Bachelor of Arts in Public Health

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Message from the Director

Message from the Assistant Dean

Dr. Karin J. Opacich, Director of Undergraduate Public HealthIn 2007, the Council of Colleges in Arts and Sciences in collaboration with several other influential agency partners published a report entitled, The Educated Citizen and Public Health: A Consensus Report on Undergraduate Education in Public Health[i]. The report concluded that all undergraduate students ought to have access to public health education. A central premise of that report was that the health of the public requires the attention and ingenuity of educated citizens regardless of their career trajectories. The authors further noted that students attracted to public health as a career option can potentially fulfill looming workforce shortages, and the report urged the development of undergraduate curricula.

The UIC Bachelor of Arts in Public Health program emphasizes six cross-cutting curricular themes: Health as a Moral Endeavor, Health Equity, Life Course Perspective, One Health [animal-human-environment], Cultural Relevance, and Local-Global Impact. The curriculum design includes a clearly articulated educational philosophy predicated on principles of liberal education, confluent education, action learning, and community engaged participatory learning. Crafting the 12 core courses was exciting for the faculty development group, and we anticipate that students will be equally enthused as they explore the challenges and complexities of public health. To accommodate individual interests, we have negotiated selectives within other academic units, and students will develop their unique plans of study with assistance from a public health advisor. Additionally, students majoring in public health will have the opportunity to experience public health practice in a selected supervised fieldwork setting.

We are very pleased to be able to add the public health option to students embarking on their educational journey. On behalf of the public health faculty, we welcome you to consider public health as an undergraduate major. Whether pursuing a career in public health, a health science career in another profession, or any other career trajectory, we are confident that the baccalaureate in public health will provide students the foundation to fulfill meaningful life roles as part of an educated citizenry.


Karin J. Opacich, PhD, MHPE, OTR/L, FAOTA
Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Public Health
Clinical Associate Professor, Health Policy & Administration


[i] Reigelman, RK, Albertine, S, Persily, NA. (October 2007). The Educated Citizen and Public Health: A Consensus Report on Public Health and Undergraduate Education. Available at: ( Accessed 10-22-10

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