Why Choose Nazareth for Public Health?

This major, unique among colleges and universities in this region, prepares you to go directly into a public health career or to pursue a master’s of public health (MPH) or an advanced degree in a health care profession.

Public health teaches you to tackle health issues at the population level, learning how the environment, media, government policies, and health care delivery systems affect health. This program works well as a double major with programs such as anthropology or business and you can add valuable skills with a minor such as analytics.

Local and global internships and experiential learning opportunities show you first-hand how systems influence health. Examples:

  • Traveling to a Belize clinic to teach health literacy and learn
  • Helping with a Rochester community project to give unused medical supplies and donated equipment to clinics in needy countries
  • Working with people who are homeless or elderly people with low incomes in Finland
  • Comparing health care delivery systems on a week-long trip to Ireland or Hungary, as part of a health care delivery course
  • Choosing projects to examine flaws in the system for protecting public health, such as bedbugs in elder care and comparing driving while intoxicated prosecution rates in two local counties

Nazareth's breadth of course offerings enable you to design your own concentration. Available areas of focus include:

  • Advocacy and health literacy
  • Bioethics
  • Environmental issues
  • Gender and health
  • Health entrepreneurship, such as setting up a program or non-profit effort to give voice to a segment of the community
  • History, government, and public health practice

B.A. Degree Highlights

Ideal for students with a strong interest in the socio-cultural aspects of public health. You'll focus on:

  • Advocacy
  • Health education and promotion
  • Public health policy and administration
  • Non-profit organizational work
  • Governmental work – local, state, federal

B.S. Degree Highlights

Ideal for students who want to go on for advanced education in health science or science-focused graduate and professional programs, such as:

  • Biostatistics
  • Dentistry
  • Epidemiology
  • Environmental sciences
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
Maria Rodriguez, public health major, BA and BS degree programs at Nazareth College Rochester NY

Alumni Spotlight

"The support you receive from your professors from day one and the relationships you build with them were very inspiring to me. Every time I shared an idea with Dr. Maher about a project, she never said "no"; she would respond with 'What can we do or who should we contact to make it happen?'

"Two of the most meaningful experiences at and through Naz that prepared me for what I'm doing now were working as an advocate for the Oxfam Hunger Banquet and my summer internship at Cameron Community Ministries. Being able to be part of experiences like these is necessary because they serve as perfect scenarios to apply everything that you have learned during your courses, have that first real-life work experience in your field of interest, and strengthen your professional and personal skills."

Maria Rodriguez '20 went on for a master's in public health education at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus; works at IMPACTIVO, LLC as research assistant in collaboration with the Region 2 Public Health Training Center; and teaches Pilates Mat weekly.

Ian Bankes selfie outside Trillium Health, where he was hired

Internship quickly leads to full-time public health job

Guidance from faculty and his Nazareth career coach, and great experiences during an immersive public health internship at Trillium Health helped Ian Bankes '24 discover what impact he wants to make.

He said he is well prepared to make a difference in health disparities for marginalized and vulnerable communities — and was quickly hired by Trillium for a full-time job in his field. "I believe that everybody deserves a good quality of life and nobody is ever broken or wrong," he says.

Example Careers

  • health educator
  • community health worker
  • environmental scientist
  • occupational health and safety specialist
  • physician, nurse practitioner, midwife, or other health care professions
  • lawyer for a health care organization, government, or advocacy group

Internships/Field Experiences

  • Centers for Disease Control 
  • County and state health departments
  • Washington Internship Institute
  • American Red Cross disaster relief
  • Mary's Place refugee health outreach
  • Legislator's offices in Albany or Washington, D.C.
  • Foodlink