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welcome to the Department of Public health

In today's complex world, the field of public health is becoming an increasingly vital part of our daily lives. It's a field in which professionals can make a difference, whether they're researching and tracking the spread of disease, running awareness campaigns in schools and community agencies, or advising corporations on health programs and policies.

Southern's public health graduates work at local health departments, community-based agencies, hospitals, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, and nonprofit agencies like the American Red Cross. Just a few examples of the many other options include working in a community health center to eliminate health inequities; organizing community responses to health problems, such as lead poisoning; addressing the AIDS epidemic; promoting a healthy environment; designing public health policies and interventions; and leading international health relief efforts in less developed parts of the world.

The public health program at Southern is intensively hands-on, with internships and many class activities centering on community-service. A common course project is to plan a public health program from inception to evaluation. One recent group of students was featured in the local media for an awareness campaign about binge drinking on college campuses nationwide. Other students sponsored blood drives and developed campaigns to educate the public about hepatitis B, eating disorders, and breast cancer. Southern's bachelor's degree in public health prepares graduates to compete for exciting and rewarding jobs that allow them to make a meaningful and enduring difference in the world.

Mission, Vision & Values

Mission Statement

To advance the state of public health practice and to promote and protect the health of the public

Vision Statement

To be a leader in academic public health, community service, and the conduct of research relevant to advancing the ideal of healthy people in healthy communities


Human Rights: We promote the right of every individual to be treated fairly, to maintain autonomy and dignity, to seek education in a safe environment, and pursue health and happiness.

Diversity: We welcome and cultivate a diverse workplace that incorporates both shared and divergent viewpoints in strategic decision-making, performance appraisal, and policy formation.

Community Involvement: The program values both active engagement in department, school, and university initiatives as well as engagement that promote local, regional, national, and international collaborations.  These collaborations will be encouraged in teaching, research and service to the field.

Academic Excellence: The program values academic excellence in teaching, mentoring, advising, and scholarship.

Collaboration: The program values collaboration among department faculty, with students, the university, the profession, and communities

Democratic Process: The program values sharing of information, building a common understanding, mutual support, collegiality and decision-making through dialogue and consensus.