Welcome to the rapidly growing field of community health!
Public health and community health are terms that are often used interchangeably. Public health is considered the science and art of protecting and improving the health of societies through education, promotion of healthy behaviors and environments, and research for disease and injury prevention. Community health is an important foundational component of public health that focuses on understanding and meeting the needs of distinct population segments. These smaller population segments may be defined based on demographic characteristics such as age, geographic location such as county or school district, or behavioral risk factors such as smoking, as examples. Community health engages and empowers individuals and communities to participate in their own wellbeing. Community health IS public health!
The Bachelor of Science in Community Health degree program prepares students for a variety of careers that make meaningful contributions to the health and welfare of the individual and community. The increasing emphasis on prevention rather than solely on treating the ill has led many institutions to develop health promotion and wellness programs for community members and employees. The Community Health program at the University of Maryland focuses on understanding the cultural and behavioral determinants of health, as well as developing innovative approaches to prevention and treatment that influence good public health.
Here is what graduating Community Health majors have had to say about our program’s strengths:
- “Makes you think outside the box, exposure to real world, small cohort of students, great faculty”
- “Strong advising, professors with strong public health backgrounds, very approachable faculty that will help you out as long as you put yourself out there”
- “The greatest program strength is the internship requirement. I am so grateful to have had this experience, a genuine introduction to the real world of professional employment in a community health setting, while still being an undergraduate”
- “Excellent at addressing the competencies needed to enter into entry level community health careers.”
- "The program does a really good job at preparing students professionally. The program is always thinking toward the future, and that is extremely beneficial."
- "Kindness, compassion, empathy; this sense that you want to leave the world better than you found it."