Public Health (B.S.) in Public Health Promotion - NIU - College of Health & Human Sciences

Public Health

Public Health (B.S.) in Public Health Promotion

Serving primarily as community educators, health promotion professionals work to promote health and prevent disease by positively influencing the behavior of individuals as well as their living and working conditions. Health promotion professionals begin their work by collecting and analyzing data to identify community needs. They then design, implement, monitor, and evaluate programs to meet those needs; many programs are designed by health promotion professionals, including programs to prevent cancer, violence, substance abuse as well as programs to promote health lifestyles.

To accomplish their work, health promotion professionals need good communication skills and specialized training in techniques that encourage healthy lifestyles, policies and environments.

The curriculum for Health Promotion pairs the Public Health curriculum with a menu of courses from areas such as health education and communication studies. 

Job Settings

  • County health departments
  • Wellness programs
  • Health service delivery organizations
  • Voluntary healthcare organizations (e.g., American Cancer Society)
  • Federal and state and local health agencies 
  • Hospitals
  • Disease management firms

Sample Job Titles

  • Consumer Information Director 
  • Health Educator 
  • Health Education Consultant
  • Nutrition and Fitness Consultant
  • Patient Service Representative
  • Social Services Coordinator
  • STD/HIV Case Worker
  • Community Outreach Coordinator 

Key Issues

  • Healthy lifestyles
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Injury prevention
  • Maternal and child health
  • Occupational safety and health
  • Violence prevention

Job Trends

  • There is growing demand for culturally diverse outreach workers who can speak a second language and are trained in behavioral and community-based intervention technologies to both educate and empower populations at risk to improve and enhance their health status.
  • Greater emphasis on integrating health promotion and disease prevention in capitated health plans (managed care) is rapidly increasing in primary care settings as well as in community-based outreach programs.
  • Educators trained in maternal and child health, nutrition, sanitation, industrial hygiene, population control and prevention of disease will increasingly find career opportunities in developing countries. 

Internships and Job Opportunities

The Public Health Program is affiliated with over 120 health care agencies in the Northern Illinois region which offer internships to students. These same sites also frequently employ our alums.