The Department of Public Health at Chicago State University

Public Health

The Department of Public Health produces responsible, service-oriented, discerning graduates and informed global citizens. Graduates are trained to promote healthy lifestyles and disease prevention. Graduates are also advocates for health policy change, addressing issues such as violence, substance use, and access to healthcare. More importantly, graduates are able to pursue careers as:

  • Health Educators
  • Contact Tracers
  • Health Advocates
  • Policy Analysts
  • Project Managers
  • Patient Navigators
  • Health Communication Specialist
  • Community Outreach Coordinators

According to the United States Department of Labor Statistics (2022), "Employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 16 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.6 million new jobs.” 

Bachelor of Science Degree Program

The Bachelor of Science degree program focuses on urban health, emphasizing social determinants of health. Students can expect to learn about the core public health disciplines, including:

  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Environmental and occupational health
  • Health policy and administration
  • Social and behavioral sciences 

In addition to the core public health disciplines, the program draws knowledge from liberal arts, the medical sciences, and communications. The Public Health curriculum is interdisciplinary. Students can take courses in various departments within and outside of the College of Health Sciences. Other disciplines include:

  • Pre-Occupational Therapy
  • Nursing
  • Health Information Administration

Connecting with other disciplines prepares students for careers as members of a health team.


Master of Public Health Degree Program

CSU's Master of Public Health (MPH) program focuses on health disparities, health equity, health promotion, and social determinants of health. The practice-centered curriculum emphasizes social and scientific strategies for understanding the causality, consequences, prevention, and control of diseases and premature deaths. The MPH curriculum is practice-centered and focuses on the core functions of Public Health, including:

  • Health status assessments
  • Environmental health quality assurance
  • Behavior change strategies
  • Health disparities
  • Health policy development
  • Research



Have you ever wondered how your major might help you after you graduate? See this new academic major report for the state of Illinois!

This tool contains useful data on how graduates from different majors are doing in the labor market: How much money are they earning? What industries are they working in? How much debt do they graduate with? What occupations are they likely to hold? Whether declaring an initial major or switching majors, use this tool to gain better insight into your options!



Robyn Espinosa in a blue dress oceansideThe best way to describe Chicago State University is community. I found a community of driven professionals with huge hearts at CSU, which sparked my passion for doing purpose-driven work. As a double-alumnus, I valued the quality of education from CSU so much that after the completion of my BS in Biology, I came back to complete a master’s in public health. What a decision… as I have ventured into the professional world, I compare my MPH experience to others, and by far CSU provided significantly more hands-on research, program, and health promotion experience.  

Robyn Espinosa, Ph.D

MPH (2016), BS (2012)


Okey Enyia in a suit with bowtieMy entry into the Master of Public Health program at Chicago State University was welcoming and validating - particularly because my college and medical school careers were spent at predominately white institutions - where I was typically one of a few Black men in the classroom. I enjoyed being surrounded by faculty and students who looked like me and shared my lived experience while at Chicago State University. While in the Department of Public Health, I was encouraged by my faculty advisor at the time, Dr. Yashika Watkins, to fully embrace and pursue my burgeoning interest in the health and well-being of Black men. Consequently, my doctoral work and research have entailed centering the health and well-being of Black men in terms of policy and practice. The graduate programs' curricular focus on health disparities and inequities provided a strong foundation for my life's work in ensuring Black and Brown people have a credible voice at any decision-making table.

Okey K. Enyia
MPH (2016)