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

Careers with a Public Health Degree

You’ll be prepared to start your career or pursue a graduate degree in public and community health, and in related fields like government, social work, business or the health sciences.

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.

Graduate Studies with a Public Health Bachelor’s Degree

Many students go on to pursue a master’s degree in Public or Community Health and are accepted at top programs.

By using the five-course sequence to meet program requirements, this program 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; Assistant Director, Center for Teaching & Learning; Program Director and Associate Professor, Public Health