Add To Favorites

CU Boulder to offer new bachelor's degree in public health

Daily Camera - 4/16/2024

Apr. 16—The University of Colorado Boulder will offer a bachelor of arts degree in public health beginning in the 2025-2026 school year, following high demand from students.

"Some market research has shown that CU Boulder loses students each year who are interested in studying public health," said Colleen Reid, geography professor and director of the public health certificate program. "When they look at the majors that are offered on our campus, they don't see something in health."

Public health focuses on improving people's health and well-being while preventing health problems before they occur. Students who get a degree in public health can work in a variety of fields including biostatistics, environment and health, nutrition, public health policy and health administration.

The University of Colorado Board of Regents approved the new degree program at its regular meeting on Thursday. The program proposal was presented in a regent committee meeting in March.

"We think this program will grow very quickly," said Irene Blair, College of Arts and Sciences dean of natural sciences.

In 2014, CU Boulder students asked for a public health major and the university created a public health certificate. It's now the largest undergraduate certificate on the Boulder campus. Since 2019, the certificate averages just under 200 students a year who take the certificate in addition to their major.

"Students have been asking for more," Reid said.

Reid said the longer-term goal is to turn the existing certificate into a minor and add more faculty. The university would like to offer different tracks or sub-specialties within public health in the future.

Because there's no school of public health, courses are taught by professors from a variety of disciplines.

"This is a very interdisciplinary degree, it very much furthers the strategic branding of the campus," said Katherine Eggert, vice chancellor for academic planning and assessment.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth in public health and healthcare jobs nationally and in Colorado, Reid said. Students no longer need a graduate degree to work in public health and can increasingly get a job with only a bachelor's degree.

"The COVID-19 pandemic just highlighted more and more need for public health trained individuals," Reid said.


(c)2024 the Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.)

Visit the Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.) at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.