Public Health

Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Health

Graduates of the BS Program in Public Health are expected to advance the field of public health in the region and nationwide. Public health role functions exist in private industry, organizations, local communities, and state and national settings. Students will also attain a foundation of knowledge that is necessary to pursue graduate studies in public health and health sciences. 

What You Will Learn

Graduates of the BS Program in Public Health will be able to:

  • Evaluate public health concerns of society and of vulnerable groups within society.
  • Explain the impact of communicable diseases and environment on the health of populations.
  • Apply criteria for evaluating health systems including quality, cost and access.
  • Apply principles of health communication and informatics to evaluate the quality of health information available to public consumers.
  • Apply the public health approach to public health problems and promote prevention activities.
  • Apply concepts of benefits, cost and harm to decision making in public health.
  • Identify issues in the organization and implementation of public health strategies and health care services and analyze interventions to promote health and prevent disease.
  • Apply principles of epidemiology including risk factors, rates, determinants of disease, causation, evidence and intervention.
  • Identify occupational safety and health hazards and design appropriate controls.
  • Assess social and behavioral interventions to improve health of populations.

Solid Foundation of Study

Students will acquire a solid foundation in the biological and life sciences, social and behavioral sciences, statistics, and humanities and fine arts. In addition, students will develop skills in communication, research and information management, critical thinking, advocacy, leadership and teamwork, and project design and implementation. Courses in public health, health promotion, environmental health and epidemiology will provide a strong foundation in public health that will culminate in a capstone experience.

Types of Careers

Graduates with a BS degree in public health will be prepared for a range of careers such as Public Health Advisor, Health Educator, Social Marketer, Public Health Social Worker, Environmental Health Coordinator, Community Activist, Continuing Education Coordinator, and Worksite Wellness Manager. Some graduates may decide to earn advanced degrees in health.

Admission Requirements

  • A high school diploma.
  • Overall minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Completion of high school program that focuses on college prep courses including English, biology, and chemistry.  It is strongly recommended that incoming freshman take math through pre-calculus or calculus and complete high school physics. 
  • Minimum combined SAT scores of 1,000 (mathematics and verbal). 
  • Students must be able to meet the technical standards of the college and the  program so that they can actively participate in all phases of class, practicum and laboratory work, with or without reasonable accommodations. 

Curriculum Plan of Study

The BS Program in Public Health is a four-year 120-credit degree program. In addition to foundation and core public health courses, students will choose one of three options: Community Health/Health Promotion, Environmental/Occupational Health, and Health Sciences. Visit the UMass Lowell Academic Catalog for more course information.

Community Health/Health Promotion  

Students will be involved in service learning and community health practicum experiences and take courses to increase skills in communication and teaching related to health promotion and prevention in community settings. This option will prepare students for careers as community health educators in a variety of settings including community health centers, hospitals, long term care facilities, corporate wellness, and nonprofit organizations.

Environmental/Occupational Health

Students will study the complex links between environmental exposures to chemicals, radiation, and pathogens, climate change, ecosystem damage, and human health with an emphasis on occupational health. Graduates can pursue environmental and occupational health positions in health departments, public agencies, environmental consulting firms and nonprofit organizations.

Health Sciences

This option will provide a strong emphasis on health sciences with flexibility in selecting health science courses and electives under academic advisor guidance. Sufficient elective credits are included in health science coursework to allow students the opportunity to select science courses in an area of their interest within a public health framework. This option not only prepares students to work in the field of public health, but could also be used as a pathway to graduate degrees in various areas of health sciences such as direct entry graduate nursing programs, occupational therapy, and post-graduate professional health programs, including medical school.