Overview of Bachelor's Degree Community Health & Preventative Medicine Programs
Bachelor's degree programs focusing on community health & preventative medicine have been growing in popularity in recent years. An increasing number of public and private universities throughout the United States are now offering the community health & preventative medicine concentration. Although each program differs slightly and may have varying completion requirements, students studying in this field can expect to take courses that focus on healthcare ethics, public policy, disease prevention, and research methodologies. Graduates with bachelor's degrees in community health & preventative medicine often find employment in community health or government-based agencies as well as in healthcare institutions. An overview of program requirements, specific course details, and possible career paths are discussed below.
Admission Requirements for Community Health & Preventative Medicine Programs
A college or university's school of public health usually offers community health & preventative medicine majors. In general, you must have a diploma from an accredited high school or GED program, and recent high school graduates usually need to send in documentation of their SAT or ACT scores. Some schools require that applicants have completed at last three years of math, science, and English, but certain exceptions may apply. Reference letters or essays may be required to assist in the admissions process.
Community Health & Preventative Medicine Coursework
Required coursework can vary depending on the institution that you choose to attend, but most majors in this field share some common components. As described below, it is often necessary that students studying community health & preventative medicine have a solid foundation of policy development, research methodologies, and global healthcare knowledge.
Community Health Basics
This course helps to give students a broad understanding of health and how different values have an effect on varying beliefs held throughout many global communities. Community and public health theoretical concepts are introduced and discussed. This class offers the opportunity to see how theories influence public health practices in regards to the environment, nutrition, and spread of contagious diseases. Students are challenged to apply the theories and principles they are learning to real-life scenarios.
This course gives students a general introduction to the role of healthcare throughout the world. The majority of the course focuses on low and middle-income countries and the struggles that emerging nations face in regards to providing adequate healthcare initiatives to citizens. Human rights struggles and cultural health trends will also be discussed. Upon completion of this course, students should have a thorough understanding of health determinants and disparities throughout the globe.
Epidemiology and Disease
In order to fully grasp the scope of public health, it is crucial to understand basic epidemiology principles. Epidemiology is the study of researching and detecting health-related events so that a cause can be determined and preventative measures can be created. This course gives an introduction to the broad goals of public health and highlights the importance of epidemiology in global healthcare. Students in this class are introduced to basic research design and methods that are commonly employed in global health screenings.
Healthcare Statistics and Informatics
Thoroughly understanding statistical methods is important when conducting any research, and this course goes into detail as to how statistical measures impact the work of public health professionals. This class focuses on how statistics are applied and interpreted in order to inform public policy initiatives. Students are introduced to commonly-used statistical computer programs so that they can gain a general understanding of what it is like to be a professional in the field.
This course focuses on the past, present, and future of healthcare in the United States. Students learn how current beliefs of American healthcare have been formed and how the past influences public policy today. The major components of the behavioral health, managed care, and financial details are discussed. By the end of the course, students should have a strong understanding of the current state of the healthcare system in the United States and be able to predict the direction future policies will be headed.
How to Choose a Bachelor's Degree Program in Community Health & Preventative Medicine
Community health & preventative medicine is an exciting field that is rapidly growing in popularity, but there are some important factors to consider before enrolling in a bachelor's program in this field. This major has a heavy focus on research, so you want to make sure that you are choosing an institution that studies areas that are of interest to you. The majority of community health & preventative medicine programs require you to complete an internship, so choose a school that has a great reputation in its community. This field of study sets you up for a career that is public facing, so be sure that you enjoy interacting with others and providing customer service.
Career Options with a Community Health & Preventative Medicine Degree
Graduates with a bachelor's degree in community health & preventative medicine can find a variety of careers in either the public or private sectors, and many graduates go on to become health educators and community health workers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this career field is expected to see 16% growth by 2026--which is considerably faster than the average career path. Health educators and community health workers earned a median salary of around $44,000 per year, notes that same source. Other graduates of these programs have gone on to do the following: