WVU has been offering nationally accredited master’s degrees in public health for over 20 years. But in January, the WVU School of Public Health will offer West Virginia’s first ever nationally accredited undergraduate degree.
The school was formed 3 years ago and is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.
“Because Public Health is a professional degree, our accreditors make sure that our students are working to meet the needs of employers,” says Janet Hunt, the Assistant Dean of the WVU School of Public Health.
Students will study each of the Public Health core disciplines, resulting in well-rounded students, says Hunt. After graduation, students can either go directly into the field or go back to school to specialize in a core discipline.
As a native of Wetzel county, Hunt says she is excited to offer the new degree in West Virginia because she had to go out of state to the University of Tennessee for her own degree in public health.
Shay Daily is the advisor to incoming Public Health undergrads. He says there will always be a need for public health professionals. “The need for entry level things like health promotion and health education are going to continue to grow because of things like the affordable care act,” says Daily.
Undergrads will participate in community service and become involved in local public health projects through internships, group projects and a semester of clinical study. Many of the new public health classes will be available to non-majors and the school hopes that soon the courses will meet certain GEC objectives.