BACHELOR OF ARTS | BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
This is the time to enter into the public health sector — the demand for public health careers is expected to steadily grow over the next decade. This exciting field of study will introduce you to an array of fulfilling, diverse job opportunities that concentrate on human health, illnesses, disease prevention and the environment. Public health is integral to every society; it addresses the most pressing health concerns to date by going beyond traditional medical care provided by physicians and current healthcare systems. Through research, public policy and by supporting various organizations, public health graduates learn unique ways to indirectly and directly impact the well-being of a population.
Often labeled a “hot field for a global generation,” public health trains future leaders and advocates for a better tomorrow by offering a strong foundation for studying the health of human populations through education, research and practical, hands-on experience outside of the classroom. Beginning your freshman year, you’ll work directly with distinguished faculty on cutting-edge research. Additionally, Mercyhurst's liberal arts approach gives you an advantage — by combining the public health program with 15 other fields of study, you can create a unique, multidisciplinary undergraduate education that can lead you to a career that better fits your interests.
Community Health seeks to improve the health and quality of life of all people in a community. Using health science, evidence-based strategies and culturally appropriate approaches, professionals in this sector, engage communities in finding solutions to health needs of the community.
Environmental Health seeks to understand the relationship between the environment, humans and animals. It focuses on finding solutions to the many challenges posed by environmental health hazards including chemical, biological and radiation exposures at work, at home and at play-and the choices we must make to minimize personal exposures and to promote safe and healthy environments.
Epidemiology tries to identify disease occurrence, factors that contribute to disease spread and effective actions to prevent, control and reduce disease burden. This field is essential for making decisions about health policy, treatment of diseases and to establish public health priorities
Global Health looks for ways to improve the health, life expectancy and health equity of individuals around the world.
A minor in Public Health is useful to any student considering a career in medicine, health care or the health sciences. Seven courses are required for the Public Health minor:
- PUBH 101 Foundations of Public Health (3 credits)
- PUBH 201 Environmental Health (3 credits)
- PUBH 211 Global Health (3 credits)
- STAT 137 Biostatistics (3 credits)
- PUBH 260 Principles of Epidemiology I (3 credits)
The broad liberal arts offerings at Mercyhurst University provide excellent opportunities to explore the principles associated with preparing students for entry into Chriopractic School. Chiropractors are licensed physicians trained to use manipulative techniques to properly align the spinal column, improving patients' overall health. Chiropractors do not prescribe medication or perform surgery, but they do counsel patients on the importance of nutrition, exercise, and stress management with the goal of helping their patients implement healthy lifestyle choices.
While students often enter Mercyhurst as a Biology major to fulfill requirements for entrance into Chiropractic School, other majors may also be chosen to fulfill the requirements in consultation with the Pre-Health Advisor.
The Mercyhurst Advantage
Laboratory sections taught at Mercyhurst are always small (less than 22 students) and always taught by professors, giving students the benefit of a personalized education. These labs also provide opportunities for hands-on manipulation and dissection of organisms, skills that are very practical in the highly technical field of chiropractic medicine.
Our newly renovated Anatomy Lab and faculty specializing in anatomy instruction and research provide an optimal training group to prepare students for entrance into Dental School. Dentists diagnose and treat problems with teeth and tissues in the mouth and educate their patients on how to maintain oral health to help with the prevention of diseases.
Students generally fulfill requirements for entrance into Dental School by completing requirements of a Biology major, but they may choose other majors under the guidance of the Pre-Health Advisor at the Mercyhurst.
The Mercyhurst Advantage
Mercyhurst offers regular standardized test review and focus groups so our students can gauge their level of preparedness for this difficult specialty from the very beginning of their educational training.
Mercyhurst's Pre-Medical Program prepares students for entrance into medical school to become allopathic (MD) or osteopathic (DO) physicians. Both physicians are fully qualified and licensed to prescribe medication, perform surgery, and have the option to practice in specialty areas
Most students choose to meet medical school admissions requirements as a Biology major, but Sports Medicine, Biochemistry, or other majors, in consultation with the Mercyhurst Pre-Health Advisor, can also fill requirements for successful transition into Medical School.
The Mercyhurst Advantage
Our potent combination of academics, advising, research, and volunteer opportunities have led to great success in placing students in top Medical Schools across the country, including Penn State and George Washington University in the past two years alone. Additionally, our personal interactions with students have made them eligibile for special awards and fellowships offered to only a few across the country.
Mercyhurst University prepares students for entrance into Optometry School by offering a powerful combination of representative coursework and laboratory training. Doctors of Optometry are licensed to administer medications to treat eye diseases and prescribe eyeglasses or contacts for correcting impaired vision.
Students will take classes and labs in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and other disciplines to form the broad knowledge base required for entrance into Optometry School. Student typically enter the Pre-Optometry program as a Biology major, but can enter as a different major in consultation with the Pre-Health Advisor at Mercyhurst.
The Mercyhurst Advantage
Our flexible schedule allows students to complete requirements for entrance into highly competitive Schools of Optometry while at the same time exploring other interests.
Mercyhurst University and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) School of Medicine have an affiliation agreement that pledges our commitment to the training of future medical practitioners by giving students the opportunity to complete their medical education in two phases. Phase I consists of three years of undergraduate and pre-med education at Mercyhurst University, and Phase II consists of four years of medical education at LECOM School of Medicine. In consultation with an advisor, a program of study that follows the guidelines stipulated in the plan of agreement will be created.
A separate application is needed to apply to this program prior to entering the school. This application should be mailed electronically to Dr. Michael Elnitsky, Pre-Health Advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org, at the time of submission of the regular application to the University. Notification of acceptance into the program will be given near the time of regular acceptance into the University.
This is one of our most successful programs. The preparation students receive in the sciences and liberal arts combined with the hands-on experience gained in our laboratories provides outstanding preparation for students applying to Pharmacy School. Pharmacists distribute prescription drugs and advise patients, physicians, and other health practitioners on the selection, dosages, interactions, and side effects of medications. In addition, they monitor the progress of patients to ensure that the medication is safe and effective. However, some pharmacists are pursuing other career options in areas including research, marketing, the health insurance industry, public health care services, armed forces, and teaching in collegiate institutions.
Students can complete required coursework for entrance into Pharmacy School as a Biology, Biochemistry, or other major in consultation with the Pre-Health Advisor at the Mercyhurst. Several volunteer experiences, clubs, and focus groups are also available to enhance preparation and experience.
The Mercyhurst Advantage
One particular indicator of Mercyhurst's success in this area is that we sent eight students to various pharmacy schools throughout the country last year alone. Additionally, our affiliation with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) provides opportunities for accelerated completion of a degree in pharmacy.
This is without a doubt our fastest growing area of interest within the pre-health sciences at Mercyhurst. Our educational philosophies and representative coursework provide excellent opportunities for students interested in preparing for admission into Physician Assistant school. Physician Assistants provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative health care services under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. Students planning on entering the Physician Assistant field will enjoy both challenges and flexibility in work schedules the profession offers in comparison to other demanding fields of study in the health sciences.
Students will usually meet the requirements for admittance into Physician Assistant School as a Biology major, but may also choose another major of study in consultation with the Pre-Health Advisor at Mercyhurst.
The Mercyhurst Advantage
The volunteer opportunities available at Mercyhurst University and within the Erie community present a great variety of ways in which a student could fulfill shadowing requirements or engage in other relevant field experiences in preparation for applying to Physician Assistant school.
Representative coursework in the sciences in conjunction with Mercyhurst's hallmark liberal arts education prepares students for entrance into Podiatry School. Doctors of podiatric medicine are licensed and specialized in diagnosing and treating conditions associated with the foot and ankle. Podiatrists prescribe medication and physical therapy, set fractures, and perform surgery to improve their patients' health.
Most students at Mercyhurst University meet requirements for entry into Podiatry School as a Biology major, but majors in Sports Medicine or other disciplines can also fulfill requirements in consultation with the Pre-Health Advisor.
The Mercyhurst Advantage
Each year our seminar series brings in speakers from Podiatry Schools to give our students one-on-one interactions, helping them learn more about the profession and the path towards becoming podiatrists.
Mercyhurst University offers a unique combination of courses and animal-based exposure to prepare students for entry into Veterinary School. Veterinarians are medical professionals who contribute to the healthcare and well-being of animals. They also make contributions is the areas of human public health, medical research, and public safety.
Students who major in Biology, Forensic Science, or related disciplines complete representative coursework that prepare them for entry into the Veterinary Sciences. While completing their coursework, students are also able to gain exposure to the veterinary field through research and volunteer opportunities.
- Overview of Public Health
- Address the history and philosophy of public health as well as its core values, concepts, and functions the globe and in society. A1-A2. Public Health History and Philosophy A3-A4. Core Public Health Values & Concepts A5-A6. Global and Societal Functions of Public Health
- Role and Importance of Data in Public Health
- Address the basic concepts, methods, and tools of public health data collection, use, and analysis and why evidence-based approaches are an essential part of public health practice
- Identify and Addressing Population Health Challenges
- Interact with diverse individuals and communities to successfully produce or impact an intended public health outcome.
- Professionalism and ethics
- Demonstrate ethical choices, values and professional practices implicit in public health decisions; consider the effect of choices on community stewardship, equity, social justice, and accountability; and commit to personal and institutional development.
- Policy development and program planning
- Plan for the design, development, implementation and evaluation of strategies to improve individual and community health.
- Public health science
- Apply knowledge of public health history and science (including biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health sciences and social and behavioral sciences) to solve public health problems.
- Leadership and systems thinking
- Recognize the roles and responsibilities of public health leaders. Recognize systems-level properties that result from dynamic interactions among human and social systems and how they affect the relations among individuals, groups, organizations, communities and environments.
Why Public Health?
Beyond the fact that a degree in public health can lead to fulfilling careers in medicine, health care, biotechnology and the life sciences, there is a strong and evidenced need for public health workers in the coming years. Studies show that America will be short by a quarter of a million public health workers by 2020, a number that represents one-third of the workforce needed to keep society healthy.
With only 16% of schools offer undergraduate public health programs, Mercyhurst public health graduates have excellent prospects of finding work in the field, entering one of the more than 50 graduate schools of public health or continuing on to medical school or a law school offering a health law program.
Examples of the jobs public health graduates can pursue include: epidemiologist, health educator, biostatistician, health services administrator, clinical outcomes specialist, infection control coordinator, research scientist, health communications specialist and environmental health intelligence analyst.
Public Health fits into the liberal arts tradition like a hand in glove. The public health program at Mercyhurst exploits the synergies across academic disciplines to give students a broad liberal arts education coupled with in-depth knowledge of the public health sector. The unique multidisciplinary approach of the public health major and minor prepares successful graduates to work and interact with numerous fields successfully. Shown below are just a few of the crossovers you will experience while studying here and how it relates to Public Health.
There are thousands of opportunities available with an education in Public Health. Below are just a few of the fields successful graduates will be working in and the salary ranges they can expect.
$44,550 - $143,700
$31,500 - $86,625
$31,500 - $70,875
Public Health Practice/ Project Management
$41,175 - $102,000
$31,500 - $78,750
Clinical Outcomes Specialist
$46,830 - $58,024
Infection Control Coordinator
$64,907 - $76,494
Health Services Administration
$37,050 - $161,400
$33,000 - $63,000
$38,175 - $136,237
Health Education/Behavioral Science
$33,000 - $86,625
A degree from Mercyhurst prepares you for this exciting and dynamic career.