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The Bachelor of Science in Public Health will provide students with a strong foundation of population health, social and environmental determinants of health, and strategies related to disease prevention and health promotion—all critical to addressing health threats and strengthening the public health workforce. Public health’s interprofessional nature is ideally suited within an undergraduate curriculum, giving students an opportunity to apply core concepts to myriad fields, including public health, clinical practice, research, mental health, or a non-health profession such as business or engineering.

The BSPH curriculum will expose students to the essential principles of public health and the biomedical sciences concurrently (for students pursuing the health professions), and will provide ample opportunities to immerse students in community-based public health experiences and research. The academic rigor, emphasis on science, and core public health foundation will fully prepare students for a career in public health or medicine. The instructional delivery method of the BSPH will be an onsite model, with opportunities to participate in global and domestic medical outreach initiatives. Traditional classroom instruction will be augmented with innovative community-based experiential learning and the use of contemporary information technology.

The first three years of the BSPH curriculum include traditional liberal arts courses, core public health courses, and medical school pre-requisites (for students interested in pursuing a medical degree). Courses will be taught by faculty from the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (KPCOM); KPCOM’s Department of Public Health Program; KPCOM’s Department of Nutrition, Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography; College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, and the College of Medical Sciences.

The fourth year of the program is comprised of elective courses in the public health concentration and intensive service learning experiences, with coursework ranging in focus from community health to public health informatics so as to fully prepare the student for a myriad of career choices in public health. For BSPH students pursuing a graduate education in public health, the 4th year of the BSPH is also designed to prepare students to vertically integrate into the MPH program. Students pursuing the dual admissions BSPH-DO 3 + 4 option will pursue a concurrent course of study in their 4th year comprised of courses in the medical concentration that fulfill the requirements for the BSPH degree alongside the first year DO curriculum.

View a sample 4-year plan


General Education Requirements   (30)

Students are required to complete 30 hours as part of the General Education Program

Public Health Major

Public Health Major Requirements (57 credits)

BPH 1010 ‑ Foundations of Public Health (3 credits)
BPH 1020 ‑ Principles of Health Behavior (3 credits)
BPH 2022 ‑ Public Health Biology (3 credits)
BPH 2030 ‑ Public Health Seminar (3 credits)
BPH 2040 ‑ Health Communication (3 credits)
BPH 2050 ‑ Community Health (3 credits)
BPH 3010 ‑ Concepts in Epidemiology (3 credits) or
     BPH 3010H ‑ Epidemiology: Distribution and Determinants of Health (3 credits)
BPH 3020 ‑ Public Health Leadership and Management (3 credits)
BPH 3030 ‑ Intro to Global Health (3 credits)
BPH 4020 ‑ Policies, Systems, and Environments of Healthcare (3 credits)
BPH 4910 ‑ Environmental and Occupational Health (3 credits)
BPH 4950 ‑ Community-Based Health Outreach I (3 credits)
BPH 4951 ‑ Community Based Health Outreach II (3 credits)

Public Health Major Electives (18 credits of the following required)

BPH 2010 ‑ Human Genomics (3 credits)
BPH 2060 ‑ Introduction to School Health (3 credits)
BPH 2070 ‑ Public Health Research Methods (3 credits)
BPH 2080 ‑ Dimensions of Wellness (3 credits)
BPH 3040 ‑ Public Health Issues in Disasters (3 credits)
BPH 3970 ‑ Disparities in Health (3 credits)
BPH 3990 ‑ Understanding Mental Health as Public Health (3 credits)
BPH 3990H ‑ Inside Out: Exploring Mental Health and Well-Being (3 credits)
BPH 4900 ‑ Global Outreach amd Applied Learning (3 credits)
BPH 4901 ‑ Domestic Outreach amd Applied Learning (3 credits)
BPH 4920 ‑ Population Health Outcomes and Analysis (3 credits)
BPH 4950 ‑ Ethical Issues in Population Health (3 credits)
BPH 4990 ‑ Independent Study in Public Health (1,2, or 3 credits)

Students are permitted to take 9 of the required 18 major elective credits from the BSHN (Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition) or HAWC (Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Coaching).

View degree curriculum sheet

Public Health Minor

KPCOM’s Public Health Minor provides curriculum in areas relevant to public health, social and behavioral health sciences, and community health. The interprofessional experiences of KPCOM faculty offer students a realistic look into the benefits, rewards, and challenges of public health.

Public Health Minor Requirements (9)

BPH 1010 Foundations of Public Health (3 credits)
BPH 1020 Principles of Health Behavior (3 credits)
BPH 2050 Community Health (3 credits)

BPH Open Major Elective
BPH Open Major Elective
BPH Open Major Elective

Students may select up to 9 credits with the HAWC (Health and Wellness Coaching) or BSNH (Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition)

The BSPH addresses the following Foundational Domains (Council on Education for Public Health):

  • History and philosophy of public health as well as its core values, concepts and functions across the globe and in society;
  • 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;
  • Concepts of population health, and the basic processes, approaches and interventions that identify and address the major health-related needs and concerns of populations;
  • Underlying science of human health and disease, including opportunities for promoting and protecting health across the life course;
  • Socioeconomic, behavioral, biological, environmental and other factors that impact human health and contribute to health disparities;
  • Fundamental concepts and features of project implementation, including planning, assessment and evaluation;
  • 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; and
  • Basic concepts of public health-specific communication, including technical and professional writing and the use of mass media and electronic technology

The BSPH also addresses the following Foundational Competencies (Council on Education for Public Health):

  • Ability to communicate public health information, in both oral and written forms, through a variety of media and to diverse audiences, and
  • Ability to locate, use, evaluate, and synthesize public health information.
1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the core areas of public health education (i.e., epidemiology; biostatistics; environmental health; social and behavioral sciences)
2. Demonstrate essential knowledge of the core functions of public health: assessment, policy development and assurance
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the ecological model of health behavior and the logic model of public health practice
4. Apply evidence-based principles to public health practice
5. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of research design and analysis
6. Describe the scientific foundation for understanding health and disease, as well as chronic, infectious and emerging diseases
7. Demonstrate essential knowledge of population health and vulnerable population groups
8. Explain the impact of health behaviors, ethics, diversity and culture
9. Identify emerging topics in public health, including nutrition, disaster preparedness, and infectious diseases
B.S.P.H. students will participate in community based public health projects to further develop skills in program development, research, and program evaluation.

The Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (KPCOM) places a strong emphasis on experiential learning and practice-based education. The experiential learning approach, “learning by doing,” is a vital aspect of these courses. The Public Health domestic and global outreach and applied learning courses are practice-based field experiences that expose students to public health issues both domestically and globally. All outreach trips involve participating with underserved populations in a public health capacity. Trips have included India, New Orleans, Mississippi, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico Outreach Trip

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