Public Health


Saint Louis University is the only Jesuit (and the only Catholic) College for Public Health and Social Justice in the United States. Dedicated to the Jesuit mission, the public health program fosters leaders who will immediately impact their community both locally and globally.

You will begin your undergraduate studies at the SLU-Madrid campus, where you will complete your first-year and sophomore (second-year) coursework. You will then transfer to the SLU-Missouri campus, located in the United States, for your junior and senior (third- and fourth-year) coursework. If you choose to study two years in Madrid followed by two years in Missouri, you will receive the same diploma as public health students who study all four years at the SLU-Missouri campus. All public health students receive a Saint Louis University Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree.

The degree program, accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, is important both if you want to enter the health workforce with a bachelor degree and if you want to pursue graduate education (health administration, public health, medicine, law, and more).

You may apply to the accelerated 4+1 program at SLU-Missouri at the end of your junior year. This program allows you to complete their Master's in Public Health with one additional year after your bachelor’s degree.

You may apply to the Public Health Pre-Med track, which, while providing you with a degree in Public Health, also allows you to complete courses required for application to medical schools.

What is Public Health?

Public health is the science of improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention. 

Overall, public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. These populations range from small villages to entire countries. 

Public health professionals promote prevention through implementing educational programs, developing policies, administering services, regulating health systems and health professions, as well as conducting research. This contrasts with clinical professionals, such as doctors and nurses, who focus primarily on treating individuals after they become sick or injured. Public health is a field concerned with limiting health disparities and fighting for health care equity, quality, and accessibility. 

The public health degree recognizes the multidisciplinary facet of health care by combining a traditional liberal arts education with the core disciplines of public health: epidemiology, biostatistics, behavioral science, health education, and environmental health.

Impact of Public Health

The dramatic achievements of public health in the 20th century have improved our quality of life: increased life expectancy, reduced infant and child mortality worldwide, and eliminated or reduced many communicable diseases. 

The Saint Louis University Public Health program fosters student development by providing challenging coursework in the classroom and application through service learning outside the classroom. 

The curriculum focuses on the vast challenges of modern health care: health disparities, lack of preventive services, and multifaceted causes of disease. This program is perfect for pre-med students, students interested in health sciences, and students committed to lives of service.

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