Bachelor of SciencePublic Health

a group of volunteers help clean up litter in a park a group of volunteers help clean up litter in a park

Protect and improve the health of individuals, families, communities and populations.

The public health system has never been more important, with its mission to “protect and improve the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations” (ASPPH). With such growth, the field constantly needs competent, compassionate public health professionals dedicated to remedying disparities and assuring equitable access to care and services.

The Bachelor of Science in Public Health prepares students for a multitude of roles in the varied fields of public health practice, from creating policy and conducting research, to leading public health organizations and developing preventive health practices to improve individuals’ quality of care and quality of life.

Why earn your degree at Bellarmine?

The Public Health degree at Bellarmine follows the rigorous curriculum standards from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), a mark of excellence for public health programs. Students in the program also complete a 90-hour internship with local and community partners in the Louisville area, providing an opportunity to aid underserved communities through projects and support, and to prepare students for a future career in the field.

Many of the courses in the curriculum feature community engagement, a hallmark of attending Bellarmine to give back to various populations in Kentucky. Faculty members who teach in the program are recognized as national experts and serve on committees for state and national organizations, which presents numerous travel and networking opportunities for students in the department.

“Give people what they need: food, medicine, clean air, pure water, trees and grass, pleasant homes to live in, some hours of work, more hours of leisure. Don't ask who deserves it. Every human being deserves it.” —Howard Zinn

Program Highlights

  • An interdisciplinary curriculum featuring courses from Health Care Administration and Public Health, Exercise Science, Nursing, Biology, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Communication, and Economics
  • Students are prepared for a multitude of graduate school programs through the curriculum in the major, including programs directed toward Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Health Care Leadership, Medicine, Physical Therapy, Law, and Health Sciences
  • Experiential learning to directly apply classroom knowledge during a required internship paired with an immersive capstone course
  • Local, state, and national conferences are offered to students to present research and to network with professionals in their career field

Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from Bellarmine with a degree in Public Health will:

  • Analyze social, socioeconomic, anthropologic, economic, and political determinants of health, including disparities in access, quality, health education, prevention efforts, and cost for various populations;
  • Synthesize quantitative and qualitative data and evidence-based practices via epidemiological methods to develop public health education initiatives and timely, appropriate interventions;
  • Examine, in-depth, the implications of various public health and population health strategies and policies implemented over time within mainstream and marginalized diverse communities;
  • Evaluate the structure and organization of various systems that interface with public health efforts, both within and outside of traditional health care settings; and
  • Integrate course content, with particular emphasis on social determinants, epidemiologic practices, biostatistics and data analysis, health psychology, and preventive efforts, within an enhanced capstone course that includes an internship with a local public health agency or program.


Experienced leaders of highly regarded organizations in the fields of health care, senior living, public health and aging services serve as mentors during internships designed to familiarize students with such operations. Every students can expect to gain first-hand, relevant career experience by completing a departmental rotation in a care center, participating in internal and external meetings, or performing approved projects for the host organization.

Career Opportunities

One of the most prominent demographic shifts anticipated across the United States – and throughout the industrialized world – over the next 10-15 years is an unprecedented growth in the number of older adults, both in pure number and percentage of the population. Organizations providing long-term care, senior living services, aging care and services, and public health services that address this demographic shift are expected to grow exponentially, as are companies that supply goods and services to those providers and public service agencies that regulate them.

The professions within aging care, senior living services, and public health require well-prepared leaders who can effectively plan, organize, and direct organizations to achieve strategic goals and advance their respective missions. With one of these health care degrees, students can pursue a wide variety of careers:

  • Administrator or Executive Director: Long-Term Care, Post-Acute Care, Home- and Community-Based Services, Seniors Housing 
  • Organizational Leadership: Finance, Human Resources, Marketing and Public Relations, Environmental and Risk Management, Health Informatics
  • Public Sector: Epidemiologist, Biostatistician, Community Health Administrator, Public Policy Advocate, Government Regulatory Agency Staff
  • Sales: Vendors of Pharmaceuticals, Goods, and Services to Healthcare Providers
  • Private Sector: End-of-Life Doula, Health Science Writer, Health Equity Advocate, Public Health Advocate

Career Development Center


Jessica Hume, Ph.D., MFA, Department Chair (email)
Anne Veno, DNP, MBA, RN (email)
Harry Dadds, J.D., LL.M. (email)
Chris Ekstrom, Department Assistant


The Department of Health Care Administration and Public Health at Bellarmine University is one of only 15 programs in the nation accredited by the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB). NAB granted accreditation in 2021 for the Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration degree. Students with this degree are eligible to sit for the national nursing home administrator and assisted living licensure exams, and are eligible for licensure in the majority of states following graduation.

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Contact Information

Undergraduate Admissions
Phone: 502.272.8000