PUC Launches Fast-Track Global Health Bachelor's and Master's Degree Program with LLU


Pacific Union College has partnered with Loma Linda University to offer a Bachelor of Science in global health and a Master of Public Health degree in hopes of fostering the next generation of health-focused professionals.

Launched in January, this “4+1” program allows qualified students to complete their educational training and earn their B.S. and MPH degrees in five years instead of the usual six required to complete the four-year B.S. and two-year master’s programs. Students will first complete their B.S. in global health at PUC. Then, those with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher will be considered for admission and seamlessly transition into LLU’s School of Public Health, where they will complete an MPH specialized in global health.

“This program goes hand-in-hand with current issues,” said Nancy Jacobo, director of Global Health at PUC. “Nearly every conversation you’re hearing on the news involves issues of health in local and global communities.”

PUC is the only Seventh-day Adventist college to offer an undergraduate degree in global health. And through the educational partnership with LLU, this 4+1 program will be one of the few combined, fast-track programs offered across the country.

“What an incredible opportunity we’ve created to provide a seamless educational pathway for students in this vital field,” said Kimberly Dunker, chair of the Nursing and Health Science Department at PUC.

The study of global health and public health is ideal for many students, especially those interested in healthcare related to health policy, advocacy, research, accessibility, and equitability. Jacobo said this field is an excellent option for students interested in being a part of and impacting healthcare but who aren’t interested in the more hands-on roles found in medicine, nursing, physical/occupational therapy, etc.

Students completing the 4+1 program can look forward to careers in health education, epidemiology, research, government agencies, international
aid organizations, and many more. “There’s a misconception that many in this field won’t have the opportunity for substantial income,” Jacobo said. “But not only are there many career pathways from these degrees, depending on the area of focus they choose, there are many salary and growth opportunities as well.”

Additionally, Dunker said this program is ideal for those looking to combine majors. “This can be a road for those pursuing healthcare to receive broader training,” she said. “If you’re interested in learning about populations, diversity, and culture, you could definitely combine this track with another major. For example, students could combine a dual major of this global health emphasis and current health science tracks, such as EMS or nursing.”

If you have questions about or are interested in PUC’s global health program, email Nancy Jacobo at njacobo@puc.edu.

By Staff Writer