Saint Lawrence students and a mentor chat with a resident at a nursing home facility.

Public Health

About Our Program

Our approach to public health is unconventional because it needs to be. The world is demanding a broader, more comprehensive approach to public health beyond medicine and biology, and that’s why we intentionally designed our program to leverage the power of St. Lawrence’s liberal arts experience.

We'll provide you with the tools and a wide academic lens for the transformative work ahead of you. As you and your peers prepare to be the next generation of public health professionals, we get you thinking differently about the field by focusing your coursework around social determinants of health, or the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age. 

Program Offerings

  • Major
  • Minor


Learning Experiences to Prepare for Your Career

Experiential Learning Component (ELC)

Study off campus. Embark on independent research. Take a Community-based Learning class. Complete an internship. Our ELC requirement is as flexible as you need and want it to be so you are able to take on hands-on experiences that pique your curiosity and complement your coursework. Recent research projects include:

  • Maternal health in Uganda and Malawi

  • COVID-19 and infectious disease community outreach programs

  • The difference in maternity care between New Zealand and the U.S.

  • Community mental health in Kenya

Community-based Learning (CBL)

CBL courses combine your desire to engage in service with your classes and critical thinking skills in a relationship that benefits you and the local community. Recent CBL offerings related to public health include:

  • What’s So Bad About Aging
  • Community Psychology
  • Bioethics
  • Medicines and Meanings

Explore Community-based Learning 

Liberal Arts Electives

More than 60 courses from over 20 departments are offered as elective options in public health. Take a government course to work on policies related to health access, or an environmental studies class to learn how to analyze the connections between environmental factors and public health crises that can inform local governments. A sociology course will get you thinking about public health in prisons or how drugs are impacting our communities, while a global studies class will put public health into historical, political, and transnational contexts so you can better understand interrelated problems as well as the causes of global health issues.

Public Health Internship Fellowship Award

Established in 2019, this fellowship is awarded to students who have secured an internship, including structured career development or research opportunities, for the upcoming summer break. It helps offset the cost of living and travel/transportation expenses incurred during the internship experience.

Learn More About the Award

Volunteer Experiences

You can also gain experience while making a difference through service work with a number of on-campus and local organizations, including:

  • Campus Kitchens
  • Advocates
  • Alpha Phi Omega, a community service fraternity
  • Renewal House
  • Planned Parenthood 

Explore Volunteer Opportunities 



You can also gain experience while making a difference through service work. Students studying public health have pursued internships with:

  • Local and regional public health departments
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Hospitals and medical groups

Explore Internships 

SLU Public Interest Corps (SLU PIC)

Intern with a non-profit right here in the North Country through the St. Lawrence Public Interest Corps (SLU PIC) program. This 10-week paid internship will put your public health work into practice and help you make a positive impact while providing you with invaluable professional experience as you consider joining the next generation of leaders and innovators in the public interest space.

Learn About SLU PIC

Volunteer Experiences

You can also gain experience while making a difference through service work. Students studying public health have volunteered with: 

  • Planned Parenthood
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • SLU Buddies

Explore Volunteer Experiences

Study Abroad

Choose from more than 30 semester-long programs offered in more than 20 international locations, including Sweden, Denmark, and Kenya, where students will find public health-related internships.

Denmark Semester Program

Explore public health issues with a global lens as you spend a semester in Denmark learning about universal healthcare, challenges and opportunities in public health, and more.

Short-Term Trips & Field Experiences

In addition to semester- and year-long programs, you’ll also have the chance to participate in short-term travel study trips with your professors and classmates.

Explore Off-Campus Study Programs

Find Your Community

Among the 150+ clubs and organizations at St. Lawrence, you’ll find many that involve the natural world and medical field aspirations including: 

  • Pre-Health Club
  • Black Student Union
  • Carefree Black Girls
  • Common Ground Connections
  • Anthropology Club
  • The Advocates
  • Peer Health Network
  • Stand By Me
  • Model U.N. 
  • Weave News
  • Spectrum
  • SLU Adaptive

Explore Clubs and Organizations

Why St. Lawrence for Public Health


Laurentians Working in Public Health


Study More Than One Discipline

St. Lawrence students are curious which is why interdisciplinary programs like public health are so popular

Recent graduates furthered their studies at:

  • Temple University College of Public Health
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Yale School of Public Health
  • Boston University School of Public Health
  • Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
  • Brown University School of Public Health
  • University of Massachusetts-Amherst

$5.9 Million

Invested in our public health program since 2015 thanks to The Campaign for Every Laurentian

JED Campus.

JED Campus

As a JED campus, St. Lawrence is committed to supporting student well-being and mental health. In 2021, the University embarked on a multi-year strategic collaboration to assess and enhance current mental health and well-being initiatives to create positive, lasting, systemic change for the campus community.


Classes taught by teaching assistants


Public Health Internship Fellowship Award Recipients


Study Off Campus

Nearly two-thirds of students take advantage of study abroad and domestic study opportunities

Recent graduates were employed by:

  • Population Institute
  • The Democracy Collaborative
  • Person Centered Housing Options
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Upper Room Family Resource Center
  • Peace Corps


conduct research

More Program Information

Program Requirements & Courses

Find out more about the courses and requirements for our public health program.

The Importance of Public Health

Colin Hart '19 spent part of his St. Lawrence experience researching ways to make health resources more accessible for local community members. Today he is pursuing an advanced degree at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Two students sit on a red couch in a bright, airy study space with lots of windows. They both type on laptops.

On the Right Track: Pre-Health Mentoring at St. Lawrence

Thanks to the support of fellow students and faculty mentors, St. Lawrence's pre-health mentoring program empowers first-year students to embrace all aspects of their liberal arts college experience—including sports, off-campus study opportunities, extracurriculars, and elective courses—as preparation for a career in healthcare after graduation.

Read the Story

Get More Information

We’re excited to learn more about you, tell you more about our interdisciplinary academic programs, show you around our beautiful campus, and help you navigate your college search.

Apply to St. Lawrence

We’re looking for curious students who are eager to make a difference. We take a holistic approach to reviewing applications and consider all aspects of your application and what we learn about you.