The BS degree in public health is designed for those who are interested in working to improve health in diverse populations by introducing students to the foundations of scientific and social knowledge relevant to public health, including:
- Biological and life sciences and intersections with public health
- Social and behavioral sciences determinants of population health
- Epidemiological principles
- Quantitative and statistical concepts applied to public health
- Health care programs and policies
- The role of the environment in health
- Public health practice
Students learn foundational concepts and approaches regarding health issues and their solutions, explore research methods both qualitative and quantitative, learn to think critically about upstream and downstream approaches in the field, and use case studies and problem-based learning to define issues, assess populations, implement programs, gather evidence, analyze data, and evaluate efforts.
Through courses and a capstone experience, students are equipped to pursue multiple career pathways, including entry-level jobs in public health, or seek further graduate studies in the health sciences such as in medicine or other health professions. Below are the preparation for the major and major requirements for the BS.
Which Degree is Right for Me?
The BA and BS differ in the amount of science preparatory coursework required. BA students complete lower-division, introductory courses in life science, chemistry, and statistics, while BS students must complete the Life Sciences Core, which includes one to two years of coursework in the life sciences, mathematics, chemistry, and physics.
For students who complete all or a portion of the Life Science Core, the additional science preparation will equip them to take more science-focused upper-division electives and select a capstone experience that draws on greater preparation in the sciences. BA students may focus on artistic, business, economic, legal, linguistic, media, and policy applications of public health in their careers and will be more equipped for general and global issues for which some scientific background is necessary to understand the importance of the health factors involved.