BHS in Public Health

Degree Program Description

Public health includes activities needed to promote and protect the health of people and the communities where they live. While doctors treat people who are sick, the field of public health is organized around trying to prevent illness and injuries in the first place; and promote healthy behavior. People in the field of public health work to assure the conditions in which people can be healthy by tracking disease and outbreaks, preventing injuries, and studying how and why some people are more likely to suffer from poor health and health inequities than others. The many facets of public health include speaking out for laws or policies that promote smoke-free indoor air, school nutrition, and seat belts; collecting and disseminating education about how to stay healthy, and offering science-based solutions to health problems - among others.

The Bachelor of Health Science in Public Health degree prepares students for introductory careers in all core areas of public health, such as health education, epidemiology, health policy, and environmental health. The courses introduce students to key concepts, theories, problems, and solutions in public health, and also focus on the links between public health and social justice and human rights. 

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Major Program Requirements

Students are required to apply to the Bachelor of Health Science in Public Health major. Admission to the program requires: successful completion of 60 hours (junior standing), minimum of 2.75 GPA in first 60 hours, grade of B- or better in HLTH_SCI 3300, grade C or better in the required statistics course, completed application packet, two recommendations, and commitment to the program’s mission and core values. Meeting the minimum criteria and declaring a major of pre-Public Health does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

Note: The Bachelor of Health Science in Public Health program is interested in applicants with a wide range of life experiences and skills. If you do not meet or only barely meet the set program eligibility (such as GPA) but are interested in the program, an optional statement of eligibility essay may be submitted. This optional essay must be submitted with your application materials and does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Please see the application materials for more details.  

In addition to University of Missouri requirements, including University general education, the Bachelor of Health Science in Public Health degree requires the following:

Program Requirements
ENGLSH 1000Exposition and Argumentation ^3
or ENGLSH 1000H Honors Exposition English
MATH 1100College Algebra ^3-5
or MATH 1160 Precalculus Mathematics
BIO_SC 1010
BIO_SC 1020
General Principles and Concepts of Biology
and General Biology Laboratory ^
or BIO_SC 1500 Introduction to Biological Systems with Laboratory
or BIO_SC 1500H Introduction to Biological Systems with Laboratory Honors
Physical Science course ^1+
PSYCH 1000General Psychology ^3
or PSYCH 1000H General Psychology - Honors
RU_SOC 1000Rural Sociology ^3
or SOCIOL 1000 Introduction to Sociology
or SOCIOL 1000H Introduction to Sociology Honors
Pre-requisites Courses
HLTH_SCI 3300Public Health Principles, Practice, and Education (a grade of B- or higher is required)3
or HLTH_SCI 3300H Public Health Principles, Practice, & Education - Honors
or HLTH_SCI 3300W Public Health Principles, Practice, and Education - Writing Intensive
STAT 1200Introductory Statistical Reasoning (a grade of C or higher is required)3
or STAT 1400 Elementary Statistics for Life Sciences
or ESC_PS 4170 Introduction to Applied Statistics
Major Core Requirements
HLTH_SCI 3310Social and Behavioral Health Theory and Practice ~3
HLTH_SCI 4300Health Care in the United States ~3
or HLTH_SCI 4300H Health Care in the United States - Honors
P_HLTH 3450Introduction to Epidemiology ~3
HLTH_SCI 3900WIntroduction to The Research Process and Evidence Base - Writing Intensive ~3
HLTH_SCI 3400Global Public Health and Health Care Systems ~3
HLTH_SCI 3600Health Promotion Programs I: Assessment and Planning ~3
HLTH_SCI 3610Health Promotion Programs II: Implementation, Evaluation, and Communication ~3
*Principles of Environmental Health (course in development) ~3
HLTH_SCI 4500Health Care Management ~3
*Ethics in Public Health (course in development) ~3
*Public Health Capstone (course in development) ~3
12 Hours Approved Diversity Coursework ~12
Recommended Electives
*Emergency Preparedness for Public Health (course in development)3
*Chronic Diseases (course in development)3
*Environmental Justice (course in development)3
*Exploring the HIV/AIDS Pandemic (course in development)3
*Drugs and Society (course in development)3
*Autism and Public Health (course in development)3
*Qualitative Methods in Public Health (course in development)3

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study for the BHS in Public Health.

First Year
ENGLSH 10003MATH 11003
PSYCH 10003RU_SOC 10003
BIO_SC 10103HLTH_SCI 10003
BIO_SC 10202Humanities Course3
P_HLTH 10001MO State Law Requirement3
 15 15
Second Year
STAT 1200 (MRP)3HLTH_SCI 33003
Humanities Course32000+ level Humanities Course3
Physical Science Course3Writing Intensive Course3
 15 15
Third Year
HLTH_SCI 33103HLTH_SCI 34003
HLTH_SCI 43003HLTH_SCI 36003
P_HLTH 34503HLTH_SCI 36103
Approved Diversity Coursework3HLTH_SCI 3900W3
Elective3Approved Diversity Coursework3
 15 15
Fourth Year
Principles of Environmental Health (course in development)3Public Health Capstone (course in development)3
Ethics in Public Health (course in development)3Approved Diversity Coursework3
HLTH_SCI 45003Elective3
Approved Diversity Coursework3Elective3
 15 15
Total Credits: 120

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner.  Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, by clicking on the Request Degree Audit link. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.  This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center in the lower level of the Student Success Center.  No appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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