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UMass Lowell Launches Public Health Programs

New Bachelor’s, Master’s Degrees Will Help Meet Growing Need for Workers


Contacts for media:  Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 or; Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or
LOWELL, Mass. – Responding to the growing demand for public health professionals, UMass Lowell’s College of Health Sciences is introducing new bachelor’s and master’s public health degree programs. Prospective students may apply now to enroll this fall.

The new public health programs were developed in response to the growing shortage of workers in the region and nationally. A greater public interest in health promotion and disease prevention, an aging population, and an increase in the number of people retiring from jobs in the public health field are all fueling the need.

More professionals who are prepared to prevent disease and promote health in the population as a whole are in demand. More than 250,000 additional public health workers will be needed in the U.S. than will be available by 2020. In Massachusetts, employment in public health occupations is expected to grow 25 percent by 2050. 

“Our goal is to produce graduates who can have a positive impact on health by decreasing the incidence of preventable diseases while reducing health care costs,” said Dean Shortie McKinney of the College of Health Sciences. “Our programs will emphasize prevention rather than treatment and prepare graduates to promote and evaluate initiatives in public health that range from building neighborhoods that encourage physical activity among people of all ages to policies that build a sustainable future for at-risk populations and help people make more informed choices related to health.”

Students enrolled in the bachelor of science in public health degree program will choose between three options – community health and health promotion, environmental and occupational health, and health sciences.

One of the options in the master of public health degree (M.P.H.) program is global environmental sustainability and health. Additional options for the M.P.H. program are in the planning stages.

Careers for those with degrees in public health include environmental scientists, community health workers, health educators, toxicologists, risk analysts, research project coordinators, worksite wellness managers and more.

UMass Lowell and its College of Health Sciences are recognized for regional and global leadership in core fields of public health including occupational health and safety, environmental sustainability, reduction of environmental toxics, epidemiology and health sciences. 

“We have faculty experts in place who are world-renowned in their fields to deliver high-caliber programs that will motivate and educate the next generation of public health professionals,” said McKinney. “These new public health programs reflect our commitment to educate leaders who will create a healthier world.”

UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its 17,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.