BHS in Public Health

Degree Program Description

Public health includes activities needed to promote and protect the health of people and the communities that they live in. 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 community living conditions are 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. There are many facets of public health. Some examples 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.

Major Program Requirements

All students enrolled in the Bachelor of Health Science in Public Health (abbreviated as BHS in Pub_Hlth) Program are subject to the general regulations of the University. Students seeking admission to the BHS in Pub_Hlth Program must be admitted to the University. In addition to meeting minimum standards established by the University of Missouri, students must also comply with the rules and regulations set forth in the BHS in Pub_Hlth policy document. Students should be aware that this degree program requires a high degree of individual research, planning, and self-motivation to be successful. Questions or concerns should be directed to the BHS in Pub_Hlth Program Manager, or an academic advisor. Rules and regulations governing students at the University of Missouri can be found in the undergraduate catalog and the University’s collected rules and regulations.

All students with a 2.75 GPA of Record and students in their first semester who do not yet have an established GPA of Record may declare the Public Health major. The Bachelor of Health Science in Public Health program is interested in students with a wide range of life experiences and skills. Students who do not meet the 2.75 GPA of Record, but who wish to declare the major, may petition the Associate Chair of the Department of Public Health. In addition to meeting University of Missouri and School of Health Professions requirements, students in the BHS in Public Health program must:

  • Adhere to all University of Missouri guidelines and policies for admission and continued enrollment at the University as an undergraduate student.
  • Maintain a 2.75 term GPA and GPA of Record (cumulative GPA listed in MyZou). Students may petition this requirement and petitions are handled on a case-by-case basis.
  • Complete all Public Health core courses with a grade of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) or higher, except P_HLTH 2200 which requires a grade of B– or higher.
  • Complete BIO_SC 1010/BIO_SC 1020 or BIO_SC 1500, a physical science course, PSYCH 1000, and SOCIOL 1000 with a grade of C- or higher.
  • Complete 12 approved diversity credit hours, including at least 6 hours of Public Health Electives with a grade of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) or higher.
  • Earn a minimum of 30 credit hours taken at the 3000/4000 (junior/senior) level. Lower-division transfer courses accepted as upper-division courses at MU cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.

Students who fail to comply with the BHS in Pub_Hlth policies or do not maintain a 2.75 term GPA and GPA of Record will receive communication regarding program probation from the BHS in Pub_Hlth Program. Students who fail to achieve the term GPA and GPA of Record requirement will be given two semesters to bring their term GPA and GPA of Record up to the 2.75 requirement, provided they meet the University’s standards for continued enrollment. Students who do not meet the 2.75 GPA of Record may petition the Associate Chair of the Department of Public Health and petitions will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Students are encouraged to talk with their instructors and use the support of their advisors if they struggle with coursework. If a student is dismissed from the BHS in Public Health program, and they want to petition to stay in the program, they must submit a petition in writing to the Associate Chair of the Department of Public Health, who in collaboration with the Department of Public Health Chair will make a decision. Further appeals can be made to the School of Health Professions Senior Associate Dean.

Note: Credit accepted by the University will be accepted without limitation towards this degree. Students must complete 30 of the last 36 credits with MU authored courses.

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 1000Writing and Rhetoric ^3
or ENGLSH 1000H Honors Writing and Rhetoric
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
SOCIOL 1000Introduction to Sociology ^3
or SOCIOL 1000H Introduction to Sociology Honors
STAT 1200Introductory Statistical Reasoning ~3
or STAT 1400 Elementary Statistics for Life Sciences
or ESC_PS 4170 Introduction to Applied Statistics
Major Core Requirements
P_HLTH 2200Introduction to Public Health and Health Promotion (a grade of B- or higher is required)3
P_HLTH 3310Social and Behavioral Health Theory and Practice ~3
P_HLTH 3400Global Public Health and Health Care Systems ~3
P_HLTH 3450Introduction to Epidemiology ~3
P_HLTH 3460Introduction to Public Health and Emergency Preparedness ~3
P_HLTH 3620Public Health Promotion and Program Planning (and Public Health Elective) ~6
or P_HLTH 3600
P_HLTH 3610
Health Promotion Programs I: Assessment and Planning
and Health Promotion Programs II: Implementation, Evaluation, and Communication
P_HLTH 3900WIntroduction to The Research Process and Evidence Base - Writing Intensive ~3
P_HLTH 4300Health Care in the United States ~3
P_HLTH 4350Principles of Environmental Health for Public Health ~3
P_HLTH 4485Ethics in Public Health ~3
P_HLTH 4970Public Health Capstone: Digital Storytelling *3
or P_HLTH 4975 Emerging Issues in Public Health (Public Health Capstone Option)
Approved Diversity Coursework: Must include at least 6 credit hours of Public Health Elective coursework ~12
Recommended Electives
P_HLTH 1000Introduction to Careers in Public Health 1
P_HLTH 2050Gender and Public Health3
P_HLTH 2250Public Health Communication3
P_HLTH 2310Health Issues in Aging3
P_HLTH 3560Public Health and Environmental Justice 3
P_HLTH 3660Chronic Disease and Public Health Approaches 3
P_HLTH 3760Infectious Disease and Public Health Approaches 3
P_HLTH 3860Autism Spectrum Disorder and Public Health 3
P_HLTH 3960Public Health, Drugs and Policy3
P_HLTH 3965Strategies for Effective Peer Education in Public Health1
P_HLTH 4002Public Health Study Abroad1-6
P_HLTH 4115Interdisciplinary Perspectives on COVID-19: The Effect of Epidemics on our Health and Social Worlds 1
P_HLTH 4610Race, Ethnicity, and Health: An Intersectional Examination of Health Inequalities3
P_HLTH 4620Climate Change and Human Health3
P_HLTH 4630Health and Human Migration 3
P_HLTH 4900Seminar in Health Education1
P_HLTH 4960Qualitative Approaches to Understanding Public Health Problems3

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Semester Plan

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

First Year
ENGLSH 10003BIO_SC 10103
MO State Law Requirement3BIO_SC 10202
PSYCH 10003Humanities Course3
Approved Diversity Course3MATH 10503
Elective3SOCIOL 10003
 15 15
Second Year
Humanities Course3Biological/Physical/Mathematical Science Course3
Physical Science Course 1Humanities Course3
Public Health Elective as an approved Diversity Course Option3P_HLTH 22003
STAT 1200 (MRP)3Writing Intensive Course3
 15 15
Third Year
P_HLTH 33103P_HLTH 34003
P_HLTH 43003P_HLTH 3900W3
P_HLTH 34503P_HLTH 36203
Public Health Elective as an approved Diversity Course Option3Public Health Elective 3
 15 15
Fourth Year
P_HLTH 34603P_HLTH 4970 or 49753
P_HLTH 43503Approved Diversity Coursework3
P_HLTH 44853Elective9
 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. 

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner.  Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, click on the Academic Progress Tile, then select Request Degree Audit. 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 are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career 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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