Combined Major in Spanish and Public Health
As a Spanish and Public Health Major, you will be prepared to work in various settings where you can apply both linguistic and cultural competencies to improve the health outcomes of Spanish-speaking communities.
Spanish and Public Health is a major that combines the study of language, culture, and health issues affecting the Spanish-speaking population in the United States and abroad. This major prepares students to work in various settings where they can apply their linguistic and cultural competencies to improve the health outcomes of Spanish-speaking communities.
Merrimack College’s campus enjoys a privileged geographical location in Massachusetts, the top-ranked state in the nation for higher education according to the US News ranking. North Andover is surrounded by towns and cities with a significant concentration of Spanish speakers, such as Lawrence and Methuen, with 85% and 35%, respectively, according to the 2019 census. This situation facilitates a greater number of practices in nearby communities, the development of on-site health projects, as well as internships in numerous health organizations in the region. In addition:
- Our Spanish and Public Health Major allows you to cater to a larger group of individuals in the public health profession.
- Spanish and public health internships will immerse you in real-world settings where you can apply your knowledge and skills to address the health needs and challenges of diverse populations.
- You will have the opportunity to work with local, national, and international organizations that focus on health issues affecting the Hispanic community, such as CFHI, CDC, and Dickey Center.
- You will gain skills that are in high demand in the current and future job market, such as bilingualism, cultural competence, data analysis, and health literacy.
Students who are Spanish native/heritage speakers are strongly encouraged to take the CLEP Spanish Exam, which can transfer up to three SPA courses (Intro and Intermediate).
What is Spanish and Public Health?
Spanish and public health is the study of how language, culture, and social factors influence the health status and behaviors of Hispanic populations. It also examines how public health interventions can be designed and implemented to address the specific health needs and preferences of these populations.
What You’ll Learn
By studying spanish and public health, you will be extremely advantaged within the job market upon graduation. Expect to handle an individual’s cases with compassion and understanding after learning more about cultural differences and preferences. This major not only prepares you as a healthcare provider in general but also competitively readies you for the job market and the professional realm by broadening your horizons and possibilities. It enables you to understand and serve a larger and more diverse group of people.
As a Spanish and public health major, you will:
- Explore the historical, political, economic and social factors that shape the health of Hispanic populations in the U.S. and abroad
- Follow the latest trends and developments in public health, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis and the environmental justice movement
- Gain a comprehensive understanding of the Mexican health system and the role of traditional medicine in the Caribbean and Latin American culture
- Learn how to design, implement and evaluate culturally appropriate and evidence-based public health interventions for Hispanic communities
- Develop your Spanish language proficiency and intercultural competence through coursework, internships, and study abroad experiences
You will acquire skills that are essential for working in the public health sector, such as conducting research, developing and evaluating programs, communicating effectively and advocating for change. You will also enhance your resume and portfolio by earning a certificate in Spanish for the Health Professions.
You will be prepared for a variety of careers in the growing and dynamic field of public health, which is projected to increase by 7% from 2019 to 2029. You will also have a competitive edge in the job market as a bilingual and bicultural professional who can serve the needs of the Hispanic population, which is the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the U.S.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare occupations are projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations from 2022 to 2032, adding about 1.8 million jobs.
A degree in this field can open the doors to many rewarding and meaningful careers in the public health sector, such as:
Bilingual Health Educator
Bilingual Health and Safety Coordinator
Bilingual Technical Medical Writer