The water we drink, the air we breathe, the food we eat, the places in which we live and work, and the diseases we try to manage are all shaped by the science of public health.


The public health major is an interdisciplinary major that engages students with the diverse field of public health.  The major serves as a foundation for students interested in a broad range of public health careers, from biostatistics and epidemiology to health education and health policy to global and environmental health.  It also prepares students for graduate training in these fields or in related professional health careers such as medicine, nursing, or social work.  Students are strongly urged to do an internship as part of the major.

Careers in Public Health

  • Research epidemiologist
  • Health educator
  • Medical social worker
  • Policy advisor
  • Communications specialist
  • Federal environmentalist
  • Public health lawyer
  • Nutritionist

See job placement rates for Calvin grads.

Student involvement

Research global health in Hungary and learn how to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty. Discover how to influence health care policies by doing an internship in Washington D.C. Partner with SafeWater Ghana and bring clean water to people at risk from poor water consumption.


Dollar amounts reflect awards given for the 2014-15 academic year.

Dr. James A. Cook Scholarship
  • award amount: $5,000
  • first-year
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need considered; planning to pursue a health related major (pre-med, pre-dental, nursing, public health, speech pathology, etc.); preference will be given to students from Western Michigan Christian High School, Muskegon, MI
  • automatic consideration
James and Barbara Haveman Family Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,500
  • any class level
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is required; planning to major in public health, business, social work or pursuing a degree in engineering or education
  • prospective students submit a letter of recommendation to the Financial Aid Office ( by February 1; returning students apply through the Calvin Portal
View all scholarship opportunities


Kristen Admiraal

Kristen Admiraal
Assistant Professor of Social Work
Social Work Program Director
Department of Social Work
SC 231
(616) 526-7732

Patrick Bailey

Patrick Bailey
Associate Professor of Computer Science
Department of Computer Science
NH 291
(616) 526-7543

Arlene Hoogewerf

Arlene Hoogewerf
Professor of Biology, department chair
Department chair
Department of Biology
DH 101
(616) 526-8668

Mikael Pelz

Mikael Pelz
Assistant Professor, Internship Director for Political Science
Department of Political Science
DC 261I
(616) 526-6232

Scott Vander Linde

Scott Vander Linde
Department of Economics
NH 175
(616) 526-6477

Talk to us

Arlene Hoogewerf Arlene Hoogewerf
Program Director
DH 101
(616) 526-8668

Scott Vander Linde Scott Vander Linde
Program Director
NH 175
(616) 526-6477


Connect with your counselor via email, phone, or in person. They'd love to hear from you and answer your questions!

Or, ask us your questions on Facebook.

In the fall and spring our counselors travel throughout the world to meet with students—see if they'll be in your area!

Teach This

Interested in teaching? You can gain certification in Public Health as a:

Calvin's teacher education program also contains education-specific course requirements that you must complete prior to certification. See course requirements for:

Professor Robert Keeley talks about the education program.

Learn More

Explore Calvin's teacher education program.

Read the teacher education guidebook for more detailed information about certification.

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