Catalog 2021-2022

Public Health Major

Through teaching, scholarship and service, the B.S. with a major in public health  prepares students to improve health and prevent disease and disability, locally and around the world. 

The B.S. with a major in public health is designed for individuals seeking experiential academic training in health education, health promotion, health communication and policy and social change. The program equips students with the fundamental skills and knowledge necessary for careers in these areas.

Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared for graduate studies or leadership roles in a variety of public health professions. Careers may include health education and promotion, public policy, advocacy, research, nonprofit work, global health initiatives, environmental health, occupational health, community and family health, maternal and child health, adolescent health, health care services and administration, behavioral change campaign development to reduce various health consequences (i.e., unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, drunk driving, substance abuse), epidemiology, health communication, emergency preparedness, public health nutrition, biostatistics, disease prevention (i.e., cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes), minority health and community program development.

Potential employers include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, Association of Education Development, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Partners in Health, universities, hospitals, community health centers, nonprofit organizations, public and private corporations, institutes and foundations, workplaces, schools, health promotion and social marketing firms, etc.

Curriculum Description

The public health major is inherently multidisciplinary. Core quantitative disciplines such as epidemiology and biostatistics are fundamental to analyzing and understanding the broad impact of health problems, allowing us to look beyond individuals to entire populations. In addition, disease prevention is at the heart of public health; therefore, the program includes content in social sciences to better understand health-related behaviors and their societal influences. Also, the manner in which health information is generated and disseminated greatly influences individuals, public officials, organizations, communities and entire populations. Marketing and communication skills enable our students to identify contexts, channels, messages and benefits that will motivate individuals to listen, understand and use health information. Further, successful public health efforts must be led by those who can mobilize, coordinate and direct collaborative actions within complex systems; therefore, our students receive intense coursework in total quality management and leadership.


Consequently, the curriculum emphasizes health promotion, health education, communication, public and social policy and collaborative leadership. A solid foundation in behavioral sciences principles and theories is provided, along with advanced skills in program planning, execution and evaluation. Students can pair their major with a concentration in Health Education and Wellness that will allow them to sit for a professional certification test in health education (CHES) or they may choose elective courses, with advisor approval, to complement their public health general degree.

The curriculum consists of required foundational courses and a minimum of 6 academic credits of internship field placement. The internship is designed to provide students with an opportunity, under supervision, to apply the knowledge and skills from the classroom to real-world public health practice. This internship course may be repeated for credit for a maximum of 12 credit hours.

Specific course content includes:

  1. Quantitative and qualitative skills needed for problem solving
  2. Multidisciplinary, collaborative and ecologically based strategies for solving health-related problems
  3. Communication skills in working with diverse populations
  4. Understanding social and behavioral determinants of health
  5. Development, execution and evaluation of interventions and policies leading to the improvement of population health and
  6. Management and leadership development in advocacy and public health service

General Curriculum Distribution
The general curriculum distribution requirements are contained in the Baccalaureate Experience section of the UT Academic Experience chapter of this catalog. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in public health must complete all general curriculum distribution requirements.
As part of the natural science component, each public health student must have credit in BIO 183 or BIO 198 and CHE 150 or CHE 152 (note that CHE 153L is a co- or prerequisite for CHE 152).


Degree Requirements

Required foundational courses for the public health major:

HSC 236Introduction to Public Health


HSC 237Determinants and Disparities in Health and Disease


HSC 240Global Disparities in Environmental Health


HSC 340Qualitative Research Methods


HSC 350Biostatistics


HSC 355Research Methods in Health Education and Promotion


HSC 360Principles of Epidemiology in Exercise and Public Health


HSC 375Health Education Theory and Strategies


HSC 440Health Policy and Social Change


HSC 445Program Planning and Evaluation in Health Promotion and Education


HSC 450Public Health Management and Leadership


HSC 490Internship in Public Health


Total Credit Hours:50