What is a Bachelor of Science in Public Health?
Drexel Dornsife's Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) 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's the Difference Between a BS and BA in Public Health?
At Drexel Dornsife, students who pursue a BS in Public Health receive extensive education in public health fundamentals that includes courses in physical sciences, life sciences, and social sciences.
Students in the BA in Global Public Health program receive a broad, interdisciplinary education that includes more courses in global studies and a required language minor.
What Makes the BS in Public Health Program at Dornsife Unique?
Real-world immersion and hands-on practice experiences are key components of the program. Experiential learning through the Drexel Co-op enhances your skills and understanding of the public health industry.
The Drexel University 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 degree 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 as a Drexel Dragon: 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 #22 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 Public Health Bachelor's Degree
The Bachelor's degree in Public Health prepare students to understand:
- The history and philosophy of public health as well as its core values, concepts, and functions across the globe and in society
- The basic concepts, methods, and tools of public health data collection, use, and analysis and why evidence-based approaches are an essential part of public health practice
- The concepts of population health, and the basic processes, approaches, and interventions that identify and address the major health-related needs and concerns of populations
- The underlying science of human health and disease, including opportunities for promoting and protecting health across the life course
- The socioeconomic, behavioral, biological, environmental, and other factors that impact human health and contribute to health disparities
- The fundamental concepts and features of project implementation, including planning, assessment, and evaluation
- The fundamental characteristics and organizational structures of the US health system as well as the differences between systems in other countries
- Basic concepts of legal, ethical, economic, and regulatory dimensions of health care and public health policy and the roles, influences, and responsibilities of the different agencies and branches of government
- Basic concepts of public health-specific communication, including technical and professional writing and the use of mass media and electronic technology
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
In the 2022–2023 academic year, Drexel offered financial support to 99% of its incoming first-year students. The average scholarship and grant aid offered to first-year students was $34,053, which includes federal, state, and institutional aid.
Undergraduate tuition and fees can be found on Drexel Central website.
Steps on how to apply for financial aid and the different resources available to you can be found on Drexel Central.
Tips for Applying to Drexel
To review Drexel University’s Undergraduate Admissions criteria and to complete your application, visit the links below.
Review Undergraduate Admission Prerequisites
Complete Your Application
BS 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
- Social Determinants of Health
- U.S. Healthcare System
Required Courses for a Public Health Bachelor's Degree
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.
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
Public Health Minors
Undergraduate students enrolled at Drexel University 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
- Global Public Health
- Health and Social Justice
To learn more visit Undergraduate Public Health Minors.
Experiential Learning Opportunities
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.
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:
Students build a network of professional connections while at Drexel, through Co-op, academic, research, and extracurricular activities.
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
Careers With a BS in Public Health
There are many job opportunities for individuals who pursue a bachelor's degree in public health, including:
- Project Coordinator
- Health Educator
- Community Health Worker
- Research Specialist
- Community Engagement Specialist
- Data Analyst
Where Can You Work With a BS in Public Health?
A variety of careers are applicable to the public health degree, including entry-level public health jobs in healthcare settings, public service (local, city and state government), and non-governmental organizations (both local and international).
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.
Learn more about what you can do with a public health degree and the benefits of studying public health in Philadelphia.
Is a BS in Public Health Worth It?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently predicted a 7% growth rate for health educators and community health workers between 2022 and 2032, faster than average for all occupations.
|Health Education Specialists
|Community Health Workers
In May 2022 the median annual wage for community health workers was $46,190 and the median annual wage for health education specialists was $59,990.
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, 96.9 percent of Drexel undergraduates were working or enrolled in graduate or professional education, while 92% of those working full-time were satisfied with their position.
Out of co-op participants working full-time, 46.1% 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 2021 graduating class.
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. For students who are interested in STEM-designated public health programs, Drexel Dornsife is proud to offer 9 graduate programs that are STEM eligible.
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 allows 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