Xavier’s strong emphasis in the liberal arts.  The liberal arts courses help to establish an interdisciplinary perspective based on a variety of disciplinary contributions in the arts and sciences—all of which are critical to students’ preparation in public health. The Consensus Conference on Undergraduate Public Health Education identified several liberal arts-related courses that would be good for public health majors.  These courses include history, ethics and philosophy, English-literature, psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science/public policy, economics, biology, chemistry/physics, mathematics/statistics, languages, communication, and fine arts.  These recommended courses align nicely with the required core courses every Xavier University student must take.    

As in all undergraduate majors at Xavier, public health sciences majors will be required to declare a minor.  These students will, therefore, have an opportunity to obtain a minor in a specialized area of liberal arts.  Non-public health majors will be allowed an opportunity to establish a minor (18 hours) in public health.  This option will be of great interest to students majoring in pre-medicine, biology, chemistry, psychology, business, and sociology. 

Career Opportunities in Public Health
According to the Institutes of Medicine (IOM), there will be a shortage of public health specialists over the next decade.  Students graduating with an undergraduate degree in public health will be prepared to enter a variety of careers working with local, state, and federal government, community based organizations, health care organizations, schools, hospitals, and manage care organizations.  Job opportunities for graduates include:  program planner, public health advocate, health educator, worksite wellness director, data manager, and clinical trial manager,  health counselor, research assistant, child life specialist consultant, community health educator, community relations coordinator, coordinator of substance abuse, coordinator of AIDS Education, curriculum coordinator, Director of In-Service Training, educational specialist, public health writer, health services director, and program manager.

Public health sciences majors can find employment in the following workplace settings:

  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Managed care organizations and insurance companies
  • Pharmaceutical and medical supply companies 
  • Professional and advocacy organizations
  • Local, state, and federal government agencies
  • Business and industry
  • Schools, colleges, and universities
  • Community-based service organizations
  • Voluntary health agencies


"When I was a student we were always taught to think big. Xavier prepared me for the challenge of being america's doctor. At Xavier excellence is an important part of what we do. So, I make sure I do this job very well because of what I learned at Xavier."

Dr. Regina Benjamin, '79
18th U.S. Surgeon General

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