Mar 24, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Public Health Major, B.A.

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Department of Health Professions  

College of Health and Human Sciences  

  Available Program Format(s): In-Person  

About the Program

A degree in public health will give the student a broad understanding of the public health field, while allowing students to gain experience in focused specialties of public health practice.  By completing the public health core, students will have skills to understand basic public health functions such as monitoring and assessing the health of communities, identifying health problems and priorities, and implementing evidence-based strategies to promote population health.  The required curriculum was designed to build student knowledge and skill in 11 Public Health Competency Domains identified by the Counsel on Public Health Education (CEPH). 

Students that graduate with a major in Public Health will be prepared for many entry-level public health positions, as well as providing the background knowledge required to pursue a broad range of graduate degree programs, including a master’s degree of Public Health (MPH) or a master’s degree in Health Administration (MHA).

Student Outcomes

The requirements for the public health major (BA) provides instruction in the following domains. The curriculum addresses these domains through any combination of learning experiences throughout the requirements for the major or concentration coursework. 

  • The concepts and applications of basic statistics 
  • The foundations of biological and life sciences and the concepts of health and disease 
  • The history and philosophy of public health as well as its core values, concepts, and functions across the globe and in society 
  • The basic concepts, methods, and tools of public health data collection, use, and analysis and why evidence-based approaches are an essential part of public health practice 
  • The concepts of population health, and the basic processes, approaches, and interventions that identify and address the major health-related needs and concerns of populations 
  • The underlying science of human health and disease including opportunities for promoting and protecting health across the life course 
  • The socioeconomic, behavioral, biological, environmental, and other factors that impact human health and contribute to health disparities 
  • The fundamental concepts and features of project implementation, including planning, assessment, and evaluation 
  • The fundamental characteristics and organizational structures of the US health system as well as the differences in systems in other countries 
  • Basic concepts of legal, ethical, economic, and regulatory dimensions of health care and public health policy and the roles, influences, and responsibilities of the different agencies and branches of government 
  • Basic concepts of public health-specific communication, including technical and professional writing and the use of mass media and electronic technology

General Degree Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the four areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements. 

Program Requirements

  • A total of 120 semester hours are required for graduation. 
  • A grade of “C-” or better is required for each course in this program to count toward the bachelor’s degree. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required. 
  • A minor is required for this program.

General Studies Requirements: 33 credits

Students should consult the General Studies Requirements  for a list of courses that fulfill the General Studies Requirements for degree completion. 


* The listed courses are suggested courses, but not required for the major. 

**HCM 2010 is required for the major and may also count in General Studies Social and Behavioral Science and Global Diversity. 

*** Students will fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences.

Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Requirement: 0 or 3 credits

  • Students should consult the Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Graduation Requirement  for a list of courses that fulfill the ESSJ Requirement for degree completion.  
  • Many programs include courses that meet this requirement. Students should consult with their advisor to determine what program courses may fulfill this requirement. 

Public Health Major Core Option

You must select from these options to complete the Public Health core coursework. This is a 5-6 credit course requirement within the core courses, and will complete the 45 credit hours for the Public Health Major core course requirements.

Public Health Major Electives: 3 credits

You must select one course from the following list to complete the elective course requirement.

Senior Experience/Internship: 3 credits

The course HCM 4610 Health Professions Internship is the senior experience/internship course provided for the department, and will fulfill the public health senior experience/internship requirement.

Summary of Requirements

General Studies Requirements 33 credits
ESSJ Requirement 0-3 credits
Major Requirements 45 credits
Major Elective 3 credits
Senior Experience 3 credits
Minor and Unrestricted Electives 33-48 credits
Total for the Public Health Major, B.A. 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and ESSJ requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree.

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