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What is a Bachelor of Science in Public Health?

Drexel Dornsife's Bachelor of Science in Public Health is a full-time undergraduate degree program that prepares students to become innovative public health leaders by blending classroom learning with real-world experiences in the core public health disciplines.

The BS in Public Health program is designed to provide students with a foundational understanding in science and public health practice to improve the health of populations across the nation. Students take courses in public health core disciplines including epidemiology, community health and prevention, environmental and occupational health, and health management and policy.

As students progress through the major, they gain deeper knowledge in their chosen public health discipline through coursework, co-op experience, and senior capstone project.

Students gain the skills and training to launch a public health career that makes an impact. Public health students “[learn] concrete ways to improve lives and address some of the inequities in our society,” said Sarah Wetzel, public health ’23, who served as a Drexel delegate at an international climate conference.

What Makes the Bachelor of Science in Public Health Program Unique?

Real-world immersion and hands-on practice experiences are key components of the program. Experiential learning through the Drexel Co-op enhance your skills and understanding of the public health industry.

CEPH accredited bachelor's, masters, and doctoral programs in public health

The Dornsife School of Public Health has continuously earned accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), which is the organization that accredits public health schools and programs. Dornsife ranks as the top graduate school of public health in Philadelphia.

Additional benefits of the Bachelor’s in Public Health program at Drexel University include:

  • Take advantage of state-of-the-art resources: Students have access to Drexel resources for enhanced student success.
  • Individualized attention: Experience direct attention and connectedness of a close undergraduate cohort.
  • Join the Philadelphia community: Drexel is located and deeply-engaged in the city of Philadelphia, where students can build lifelong relationships with highly motivated, diverse peers.
  • Highly developed coursework: A curriculum grounded in health as a human right and a commitment to health equality.
  • Learn from award-winning faculty: Drexel Dornsife faculty conduct research in urban health in communities across the United States and the world, focusing on areas including epidemiology, community health, global health, sociology, psychology, medicine, health policy, health economics, industrial hygiene and anthropology.
  • Become part of a renowned program: U.S. News & World Report ranked Dornsife the #1 graduate school of public health in Philadelphia and the school is tied for #19 in the country. 
  • Participate in Dornsife’s Public Health Co-op program for undergraduate students: Gain real world experience while building a professional network.

Learning Outcomes for Drexel Dornsife’s Bachelor of Science in Public Health Degree

The Bachelor of Science in Public Health will prepare students to:

  • Identify and address population health challenges through the various public health concentrations.
  • Acquire a working knowledge of the US healthcare and healthcare delivery system.
  • Understand the interdisciplinary nature of public health in disease prevention and health promotion on both individuals and populations.
  • Obtain a greater understanding of the role of culture and values and how they influence relationships between social determinants of health and the built environment.
  • Understand the fundamental relationship between health and human rights and the role of social justice and ethics.

To learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Public Health program, request more information to speak with an academic advisor today.

Request More Information

Bachelor of Science in Public Health Admissions Requirements

To be considered for the Bachelor's in Public Health degree, applicants must meet the following admissions criteria:

  • Completion of high school curriculum that will best prepare them for freshman-year studies at the college level
  • Three years of mathematics (algebra I and II, geometry)
  • At least one year of a laboratory science (biology, chemistry, or physics)

Bachelor of Science in Public Health Application Requirements

In order for your application to be reviewed, applicants must submit the following documents:

  • Undergraduate admission application
  • Application fee
  • Personal essay
  • Official transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Financial aid information, completed FAFSA form

Standardized test scores are optional for most applicants.

Drexel Dornsife Undergraduate Tuition and Fees

Undergraduate tuition and fees can be found on Drexel Central website.

image of graduation cap showing 99.7 percent of first-year students were offered financial support from Drexel

In the 2020–2021 academic year, Drexel offered financial support to 99.7% of its incoming first-year students. The average scholarship and grant aid offered to the first-year students was $34,203, which includes federal, state, and institutional aid.

Steps on how to apply for financial aid and the different resources available to you can be found on Drexel Central.


To learn more about Drexel University’s Undergraduate Admissions criteria and to complete your application, visit the links below.

Review Undergraduate Admission Prerequisites

Complete Your Application

Bachelor of Science in Public Health Curriculum

Reflecting the interdisciplinary approach of the Dornsife School of Public Health, students take courses originating from the various public health core disciplines, which include epidemiology, community health and prevention, environmental and occupational health, and health management and policy.

The diversity in course offerings provides students with the general foundations of each discipline within public health.

As the students progress through the major, they gain more breath and depth in the specific discipline of their choosing through the co-op experience as well as the capstone courses in their senior year.

Students will develop a course of study that builds their skills and knowledge in areas including:

  • Population Health Challenges
  • Social Justice and Public Health Ethics
  • Epidemiology
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • U.S. Healthcare System

Bachelor of Science in Public Health Required Courses

The Bachelor's in Public Health degree program requires four years of structured coursework, consisting of required core courses and electives in the Dornsife School of Public Health, and in other academic units across Drexel University.

Core public health courses in the program include:

  • PBHL 301 Epidemiology in Public Health - 3 credits
  • PBHL 302 Introduction to the History of Public Health - 3 credits
  • PBHL 303 Overview of Issues in Global Health - 3 credits
  • PBHL 304 Introduction to Health & Human Rights - 3 credits
  • PBHL 308 The U.S. Public Health System - 3 credits
  • PBHL 314 Environmental and Occupational Health - 3 credits

Students can choose from a number of elective courses in social sciences and public health, as well as a number of free electives. A senior capstone experience completes the degree.

Public Health Minors

Drexel undergraduate students may pursue a minor in order to broaden their range of knowledge in the field of public health. Minors include:

  • Public Health
  • Environmental Public Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Global Public Health
  • Health and Social Justice

To learn more visit Undergraduate Public Health Minors.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Practical Experience

The Drexel Co-op is a key component in the public health curriculum and provides students with professional employment experiences. Students graduate prepared to make real-world contributions to population health or pursue a professional or other graduate degree.

Global Learning

Dornsife students have access to tailored global public health field experiences, including learning and research opportunities with partners in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Undergraduate BS in Public Health students have the opportunity for education abroad through intensive courses or a full-term program.

Past students have had memorable experiences abroad:

Professional Network

Students build a network of professional connections while at Drexel, through Co-op, academic, research, and extracurricular activities.

Degree Requirements for Dornsife's Bachelor's Degree in Public Health

In order to receive a BS in Public Health, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of 181 credits, including required courses in general university education, physical and life sciences, social sciences and public health
  • Pass three writing-intensive courses (two in a student's major and the third in any discipline)
  • Completion of senior capstone experience

To learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Public Health curriculum, requirements, and to see a sample plan of study, please visit the pages below.

Review a sample plan of study

Find degree requirements

What Can You Do With a BS in Public Health?

A variety of careers are applicable to the public health degree, including positions in public service (local, city and state government), non-governmental organizations (local and international), and healthcare settings.

Some settings in which public health professionals work include the following:

  • Government & public health agencies
  • Hospital administration
  • Pharmaceutical corporations
  • Health care analysis
  • Clinical research labs
  • Nonprofit health agencies
  • Occupational health and safety administration
  • Health care advocacy organizations

A degree in public health can lead to a promising career, especially at this moment when the work of public health educators is so relevant and important nationally and globally. 

Post-College Employment for Drexel Graduates

Drexel Dornsife provides a world-class education that equips students with the skill set to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation.

In a post-graduation survey of alumni, 94 percent of Drexel undergraduates were working or enrolled in graduate or professional education, while 93% of those working full-time were satisfied with their position.

Out of co-op participants working full-time, 47.8% had received a job offer from a former co-op employer.

View more Drexel graduate statistics from the One-Year-Out Alumni Survey of the 2019 graduating class.

BS in Public Health Salary Ranges

The Bureau of Labor Statistics most recently predicted a 17% growth rate for health educators and community health workers between 2020 and 2030 (BLS.gov).

In May 2021 the median annual wage for community health workers was $46,590 and the median annual wage for health education specialists was $60,600.

Furthering Your Public Health Education with a Graduate Degree

Majoring in public health also enables students to take the prerequisite courses needed for clinical graduate programs, such as medical school, while also gaining a better understanding of population health.

Our graduates can also pursue advanced degrees in non-clinical disciplines, including MPH, JD, and PhD degree programs.

Dornsife also offers an accelerated degree for highly talented undergraduate students interested in fast-tracking their careers in public health. The accelerated 4 + 1 degree allow students to complete both Bachelor’s and Master’s of Public Health degrees in a condensed timeframe at a reduced cost.

View Graduate Public Health Degrees at Dornsife

 


Contact


Rachel Benjamin-Bannett, MSW, LSW
Academic Advisor
rb3383@drexel.edu

Jennifer Breaux, DrPH, MPH
Director of Undergraduate Education
jrb43@drexel.edu