Public Health Studies

Public Health Studies shows you how health is related to all aspects of human life, and how societies serve the health care needs of their people. 

Roanoke's Public Health Studies is an interdisciplinary approach to the health care arena, offering you diverse perspectives on health through courses in both life and social sciences. Public Health Studies will help you find a niche in the health field that matches you own personal passions, and will give you an advantage over those who've pursued a purely technical approach to health education.

Through rigorous investigation and analysis, Public Health Studies provides you with a strong foundation for a range of careers in the health field, such as administration, advocacy, counseling, medical practice, public policy, research & analysis, social work and occupational & physical therapy.

Roanoke has exceptionally strong relationships with local health care organizations. These partnerships offer you a myriad of opportunities for research and internships in some of the finest health organizations in the Middle Atlantic region.

Practical experience through community projects, internships, and research, coupled with strong academic and alumni connections, will prepare you for a top graduate program. We offer both a major and minor in Public Health Studies.

Public Health at Roanoke

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects demand for medical and health managers to grow by 17% in the next decade, more than twice the national employment growth average. 


Roanoke College and Carilion Clinic partner to serve the growing health care sector

Partnership will advance education and workforce development to improve community health and well-being in the Roanoke Valley.  

Class of 2022 includes a record five valedictorians and two salutatorians

The seven valedictorians and salutatorians hail from five different states and earned degrees in 10 different majors. Six of the seven are members of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society.

“I took my first public health class at Roanoke College, and I just really fell in love with it. I've always wanted to go to medical school, and this class showed me exactly what kind of physician I want to become. I don't want to only think about the one patient who's in front of me: I want to think about how I can improve policies and procedures for all patients in the community.”

Zoe Krut '20

Sample Course Offerings:

  • PHST 201:  Health and Society Students paying attention in class
  • PHST 301:  Introduction to Epidemiology
  • PHST 420:  Community Health Seminar

Community advocacy is an important part of her practice

Rebecca Dallas Corbicz '11 is a clinical emergency social worker at Tampa General Hospital.  Believing strongly that social work must address the public aspects of health, a significant part of her practice is devoted to community advocacy for her clients.  

Corbicz feels her studies at Roanoke helped her define her passion for healthcare. "One of my most memorable courses was 'Ethics in Medicine'," says Corbicz, "It really helped shape my thinking about the nature of public health." Corbicz plays an important role on her hospital's ethics board. After Roanoke, Corbicz received master's degrees in social work and public health at the University of Georgia.

Roanoke graduates do great work in health care.

Logos of: Boston Children's Hospital, Centra, Carilion Clinic, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, United Healthcare

“With the rapid growth of specialties and the need for trained experts across the health sector, we want to provide an avenue for more students to find a place for their expertise and passions within the global health system.”

Professor Shannon Anderson

Collecting community data, impacting community change

Healthy foods could become more accessible to lower-income local communities thanks to research by Dr. Liz Ackley and her students. Their food-mapping research is being showcased as a national model.


Proof that “Think Global/Act Local” really works

Professor Chad Morris has created a unique opportunity for Roanoke students to see, in microcosm, the health issues that beset communities around the globe.  Through his work with the Ministries of Health and Education in the Pacific island of Palau, he and his students have conducted anthropological research that has helped Palauan citizens and their government address issues of nutrition and food security. 

By starting at the community level, we've been able to engage the Palauan people in these issues, and find solutions they'll embrace." Says Morris, "It's a great opportunity for Roanoke students to conduct research, analyze data, and see how the public health interventions they've helped develop are making a real difference."