University News

Public Health Major Expanding to WIU-Quad Cities Campus in Spring 2021

December 4, 2020

Printer friendly version

MOLINE, IL – Western Illinois University will begin offering its major in Public Health at its Quad Cities campus, beginning in Spring 2021. Courses will be offered virtually via livestream and online formats.

According to Lorette Oden, chair of WIU's Department of Health Sciences and Social Work, the degree will offer students the opportunity to improve and impact the health of individuals and communities.

"Students in our program may focus on one of three emphasis areas, along with a minor of their choice," said Oden. "The emphasis areas include Community Health Education, Environmental and Occupational Safety and Public Health Preparedness. Students learn how to prevent negative health outcomes and how to assist others to adopt and live healthier lifestyles."

Through the program, students will have hands-on experience with a required internship at the end of the program.

"The career possibilities in the public health field are endless," Oden added. "There is a significant need for public health professionals. Students may pursue employment in governmental and non-governmental settings. In addition to selecting public health departments, other career opportunities include, but are not limited to global health, epidemiology, research, teaching, community/school health education, health and wellness organizations, and many more."

WIU Interim Provost Billy Clow said expanding the public health options available on the Quad Cities campus comes at an exciting time.

"If the past nine months has taught us anything it is that public health options for education are more important than ever, and Western Illinois University can be a leader in sustained careers in the public health sector," he said.

The career outlook for the variety of careers in the field is predicted to increase 13 percent in the next 10 years.

Students can apply to be a part of this major now, with the application fee waived through Dec. 31 for students applying for the spring, summer or fall semesters.

For more information about the program, visit, or, or email

Posted By: Jodi Pospeschil (
Office of University Communications & Marketing