Department of Public Health


The Department of Public Health embraces the mission of William Paterson University: to strive for lifelong learning, excellence, diversity and community. The department is committed to preparing students to understand and critically analyze public health issues, to recognize the importance of health disparities, and to understand the local, national and global dimensions of public health issues. The department also fosters intellectual curiosity and creativity in problem solving to effectively address public health challenges in communities and populations, and aims to provide a foundation of core health knowledge enhanced by interdisciplinary study to promote health at all levels for all people. 

Learn more about each of our programs:

  • BS in Public Health – General Track
    The BS in public health prepares students with knowledge of public health practice, principles, and methods, and the skills necessary to utilize these to improve the health of the public. Students who major in public health take a variety of courses covering the core areas of public health, including behavioral sciences, health care systems, health research methods, environmental health, public health biology, epidemiology, and public health practice.
  • BS in Public Health Education
    The BS in public health education is a professional preparation program that prepares entry-level health educators who can assess, plan, implement, and evaluate a broad range of health promotion and disease prevention programs among a community's diverse population. Knowledge of health education is achieved through a multidisciplinary study of physical and natural sciences, education, psychology, and public health.  Students who major in public health take a variety of courses covering the core areas of public health, including health care systems, health research methods, environmental health, epidemiology, and public health practice. Students become oriented to the profession of health education through the completion of a 12- credit full-time internship during their final semester, at which time they also take the national certification examination to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).
  • BS in Health Studies
    The BS in health studies is a general program that prepares students with the health knowledge and skills necessary to understand and navigate the U.S. healthcare system, to be an informed consumer of health information, and to critically assess personal health behavior, health status, and associated health risks.  The health studies program is ideal for those who want to learn more about health and wellness, but who do not wish to pursue preparation in a specific health profession such as public health, health education, or nursing.
  • Minor in Public Health
    The minor in public health introduces students to the core content and functions of the field of public health. Students may select from a variety of elective courses to build a program that enhances the student's major area of study and matches the student's personal interests in the health field.
  • Minor in Health Studies
    Health studies is a broad term used to describe the study of health issues and behaviors with an emphasis on health at the level of the individual.  As our collective understanding of human health is continually evolving, the minor in health studies provides students with broad exposure to current and evidence-based content through a variety of personal health courses. Students who minor in health studies will explore content in several foundational areas of personal health and wellbeing, and may select elective courses based on personal interests and needs.
  •  K-12 School Health Teacher Endorsement for Physical Education Majors
    Students majoring in physical education may elect to complete the School Health Teacher certification. This program is a five-course sequence that will enable the student to teach health upon graduation from the physical education program and successful completion of the Praxis exam. Student will study the core NJ health content areas: nutrition and fitness, human sexuality, drugs and alcohol, personal safety, and develop competence in teaching pedagogy and curriculum development.
With a BS in public health–general track, students may pursue a variety of career and graduate education opportunities. While there are many sub-fields within the field of public health, potential career pathways include environmental health, substance abuse prevention, health services research, and health management, to name a few. Students who pursue graduate education in public health can pursue careers in fields such as epidemiology or health administration.

With a bachelor's degree in public health education and CHES certification, graduates are eligible to pursue a wide variety of positions in the field of health education at various settings including municipal health departments, hospitals, non-governmental organizations, colleges/universities, and business settings.  Furthermore, student with a degree in health education may pursue any of the careers and graduate education opportunities listed for the general track majors.

The health studies program is a general health-related degree that is specifically aimed at students who: have completed an AA/AS or an AAS in an allied health discipline and wish to earn a health-related bachelor's degree; are seeking advancement at their current place of employment in the health/health care industry; want a foundation in the study of human health before pursuing additional graduate training in clinical health science professions (best when combined with a major or minor in biology, chemistry, or other program under advisement); are interested in health, but who do not want to pursue professional preparation in public health or related careers; or want to enroll in a health-related degree completion program that will lead to timely graduation from the university.

K-12 School Health Teacher Endorsement:  Upon completion of the physical education program and successful completion of the Praxis exam, students will be eligible to teach K-12 health courses in the state of New Jersey.