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Bachelor of Arts Degree

Beth Sundstrom
B.A. Degree Program Director
sundstrombl@cofc.edu

Public health impacts our lives every day. The study of public health addresses many of the most pressing issues of our time, from ensuring access to safer foods and controlling the spread of disease to providing support for individuals to improve their diet or quit smoking. As our nation’s health challenges continue to grow, the United States faces an imminent shortage of public health professionals.

To help fill this need, the College of Charleston developed a one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary undergraduate degree in public health, allowing students to pursue either a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). The Bachelor of Arts degree is housed in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and this undergraduate public health program is one of the first of its kind in the nation. Students who choose this major may be interested in the growing areas of health communication, health policy, or even health administration.

Beth Sundstrom, Ph.D., M.P.H.: “Public health is a multidisciplinary field drawing on expertise from an eclectic array of academic and practical approaches. This degree offers students access to a diversity of scholarship with the goal of positioning them to be thinkers and leaders in the field of public health.” 

What can a student do with a B.A. in public health?

Students who graduate with the degree will be prepared for a variety of careers in public health. They may choose to work as an environmental policy advisor, HIV/AIDS advocate, or legislative assistant for the federal government, in such agencies as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Non-profit organizations, such as a local chapter of a national non-profit like the American Heart Association or local organizations such as the Lowcountry Food Bank or the Center for Women offer opportunities to work as health educators or health administrators.

Graduates might coordinate market research for consulting firms or serve private companies as management policy advisors. Others may choose careers as health journalists or strategic communication professionals.

The B.A. in public health also prepares students to pursue advanced degrees, such as a Master of Public Health (MPH) or a Master of Health Administration (MHA).