AU introduced the Public Health Scholars Program, a new bachelor’s degree major, this year for the College of Arts and Sciences. The program is the latest expansion of the three-year major offerings by the University.
The program aims to allow students to complete the coursework of the four-year undergraduate program in three years and still have the opportunity to study abroad, according to Mahali Schenkelberg, a CAS freshman in the Public Health Scholars Program this year.
“Public health is a very broad major regarding the overall health of the population instead of just the health of an individual,” Schenkelberg said.
Schenkelberg was attracted to the Public Health Scholars Program because of the time gained by completing her undergraduate degree in three years. After graduating, she plans to pursue other goals before applying to medical school.
“The three-year aspect attracted my interest because I want to go to medical school,” Schenkelberg said.
The program admitted 15 students for its first year, according to Emily Brincka, a junior in the School of Public Affairs, who serves as the program assistant for the current freshman class.
“The University has made a plan that we are going to have a three-year program in each school,” Brincka said. “Last year, global scholars was the [School of International Service] three-year program. This year, it was the public health for the CAS, and next year there is going to be a government and public policy program for the [School of Public Affairs].”
The heads of the program could not be reached for comment.
“The program had a rough start in the beginning,” Brincka said, citing student confusion over expectations for the material covered in the program.
“I anticipate some minor revisions and general changes amending and continuing to improve the program next year.”