As a public health major, you’ll learn how to protect and improve the health of families, communities and entire populations.

By exploring population-specific health issues, health-education principles and preventive-health measures, you’ll gain the skills you need to promote health; prevent injury and illness; and control the spread of infectious diseases.

What You’ll Learn 

In the public health program, you will:

  • Learn the best practices of collecting and analyzing data for evidence-based approaches in public health.
  • Explore complex socioeconomic, behavioral, environmental and organizational factors that impact health and contribute to disparities in the U.S. and around the world.
  • Use critical-thinking and problem-solving skills to design, implement and evaluate public-health initiatives.
  • Examine and interpret the legal, ethical, economic and regulatory dimensions of healthcare and public-health policy and their implications in government.

Hands-on Learning

In the public-health program, you’ll have the chance to apply your classroom learning in the laboratory and out in the field. Real-world learning experiences will give you the skills you need for professional success as well as admission to graduate programs. You can work with faculty on advanced research projects or intern at top institutions like Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Interested in volunteering? You can join service projects that support community programs or get involved with Active Science, Merrimack’s interactive mobile app that gets school-age kids moving and learning about fitness and health.

Career Options

With a degree in public health, you’ll be well-positioned to pursue a professional career in this rapidly expanding field or go on to graduate school. Public-health positions may include:

  • Public-health analyst
  • Hospital administrator
  • Epidemiologist
  • Biostatistician
  • Health inspector
  • Health educator
  • Marketer in a health-related organization
  • Practitioner

What You’ll Take 

All public-health majors take a combination of mandatory and elective courses to satisfy the 126-credit and 32-course requirements. To remain in good academic standing, you must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA.

Required Courses

Freshman Year

HSC 1122

Anatomy and Physiology I

HSC 1000

Careers in Health Sciences

Choose 1

MTH 1016 Pre-Calculus
MTH 1217 Calculus I

FYW 1050

Introduction to College Writing

HSC 1123

Anatomy and Physiology II

HSC 3302

Introduction to Public Health

MTH 1111


PHL 1000

Introduction to Philosophy

Sophomore Year

BIO 1025

Biological Sciences

CHM 1210

Chemistry for Health Professions I

HSC 3310

Health Behavior Promotion


Arts and Literature course

HSC 2300

Introduction to Nutritional Sciences


Foundation of Environmental Health

SME 2250

Research Methods


Religious and Theological Studies course

Junior Year


Social Science 1


Foundation of Health Policy


Historical Studies course

HSC 3312

Introduction to Epidemiology


Public Health Elective

HSC 3103

Global Public Health

PHL 2060

Biomedical Ethics

HSC 3336W


Senior Year

HSC 4850

Health Sciences Internship

HSC 3320

Public Health Elective 2


Open Elective 1


Public Health Elective 3


Social Science 2


Foundation of Healthcare Systems


Open Elective 2


Tailor your academic experience by selecting electives from the following options:

Public Health

COM 3321

Health Communications

HSC 3320

Microbiology for Health Professions

HSC 3400

Clinical Research Design

HSC 3510

Community Nutrition

POL 2121

Public Administration and Public Policy

POL 3531

Politics of Developing Nations

PSY 2310

Lifespan Psychology

PSY 3380

Psychology of Aging

PSY 3410

Adult Pathospychology

SME 3347

Exercise Testing and Prescription

SOC 2050

Social Work

SOC 3600

Sociology of Health

SOC 3850

Sociology of Aging

WGS 3830

Gender and Global Health

More Information

Kyle McInnis
Associate Dean and Professor


Career Info