Bachelor's in Public Health

Bachelor's Degree in Public Health (BS degree)

To successfully complete the Public Health BS degree program, students must:

  • Complete 120 hours of coursework
    Coursework includes 44 hours of General Education, 59-60 hours of required courses in the major, 12-18 hours of a minor or guided electives, and 7-13 hours of general electives outside of the major.  Some required major courses are options within Gen. Ed. Up to 8 or 9 hours of coursework may be double counted as Gen. Ed. and required courses in the major.  Course descriptions are available in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
  • Maintain a 2.5 overall GPA

About the Program of Study

The Public Health program of study is comprised of 2000, 3000 and 4000 level PH courses as well as several non-PH courses.  The courses are sequenced, with prerequisites, in a manner that allows upper level classes to expand on concepts and ideas first presented in lower level classes. The majority of PH coursework must be completed prior to registering for PH 4900 Internship as it is the capstone course for the program.  The four year guide provided to new students indicates the recommended sequence of classes.

A minor or guided electives is required. Students can choose to declare a minor in their primary health interest (i.e., nutrition, sociology, global studies, sustainable development, etc.). When guided electives are selected instead of a minor, a faculty mentor will help the student make selections to prepare for their career.  For example, the student may choose to focus on environmental health, community health, or global health studies, which are not currently offered at the university.  

About the Internship

The internship is an extended experience in practical applications of Public Health skills at a cooperating public or community health agency, hospital or non-profit agency.  A minimum of 240 hours of supervised experience is required.  In preparation for the internship, students are required to attend a mandatory internship information meeting during the fall semester prior to the year they will start the internship and locate/apply for an internship 3-6 months prior to the date at which the internship will begin.  After the internship site has been identified, the student must provide the necessary paperwork including an internship inventory, resume, and job description.  The Internship Manual provides additional information on the internship requirements.

The importance of credentials and educational experiences outside of the classroom is emphasized throughout the program and through the student club, but credentials are not required for completion of the program.  

Related Professional Certifications

Our students are prepared for a variety of professional certifications to include:  

  • Certified Health Education Specialist (NCHEC)
  • Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist Certification (ACSM)
  • Health Coaching (NSHC or ACE)

Program Goals:

  1. Provide theoretical and applied instruction in the core values and concepts of public health to prepare students to promote and protect health.

  2. Promote critical thinking by using an evidence-based approach as the foundation of the curriculum and by providing engaging curricular activities such as service learning.    

  3. Provide an academic environment that promotes diversity, personal and social responsibility, collaboration, and community engagement through instruction, community service, and inter-disciplinary opportunities.

  4. Provide opportunities for students to collaborate with engaged and dedicated faculty on public health research projects.

  5. Prepare students to be hired in diverse public health settings and/or to be accepted into MPH or other health-related graduate programs.