Public Health Sciences

Public health working talking to doctor in hospital.

The Public Health Sciences major provides rigorous curriculum, but also offers career development opportunities through partnerships with local, community-based organizations and public agencies.

This program offers courses in areas such as community health, public health, health education, health and social justice among others. Students will learn how to identify and assess public health challenges, as well as develop and implement strategies to promote health and prevent disease in populations. Graduates of this program will be prepared for entry-level positions in public health organizations or to transfer to a four-year institution to continue their education in public health or related fields.

What is Public Health Science?

Public Health Sciences is a multidisciplinary field that aims to improve the health and well-being of populations through the prevention of disease and injury. It encompasses a range of scientific disciplines, including epidemiology, health education, biostatistics, environmental health, health policy, and social and behavioral sciences. Public Health Sciences professionals study the distribution and determinants of health and disease in populations, identify and address health disparities, and develop and implement policies and interventions to promote health and prevent illness. The goal of Public Health Sciences is to protect and improve the health of entire communities, rather than just individuals, through the promotion of healthy behaviors, the creation of healthy environments, and the provision of effective healthcare services. The major at Bakersfield College skill competencies include knowledge of public health models, health education and promotion, health risk assessments, health screenings and surveillance of disease outbreaks in a community.

Is Public Health Sciences Right for Me?

A Public Health Sciences major may be right for you if you are interested in improving the health and well-being of populations and have a passion for public service. Particularly if you enjoy working in interdisciplinary teams, have strong communication and problem-solving skills, and are committed to social justice and health equity. This is also suitable if you wish to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor's degree in public health or related.

Several traits and skills would make you a good fit for studying Public Health Sciences, including:

  1. Passion for public service and improving the health of communities.
  2. Analytical and critical thinking skills
  3. Knowledge of and interest in scientific methods and research, including epidemiology, biostatistics, and data analysis
  4. Ability to work well under pressure, prioritize tasks, and manage time effectively.
  5. Cultural competence and sensitivity to the diverse needs of populations, including an understanding of social determinants of health.
  6. Ethical decision-making and a commitment to social justice and health equity

These traits and skills are essential for success in Public Health Sciences and can help prepare you for a career in public health, healthcare administration, health policy, and related fields.

Public Health Science Degree and Certificates

Careers in Public Health

Public health sciences careers include, but are not limited to:

  1. Public Health Navigator
  2. Health Education Specialist or Promoter
  3. Community Health Worker
  4. Healthcare Administrator or Manager
  5. Health Services Research Assistant
  6. Environmental Health Technician or Specialist
  7. Health Policy Analyst or Advocate
  8. Occupational Health and Safety Technician or Specialist

These careers can be found in various settings, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, hospitals and clinics, community health centers, research institutions, and private companies. Additionally, you can use this degree as a steppingstone to pursue a bachelor's degree or higher education in public health or related fields, which can lead to more advanced and specialized career opportunities.

Kern County Public Health Services (KCPHS)

In the video below, Brynn Carrigan, Director of KCPHS, highlights a few careers available at KCPHS, such as:

  • Outreach in the community
  • Environmental health inspections
  • Working in a laboratory

Career Exploration Resources

Student with university penant.
Beyond BC

Transfer to a University

Graduates with an Associate Degree from Bakersfield College may choose to continue their education at a university to earn a 4-year degree. See your Counselor and/or a Transfer Specialist for specific questions, options, and opportunities.


Academic Department: Behavioral Science

Career & Learning Pathway: Health Sciences (HS) Pathway


See the entire list of Public Health Sciences (PBHS) courses available at BC in the catalog.

Follow BC Public Health Science

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