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B.A./B.S. in Public Health Studies

Public Health Specialized Concentrations

The OHSU-PSU School of Public health offers five specialized Public Health Studies concentrations and two minors, we provide you with specialty training and a core foundation in public health that positions you to excel in the public health career path.

Healthy Aging Concentration

In our Health Aging concentration, you will learn about the societal, community, and individual-level strategies needed to support our aging population. You will build foundations in gerontology while also acquiring skills in administration and finance, prevention of chronic disease, and health promotion programming, which will position you to enter careers as assisted living or nursing home facilities administrators, long-term care coordinators, health promotion program implementers, or senior health promotion specialists.

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Healthy Aging - Learning Outcomes

Students in the Healthy Aging track will learn to:

  1. Identify the physiological and psychological health issues of aging.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the social and economic aspects of aging.
  3. Apply knowledge of aging to the administration of aging services and long-term care programs.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to incorporate sound business principles and practices in the administration of aging services and long-term care programs

Healthy Aging - Careers

With a bachelor degree in Public Health Studies: Healthy Aging, alumni have found work at the state and county health agencies as well as community-based organizations and facilities, including:

  • Senior Move Manager
  • Senior Center Activity Director
  • Assisted Living Manager
  • Adult Day Care
  • Disability Management Specialist
  • Geriatric Care Manager
  • Hospice
  • Information and Referral Specialist
  • Meal Site Management (Meals on Wheels)
  • Program Director
  • Volunteer Administration
  • Elder Law

Many of our alumni also continue to graduate school, earning an MPH in Health Promotion and Health Care Administration, or a graduate certificate in Gerontology.

Recent graduates have been accepted to the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, Boston University, Columbia, Oregon State University, University of Washington and other universities around the country.

Community Health Promotion Concentration

In our Community Health Promotion concentration, you will learn the societal, community, and individual-level factors that create risk — or promote good health — in populations. In particular, you will build skills to identify and address health disparities across populations, define health problems, and learn to design and implement strategies to promote health in the larger community.

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Community Health Promotion - Learning Outcomes

Students in the Community Health Promotion track will learn to:

  1. Conduct an ethical analysis of public health interventions, identifying potential ethical concerns and conflicts, and balancing burdens and benefits across populations.
  2. Understand the implications of working with and creating public health policies and interventions for populations typically marginalized by health and social status.
  3. Recognize and describe the importance of marketing and marketing skills in public health work including challenges.
  4. Identify, analyze, and apply tools used for marketing and influencing public health from individual behavior to policy and advocacy.
  5. Discuss the association between population growth and the dissemination of environmental pollutants.
  6. Describe the specific applications of environmental health concepts to fields such as water and air quality, food safety, occupational health, and injury prevention.
  7. Understand public health data collection, use, and analysis, and why evidence based approaches are an essential part of the public health practice.
  8. Identify population health basic processes, approaches, and interventions that address major health related needs and concerns of populations.
  9. Apply fundamental concepts and features of program implementation including planning, assessment and evaluation.

Community Health Promotion - Careers

Many of our alumni continue to graduate school earning an MPH in Health Promotion, Epidemiology, Global Health, or Health Management and Policy.

Recent graduates have been accepted to the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, Boston University, Columbia, Oregon State University, University of Washington and other universities around the country.

With a bachelor’s degree in Public Health Studies: Community Health Promotion, alumni have found work at the state and county health agencies as well as community-based organizations and facilities, including:

  • Health educator
  • Health promotion specialist
  • Research assistant
  • Emergency disaster preparedness specialist
  • Healthcare specialist
  • Health and wellness manager
  • Medical writer
  • Health promotion program coordinator
  • Health inspector
  • Public health information officer
  • Reproductive health specialist
  • Health center administrator
  • Health communications specialist
  • Community Health Worker
  • Legislative policy advisor
  • Health and Wellness Coach

Health Services Administration Concentration

In our Health Services Administration concentration, you will learn the policy, organizational, administrative, and financial foundations for health care systems and health services delivery.  Our graduates are ready to enter the workforce in hospital or health provider administration, as project managers, and as patient support and health policy advocates.

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Health Services Administration - Careers

Our alumni are prepared continue to graduate school for an MPH, as well as an MPP, MPA, or
MBA with emphases in the management or policy of health care systems.  
With a bachelor’s degree in Health Studies: Health Service Administration alumni may seek
positions in both the private and public sectors, including:

  • Hospital department manager
  • Nursing home administrator
  • Clinic administrator
  • Medical office business manager
  • Dental office administrator
  • Insurance company analyst/specialist
  • Government policy maker
  • Government lobbyist
  • Human relations personnel
  • Facility operations specialist
  • Manager of health care staffing agency
  • Hospital marketing staff
  • Facility project manager
  • Insurance contract negotiator
  • Lab/Testing facility manager

Clinical Health Science Concentration

Our Clinical Health Science concentration prepares you for continued clinical study in one of the many licensed health professions, including medicine, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, dentistry, dental hygienics, ophthalmology, and others. Students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health Studies with a Clinical Health Sciences concentration should verify specific prerequisites required by any professional school(s) to which an application will be submitted. Students must complete specified prerequisites to earn this degree.

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Clinical Health Science - Learning Outcomes

Students in the Clinical Health Science track will learn to:

  1. Prepare students to pursue an advanced or professional degree in the health field.
  2. Complete required coursework in science and social science for pre-professional programs such as nursing, OT, PT, dentistry, medicine, etc.
  3. Describe the role public health plays in the health of individuals and the population.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of current health topics and their application to the health profession

Clinical Health Science - Careers

This degree prepares students who plan to continue to clinical health graduate
programs including medicine, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy,
pharmacy, dentistry, and more.

Recent graduates have been accepted to OHSU, Harvard, Linfield, Pacific
University, SUNNY Binghamton, Mt. Sinai, Concordia, and other schools around
the country.

With a bachelor’s degree in Public Health Studies: Clinical Health Science, alumni have found
work at various clinical health organizations around the country.

School Health Educator Concentration

Our School Health Educator concentration is a pre-licensure program, preparing you according to state guidelines for “best practices” in school health education. School health educators teach in middle school and high school settings covering a variety of topics from safety to preventive health behaviors and decision-making. Upon completion of the bachelor degree (BA/BS), you will be eligible to apply to the fifth-year Graduate Teacher Education Program or the Secondary Dual Education Program in the Graduate School of Education at PSU.

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School Health Educator - Learning Outcomes

Students in the School Health Educator track will learn to:

  1. Master health education specific coursework as required by the Oregon Department of Education: State Benchmarks: School Health.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the techniques and strategies for effective instruction to create an innovative learning
  3. Design and implement health curricula for middle and high school students.
  4. Explain cultural competency and determinants of health.
  5. Develop strategies to promote the health of children and youth.

School Health Educator - Careers

What Can I Do with the Degree?

Our alumni are prepared to enter into graduate programs in secondary education for school health licensure.

Recent graduates have been accepted to the PSU College of Education, Pacific University, George Fox and Concordia other universities around the country.

With a bachelor degree in Public Health Studies: School Health Educator alumni have found work teaching middle and high school in many local school districts including:

  • Portland Public Schools
  • Beaverton Public Schools
  • Hillsboro Public Schools
  • Salem Public Schools
  • Vancouver Public Schools

Indigenous Health Concentration

In partnership with the Native American community of Portland, Oregon, the Indigenous Nations Studies (INST) Department at Portland State University and beyond, we offer the nation’s only undergraduate concentration that centers learning about health equity and public health from Indigenous peoples.

This concentration is a collaborative model that compliments the Indigenous Nations Studies (INST) major and minor, intersects with STEAM disciplines, and can serve as a post baccalaureate pathway to the health sciences professions (nursing, medicine, dentistry).

Our Indigenous Health concentration offers students (Native and non-Native) the opportunity to learn about the functions and tools of public health within anti-racist, decolonizing and liberatory frameworks. We cultivate a future workforce ready to address the lasting impacts of colonialism for health-justice that is beneficial for all. It prepares students to understand the health issues impacting Indigenous peoples, and uplift community-based and community-driven solutions for health-justice, wellness, and equity.

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Indigenous Health - Learning Outcomes

Students in the Indigenous Health track will learn to:

  1. Learn in a community-based and community-driven process that centers the strengths and contributions of Indigenous people who have been engaging in public health since time immemorial.
  2. Understand and address racial health disparities through a critical analysis of racism, colonialism, and power.
  3. Examine, reflect and engage in discourse into social determinants of health impacts on racialized and oppressed populations that are historically underserved and erased by western institutions.
  4. Critically analyze harmful data and research practices in order to build a workforce that is accountable to address colonialism and racism embedded within public health and intersecting systems through Indigenous strengths-based approaches.
  5. Understand the critical need for public health to center Indigenous knowledge to uplift practices of community care, decolonize the Land Back movement, and to foster advocates and allies for Indigenous equity.
  6. Develop equitable public health solutions rooted in Indigenous wisdom, values, and Indigenous Traditional Ecological & Cultural Knowledges (ITECK) systems.

Indigenous Health - Careers

This concentration prepares students for careers in nonprofits, education, health policy, social services, medicine, research, disease prevention, community health promotion and public health organizations.

This concentration prepares students to:

  • Work with Indigenous communities, equipped with a well-rounded understanding about the key health issues and underlying determinants that impact Indigenous populations.
  • Work collaboratively towards a thriving Indigenous future, setting the conditions today to build that future.
  • Create a diverse public health workforce by increasing the number and success of Indigenous people within the field of public health and related disciplines, including medical and clinical professions.

Core Competencies

Public Health Studies - Core Competencies

Students in the BS/BA Public Health Studies program should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic concepts, analyses, methods and evidenced-based approaches, health systems, and other aspects of public health
  • Identify population health challenges including social, behavioral, biological, environmental and other factors that impact human health and contribute to health inequities and inequalities
  • Comprehend the science of human health and disease including opportunities for promoting and protecting health across the lifespan

The School of Public Health Structure

The OHSU-PSU collaborative School of Public Health is an innovative structure, in which we bring the best of two universities to you. Our design is a product of that innovative spirit and values: we bring that approach to you, working to chart your path into clinical, educational, policy, and direct-service health careers.

What we offer:

  • Tailored, individualized advising and mentorship
  • Expert faculty with extensive research and real-world experience
  • Innovative curricula – we bring the community to you through guest speakers, applied learning activities and a focus on current issues – all focusing on developing solutions to
    real-world problems
  • Experiential learning -we bring you to the community through a mentored internship
  • Faculty and career development opportunities from both universities

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