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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 Department of Molecular Biosciences.

Students who plan to follow option I must be admitted. Students who plan to follow option III must first gain admission to option I, and then apply for admission to option III. Students who plan to follow option II must be admitted to the Dean's Scholars Honors Program. Admission requirements for option I and II are given in The Major in Public Health.

Prescribed Work Common to All Options

All students pursuing an undergraduate degree must complete the University’s Core Curriculum

In addition, students seeking the Bachelor of Science in Public Health must complete the following degree-level requirements. In some cases, courses that fulfill degree-level requirements also meet the requirements of the core.

  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 management: Public Health 358D.
    6. Social and behavioral sciences: Public Health 368D.
  3. Two courses with a writing flag. One of these courses must be upper-division.
  4. One course with a quantitative reasoning flag.

Courses with  flags are identified in the Course Schedule. They may be used simultaneously to fulfill other requirements, unless otherwise specified.

  1. At least twenty-one semester hours of upper-division coursework must be completed in residence at the University. All students must complete at least thirty-six 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 321G353, 337 (Topic: Fundamentals of Health Information Technology), Computer Science 303E, 313E, 327E, 329E (Topic: Elements of Computing in Society), Geography 360G, Mathematics 408D, 408M, 408S, 340L, 358K, 362K, 362M, 378K, Public Health 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 : 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, 230L, 327D, 336347 or 360K, 160L, 361, 361L, 361P, Public Health 341R.
    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, 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 350K, Public Health 341R, Public Relations 305, Social Work 310Sociology 319, 321K (Topic: Global Health; Topic: Sociology of HIV/AIDS), 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. Second-semester-level proficiency, or the equivalent, in a foreign language.
    2. First-semester-level proficiency, or the equivalent, 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 126 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 Biology 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 is 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, or may apply to graduate to receive both degrees in the same semester.

  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. Eighteen hours of approved upper-division elective coursework in public health; graduate coursework completed at the School of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center may be applied toward this requirement*
  5. One of the following foreign language/culture choices:
    1. Second-semester-level proficiency, or the equivalent, in a foreign language.
    2. First-semester-level proficiency, or the equivalent, 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 126 semester 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.


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