The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will offer its first undergraduate degree in public health beginning in spring 2019.
The UW System board of regents on Friday approved the new UWM bachelor’s program, which will be offered through the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health.
It’s the first bachelor’s degree offered at the Zilber School, which already offers graduate programs.
UWM representatives said the new degree will help build a pipeline to meet the local and national demand for a diverse pool of public health professionals.
“Expanding public-health courses, research opportunities and internship connections to more students means the Zilber School will be even more effective in pursuing our mission of advancing population health, health equity and social and environmental justice,” said Ron Perez, interim dean of the Zilber School.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects higher than average growth from 2016 to 2026 in jobs related to public health, including health educators and community health workers, environmental scientists and specialists, social and community service managers, and statisticians. Nearly 40 percent of Wisconsin’s public health workforce is expected to retire by 2020, UWM said.
Last year, the Zilber School received its national accreditation, becoming the only accredited school of public health in the state. University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Medical College of Wisconsin and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse all have accredited graduate programs.
The Zilber School offers a master in public health degree with concentrations in biostatistics, community and behavioral health promotion, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, and public health policy and administration. There are also three doctoral degrees available.