One school, many perspectives


The College of Health complements pre-med, dent and vets majors

If you are passionate about a career in health care, biology isn’t the only undergraduate major to consider. In fact, today’s global health landscape — particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic — underscores the importance, need and urgency for health practitioners with a background in population, community and global health. Health practitioners with a foundation in population health can approach their work from a global perspective and are uniquely positioned to create positive health outcomes on a broad scale.

Population health is an exciting and growing field that aims to advance our understanding of the multiple determinants of health — from cell to society — and how they interact to produce the health outcomes we observe. Lehigh’s College of Health (COH) offers a Bachelor of Science in Population Health as well as minors in Population Health and Global Health.  Graduate Certificates in Population Health and Global Population Health will launch in spring 2022 and a Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Science (MS) in Population Health will begin in fall 2022.

The Freedom of Pre-Health at Lehigh

At Lehigh, pre-health students are interested in pursuing graduate-level study in a health field such as allopathic (M.D.) or osteopathic (D.O.) medicine, physician assistant, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc. In other words, they will work one-on-one with patients to help them recover and avoid injury and/or treat and prevent disease and illness.

Because there are no “pre-med” or “pre-dent” majors at Lehigh, pre-health students have the opportunity to major in any area, as long as they also complete the prerequisite coursework needed for their intended medical, dental or other professional program. Pre-health advisors work closely with students to help them integrate their goals and interests with their academic and co-curricular experiences to become well-rounded and competitive candidates for a career in health. 

Either of the two majors offered in the College of Health — the B.S. in Population Health or the B.A. in Community and Global Health — will help pre-health students stand out on a medical, dental or veterinary school application. Pre-health students who complete these majors are prepared to approach their health practice with an understanding of biostatistics and data analysis, as well as the social, biological, environmental, political and economic factors that influence health and health outcomes, factors that we call determinants of health.

Lehigh's College of Health offers both Population and Community and Global Health degree programs that are well suited to pre-health students.

Population Health

Population Health approaches health outcomes from a wide, data-driven lens. An interdisciplinary and customizable approach, population health examines significant health concerns across a specific population and aims to address and prevent them through resource allocation. This approach allows health departments to connect practice to policy for change to happen locally and relies on the collaboration of multiple community sectors and levels, such as public health, industry, academia, health care and local government to achieve positive health outcomes. 

At Lehigh, population health majors investigate the determinants of health using data science and identify novel and effective avenues for disease prevention, health promotion, diagnosis and intervention. Armed with a foundation of mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences and computer science, population health majors pursue a healthier world through data science and epidemiology. Population health students will go on to work with key stakeholders to transform a healthier world on a large scale through problem solving, collaboration with key stakeholders and strategic creativity.

Community and Global Health

Students completing a B.A. in Community and Global Health, the new degree coming soon to the College of Health, will pursue a different methodological approach to health. These majors will work with both qualitative and quantitative methods, and dive deep into the social, biological, environmental, political and economic determinants of health. 

Community and Global health majors will learn to implement community and global health concepts and theories into specific communities, while promoting cultural understandings of health. Students will graduate with the ability to design, execute and evaluate effective and culturally appropriate community health interventions domestically and globally. This major is a great fit for students who enjoy translating theory into action in order to improve health outcomes across populations.

Becoming a Health Expert at Lehigh

Those interested in helping others through health care, will find a number of degrees that allow for a well-rounded and flexible education. They all work together to achieve the same goal — help people, communities and populations achieve safer, healthier and happier lives. Whichever path you choose, you’ll gain the skills and knowledge required to make a tremendous impact in health care. 

Want to hear more about students in the College of Health? Hear from current College of Health students in our new blog, Convergence.