When the Coronavirus pandemic struck the U.S. in 2020, the spotlight turned to the Centers for Disease Control and local Public Health Departments. Communities and political leaders across the country looked to Public Health Departments (local, state, and federal) for guidance on navigating a dangerous infection. A public health degree can make you one of those leaders!
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies several careers in the broad category of Public Health. Those careers range from epidemiology, medical and health services, public policy, health program coordinator, etc. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum education required to work in the field and salaries can vary from $41,000-$60,000 annually, depending on the speciality.
Best Health Degrees has researched some of the country’s best bachelor’s programs in Public Health to create this ranking. We examined programs based on courses offered, length of the program, accreditation, admission requirements, as well as estimated cost. This ranking focuses on first-time students.
All these programs are accredited, most by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), and you may qualify for federal student assistance. You should apply for aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA® as you may qualify for grants, loans, and many schools use the FAFSA for scholarship consideration.
Our Method: Ranking the 25 Best Public Health Bachelor’s Programs
To rank the 25 Best Public Health Bachelor’s Programs, Best Degrees editors researched accredited, trusted programs of all kinds. From our initial pool, we ranked programs according to price, accreditation, reputation, and salary potential, using data from IPEDS and Niche, U.S. News and World Report, and other higher education rating publications.
1. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
You can choose from one of the four majors in this 120-credit hours BS Public Health (BSPH) from UNC-CH’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Public health degree major options are available the Environmental Health Sciences, Biostatistics, Nutrition and Health Policy and Management departments.
This Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredited Public Health program requires prerequisite courses, depending on your major. You’ll also be required to take general education courses in social sciences, English, physical and life sciences, humanities and fine arts, etc. Depending on your major, you may be required to complete an internship or practicum, complete a senior capstone project, and others. Most students apply for the major during the sophomore year.
Admission to UNC-CH asks you to complete either the Common Application or Coalition Application. Other required documents include a letter of reference, academic transcripts, and complete the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA®) ACT/SAT scores have been waived for Fall 2022 admission.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $3,509-$17,099/per semester
Fast Fact: U.S. News and World Report ranks this #2 Public Health program in the nation for 2021
2. University of Michigan
This Ann Arbor School of Public Health at the University of Michigan offers two Public Health degrees in Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Community and Global Public Health and Bachelor of Science (BS) in Public Health Sciences. The program holds CEPH accreditation.
Among the core public health degree courses required are Public Health Systems: Achievements And Challenges, Population Health Determinants & Disparities, Data-Driven Solutions In Public Health, Community, Culture, And Social Justice (CCSJ) In Public Health, Public Health Biology And Pathophysiology, and more. Your major will require additional required coursework. Both majors have a culminating experience in Leadership Skills for Interprofessional Practice and Public Health Practice and Professionalism. Additionally, you’ll be taking general education classes as part of the 120 credit hour curriculum.
Admission to the University of Michigan requires you complete either the Coalition Application or the Common Application along with a $75 UM application fee. Along with the application, you’re asked to submit academic transcripts, a teacher evaluation, and ACT/SAT scores are optional. You may be asked for additional documentation.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $15,948-$52,266/per academic year
Fast Fact: Ranked #4 Public Health Schools in the nation by U.S. News and World Report
3. Texas A&M University
This BS in Public Health (BSPH) from Texas A&M University holds accreditation from both CEPH and Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
The public health degree requires 120 credit hours in Texas core curriculum studies and Public Health classes. Among the Public Health courses offered are studies in Epidemiology, Foundations of Public Health, Biological Bases of Public Health, Public Health Systems, Health Policy and Advocacy, Social Context of Public Health, Global Health, and others. You’ll be expected to complete a culminating experience to finish your degree. (Note: the school offers a new 3+2 Program in Epidemiology which will allow you to earn both your BSPH and MSPH degrees in five years.)
The BSPH program is offered on both the College Station and McAllen campuses and you can apply using the Apply Texas application along with a $75 application fee. You may also be asked to complete an essay, report academic transcripts using Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR), with letters of recommendation and resume being optional. SAT/ACT scores are not required for fall or spring of 2021 or 2022 academic years. You’ll also want to submit the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA®)
Estimated Tuition Cost: $12,783-$39,340/per academic year
Fast Fact: This program ranks in the top 50 of Best Public Health programs by U.S. News and World Report
4. University of California – San Diego
This BS in Public Health (BSPH) is the first bachelor’s degree offered through UCSD’s School of Medicine and will give you a solid foundation in critical thinking and promotion in the Public Health profession.
You’ll want to explore the concentrations in Public Health that are available in the public health degree. The curriculum for this BSPH studies five core Public Health requirements: Environmental & Occupational Health, Public Health: Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Health Policy & Management, as well as Social and Behavioral Aspects of Health. Among the 120 credit hours you’ll take classes in general education, Primary Care and Public Health, Introduction to Public Health, Health Behavior and Chronic Diseases, Environmental and Occupational Health, etc. You’ll finish with a Senior Project.
The BSPH program is highly competitive, with limited enrollment. Admission to UCSD requires you to have a 3.0-3.4 GPA or better, and your application will be reviewed using a number of factors. Your academic accomplishments, achievements/talent/awards, and other factors. The SAT/ACT test score requirement is waived through Fall, 2024.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $14,648-$44,402/per academic year
Fast Fact: Niche ranks this Public Health program #11/222 as a Best Colleges for Public Health in America
5. University of Texas at Austin
You’ll have your choice of three options in this BSPH program from UT at Austin. The options include a broadband approach to five areas of Public Health, core and foundational curriculum, and six concentrations.
The public health degree curriculum includes foundation classes in Microbiology, Public Health, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Nutrition and Physiology. Depending on your option, the degree offers studies in math, chemistry, biology, health policy and management, environmental health sciences, infectious diseases, nutrition, and more. You’ll also complete research projects under professional supervision in a public health agency or work with graduate school faculty at a variety of public health schools across Texas.
Admission is two-tiered, requiring admission to UT-A as well as the College of Natural Sciences. The university accepts the ApplyTexas or the Coalition applications (with a $75 fee), academic transcripts, ACT/SAT scores may be required, and letters of recommendation and a resume may be accepted.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $11,448-$40,032/per academic year
Fast Fact: UT-A ranks #20/222 in Niche’s Best Colleges for Public Health in America
6. University of Florida
Located in Gainesville, UF offers a Bachelor in Public Health (BPH) public health degree designed to prepare you for an entry-level position in the field or a foundation for graduate studies.
You’ll complete studies in general education and core courses before starting Public Health studies your junior year. The curriculum covers Public Health Concepts, Introduction to Biostatistics for Health Science and Public Health, Global Public Health, US Health Care System, etc. Your senior year will introduce you to studies in Public Health Management Leadership, Applied Epidemiology, and a practicum experience.
For admission to this program, you’ll need to be admitted to the University of Florida and be accepted to the College of Public Health and Health Professions. You can apply to UF via the Coalition or the Common Application. You’ll self-report your academic transcripts, ACT/SAT test scores, as well as provide a personal essay.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $6,381-$28,659/per academic year
Fast Fact: Forbes rated the University of Florida as one of its Best Value Colleges in 2019
7. University of California – Irvine
This program lets you choose between a CEPH accredited BS in Public Health Sciences or BA in Public Health Policy, you’ll want to explore the Public Health major at UC-I. The UCI public health degree program is comprised of four departments in Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Health, Society, and Behavior, and Population Health and Disease Prevention.
Both degrees have prerequisite studies in Principles of Public Health and Case Studies in Public Health Practice and have some classes that overlap. Curriculum offerings for the BS degree include studies in biochemistry, economics, epidemiology, genetics, global health, and more. The BA degree offers classes in psychology, anthropology, economics, health policy and management, and both programs require a practicum experience.
Admission requires you to have 15 college-prep courses, have a 3.0 GPA or better, an application, and submission of academic transcripts. You’ll also be asked to answer “personal insight” questions as part of the admission process.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $13,753-$43,507/per academic year
Fast Fact: UCI is ranked #8 in the Top Public Schools category of U.S. News and World Report
8. Rutgers University
The New Brunswick, New Jersey campus of Rutgers University offers a BS in Public Health degree through the Edward J. Bloustein School of Policy and Public Policy.
This CEPH accredited undergraduate public health degree curriculum has requirements in Principles of Public Health, Global Health Perspectives, Epidemiology, Research Methods, Public Health Law & Ethics, Leadership Seminar, as well as a Professional Practice Internship. You’re encouraged to declare your Public Health major by your junior year. You should also consider a minor to accompany your Public Health major.
You’ll complete an online application ($70 fee) for admission consideration to Rutgers University. An essay, self-report academic transcripts using Self-Reported Academic Record, and SAT/ACT test scores are optional.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $15,003-$31,785/per academic year
Fast Fact: Forbes considers Rutgers University # 29 public college in the nation
9. University of Georgia
Located in Athens, Georgia, this university has two Public Health studies Bachelor of Science options in Environmental Health and Health Promotion.
You’ll complete general education studies in your first two years before beginning your public health degree. Both degrees require core classes. Depending on your major, (for Environmental Health) you’ll take environmental health science courses, environmental toxicology, solid and hazardous waste management, public health law, etc. Classes in disease prevention, research and design, program development, and others comprise the studies for the Health Promotion major. A field experience is required regardless of your specific major.
Criteria for admission to the University of Georgia for first-time students include an application, academic transcripts, letter of recommendation, as well as ACT/SAT test scores. Additional documents may be requested.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $12,080-$31,120/per academic year
Fast Fact: Niche designates UG #23/222 in the publications Best Colleges for Public Health in America
10. University of Southern California
The Keck School of Medicine at USC awards two undergraduate degrees in BS in Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Studies and BS in Global Health. These programs are designed to train students to recognize public health issues affecting individual and global health concerns.
Both degrees require general education courses as well as classes specific to the major. The BS in Health Promotion curriculum includes courses in introductory health promotion and preventing disease, principles of health behaviors, statistical and research methods, as well as an internship and directed research. Global Health class criteria involves an emphasis in biology, chemistry, global economics, research methods, and directed research. Both disciplines require 128 credit hours for completion of the public health degree.
USC uses the Common Application for admission to the university. Additionally, you’ll be asked for academic transcripts, SAT/ACT scores are optional. You may be asked to provide a portfolio or resume for admission to your major, which will be reviewed by Keck School of Medicine faculty.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $60,275/per academic year
Fast Fact: The Keck School of Medicine ranks in the top 30 of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Medical Schools in Research
11. Arizona State University
The BS in Public Health degree from ASU has a foundation focused on public health areas in, among others, infectious disease control, ethics, public health procedures, environmental health, and more.
Some of the required courses for this public health degree program include Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Health Promotion Program Planning and Implementation, as well as Cultural Aspects of Health. You’ll also be able to choose classes in Social Determinants of Health and Health Behavior, Health Theory, etc. A Field Experience working with Public Health professionals in community agencies and health settings. General Education classes will comprise your first two years at ASU.
There are three admission application options at ASU, the ASU application, the Common Application, or Coalition application. Application fees range from $50-$70. You’ll submit official academic transcripts, the FASFA®, and SAT/ACT scores are optional.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $11,338-$29,428/per academic year
Fast Fact: Forbes rated ASU one of America’s Best Value Colleges in 2019
12. University of South Florida
Located in Tampa, this is Florida’s first BS in Public Health degree offered in an accredited College of Public Health. The program is designed to provide you with the tools necessary for entry-level, public health positions in government, non-profit organizations, healthcare facilities, and others.
The broad curriculum for this public health degree includes introductory courses in Public Health, epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health, US Healthcare, human diseases, biostatistics, health behavior, etc. Additionally, you’ll be able to declare a minor in Nutrition, Environmental Health, Infection Control, and Community Engaged Homeland Security & Emergency Management. You’ll need to complete 120 credit hours for the CEPH accredited degree.
You can choose from the Common, Coalition, or Institution applications for university admission, a $30 application processing fee, SAT/ACT scores, academic transcripts, etc.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $6,410-$17,324/per academic year
Fast Fact: USF has the #19/222 Best Colleges for Public Health in America
13. Ohio State University
You’ll have options with this BSPH in Public Health degree at Ohio State University in either Public Health Sociology or Environmental Public Health. (Note: OSU also offers an accelerated BSPH/MPH degree.)
You’ll take general education classes (English, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, etc.) in your first two years before public health-specific classes. Those public health degree classes include core studies in Introduction to Global Health, Introduction to Epidemiology, Role of Behavior in Public Health, Biostatistics for PH Research, Current Issues Global Environmental Health, US and International Health Care, etc. Each specialization in Environmental Public Health or Public Health Sociology has specific curriculum requirements. Both concentrations require a Capstone Project to finalize the degree.
Among the admission requirements to OSU are an application, official academic transcripts, ACT/SAT scores are optional as is a letter of recommendation. You’re encouraged to complete a FAFSA for financial aid application as well. You’ll need to apply for the Public Health major separately.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $11,518-$33,502/per academic year
Fast Fact: This program ranks #24 in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Public Health Schools
14. West Virginia University
Located in Morgantown, WV, you can earn a BS in Public Health from the only CEPH accredited School of Public Health in the state. This program highlights three specializations in Patient Navigation, Public Health Sciences, and Community and Population Health.
This curriculum is comprised of general education studies as well as core Public Health classes and allows you to tailor your studies to your career ambitions. The public health degree offers a strong foundation in Public Health coursework. You’ll be able to choose from a list of required Public Health courses in Issues in Environmental Health, Introduction to Social and Behavioral Science and Practice, Introduction to Health Policy, or Public Health Project Management. Clinical Research Methods and Practice, Social Determinants of Health, Field experiences, and a capstone project finish the degree.
For admission, you’ll need a minimum GPA of 2.75 or better, a Common application, and a fee ranging from $50-$65 (depending on residency), academic transcripts, with the ACT/SAT test scores optional.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $9,672-$27,408/per academic year
Fast Fact: U.S News and World Report rates this WVU program #90 in its Best Public Health ranking
15. San Diego State University
This School of Public Health at SDSU dates to 1976 and awards a BS in Public Health will give you the skills to work in a variety of public health settings. All students in the Public Health major will be required to participate in an approved, two-week or longer, International Experience.
General Education studies are expected in the first two years and the Public Health curriculum has prerequisite courses in biology, sociology, chemistry, and psychology. You’ll have a wide choice of courses in the major from Professionalism & Public Health, Public Health Research, Principles of Human Physiology, Environment and Public Health, and more. Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response, Public Health and Food Safety, Nutrition, and other electives are available. Research and field experience/internship is required for program completion.
Admission to San Diego University is simple and straightforward, utilizing the Common application with a $55 fee, academic transcripts, essays, and an academic letter of recommendation. Admission to the Public Health degree program will require you have a specific GPA in several courses.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $7,720-$19,600/per academic year
Fast Fact: The program ranks #31 in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Public Health programs for 2021
16. University of Houston
The College of Education at the University of Houston has a 120-credit hour BS in Health that features three academic tracks in: Health Promotion, Public Health, and Health Promotion for Allied Health Professions. For our purposes, we’ll look at the Public Health track.
Your first two years will be spent taking general education classes before beginning your major curriculum requirements. Among the 60 credit hour offerings are studies in Environmental Health, Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, Program Plan Health Profession, Foundation of Epidemiology in Public Health, Behavior Theory & Practice, as well as Field Work in Community Health. This program is CEPH accredited and designed to prepare you to sit for Certified Health Education Specialist certification of the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC).
You’ll apply for admission to the University of Houston by completing an online application (Apply Texas or Common) with a $75 fee, providing academic transcripts, and ACT/SAT test scores are optional.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $9,457-$21,673/per academic year
Fast Fact: The University of Houston ranks in the top 100 of Niche’s Top Public Universities in America
17. Tulane University
One of Louisiana’s top universities, New Orleans’ Tulane University has a Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) that will set the groundwork for a successful career in Public Health. (Tulane also offers a combined BSPH/MPH option.)
The program requires core Public Health coursework in Foundations of Environmental Health, Introduction to Public Health, Social and Behavioral Perspectives in Public Health, Foundations in Epidemiology, Foundations and Formulation of Public Health Policy, etc. You’ll have a choice from an impressive offering of electives in the field, including studies in Latino Health in the United States, Evidence-Based Public Health, Public Health Communication, Resilience and International Disasters, as well as other important topics. Capstone Projects (including international study) and internships cap your degree program.
Tulane is now SAT/ACT test scores optional and accepts the Common or Tulane admission applications. You’ll also be asked to provide a high school transcript and a Guidance Counselor recommendation. Tulane University also offers Louisiana Promise, especially for students from the Pelican State.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $58,852/per academic year
Fast Fact: Tulane ranks an impressive #15 in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Public Health Program in its national rankings
18. New York University
You’d be hard-pressed to find a BS in Global Public Health offering more concentrations than this one from New York University. This program has 13 specialties, in collaboration with five NYC schools, from which you can choose.
The degree has core courses required in Health and Society in a Global Context, Epidemiology for Global Health, Health Policy in a Global World, Biostatistics for Public Health, as well as team-based and individual Experiential Learning in Global Public Health. There’s an impressive list of elective courses offered in medical ethics, research, clinical practice, nutrition and health (in pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence.) Once you’ve completed 64 credit hours, you’re eligible to declare a major from disciplines in history, anthropology, chemistry, nursing, social work, communicative disorders, etc. You’ll be expected to complete a semester abroad with this program.
NYU uses the Common application for admissions (along with an $80 processing fees), ACT/SAT scores, and you’ll self-report your academic transcripts via the Self Reported Academic Record (SRAR). Other documents may be required to complete your application.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $54,880/per academic year
Fast Fact: This school ranks #31 in Best Public Health programs by U.S. News and World Report
19. Temple University
Founded in 1888 in Philadelphia, Temple University’s Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences of the College of Public Health awards a 120-credit hours BS in Public Health.
General education courses are part of the degree plan and Public Health classes in Nutrition and Health, Disease Prevention and Control, Ethnicity, Culture and Health, Introduction to Research Methods, Introduction to Epidemiology, and a Public Health Internship, will be among your studies. You’ll choose from a wide range of elective courses in Pubic Health such as Contemporary Health Issues, Counseling Techniques for Health Professionals, Special Populations: Strategic Community Outreach, and others. Cognate studies are also included in topics such as Global Health, Urban Health, Death and Dying, Medical Terminology, etc.
Temple University is test scores optional in admissions, but you’ll need to complete a Common application (with a $55 fee) and you’ll self-report academic transcripts. An essay is required and a letter of recommendation is optional.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $16,080-$28,992/per academic year
Fast Fact: U.S. News and World Report considers the Temple University program to be #41 in its Best Public Health programs
20. University of Arizona
Located in Tucson, Arizona, the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at UA offers two undergraduate, public health degree programs with a BS in Public Health and a BA in Health Promotion Practice. There are several tracks in the BS program: Public Health Practice, Global Health, Health Promotion, Environmental and Occupational Health, Quantitative Methods in Public Health, Health Systems Theory and Practice, and a unique, One Health program.
Accredited by CEPH, the curriculum for this degree requires core classes. Regardless of your specialty track, you’ll take courses in Health Care in the US, Introduction to Epidemiology, Principles of Health Education and Health Promotion, Biology in Public Health, Global Health, Public Health Nutrition, as well as Field Work in Public Health. You’ll then choose topics in your particular emphasis as well as complete electives in this 120-credit hour degree program.
You’ll need to be admitted to the university as well as the School of Public Health. As with most schools, an application and fee and academic transcripts are needed for admission. The university does not require ACT/SAT test scores.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $12,716-$36,743/per academic year
Fast Fact: This program ranks #41 in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Public Health Schools
21. University of North Texas
This College of Health and Public Service at UNT offers a BS in Public Health degree with five areas of concentration in Epidemiology, Emergency and Disaster Management, Population Studies, Administration, and Biological Sciences.
You’ll be expected to complete 39 credit hours of core coursework. Among the topics included are Introduction to Public Health, Community & Public Health Education, Ethics in Public Health, Global Public Health, Public Health Informatics, Public Health & Health Policy, Social Justice & Behavioral Foundations in Public Health, Community & Public Health Education, as well as a capstone project. The program also offers a wide array of elective coursework that will augment your chosen concentration. The 120-credit hour degree requires general education, 39 hours in the major with 9 hours in Public Health electives, and an additional 30 hours of free electives.
UNT accepts the ApplyTexas application for Texas residents and the Common Application for non-Texas residents. A $75 application fee is required regardless of which application used. SAT/ACT scores and academic transcripts are required. You may qualify for guaranteed admission if you meet certain criteria.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $11,090-$20,906/per academic year
Fast Fact: UNT ranks #143/676 in Niche’s Top Public Universities in America
22. Applachian State University
This 122-year old, North Carolina university has a BS in Public Health that will provide you certifications as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist (PAPHS) and Health Coaching through several organizations.
General Education studies are compulsory before beginning the Public Health core coursework. You’ll study Introduction to Public Health, Introduction to Health System Organization, Communication in Public Health, Public Health Interventions, Biostatistics, Community Health, Chronic and Infectious Diseases, and others. Applied classwork is in Global Public Health, Seminar in Rural Public Health, Substance Abuse Prevention, etc. You can also study Basic Statistics, Nutrition and Health, Introduction to Statistics, and Reasoning with Statistics. An internship is required, with placement in health related agencies such as wellness programs, hospitals, health departments, etc.
Appalachian State University uses the Common Application ($65 application fee) for admission. Other requirements are academic transcripts, ACT/SAT scores (Note: Official test scores (ACT/SAT) will be not required for admission for first-year students), and other documents may be requested.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $7,410-$22,217/per academic year
Fast Fact: ASU is named #1 by U.S. News and World Report’s Most Innovative Schools
23. University of South Carolina
The state capital of South Carolina, Columbia, is home to the state’s premier university and the Arnold School of Public Health. You’ll have the option to earn a BA or BS in Public Health. The BS degree is a great foundation if you’re wanting to advance to study medicine, public health sciences, or clinical professions. The school’s BA diploma will prepare you to enter graduate studies in “social-science based” graduate degrees. CEPH accredits both degrees.
The BA in Public Health is designed to use a broad, curriculum in sociology and behavioral sciences and the BS focuses on natural-science studies. The curriculum provides classes in Personal and Community Health, Health Problems in a Changing Society, Principles of Epidemiology, Introduction to Public Health, Environmental Pollution and Health, Introduction to Health Care Management and Organization, and more. You’ll also participate in an independent research project or a field experience in Public Health.
First-year admission documents needed include an application (with $65 processing fee), unofficial academic transcripts, a school report form (completed by your high school counselor), SAT/ACT test scores are not required for the spring, summer or fall 2021 term.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $12,688-$33,928/per academic year
Fast Fact: The Arnold School of Public Health ranks #41 in Best Public Health Schools as determined by U.S. News and World Report
24. University of Alabama
This Tuscaloosa university offers three options for its BS in Public Health degree. You can pick from Health Education and Promotion Concentration, Health Professions Concentration, or Accelerated BS/MS options.
The degree requires 120 credit hours for completion and you’ll take general education classes as well as 33 hours of core classes in Public Health. Some of those core courses are Introduction to Public Health, Environmental Health, Health Behavior Theory, Drugs, Society, & Human Behavior, and more. You’ll also take 18 hours in your concentration. In finishing your program, and depending on your concentration, you’ll participate in an internship, capstone project, or independent study.
You’ll need to complete an admission application (with a $40 fee), ACT/SAT test scores (Test scores are optional for Spring, Summer or Fall 2021 semesters), and academic transcripts. The University of Alabama has Admission Recruiters who will help you with your admission process.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $11,620-$31,090/per academic year
Fast Fact: Niche rates UA #53/676 in its Top Public Universities in America
25. University of Nebraska-Omaha
Established in 1908, UNO is Nebraska’s premier university. You can earn a BS in Public Health that requires 120-credit hours. (The university also provides an integrated, or accelerated, BS in Public Health degree and MA or MS in Health and Kinesiology with a concentration in Health Behavior graduate degree requiring a total of 144 total credit hours.)
Following general education studies, you’ll start the core courses in the BSPH. That core curriculum includes classes in Foundations in Public Health, Epidemiology & Prevention of Disease, Public Health Informatics, Global Health, Public Health Planning and Organization, Public Health Policy, Community Health, etc. You’ll also choose elective coursework from topics like Applied Nutrition, Stress Management, Injury Prevention in Public Health, and others. An internship is required in state and/or local health departments under the supervision of a Public Health professional.
First year admission involves an application and $45 fee, ACT/SAT test scores, official academic transcripts, and additional documents as requested. UNO also offers Assured Admission for First-Year Applicants for students who graduate from a regionally-accredited high school (or completed a GED) and who meet specific core course requirements.
Estimated Tuition Cost: $8,136-$21,718/per academic year
Fast Fact: UNO ranks #528/1,572 in Best Value Colleges in America as published by Niche
Why Should I Major in a Public Health Degree?
Public Health isn’t a new development in the U.S. The field actually began in 1798 when Congress passed the Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen and established the US Marine Hospital Service (MHS). Throughout the years, Public Health professionals have investigated and helped control diseases that invaded the population, such as cholera, typhoid, smallpox, tuberculosis, HIV, influenza, and many more.
A white paper published in 2020 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimated a dramatic shortfall of a quarter of a million BSPH, MSPH, or PhD educated Public Health professionals over ten years.
An undergraduate degree in Public Health serves two purposes. One, it will prepare you for entry-level positions in the field as an educator, program director, policy administration, etc. Second, a BS or BA in Public Health will provide you the educational qualifications to enter a graduate program, and earn the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. An MPH will allow you to move into higher-paying positions with increased opportunities.
How Do I Choose a Public Health Degree Program?
Perhaps, the most important factors to consider in choosing a program are curriculum and accreditation.
Public Health programs typically are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), meaning the curriculum meets national quality standards. Some programs are regionally accredited by the Department of Education such as the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NHASC), etc.
You’ll want to look for a program curriculum that provides a solid foundation in public health topics such as epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and health policy. An internship or field experience is a great opportunity for you to get real-world experience, working in a Public Health department or agency under the supervision of a working professional in the field.
How Do I Get a Job in Public Health?
A bachelor’s degree in Public Health is a great start to land an entry-level position in the field. How, and where, you apply will depend on your interests and long-term goals.
Careers in the field can be found in the non-profit sector, along with local and state Public Health agencies, as well as on the federal level with the Department of Health and Human Services. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website has a section devoted to employment pathways for Public Health jobs and additional training options.
Personal networking is a helpful way to gain a foothold on a job. Don’t overlook the importance of a field experience or internship in helping you not only gain real-world experience but making valuable contacts in the field.