California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks will offer a minor in public health starting in January, the college said.

The move aims to meet a growing need for health care professionals in more diverse communities. Employment in the health care field is projected to grow by 15 percent from 2019 to 2029, adding 2.4 million jobs according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


In addition to public health courses, other electives such as environmental law and policy, emerging infectious diseases, substance abuse and statistics for the sciences will be offered to better understand how a community and health care are related.


The Ventura County university suggests students pair the new minor with biology, chemistry, environmental science communication, psychology or sociology majors.


“We began planning this new program before COVID-19, but the pandemic underscores the importance of preparing students to work in this critical field,” Jessica Lavariega Monforti, dean at the College of Arts and Sciences, said in a statement.