Bachelor’s in Public Health (BPH) Programs

If you want a job protecting the health of people and the communities where they live, a bachelor’s in public health (BPH) could be a fit for you. With Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Public Health programs both available, you can find an option that suits your interests and prepares you to enter the field.

This page will walk you through the basics of bachelor’s in public health degree programs, explain what you’ll study and discuss possible career opportunities.

Is Public Health Right for You?

People who are interested in health and well-being, driven to help others and are drawn to research, education or policy making may consider earning a BPH. A bachelor’s degree in public health delves into a variety of topics, from building emergency preparedness plans to addressing health disparities. Taking public health coursework during your bachelor’s degree program can be an excellent way to determine if public health is the right career field for you. 

More broadly, it’s crucial to understand that research and education are important components of the profession. Part of your job as a public health professional may involve transforming scientific findings into usable, easy-to-understand material that can be used to develop public health policies and programs, and inform the communities you are serving. 

For those who are interested in the field, but are uncertain about pursuing it professionally, taking undergraduate public health courses may help you make up your mind. You can explore the Public Health 101 Series put together by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Public Health 

Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) courses typically focus on the natural sciences. Graduates with a BS in Public Health or BSPH may pursue a variety of science-based careers in the clinical field, such as epidemiology, biostatistics, and research. Students will cover much of what’s included in BA programs while also completing coursework in math, statistics, health informatics, or chemistry. BS students may also have an interest in working in laboratory settings after they start their careers.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Public Health 

A Bachelor of Arts in Public Health is generally designed for students with an interest in the socio-cultural, socio-economical, and health policy aspects of public health. While focusing on many of the same areas as its Bachelor of Science counterpart, a BA in Public Health puts greater emphasis on the social sciences. In practice, that could involve human behavior and development, social studies, and environmental health—as well as more general topics like politics and law. 

Bachelor’s in Public Health (BPH) Degree and Curriculum 

What exactly does a bachelor’s in public health cover? The answer to that question depends on your chosen institution and specialization, but you’ll study a range of topics in both science and the humanities. 

Typical Prerequisites for a BPH Program

Though the specifics depend on the university, many bachelor’s in public health degree programs have similar admissions requirements. In most cases, you’ll begin by applying for general admission to the university of your choice. Once accepted, you may contact the school to inquire about the specifics of the program admissions.

Many universities require high school transcripts (often with a GPA of 3.0), either an SAT or ACT score, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. A personal statement may also be required for admission into the public health program specifically. 

Concentration Options in BPH

Once you’ve gotten familiar with the basics of the field, a bachelor’s in public health offers a number of  public health specializations. Broadly, these are divided by degree type: a BA or a BS in Public Health. 

BA candidates tend to focus more on the social sciences, with specializations covering areas like health education, community health promotion, and global health. Conversely, BS students are likely to specialize in science and statistics, studying research methods, epidemiology, and health disparities. 

BS in Public Health programs generally don’t require an individual to choose a concentration. But if you’re hoping to obtain a more niche education, picking a specialization may help you do that. If you have one in mind, do your research to make sure your desired program offers it—some specializations are only available at the master’s level, such as a Master of Public Health (MPH)

Typical BPH Curriculum and Courses

Though curricula vary between institutions and specializations, bachelor’s in public health students can expect to graduate with the knowledge and skills needed to address many of modern society’s fundamental public health challenges. As with many undergraduate programs, students will begin by taking general education courses, for example in biology or anatomy. 

The specifics vary by university, but once you choose to major in public health, you’ll take introductory classes across a range of topics, including the history of public health, environmental health, and epidemiology. 

After successfully completing these courses, you’ll be able to move on to more advanced study. At this point, choosing a concentration is sometimes required. In general, these courses may cover health psychology and behavior, or health management. Other concentrations go beyond the discipline itself, teaching students about public health education or administration.

Toward the end of your undergraduate degree, you may also be required to complete an internship or capstone project, but this varies by institution.

Traditional vs. Online BPH Programs

While some think it may lack the interactive environment of traditional BPHs, the online bachelor’s in public health comes with some benefits. Like other online degrees, this starts with flexibility. Since many courses are available part-time, you can comfortably balance school and work. 

An online program also lets you live at home and potentially save money on travel. And for candidates craving more interactive learning, some online programs offer in-person components too. Whatever path you choose, remember that online and traditional Bachelor’s in Public Health programs normally share similar curricula, so you won’t miss out if you decide to study online. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Bachelor’s in Public Health Programs

Identifying the right bachelor’s in public health for you, can be confusing. Here’s a list of frequently asked questions—and answers to help you as you make a decision.

What are the main differences between BS vs. BA in Public Health?

Normally, a BS and BA in public health cover many of the same areas. However, there may be slight differences when it comes to advanced study courses and specializations. In general, BA programs focus more on the social sciences, while BS courses focus on natural and environmental public health sciences—preparing graduates for a variety of jobs in the clinical sphere and beyond.

What can I do with a bachelor’s in Public Health?

BPH graduates may work in community education and research. A few common roles for those starting out in the field include research assistant, community educator, and community surveyor. A job in the public sector may also be a viable option. Some individuals use their BPH as a platform for continuing education in medical school, nursing school, or pharmacy school. BPH graduates might also decide to pursue a master’s degree in public health. An online MPH program may allow you to work while studying.

How to choose the BPH program right for me?

There are plenty of factors to consider before committing to a BPH program. For example, think about choosing a program that offers specializations you’re interested in. You may also want to explore tuition costs, the institution’s reputation, and whether they offer an online BPH degree.

Do I have to have SAT scores to apply for a BPH program?

The specifics vary by institution, but BPH programs may require SAT scores (though ACT scores are sometimes accepted too). In certain cases, a university will waive this requirement because of your specific circumstances.

Bachelor’s in Public Health Programs List

Below, you will find a list of available Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Public Health programs that are accredited by CEPH.

List of CEPH Accredited Online MPH Programs
Institution Type of Degree Concentrations (If Offered) Format
American University
Washington D.C.
BA, BS Contact school Traditional
Andrews University
Berrien Springs, MI
BSPH Social and Behavioral Health Sciences, Environmental Health Traditional
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC
BS N/A Traditional
Arcadia University
Philadelphia, PA
BSPH Global Health Traditional
Baylor University
Waco, TX
BSPH Community Health Education Traditional
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT
BS Environmental & Occupational Health, Epidemiology, Health Science Traditional
Brown University
Providence, RI
AB, ScB Statistics Traditional
California Baptist University
Riverdale, CA
BSPH N/A Online
California State University, Northridge
Northridge, CA
BS N/A Traditional
California State University, San Bernardino
San Bernardino, CA
BS N/A Traditional
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, MI
BA, BAA, BS N/A Traditional
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Los Angeles, CA
BSPH N/A Traditional
Coastal Carolina University
Conway, SC
BS N/A Traditional
Drexel University
Philadelphia, PA
BA, BSPH Global Health Traditional
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC
BSPH Community Health, Pre-Health, Worksite Health Traditional
East Stroudsburg University
East Stroudsburg, PA
BSPH Community Health Education, Health Services Administration, Health Education Traditional
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN
BS, BSPH Health Administration, Health Sciences: Human Health, Microbiology, Public Health: Community Health, Environmental Health Traditional
Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, KY
BS Community Health, Pre-Professional Traditional
Florida International University
Miami, FL
BA Disaster Management, Dietetics & Nutrition, Social Work Traditional
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA
BS in Community Health Global Health, Clinical Science Traditional
George Washington University
Washington, D.C.
BS Nutrition Science, Exercise Science Traditional
Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, GA
BSPH Environmental Health Sciences, Global Health, Health Education & Promotion Traditional
Georgia State University
Atlanta, GA
BS N/A Traditional
Hawaii Pacific University
Honolulu, HI
BSPH N/A Traditional
Illinois State University
Normal, IL
BS Health Promotion & Education Traditional
Indiana University, Purdue University Indianapolis
Indianapolis, IN
BS, BSPH Health Data Science, Health Services Management, Community Health, Epidemiology, Global Health Traditional
Indiana University at Bloomington
Bloomington, IN
BS, BSPH Community Health, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Fitness & Wellness, Applied Health Science, Kinesiology, Recreation Traditional
Jackson State University
Jackson, MS
BS Communicative Disorders, Healthcare Administration, Social Work Traditional
Kent State University
Kent, OH
BSPH Allied Health, Clinical Trials Research, Community-based Public Health, Environmental & Occupational Health & Safety, Environmental Health Science, Global Health, Health Promotion & Education, Health Services Administration, Pre-Medicine Online, Traditional
La Salle University
Philadelphia, PA
BSPH N/A Traditional
Liberty University
Lynchburg, VA
BS Health Promotion, Pre-Clinical Traditional
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
New Orleans, LA
BSPH N/A Traditional
Loyola University Chicago
Chicago, IL
BS N/A Traditional
Mercer University
Macon, GA
BSPH N/A Traditional
Montclair State University
Montclair, NJ
BS Community Health Education, Health Systems Administration & Policy Traditional
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM
BPH N/A Traditional
Northeastern University
Boston, MA
BS Health Science Traditional
Ohio State University
Columbus, OH
BSPH Environmental Public Health, Public Health Sociology Traditional
Oregon Health & Science University-Portland State University
Portland, OR
BA/BS Healthy Aging, Community Health Promotion, Health Services Administration, Clinical Health Science, School Health Educator Traditional
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR
BS Health Management & Policy, Health Promotion & Health Behavior Traditional, Online
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ
BS N/A Traditional
SUNY – Cortland
Cortland, NY
BS Community Health, Health Education, Healthcare Management, Human Service Studies, Pre-Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy Traditional
SUNY – Old Westbury
Old Westbury, NY
BS Health & Society Traditional
Saint Louis University
Saint Louis, MO
BA, BS Biostatistics, Health Management, Social Work Traditional
Salisbury University
Salisbury, MD
BS Community Health Traditional
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA
BS N/A Traditional
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, Canada
BA, BSc, BA-BA Health Sciences: Life Sciences, Health Sciences: Population & Quantitative Health Traditional, International
Southern Connecticut State University
New Haven, CT
BS N/A Traditional
Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
Edwardsville, IL
BS N/A Traditional
St. Catherine University
St. Paul, MN
BA, BS Community Health Worker, Health Promotion & Education, Health Science, Public Policy & Social Sciences, Community Health Worker, Health Promotion & Education, Health Science Traditional
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY
BSPH Addiction Prevention, Community Health Education, Health & Society, Healthcare Management Traditional
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA
BS N/A Traditional
Tennessee State University
Nashville, TN
BS, BSHS Health Sciences Traditional
Texas A&M Health Science Center
Bryan, TX
BSPH N/A Traditional
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA
BSPH N/A Traditional
University at Albany – SUNY
Albany, NY
BS Interdisciplinary Studies: Bioinstrumentation Traditional
University at Buffalo – SUNY
Buffalo, NY
BA, BS Statistics, Exercise Science Traditional
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL
BS Environmental Health, General Public Health, Global Health Traditional
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ
BS N/A Online, Traditional
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AK
BSPH N/A Online, Traditional
University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
BA N/A Online, Traditional
University of California
Irvine, CA
BA, BS Public Health Policy, Public Health Sciences Traditional
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL
BHS Communication Sciences & Disorders, Health Science Online, Traditional
University of Georgia
Athens, GA
BS Environmental Health, Health Promotion Traditional
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu, HI
BA N/A Traditional
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL
BA, BS N/A Traditional
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA
BA, BS N/A Traditional
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY
BPH N/A Traditional
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY
BAPH, BSPH N/A Traditional
University of Maryland
Shady Grove, MD
BS, BS-MSA, BS-Mfin Community Health, Family Science, Kinesiology, Public Health Science, Joint Degree Traditional
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA
BS Communication Disorders, Kinesiology, Nutrition Traditional
University of Miami
 Coral Gables, FL
BSPH N/A Traditional
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
BPH N/A Traditional
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Omaha, NE
BSPH N/A Traditional
University of Nevada
Las Vegas, NV
BS Health Care Administration Traditional
University of Nevada
Reno, NV
BS Community Health Sciences Traditional
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC
BSPH Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, Health Policy & Management, Nutrition Traditional
University of North Carolina
Charlotte, NC
BSPH N/A Traditional
University of North Carolina Wilmington
Wilmington, NC
BS, BS-MS Community Health Education, Global Health, Gerontology, Pre-Clinical Health Traditional
University of North Florida
Jacksonville, FL
BSH N/A Traditional
University of Oklahoma Health Science Center
Oklahoma City, OK
BA, BS, BPH Community Health Traditional
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC
BA, BS N/A Traditional
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL
BS, BSPH Health Sciences Traditional
University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS
BSPH Allied Health, Health Education, Health Policy & Administration Traditional
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
BA, BS Food Systems, Nutrition & Health, Public Health: Global Health, Environmental Health, Health Informatics & Health Information Management Traditional
University of Wisconsin
La Crosse, WI
BS-PH Community Health Education Traditional
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA
BSPH N/A Traditional
West Virginia University
Morgantown, WV
BS Public Health Sciences, Community and Population Health, Patient Navigation  Traditional
Western Connecticut State University
Danbury, CT
BS Health Education, Health Promotion Studies Traditional
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY
BSPH N/A Traditional
William Paterson University
Wayne, NJ
BSPH Generalist, Public Health Education, Health Studies Traditional

Information last updated October 2020

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