The realm of public health is vast—and if you’re interested in entering this field, you may be excited to discover that there are a myriad of undergraduate degrees and undergraduate specializations to pursue. With more than 10 concentrations available, an undergraduate degree in public health may help you jumpstart your career. Follow the links below to learn more about the different types of public health undergraduate degrees available.
Bachelor’s in Public Health (BPH)
A bachelor’s in public health (BPH) program can help lay the foundation for a public health career. Because a number of roles within the public health field require a master’s degree, you have the option to go the general route for your BPH and later specialize with a graduate degree. Still, there are bachelor’s degrees that will allow you to specialize.
Bachelor of Health Science (BHS)
A Bachelor of Health Science (BHS) provides students interested in the field of health care with the tools they need to jump into a variety of medical-related careers, both hands-on and administrative. A BHS degree focuses on the application of science to health including the study of medicine, nutrition and other health-related topics.
Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health (BSEH)
A Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health (BSEH) is a public health-related degree that focuses on the relationship between environmental factors and human health. Environmental health is an evolving field that individuals with an interest in issues such as disaster preparedness and climate change, might consider.
Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW)
A Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) is designed to help students enter the social work field. Social workers are dedicated to helping individuals and groups through a variety of life-altering circumstances. This degree is similar to the BPH as both prepare students to work with large populations—helping to improve their quality of life through policy changes and more.
Bachelor’s to Master’s Dual Degree
If you’re certain public health is the career field for you, you may consider a bachelor’s to master’s dual degree program. This type of program combines bachelor’s and master’s coursework, so you’ll complete both programs in succession. While this may seem rigorous, it may allow you to enter a public health career more quickly than completing each program separately.
For many people who are interested in the field of public health, earning a bachelor’s degree is the first step. With flexible options like online bachelor’s in public health programs, you can earn your degree without having to relocate to your school’s campus, give up your job if you’re working, or forfeit personal obligations.
Once you’ve completed your undergraduate degree and you’re confident that a career as a public health worker is for you, you may consider a master’s degree program, such as a Master of Public Health. This degree affords you the opportunity to specialize and more importantly, may help you to go after competitive career options. With a master’s, you may qualify for administrative and policymaking positions. Public health presents a variety of opportunities for a fulfilling career—and it’s worth exploring if you are interested in health care on a broad scale.
Information last updated September 2020