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Public Health Associate Degree

Prepare for an entry-level position in the public health field, or to transfer to a four year college or university and pursue a degree in health education, administration, or environmental health

Program Overview

Are you interested in pursuing a career promoting the health and wellness of individuals, families, and communities? Would you like to help connect people with needed health care services? Then a career in public health is for you.

iHealth@NECC’s Associate Degree in Public Health will provide you with classroom theory and field work experience and will prepare you for an entry-level position in the public health field. The program will also prepare you to transfer to a four year college or university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in health education, health administration, or environmental health.

Career Opportunities

Upon completion of the program, you may be eligible to pursue opportunities in private, public, and federal health care agencies. Public health generalists have many different job titles and functions, including community health educators, patient navigators, public health field workers, community advocates, and environmental science and protection workers.

Program Requirements

Starting in the fall of 2014, any student enrolled in an associate degree program who is new to NECC and has no academic history at the college, must take at least one course designated as intensive in each of NECC’s six core academic skills in order to graduate. In most cases, the program’s core required courses include these intensive courses. Plan to see an advisor for more complete information about this graduation requirement.

Students who pursue the iHealth@NECC Associate Degree in Public Health will complete most of their course work in an online “hybrid” format. Students will come to the Lawrence Campus one or two evenings per week for in-class meetings. In order to progress in the program, a student must have a “C” in all courses to move to the next level and graduate. 68 credit hours are required for graduation.

The Public Health Program has additional admission requirements. See the Admission Criteria Packet below:

Public Health Criteria Packet 2018 (PDF)
Public Health Criteria Packet (High School Seniors Only) 2018 (PDF)

Public Health Criteria Packet 2017 (PDF)
Public Health Criteria Packet (High School Seniors Only) 2017 (PDF)

Drug Screening

Students enrolled in this academic program may be required to pass a drug screening analysis.


Students are required to complete a health evaluation, including the Hepatitis B immunization series, prior to final acceptance to the program.

Student Professional Liability Insurance

Students are required to carry professional liability insurance. The premium is to be paid at the time of course registration.


Students interested in participating in this program may be required to undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check, a Criminal Records Central Repository (CHRI) check, and a Sex Offender Record Information (SORI) check. For more information, visit the CORI/SORI/CHRI page on the NECC website.

Northern Essex Community College is committed to the success of every student. Students with legal issues in their background will meet with a committee as part of the CORI/SORI/CHRI process and will receive guidance and counseling throughout the review of their records. NECC personnel make every effort to help students prepare for careers in their chosen field. Students are encouraged to seek assistance and support.

Required Courses

Required Courses:
Course # Courses Credits Comments
BIO115 Physiological Chemistry 4 Co-requisite
BIO121 Anatomy & Physiology I 4 Prerequisite
BIO122 Anatomy & Physiology II 4 Prerequisite
BIO220 Microbiology 4 Prerequisite
ENG101 English Composition I 3 Prerequisite
ENG102 English Composition II 3 Prerequisite
CHW100 Personal Health & Wellness 3 Co-requisite
CHW101 Intro to Public Health 3 Prerequisite
CHW102 Health Communications 3 Co-requisite
CHW103 Health Education 3  
CHW202 Introduction to Public Health Administration 3  
CHW204 Environmental Health 3 Co-requisite
CHW206 Prevention & Community Health 3 Prerequisite
CHW208 Public Health Preparedness 3 Co-requisite
CHW290 Public Health Practicum/Seminar 3 Prerequisite
HES102 Learning Strategies 3 Prerequisite
MAT125 Statistics 4 Prerequisite
PSY101 Introduction to Psychology 3 Prerequisite
PHI101 Intro to Philosophy 3 Prerequisite
SOC101 Introduction to Sociology 3 Prerequisite
Required Electives Credits Comments
Humanities Elective 3 Foreign Language Recommended (except ESL 100-ESL 299 and ASL 100-ASL 299), Examples of the Global Humanities courses are: ART 104, ART 105, DAN 147, LIT 224, LIT 263, LIT 271, LIT 272, MUS 112, REL 101, THE 101, Minimum Grade of C

Program Notes

Prerequisite Courses: English Composition I (ENG101) 3 Credits and Learning Strategies for Success in Healthcare Careers (HES102) 3 credits.

Recommended Course Sequence
Public Health Associate Degree
  Semester Courses
Year 1 Fall BIO115, CHW100, CHW101
Spring BIO121, CHW102, CHW103, ENG102, PSY101
Summer BIO122, SOC101, Humanities Elective
Year 2 Fall CHW202, CHW204, PHI101, MAT125
Spring BIO220, CHW206, CHW208, CHW290

Print this Public Health Associate Degree Program Sheet (PDF)

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