If a career that focuses on the “art and science of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts of society” appeals to you, you may want to take a closer look at studying public health. The field of public health offers countless career opportunities, now more than ever.

When it comes to gaining the knowledge and expertise you need to advance in the field, the University of Lethbridge has you covered. In fact, it’s one of the few universities that provides so many specialized pathways to a career in public health, from bachelor’s degrees to PhDs.

No matter where you are in your career or education, there’s a public health program for you. Each program offers something a little different, and most of them are structured to feed into the next step, giving you plenty of options and flexibility.

Here are five public-health focused programs offered at uLethbridge to help you further your career and succeed in today’s competitive job market:

Unique Bachelor of Health Sciences programs in public health

If you’re interested in getting a bachelor’s degree in public health, look no further – ULethbridge offers Alberta’s only undergraduate degree with that specialization. The Bachelor of Health Sciences – Public Health (BHSc) is a comprehensive program that will teach you the foundations of public health while putting you on the path to a successful career or further study.

ULethbridge also offers a two-year post-diploma public health major with health leadership minor, and a combined Bachelor of Health Sciences (Public Health)/Bachelor of Management (BHSc/BMgt). The combined degree is one of very few degree programs in Canada to blend public health and management, and the only one to offer the degree at an undergraduate level.

To gain additional public health practice experience and mentorship, students may complete a practicum placement, co-operative education studies, applied studies and independent studies or an undergraduate (honours) thesis to gain research experience. Many ULethbridge graduates have had immediate success finding jobs because of the hands-on public health experience they gained in their program.

Boost your resume with a graduate certificate in public health

There’s a lot of buzz about micro-credentials these days and, as it happens, the ULethbridge offers two that specialize in public health.

Both the Graduate Certificate in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Graduate Certificate in Public Health Program and Policy Planning and Evaluation are considered micro-credentials that can be completed a little more quickly than a master’s degree, with a slightly lighter course load. They can also boost your resume, help you change careers and put you on the right track toward higher education.

But unlike other micro-credentials – also known as digital badges, nano degrees and micro-certifications – these are graduate-level courses for which you receive a parchment upon completion.

Students can take up to 36 months to complete the required 12 credit hour courses for the graduate certificates, both of which ladder into the Master of Science Health Sciences major, Public Health specialization (MSc). This means credits earned throughout the graduate certificate can be applied toward the master’s degree, or even transferred part-way through if you decide to want to pursue a master’s instead.

Plus, students interested in taking a graduate certificate aren’t required to have any work experience, a requirement of the MSc (Health Sciences), Public Health specialization.

Master of Science | Health Sciences major - Public Health specialization (MSc)

If you’re looking for a slightly more demanding program that can be completed in two years, the MSc (Health Sciences), Public Health specialization may be the one for you. Students can choose to complete the program full time over 24 months or part time over 48 months. The cohort-based program is offered by the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University's Lethbridge campus.

The program has been designed to give students the advanced skills they need for competitive entry into the public health workforce as program managers, program evaluators, infectious disease control analysts and policy analysts (among other positions) and also provides excellent preparation for a health-related PhD.

PhD | Population Studies major

If taking a deep dive into the world of public health is more your speed, the Population Studies in Health (PhD) is the perfect choice. This thesis-based, 48-month program will focus on identifying the complex structural factors and resources that impact health equity, and identifying and understanding community and health system characteristics and the policy environment to comprehend health system resources and how they are effective in addressing population health concerns.

Whatever your career goals or educational ambitions, if you have an interest in public health, the University of Lethbridge has something for you.

Undergraduate programs in public health

Bachelor of Health Sciences | Major: Public Health

Bachelor of Health Sciences | Bachelor of Management (combined degree)

Post-diploma Bachelor of Health Sciences | Major: Public Health | Minor: Health Leadership

Graduate programs in public health

Graduate Certificate in Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Certificate in Public Health Program and Policy Planning and Evaluation

Master of Science | Major: Health Sciences, Public Health specialization

PhD | Population Studies in Health