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New Undergraduate Public Health Degree Program at LSU Health New Orleans Taking Applications

Public Health

LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health is now taking applications for its new Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) degree program. It is the first bachelor of science in public health program at a public university in Louisiana. It is a 2 + 2 program. Students complete 60 hours of prerequisite course hours. Admitted students complete their undergraduate training (an additional 60 course hours) and graduate from LSU Health New Orleans. Admission to the BSPH degree program at LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health is open to all applicants who meet the admission requirements and qualifications. The application deadline for the Fall 2019 class is August 1, 2019.

The program has the added benefit of residing within a health sciences center that also trains and provides a home for students and faculty in the Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Graduate Studies, within the context of an urban, multicultural location. This makes the program unique in the Southeast. This environment enhances the opportunity for interprofessional education and mentoring, student worker positions, and applied experiences in the other schools, and is likely to influence the path of students interested in advanced degrees.

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LSU Health New Orleans’ Bachelor of Science in Public Health provides a substantive introduction to the concepts, principles, skills and methods used in public health practice, while allowing flexibility through the use of directed and focused electives. Because communication skills are vital in addressing public health issues, the curriculum specifically incorporates communication skills into many of the required courses. Hands-on training is also critical to robust preparation for a career in public health. The BSPH curriculum includes a learning experience consisting of a service learning or volunteer experience with a didactic component. Service-learning experiences provide students experience in working with community-based organizations to address public health issues.
Graduates will be prepared for employment in a wide range of health-related organizations including state and federal health departments, health care delivery systems, the health insurance industry and not-for-profit organizations. Students graduating from the program will have the necessary knowledge and skills to address current and emerging challenges for improving and prolonging the life of the population, with particular attention to needs in Louisiana. These include air quality, avian flu, West Nile and Zika viruses, chronic diseases, and youth risk behaviors.

“Graduates with a BS degree in Public Health will be essential to addressing the public health needs for both public and private employers across the state.” says Dean Smith, PhD, Dean of the LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health. “Graduates will also be well prepared for advanced graduate studies in the public health and allied-health disciplines, medicine, and dentistry."

According to Elizabeth Levitzky, PhD, Director of the BSPH Program, “Our program will prepare the next generation to address the public health challenges and shape policies to improve the health of communities in Louisiana and around the globe.”
Louisiana is often ranked near the bottom in public health rankings. United Health Foundation's America's Health Rankings (2016) placed Louisiana 49th for the overall population and 47th for seniors. Many factors working at multiple levels account for these rankings; clearly, opportunities abound to discover and apply solutions to improve the health of Louisianans. Improving the public's health generates a healthier workforce, reduces absences from work and school, and lowers medical costs. A healthier workforce will benefit the state's economy; healthier children will mean a future of intellectual and economic growth, and a healthier older population will mean fewer hospitalizations and better quality of life, resulting in increasing economic activity. The 2014-2019 Strategic Plan for the Louisiana Office of Public Health emphasizes the continual and growing need for a well-trained and educated public health work force.

Complete information about LSU Health New Orleans’ Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree program is available here. Requirements and a link to apply are available here.

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