The Department of Biological Sciences will offer a program leading to a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in public health. The curriculum offers students a broad, integrated, and intentional education in science while also incorporating a well-rounded approach to develop knowledge, skills and abilities beyond a traditional life science experience. This curriculum fosters critical thinking and scientific reasoning while expanding learning to develop other skills crucial for today’s public health expert. Such skills will include scientific and technical writing, effective communication, leadership skills, community engagement, and a focus on community health. This program uniquely emphasizes scholastic coursework relevant to the scientist preparing to work in the diverse and dynamic field of public health.
The program’s coursework focuses on foundational life science topics pertinent to public health including health and disease, food and nutrition, cells and genes, organisms and ecosystems, ecology and evolution, anatomy and physiology, and epidemiology and community health. It is supplemented with education in chemistry, statistics, psychology, and advanced coursework as well as professional development with the opportunity to work in the field of public health in a required on-site internship. This program will ensure that students are competitively prepared for careers in a variety of fields, including, but not limited to: public health, scientific research, medicine, education, public policy, nonprofit community organizations, city, county, state or other governmental departments or agencies, scientific writing, and law.
Once the student has satisfied the following criteria, they can be admitted into the Public Health degree program: completed at least 15 semester hours with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.25, and earned a grade of “C” or higher in one of the following courses: BIO 1050, BIO 1070, BIO 1080, BIO 1120, BIO 1150, CHM 1010, CHM 1020, or CHM 1210.
Program Learning Outcomes
The objectives of the Public Health degree center around programmatic learning goals and core skills that not only provide an in-depth science education but aid students in developing skills necessary for future careers. These include:
- Students will be able to differentiate and define of structures and objectives of public health, including the history and philosophy of public health, key achievements, and explain the organization of the U.S. public health system and across the globe.
- Students will demonstrate comprehension of a foundational science education including epidemiology, health and disease, social and behavioral sciences, biological and life sciences, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, statistics, and scientific writing.
- Students will demonstrate comprehension of community health, humanities, ethics, leadership, and effective health communication.
- Students will apply leadership, communication skills, and community and public health knowledge through experiential learning activities including internships, service-learning projects, capstone senior seminars, research papers, honors theses, or other scholarly, cumulative, and integrative applied experiences to support academic and career goals.
- Students will design an academic plan for graduation and identify, write, and describe a plan for professional success in their career path.
- Students will demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills and relate public health information to diverse audiences.
- Students will apply critical thinking through independent learning and collaborations with colleagues, peers, and community members and identify, evaluate, and synthesize public health information.
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