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Public health

A fast-growing field with a focus on the needs of communities.

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Augustana is a trailblazer for public health, a field focusing on the health and medical needs of communities. One of the first liberal arts colleges to offer a major and minor in public health, Augustana has a 100% acceptance rate for our graduates into public health master’s programs for 25 years.

Why so successful? It’s a combination of reasons.

Your liberal arts education will combine intensive focus in public health with broad learning, so important for an interdisciplinary field like public health. You’ll have career-building opportunities such as internships, professional conferences and service learning trips off campus and abroad.

More and more, the general approach to health care, wellness and health education means recognizing we need a deeper and more caring culture of prevention, and not just treatment. That’s public health, and it’s a natural fit with the culture at Augustana.

Health care occupations and industries are expected to add the most new jobs in the United States in the near future. Along with public health, Augustana graduates have gone on to graduate programs in epidemiology, toxicology, health administration and communication, and other health disciplines.

What you'll learn

Disciplinary knowledge

Disciplinary knowledge

Gain a deep understanding of your subject and how it connects to other subjects.

Quantitative literacy

Quantitative literacy

Interpret, represent and summarize information. Use math and statistics to solve problems.

Communication competence

Communication competence

Read and listen carefully. Express ideas (writing or speaking) suited to the audience.

Critical thinking and information literacy

Critical thinking and information literacy

Judge and construct arguments, raise questions and define problems. Make a conclusion based on evidence.

Ethical citizenship

Ethical citizenship

Examine and embrace your strengths, passions and values. Develop ethical convictions and act on them.


• Augustana’s public health program has its home in the new $18-million Peter J. Lindberg, M.D., Center for Health and Human Performance.

Professional conference opportunities include the Great Plains Emerging Infectious Diseases Conference, the American Public Health Association annual meeting, and the Illinois Public Health Student Association Conference. Internships can take majors as far as Australia, but our own Quad Cities offers excellent and diverse resources for hands-on public health experience.

Off-campus internships and service-learning experiences include winter term internships in Sydney, Australia; a public health, peace and justice internship at Baylor College of Medicine; and a service-learning program offering free health clinics in Nicaragua. Funding opportunities include $2,000 through Augie Choice, grants through Augustana’s William A. Freistat Center, and other sources.

• Many public health majors add a second major in a related field such as biology, communication studies, environmental studies, neuroscience, political science, pre-medicine, psychology, a language, sociology and anthropology, or women, gender and sexuality studies.

Recent graduates

Tabitha Hoey ’21 is pursuing a Master of Public Health with a concentration in social and behavioral sciences at the University of Florida.

Krishna Marmé '20 is pursuing a Master of Public Health in Policy at the University of Iowa.

Caroline Wator ’20 is a client services associate at CuraLinc Healthcare.

Hannah Vercellotti '20 is pursuing a master's in occupational therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Marissa Olson ’20 is a COVID-19 case investigator with the Winnebago County Health Department in Rockford, Ill.

Jessica Lechtenberg ’19 is a qualitative research manager at PSB in Seattle, Wash.

Matthew Koch ’18 Is a patient access manager at Vista Medical Center in Chicago.

Diangelo Gonzalez
More Than I Imagined Diangelo Gonzalez
“After taking an introduction to public health course, I absolutely fell in love with the field. ”
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Sierra Rood
More Than I Imagined Sierra Rood
“My peak experience was the medical service trip to Nicaragua. It inspired me to pursue nursing. ”
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More Than I Imagined Catherine (Cat) Priebe
“I would like to thank Dr. Hann for always inspiring me to strive for excellence in every aspect of my life.”
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