Bachelor of Science in Public Health

The Bachelor of Science in Public Health prepares graduates for entry-level positions in public health and equips them to pursue certificate and graduate degrees in the field. All of the options offer broad-based training in the five core areas of public health. Option I offers a choice of six areas of specialization.

Students for whom the degree is appropriate include those interested in health careers and in dual graduate degree programs in medicine and public health. The degree is administered by the School of Human Ecology.

Option I students who plan to follow Option III must apply for admission. Admission requirements for Option III is given in The Bachelor of Science in Public Health, Option III. Students who plan to follow Option II must be admitted to the Dean's Scholars Honors Program
 

Prescribed Work Common to All Options
 

In the process of fulfilling degree requirements, all students must complete: 

  1. Foundation courses:
    1. Public health: Public Health 317
    2. Microbiology: Biology 326M and 226L
    3. Nutrition and physiology: Nutrition 312 or 312H and Biology 365S
    4. Social and behavioral sciences: One of the following: Economics 304K, 304L, Psychology 301, Sociology 319, 354K
    5. Political science/government: Government 358 or Management 320F
  2. Public health core*:
    1. Biostatistics: Statistics and Data Sciences 328M
    2. Environmental health sciences: Public Health 338
    3. Epidemiology: Public Health 354
    4. Global health: Public Health 334
    5. Health policy and health systems: Public Health 358D
    6. Health behavior theory and practice: Public Health 368D
  3. Core curriculum
  4. Skills and experience flags:
    a. Writing: two flagged courses beyond Rhetoric and Writing 306 or its equivalent, including one at the upper-division level
    b. Quantitative reasoning: one flagged course
    c. Global cultures: one flagged course
    d. Cultural diversity in the United States: one flagged course
    e. Ethics and leadership: one flagged course
    f. Independent inquiry: one flagged course

Courses that may be used to fulfill flag requirements are identified in the Course Schedule. They may be used simultaneously to fulfill other requirements, unless otherwise specified. Please note, students may not earn the cultural diversity in the United States and the global cultures flag from the same course. Students are encouraged to discuss options with their academic advisers.

  1. At least 21 semester hours of upper-division coursework must be completed in residence at the University. All students must complete at least 36 semester hours of upper-division coursework.

Additional Prescribed Work for Each Option

Option I: Public Health

  1. Mathematics 408C or 408N.
  2. Biology 311C, 311D, and 325 or Biology 315H and 325H. These courses must be completed before the student progresses to other upper-division biology and upper-division public health courses.
  3. Chemistry 301 or 301H, 302 or 302H, 204, 320M, and Biochemistry 369.
  4. At least nine hours from one of the following areas of specialization; courses counted toward requirement 1 may not be used to fulfill this requirement.
    1. Biostatistics and public health informatics: Biology 321GComputer Science 303E, 313E, 327EGeography 360G, Mathematics 408D, 408M, 408S, 340L, 358K, 362K, 362M, 378K,Public Health 320, 323, 341R, Statistics and Data Sciences 332.
    2. Environmental health sciences: Biology 373, 373L, 375Civil Engineering 341, 342, 346, 369L, Geological Sciences 302C346C, 476K, 476M, Geography 307C, 334C, 339K, 344K357, 360G, Marine Science 307, 320, 354Q, Public Health 341R, Urban Studies 315.
    3. Health policy and management: Economics 304K, 304LGovernment 357M (Topic 3: Supreme Court and Public Policy; Topic 4: Civil Liberties; Topic 7: Constitutional Structure of Power; Topic 8: Structure of Individual Liberties), 358, 360N (Topic 10: Introduction to International Relations), 370L (Topic 23: Politics of Health Care), Health and Society 320, 330, Human Development and Family Sciences 362, Management 320F, Philosophy 325L or 325M, 347, Public Affairs 325 (Topic 1: Advanced Seminar in Ethical Leadership), Public Health 341R, Sociology 354K.

      Economics 304K and 304L may not count toward both requirement 1d and requirement 8c. Government 358 may not count toward both requirement 1e and requirement 8c. Management 320F may not count toward both requirement 1e and requirement 8c. Sociology 354K may not count toward both requirement 1d and 8c.
       
    4. Infectious diseases and public health microbiology: Biology 330, 230L336347 or 360K, 160L, 361, 361LPublic Health 341R, 361P.
    5. Nutrition: Nutrition 312R, 315, 321, 331, 337,  338W or 338H, 342, 365 (Topic 1: Vitamins and Minerals; Topic 4: Obesity and Metabolic Health), Public Health 341R.
    6. Social and behavioral sciences: Only one advertising, communication, or public relations course may be counted: Advertising 305, 319, 334, 378, Communication Studies 306M, 315M, 332, 332K355K, Health Education 329K, 335, 352K (Topic 2: Psychological Issues in Women's Health), 370K (Topic 1: Foundations of Health Promotion I; Topic 2: Adolescent Health Risk Behavior), 371K, 373, Health and Society 301, 320, Marketing 320F, Pharmacy PharmD 350K, Public Health 341R, Public Relations 305, Social Work 310Sociology 319, 322F, 329, 336D, 354K, 369K

      Sociology 319 and 354K may not count toward both requirement 1d and requirement 8f.
  5. One of the following foreign language/culture choices:
    1. Beginning level proficiency coursework, or the equivalent, in a foreign language
    2. First course in a foreign language and a three-semester-hour course in the culture of the same language area
    3. Two three-semester-hour courses in one foreign culture area; the courses must be chosen from an approved list available in the dean's office and the college advising centers
  6. Enough additional coursework to make a total of 120 semester hours

Option II: Public Health Honors

  1. Breadth requirement: An honors mathematics course; Biology 315H and 325H; Chemistry 301H and 302H; credit by examination may not count toward this requirement
  2. In fulfilling requirement 2a, students must complete an honors statistics course
  3. Chemistry 204, 320M, and Biochemistry 369
  4. A section of Undergraduate Studies 302 or 303 that is approved by the program honors adviser
  5. A section of Rhetoric and Writing 309S that is restricted to students in the Dean's Scholars Honors Program
  6. Two semesters of Public Health 379H
  7. Nine additional hours of coursework approved by the departmental honors adviser
  8. Six semester hours of coursework in the College of Liberal Arts or the College of Fine Arts
  9. Enough additional coursework to make a total of 120 semester hours

Option III:  Advanced Program

This program provides students with a foundation in the natural sciences applied to public health and advanced specialist training in preparation for a leadership position in public health practice. This program leads to the completion of the Bachelor of Science in Public Health and the Master of Public Health, awarded by the School of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston. During the senior year, students complete the first year of the Master of Public Health at the Austin Regional Campus. The second year of the Master of Public Health is completed at one of the five regional campuses in Austin, Brownsville, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, and San Antonio. Upon completion of the first year of the Master of Public Health, coursework may be applied toward Option III requirements. Option III students may apply to graduate upon completion of the undergraduate degree requirements and prior to the completion of the Master of Public Health.

  1. Mathematics 408C or 408N
  2. Biology 311C, 311D, and 325; or 315H and 325H; these courses must be completed before the student progresses to other upper-division biology and upper-division public health courses
  3. Chemistry 301 or 301H, 302 or 302H, 204, 320M, and Biochemistry 369
  4. One of the following foreign language/culture choices:
    1. Beginning level proficiency coursework, or the equivalent, in a foreign language
    2. First course in a foreign language and a three-semester-hour course in the culture of the same language area
    3. Two three-semester-hour courses in one foreign culture area; the courses must be chosen from an approved list available in the dean's office and the college advising centers.
  5. Enough additional coursework to make a total of 120 semester hours; a maximum of 18 hours of graduate coursework completed at the School of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center may be applied as elective hours toward the Bachelor of Science in Public Health, Option III: Advanced Program, if needed to reach a total of 120 hours.
*

 Graduate coursework may not be applied toward the public health core requirements 2a through 2f. 

Special Requirements

Students must fulfill both the University's General Requirements for graduation and the college requirements. They must also earn a grade of at least C- in each foundation course, public health core course, and mathematics and science course required by the degree, and a grade point average in these courses of at least 2.00. More information about grades and the grade point average is given in the General Information Catalog.

Additional Requirements for Option II

To graduate under Option II, students must remain in good academic standing in the Dean's Scholars Program, must earn grades of at least A- in the departmental research and thesis courses described in requirement 11 above, and must present their research in an approved public forum, such as the college's annual Undergraduate Research Forum. More information about the Undergraduate Research Forum is available at https://cns.utexas.edu/.

Additional Requirements for Option III

Students admitted to Option III are required to follow the admission schedule and policies of Master of Public Health program at the School of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston. Students are expected to make continuous progress toward the undergraduate and graduate degrees by completing required undergraduate and graduate public health coursework each semester of the fourth year. Students who fail to complete graduate coursework two long-session semesters in a row will be removed from the program and must re-enroll at the University of Texas at Austin to complete the Bachelor of Science in Public Health Option I. Students will be notified prior to removal from the graduate program. Students must earn the Bachelor of Science in Public Health in their fourth year to be eligible to continue in the Master of Public Health program in their fifth year.