Public Health Major & Minor

Yager Hall

Promoting the well-being of all is a team effort.

It takes knowledge of many disciplines to address the health challenges of the 21st century. For example, ensuring access to clean drinking water is a fundamental human need that requires leaders who can think broadly about biology, chemistry, geology, physics, politics, economics, history, and religion. Hartwick’s Public Health major mobilizes the strengths of its liberal arts education by preparing students to look at health issues from a variety of angles. Through fieldwork in our community, students engage directly with crucial questions in rural health, environmental health, and health equity.

Where a major 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. 

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.

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 the emphasis of their major 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.

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:

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

Learn more.

For specific inquiries, contact Program Coordinator and Professor of History Cherilyn Lacy at 607-431-4885 or

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