Majoring in Public Health

Public Health has been described as an art and a science because practitioners use data and creativity to promote healthy communities and a healthy environment.

Public Health Classes

As a Public Health major, you’ll take classes in the health sciences, physical sciences and social sciences as you learn about the social, economic, environmental and political forces that influence human health. You will be able to tailor a five-course sequence to your specific interest, whether it be in policy, management, community health, nutrition or another area. Additionally, you will conduct an independent capstone project, and build your resume and professional network at an internship.

Classes are offered on Russell Sage College’s campuses in Troy and Albany, New York, making it easy to experience all that Sage has to offer. Both campuses are ideally situated for students to take advantage of internships and other opportunities at the New York State Department of Health, county health departments and dozens of community organizations.

Special Opportunities for Public Health Majors

AHEC Scholars Program

Sage has a formal agreement with the Hudson Mohawk Area Health Education Center. Students can apply to the AHEC Scholars program, a two-year program that places students in a field experience at a community health center and provides supplemental education and mentoring. AHEC Scholars learn how social determinants impact high-risk populations while they gain professional experience and develop their professional network.

Thrive @ Russell Sage

Russell Sage College has a signature program called Thrive @ Russell Sage. Building on our reputation in the health sciences, Thrive extends beyond the classroom to focus on bringing well-being to all aspects of student life. There are lots of opportunities to get involved with Thrive, which embraces the same broad definition of health and well-being as the field of community health.

“Public Health … is making the people and the environment they live in the healthiest they can possibly be.”

Dayna Maniccia, DrPH, MS
Associate Professor and Program Director
Spotlights Pattern

Your Future with a Public Health Bachelor’s Degree


Recent Sage graduates with a Public Health major or concentration have been hired by Albany Medical Center, the Rensselaer County Department of Health, the New York City Council and New Choices Recovery Center.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Health Handbook for Health Education Specialists and Community Health Workers — two of several career paths for Public Health majors — the median annual wage for those roles is $48,860 per year, with employment opportunities predicted to increase 12% through 2031 (The average growth rate for all occupations is 5%, according to the Bureau.)

Public Health majors also pursue careers in related fields like government, social work, business or the health sciences.

Graduate Studies

Many students go on to master’s degrees in Public or Community Health at top programs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Health Handbook for Epidemiologists — one of several career paths for individuals with a master’s in Public Health — the median annual wage for this field is $78,830 per year with employment opportunities predicted to increase 26% through 2031.

By using the five-course sequence to meet program requirements, this Public Health bachelor’s degree can also prepare you for:

Internships and Research

Recent employers that have hosted interns from Russell Sage College include the Rensselaer County Health Department, the New York State Assembly, Capital District Women’s Employment and Resource Center, Capital Roots, and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Capital Area.


In your senior year, you will conduct a needs assessment as your independent capstone project. Needs assessments are a common activity for public and community health professionals, so your capstone project is another relevant experience you can include on your resume, along with your internship. Students are encouraged to conduct research with a faculty mentor and to participate in multiple internship experiences whenever possible.


Next steps?

It’s time to take the next step. Choose yours below.

Have questions about a Public Health bachelor’s degree?

Chair, Interdisciplinary Studies Department; Program Director and Associate Professor, Public Health