Bachelor of Science in Public Health

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WMU's Bachelor of Science in Public Health will prepare you to focus on primary prevention of negative population health issues in community settings, like what we are currently experiencing with the COVID-19 public health pandemic.

Support structure

Our program utilizes a cohort model, where you go through the entire program with same group. You'll find yourself instantly part of a team with a built-in support network. Our classes are small, which means you'll get plenty of one-on-one interaction with your faculty and advisors.

Career preparation

The curriculum is built on and fits national health education certification standards. You will be prepared to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam during your senior year.

What is public health

Public health is a growing field that addresses health at a population level. It's different from clinical medicine that focuses on individual patients or clients.

Public health looks at groups of people to understand widespread health issues and develop interventions to improve  health.

Video of What is public health?

Top 25

The WMU Bachelor of Science in Public Health has recently been identified by bachelorsdegreecenter.org as being one of the top 25 undergraduate public health programs in the country, and only one of two Michigan-based universities being recognized on the list.

Bachelors Degree Center logo

Curriculum and Questions

Curriculum

You must complete 81 credit hours in the public health program: 51 core credits, 12 cognate credits and 18 credits in an emphasis area. The BSPH curriculum sequencing chart illustrates your pathway through these requirements. WMU also works closely with most community colleges in Michigan, providing a clear public health transfer path directly from community college to WMU. Here is one example. 

 

Course descriptions   Curriculum sequence

  • Core courses (51 credits)
    • HSV 2650 - Information Literacy in the Health Sciences - 3 credits
    • HSV 3700 - The Health System and Its Environment - 3 credits
    • HSV 4780 - U.S. Policy in Health and Human Services - 3 credits
    • PH 2310 - Public Health Needs and Issues - 3 credits
    • PH 2320 - Global and Environmental Health Issues - 3 credits
    • PH 2340 - Introduction to Biostatistics in Public Health - 3 credits
    • PH 3310 - Planning Public Health Programs - 3 credits
    • PH 3320 - Applying Behavior Foundations in Public Health - 3 credits
    • PH 3340 - Epidemiology - 3 credits
    • PH 4310 - Implementing and Administering Public Health Programs - 3 credits
    • PH 4320 - Public Health Intervention Strategies - 3 credits
    • PH 4330 - Advocating for Health Policies - 3 credits
    • PH 4410 - Evaluating Public Health Programs - 3 credits
    • PH 4420 - Grant Writing in Public Health - 3 credits
    • PH 4910 - Public Health Capstone Proposal - 1 credit
    • PH 4920 - Public Health Capstone Project - 2 credits
    • PH 4930 - Public Health Seminar - 3 credits
    • PH 4940 - Public Health Internship - 3 credits
  • Cognate courses (12 credits)
    • BIOS 1120 - Principles of Biology - 3 credits
    • PSY 1000 - General Psychology - 3 credits
    • SOC 2000 - Principles of Sociology - 3 credits
    • SOC 2100 - Modern Social Problems - 3 credits - or -
      SOC 3200 - Introduction to Social Psychology - 3 credits
  • Emphasis (minimum of 18 credits)

    Select one of the following:

    • An applicable minor in:
      - Addiction Studies
      - Communication
      - Event Management
      - Healthcare Services and Sciences
      - Holistic Health
      - Leadership and Business Strategy
      - Nonprofit Leadership
      - Psychology
      - Sociology
    • At least 18 hours of public health science based courses
    • At least 18 hours of public health education based courses

Questions?

If you have questions, contact Jill Hamilton in the CHHS advising office to learn more about this exciting new major.

Professional development

The bachelor’s degree in public health at WMU is focused on your professional development. Because our cohorts are small, we are able to find and provide funding opportunities to support your professional growth. We believe that part of that process involves presenting your research at state and national conferences.

This kind of engagement is often reserved for students in master’s degree programs. At WMU it’s available for you.

Here's one example

International perspective

WMU’s B.S. in Public Health will take you places. Our faculty have lived, taught or worked in different countries around the world, from Europe to Africa to Central America.

Knowing how public health works around the world helps us teach an international perspective on public health here at WMU. We offer several study abroad opportunities so that you can see firsthand how public health concepts play out globally. One such travel abroad opportunity is a 3-week immersion into exploring public health and healthcare systems in South Africa taught by one of our public health professors.

Study abroad at CHHS

Real-world experience

Experience beyond the classroom is built into the public health curriculum at WMU. Our majors have worked in public health departments and non-profit agencies while in school, so by the time you graduate, you’ll have hundreds of hours of practical public health experience on your resume.

Because of that real-world experience, our graduates often compete with MPH grads in today’s job market.

students helping out

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