Public Health Major & Minor

Hartwick students during Wine To Water initiative in the Dominican Republic

Where degrees in public health can take you.

A major in public health prepares you to promote the health of all people. Public health is first and foremost concerned with preserving health through education, prevention, and community initiatives that range from local to global. A public health major can prepare you for careers in epidemiology, health policy and administration, health education, program management, disaster preparedness, and environmental health. 

Typically, graduates pursue careers as:

  • Emergency management directors
  • Epidemiologists
  • Health educators and community health workers
  • Medical and Health Services Managers
  • Occupational health and safety specialists
  • Social and community service managers


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026, which means there will be over 72,000 new job openings in the next decade. The demand for this type of work is high and will continue to be. (U.S. BLS)

Putting public health to work.

Public Health is a new major at Hartwick, but alumni from our established majors who have gone on to earn graduate degrees in public health are thriving in rewarding careers such as public health education, community health accreditation, and program management.

Hartwick students have pursued and earned advanced degrees in public health fields at:

  • Albany University
  • The University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • SUNY Upstate Medical
  • Syracuse University
  • The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • Yale University

Beyond the basics.

As an interdisciplinary, liberal arts major, Public Health draws upon the wealth of opportunities in Hartwick’s three academic divisions. Students majoring in public health can design their major concentration to include an off-campus biology course in Thailand focusing on nutrition, an internship with child service agencies in the local community or the state legislature in Albany, or creating a dramatic composition on the experience of nurses in the Vietnam War.

A closer look.

Hartwick’s Public Health program is grounded in the liberal arts because building a future that ensures access to good health for all requires more than just one tool; it requires the whole toolbox. For example, in rural health a key challenge is the distance people must travel to reach a doctor or a hospital, and the fact that high levels of rural poverty may mean that a person cannot even afford to see a doctor. Creating solutions that ensure healthy populations in the world’s rural communities will take visionary advocates who can think in terms of education, cultural and demographic diversity, religion, economics, politics, history, law, psychology, communication, technology, and the sciences.

Meet the public health faculty.

Hartwick’s dynamic public health faculty research and teach in a vast range of areas, and draw students right into the heart of their inquiry. The program includes affiliated faculty from a variety of areas of study.

Mary Allen
Professor of Biology
Ph.D., Florida State University
Areas of expertise:
general microbiology, allied-health microbiology, microbial ecology, microbiology education
Connie Anderson
Professor of Anthropology
Ph.D. , University of California, Riverside
Areas of expertise:
Biological anthropology, particularly selection and behavior; the intersection of culture and biology; war and conflict resolution; the role of sports in interracial interactions, identity, and reconciliation; South Africa.
James Buthman
Associate Professor of Political Science & Coordinator of Environment, Sustainability & Society
Ph.D., Northern Arizona University
Areas of expertise:
Public policy and American government with an emphasis on environmental and energy policy.
Stephanie Carr '06
Assistant Professor of Biology
Ph.D., Colorado School of Mines
Areas of expertise:
geomicrobiology, bioinformatics, subsurface microbiology
Elena Chernyak
Assistant Professor of Sociology and Department Chair
Ph.D., University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Areas of expertise:
sociology, social work, women’s studies, gender-based violence and inequality, social theories, feminist theories, social psychology, family studies, Soviet/post-Soviet societies.
Carlena Cochi Ficano
Professor of Economics and Business Administration and Accounting
Ph.D., Cornell University
Areas of expertise:
labor economics, applied econometrics, social policy on low income family well-being, the economics of higher education and, most recently, local economic development.
Lisle W. Dalton
Professor of Religious Studies and Department Chair
Ph.D., University of California at Santa Barbara
Areas of expertise:
American religious history, cults and new religions, religion and modern culture, religion and healthcare, religion and science, religion and politics
Joshua Garrett
Assistant Professor of Biology
Ph.D., Albany Medical College
Areas of expertise:
anatomy and physiology, cardiovascular physiology, endothelial barrier function, angiogenesis
Kristin Jones
Associate Professor of Economics
Ph.D., University of Connecticut at Storrs
Areas of expertise:
Industrial organization, public economics, mathematical economics, environmental economics, law and economics, education policy.
Malissa Kano-White
Chair and Associate Professor of Theatre Arts
MFA, Illinois State University
Areas of expertise:
acting, musical theatre production, playwriting, theatre for young audiences.
William Kowalczyk
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Ph.D., The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Areas of expertise:
substance use, research methods and statistics, clinical psychology, neuropsychology, health psychology and environmental psychology.
Cherilyn Lacy
Professor of History & Coordinator of Public Health Program
Ph.D., University of Chicago
Areas of expertise:
Modern Europe, Women and Gender, Medicine and Public Health
Karl Seeley
Associate Professor of Economics and Department Chair
Ph.D., University of Washington
Areas of expertise:
ecological macroeconomics, environmental economics and economic development, small-scale, sustainable farming and local food-supply issues.
Karina Walker
Assistant Professor of Spanish
Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany
Areas of expertise:
Spanish peninsular literature: baroque, twentieth, and twenty-first-century narrative, poetry, and film. Spanish cultural studies, women’s, gender and sexuality studies, translation and interpretation.
Justin Wellman
Associate Professor and Chair of Psychology Department
Ph.D., University of Toledo
Areas of expertise:
social psychology, personality, health psychology, motivation and emotion, experimental statistics.

Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree Program.

Ready to move faster? Get the full Hartwick public health experience in three-quarters the time at three-quarters the cost. Learn more about the three-year program.

Learn more.

For specific inquiries, contact Professor of Religious Studies Lisle Dalton,

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