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Public Health

As a public health major, you'll focus on practical solutions to promote positive health changes in public and private settings.

The program will prepare you to build community, corporate, and college health programs, design health messages to inspire people to action, and pursue careers in such fields as:

  • Health Advocate: support and promote the rights of community members in the health care arena, build capacity to improve community health, and enhance health policy initiatives.
  • Community Health Education: Develop educational campaigns and programs to promote healthy habits and environments.
  • Health Program Coordinator or Manager: Manages the day-to-day operation of programs designed to improve the health of participants. Duties may include: staff supervision, program development and implementation, program monitoring and evaluation, and coordination of services.
  • Health Marketing & Communication: apply traditional marketing & health promotion principles to increase community awareness of important advancements in health and health-protecting services.

Majoring in Public Health gives me a unique background for a future in clinical medicine. I was able to do a lot of hands-on work in the community through service learning courses, and a full-time semester long capstone internship at SUNY Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital.

—Diana Cohen, Public Health '17

About Falk

Social justice principles are at the foundation of programs in exercise science, food studies, human development and family science, marriage and family therapy, public health, nutrition, social work, sport analytics and sport management. Academics, service learning projects, internships, research opportunities, immersion travel and clubs connected to our majors prepare students for careers to make a difference in the communities where they will live and work.


Core coursework includes biology, oral communication, nutrition, and psychology. Sample courses include: 

  • Environmental Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Disparities and Underserved Populations
  • Human Health and Disease
  • Public Health Data and Decision-Making

View official major requirements .

Practical Experience

The public health program combines coursework with a variety of field opportunities to prepare students for a future in public health. The program includes five hundred hours of community-based service and field work. 

  • Write for the award-winning student health magazine Healthy You .
  • Devote time to providing health education and resources to the campus and surrounding community as a member of the student-organized Society for Public Health Education.
  • Intern at prominent organizations such as The American Red Cross, The March of Dimes, The American Heart Association, The American Cancer Association, and Planned Parenthood.

Research Opportunities

Opportunities for research working side-by-side with faculty abound, with topics including malaria elimination, mindfulness-based meditation, community level violence, and childhood exposure to environmental toxins, among many others. 

Study Abroad

Broaden your perspective and enhance your resume with a study abroad experience during your college years. Consistently ranked among the top 25 international education providers in the U.S.,  Syracuse Abroad  has more than 100 programs in 60 countries. 

Public health majors most often go abroad to Syracuse University centers in Florence, London, and Madrid, and to our World Partner programs American University Nairobi, CEDEI Semester in the Andes (Cuenca, Ecuador), SIT South Africa: Community Health and Social Policy, the University of New South Wales , and the University of Queensland .

Summer programs of interest may include Drug Policy and Harm Reduction in Global Perspective (Vancouver), South Africa Immersion: A Global Health Education Experience, and Global Cities and Transnational Identities (Mexico City).

Life After Syracuse University

As a graduate with a degree public health, you can explore such careers as: 

  • Community health educator
  • Health program administrator
  • Community health advocate
  • Public health infection preventionist
  • Health communication specialist

Or pursue a graduate degree in clinical health (advanced practice nursing, dentistry, medicine, physician assistant, pharmacy or dentistry), health care administration, health related law or public health (MPH or MSPH).

David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics Career Services will help you with everything from networking with alumni to finding internship opportunities and writing your resume.