The University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions received approval in March from the Florida Board of Governors to offer a bachelor’s degree in public health beginning this fall.
Interest in public health has exploded in recent years with the emergence of serious health issues at home and abroad, such as air pollution in Asian countries and the spread of the Zika virus, said Dr. Michael G. Perri, dean of the College of Public Health and Health Professions. UF students will have the opportunity to gain broad public health knowledge at the undergraduate level as they pursue careers not only in health fields, but also in other areas where public health plays an important role, including public administration, law and government.
The college currently offers a master’s degree in public health with several concentration areas and doctoral programs in each of the five core areas of public health.
“This bachelor’s program, more than any other, will provide interaction between students from the undergraduate campus with students, faculty and staff of the Health Science Center,” said Dr. Thomas A. Pearson, executive vice president for research and education at UF Health. “This is a win-win situation with UF’s superb undergraduates getting familiar with the highly rated graduate and professional programs on the Health Science Center campus. We would like to see more of them applying to our master’s and PhD programs.”
Ms. Elizabeth Wood, who previously served as the UF MPH program’s internship coordinator, has been appointed director of the bachelor’s program. An alumna of the UF MPH program, Ms. Wood graduates this month with a Doctor of Health Science, global health concentration, from Nova Southeastern University.
Several courses in the new bachelor’s program will be presented in a blended learning format in which students receive lecture content online and use class time to participate in discussion and hands-on activities.