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Public Health

Associate of Applied Science Degree

Access to nutritious food: a foundation of public health.


The associate of applied science degree in public health provides the initial course work to prepare students for a career in public health. Public health is an exciting area of practice which takes a population-based focus to health. Individuals in this field interpret community data to determine health needs and intervention priorities.


Public health professionals contribute to a number of community health initiatives.  In addition to needs assessment, they work with community leaders to plan, implement, and evaluate community health education interventions such as smoking cessation, chronic and infectious disease awareness campaigns, vaccination programs, and family planning and prenatal care initiatives. This program is ideal for those who like to work with the public, yet who also like to take the broader view of how to promote the health of communities and groups of citizens.


Although public health professionals often work for local, state or federal public health departments, federal agencies such as the NIHCDC and branches of the armed forces also employ all types of public health workers.  Private industrial companies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and research institutions may also hire public health specialists to ensure health and safety standards. Voluntary health agencies, such as the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the Alzheimer's Association often employ public health professionals to run programs an assume administrative roles.  

Currently in New Mexico, graduates with the Associate of Public Health Degree are acquiring positions of community health worker, disease prevention specialist, and program coordinators with a variety of agencies, like Families and Youth Incorporated, Ben Archer Health Centers or school-based health clinics.  

Getting Started

Courses for the degree program are available online, and in-person format at DACC Main Campus and Gadsden Center.  The associate degree program fully articulates (2+2) with the bachelor of public health degree program offered at the main NMSU campus in the Department of Public Health Sciences, which also offers the master of public health in community health education at the graduate level. The courses in this associate of applied science in public health curriculum at DACC will meet the majority of NMSU’s general education degree requirements and are designed to give students a full overview of what public health and community health education practice is all about. There are no special admissions criteria for this program, but prospective majors are advised to arrange an initial degree advising session with the faculty of DACC’s Health Occupations program in the Division of Health and Public Services. The program director will also be able to advise students regarding choices for elective courses.

To get started, check out the degree plan, or contact our faculty.  


Program Requirements for the Associate of Applied Science in Public Heatlh

Public Health Degree Plan