Exercise science students performing hands on activity in class

College of Arts & Sciences

Public Health


Dr. Erin Holt

Associate Professor of Exercise Science, Department Chair

Department of Applied Health Sciences

What is public health?


With a global pandemic still fresh on everyone’s mind, a degree in public health is a smart move if you’re interested in improving the diverse conditions and behaviors that affect all aspects of health and society.

Taking a multidisciplinary approach that explores areas of study such as maternal health communications, epidemiology, and environmental health and safety, a degree in public health will give you the knowledge and skills necessary to transform research into practices and public health policies.

Wellness fair in Baldwin City.

Why become public health major at Baker University?

As a public health major at Baker University, you’ll experience in-depth classroom work and practical, hands-on learning opportunities. And you’ll have your pick of three concentrations, so you can study what’s important to you.

Physical Activity & Health Promotion Across the Lifespan Concentration

As fitness professionals, become key players in public health efforts, this concentration will prepare you for a career in the following fields or workplaces: health education, health-based after-school programs, work-site health programs, health care organizations, parks and recreation, government agencies, colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations and commercial health clubs, coaching youth athletes with and without disabilities, leading group exercise, teaching and coaching youth sports and fitness in nonschool settings such as YMCA, YWCA, and Boys and Girls Clubs.

Health Communication & Literacy Concentration
Strong skills in health communication and literacy enable public health professionals to obtain, process, and understand basic health information. This concentration prepares you for a career as a public health project manager, public health researcher, public and allied health librarian, health plan prior authorization coordinator, youth services coordinator, parent and community engagement coordinator, early-childhood education coordinator, or hospital educator.

Sociology & Cultural Competency Concentration

Drawing on the efforts of the World Health Organization, this concentration prepares you to explore cultural studies, structures, and interactions through the lens of public health issues and principles. You will study a variety of topics such as race and epidemiology, health policy, sociology, ethnicity, gender, immigration, maternal health, wealth and poverty, family dynamics, and social policy.

Student walking across campus.

Beyond Textbooks and Lectures

Interested in public health observation and job-shadowing experiences and internships? You’ll get them, thanks to our strong relationships with diverse agencies, such as the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, Boost Physical Therapy and Sports Performance, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, Baldwin City Recreation Commission, and several regional hospitals.


What can you do with a public health degree?

From health-related sociology jobs to social epidemiology positions, as a public health major, you’ll have the opportunity to work at the local, state, federal, and multinational levels. A degree in public health will also prepare you for careers in private nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Here are potential public health careers:

  • Epidemiologist
  • Biostatistician
  • Health educator
  • Environmental health and safety director
  • Public health nurse
  • Health administrator
  • Environmental health scientist
  • Health analyst
  • Health director
  • Demographer

“Public health is an important field that is often overlooked. Millions of people are alive today thanks to public health initiatives, such as vaccination programs, clean air and water standards and policies, change in tobacco laws and community policies surrounding tobacco use, child safety laws, and workplace safety standards. Public health touches on almost every aspect of modern life with career options spanning from government agencies to nonprofit organizations to the private sector. As the world gets a glimpse into the public health world during the global pandemic, professionals in public health work together using evidence-based approaches and strategies to better the overall health and quality of life for populations and communities locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.”

—Dr. Erin Holt, Associate Professor of Exercise Science

Public Health Scholarships

The Department of Applied Health Sciences gives these awards with financial prizes to be applied to the following year’s tuition:

  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Exercise Science
  • Benjamin A. Gessner Award<
  • Thomas G. Manson and Frances B. Manson Scholarship
  • Robert L. Miller Scholarship
Exercise science students enjoying an exercise class outside with drumsticks in their hands

Public Health Course Descriptions

Meet the Faculty

Dr. Erin Holt

Chair of Applied Health Sciences Department, Associate Professor of Applied Health Sciences

B.A. Park University, M.A. Southeast Missouri State, Ed.D. Delta State University

Office: Mabee Hall 405


Dr. Kimberly Schaefer

Associate Professor of Communication Studies

B.A. University of Richmond; M.A., Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin

Expertise: interpersonal communication, communication technology, personal relationships

Office: Parmenter Hall 18


Erin Laurie

Assistant Professor of Applied Health Science

B.S. Kansas State University, M.S. Kansas State University

Expertise: Community nutrition and public health

Office: Mabee 403


Molly Anderson

Assistant Professor of Laboratory Instruction

B.S. Baker University, M.S. Johns Hopkins University

Expertise: chemical education

Office: Boyd Science Center 302


Dr. Michelle Deming

Assistant Professor of Sociology

M.A. University of North Carolina in Wilmington; Ph.D. University of South Carolina; Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies, University of South Carolina

Office: Parmenter Hall 23

Parmenter and long student center

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