Undergraduate Students

Health is not a solo act. It reflects how we live, how we eat and drink, work and play. Public health makes the world around us a healthier and safer place to live. Poor sanitation in faraway countries ultimately affects the health of Americans. Disease threats can even come from other species.

The College of Public Health has faculty, staff, students, alumni and partners who work on problems like this and other challenges of worldwide significance. Our leadership in research, education and service contributes to understanding the forces that affect human health.

Ohio State’s College of Public Health in collaboration with The College of Arts and Sciences began offering a Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) degree in Autumn 2012.

What is a Bachelor of Science in Public Health? 

The Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) degree at The Ohio State University College of Public Health focuses on public health issues in the U.S. and internationally. The program will expand learners’ knowledge and comprehension of issues affecting humans worldwide.

The college encourages students to explore public health around the world through study abroad opportunities. Students have traveled to China, Japan and India to take courses and experience global public health issues. 

BSPH students will select one of two interdisciplinary specializations:

What are the goals of the BSPH program? 

Graduates will be qualified for early career, entry-level positions in public health agencies and other public or private organizations. However, an additional outcome is to prepare students for advanced study via graduate and professional degree programs. The BSPH program gives students a broad introduction to the field of public health while graduate school offers an in-depth education with a more intense focus on a specific topic area.

What kind of jobs can I get with a BSPH?

Potential jobs for BSPH graduates include:

  • Youth Tobacco Prevention Specialist
  • Air Pollution Specialist
  • Crisis Intake Specialist
  • Research Analyst
  • Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Environmental Specialist

The new degree program was developed in response, in part, to an increased need and demand for highly educated and trained public health professionals. The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) reports that:

  • 250,000 more public health workers will be needed by 2020.
  • There are documented and forecasted shortages of public health workers.
  • Without enough public health workers protecting us where we live, work and play, we all are vulnerable to serious health risks.
  • To replenish the workforce and avert the crisis, accredited schools of public health will have to train three times the current number of graduates.

Core Competencies

  • All graduates of the BSPH degree program will be prepared to:
  • Summarize the historic milestones in public health.
  • Compare and contrast examples of major domestic and international public health issues.
  • Discuss various approaches/strategies for identification, response and intervention to address and attempt to resolve common public health issues.

    Identify political, cultural, behavioral and socioeconomic factors related to global public health issues.

  • Apply the fundamental principles of the five core disciplines of public health (biostatistics; environmental health; epidemiology; health administration; health behavior/promotion) to domestic and international population issues.
  • Write and communicate applicable case summaries.
  • Seek employment for entry-level position and/or apply for advanced education and training in public health or related discipline.

Environmental Public Health Specialization Competencies

  •  Apply principles of math, chemistry, biology to applied science of environmental public health.
  • Summarize major sources, hazardous agents, conditions, and other exposure factors that contribute to environmentally-related human diseases.

    Describe how the quality of environmental media (air, water, soil, food) is adversely affected by contamination from chemical, biological and physical agents.

  • Apply theory to environmental public health issues identified within indoor/outdoor and occupational/non-occupational settings.
  • Analyze and interpret fundamental statistical, epidemiological, and environmental monitoring/surveillance, and risk assessment data.
  • Summarize management and technical measures and approaches that control human exposure to environmental contaminants.

Public Health Sociology Specialization Competencies

  •  Develop quantitative awareness of the multiple-scale, and multiple interactions that characterize public health problems
  • Summarize major factors that contribute to human disease and compromised quality of life.
  • Apply theory to public health issues identified within contemporary society.
  • Summarize issues of social inequality and environmental justice.
  • Analyze and interpret fundamental statistical and epidemiological data.
  • Communicate ideas and results that solve public health problems.
  • Summarize intervention and disease prevention strategies to sustain and improve quality of life.
  • Identify regulations, policies, standards and guidelines applicable to the quality of air, water, soil and food and the prevention of environmentally-related human exposures and diseases.

Global Public Health Minor

The minor in Global Public Health focuses on health issues affecting populations in the US and low-to middle economic status countries worldwide.
Students complete courses that provide content relative to presenting and discussing the type and scope of public health issues, factors that contribute to existing and emerging issues, and applicable approaches to address and intervene. The program will augment and enhance many different undergraduate bachelor degree programs and expands learners’ knowledge and comprehension of issues affecting humans domestically and internationally. 

The minor in Global Public Health requires a minimum of 15 credit hours of courses plus one prerequisite course in statistics.

More information about the minor

Epidemiology Minor

The minor in Epidemiology augments and enhances many different undergraduate bachelor degree programs. Students will be better prepared to apply the fundamental prinicples of biostatistics and epidemiology to domestic and international population issues.

The minor in Epidemiology requires a minimum of 15 credit hours of courses plus one prerequisite course in statistics.

More information about the minor

Questions about the Public Health Major, the Global Public Health Minor or the Epidemiology Minor?

If you are interested in finding out more about the Public Health major or the minors, call the Office of Academic Programs and Student Services at (614) 292-8350 to set up an appointment with a College of Public Health undergraduate academic advisor. Appointments are typically 30 minutes,but can be longer if requested. Phone appointments are also available. The undergraduate adviisor offices are located in Cunz Hall Room 100. Appointments are not made by email.

Important Resources:

Curriculum Guides

Undergraduate Handbook

Honors Program

Capstone Experience information

Graduation Information

Undergraduate Research

The Undergraduate Research Office helps students get started and plan for undergraduate research.

Application to the Major

The BSPH major is competitive and requires an application. Applications for Autumn 2016 admission will be available in December 2015. Application instructions and frequently asked questions


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