Public Health

Major: Public Health
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science (BS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Minimum Required Credits: 181.0
Co-op Options: One Co-op (Four years)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 51.2201
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 11-9111

About the Program

Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health and well-being of communities. Where some healthcare professionals focus on treating individuals after they become sick or injured, public health professionals are concerned with the health of entire populations, attempting to prevent problems from occurring or recurring through education, policy development, advocacy, service, and research.

Reflecting the interdisciplinary approach of the Dornsife School of Public Health, students in the major will take courses originating from the various public health core disciplines which include epidemiology, community health and prevention, environmental and occupational health, and health management and policy. The diversity in course offerings provides students with the general foundation of each discipline within public health. Student learning is enhanced by faculty expertise from a wide array of backgrounds including epidemiology, community health, global health, sociology, psychology, medicine, health policy, health economics, industrial hygiene, and anthropology, in addition to many more. As students progress through the major, they will gain more breadth and depth in the specific discipline of their choosing through the co-op experience, as well as the capstone courses in their senior year.

The Dornsife School of Public Health is dedicated to the integration of social justice and human rights in academic public health and being a model for interdisciplinary collaboration and civic engagement. Additionally, a commitment to global engagement is core to the School's mission. The Global Public Health Initiative was created to provide opportunities for all public health student to gain rich and meaningful experiences working on health issues that transcend national boundaries or that may be influenced by circumstances or experiences in other countries.

Upon completion of the degree, students will be better equipped to complete graduate education in public health or health sciences. Students will have acquired skills that could be translated into the workplace (city, state, or local government, nonprofit, etc.) or other post-baccalaureate educational settings such as an MPH, JD or MD.

Public Health Foundational Domains 

  • The concepts and applications of basic statistics
  • The foundations of biological and life sciences
  • The history and philosophy of public health as well as its core values, concepts, and functions across the globe and in society
  • The 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
  • The concepts of population health, and the basic processes, approaches and interventions that identify and address the major health-related needs and concerns of populations
  • The underlying science of human health and disease, including opportunities for promoting and protecting health across the life course
  • The socioeconomic, behavioral, biological, environmental, and other factors that impact human health and contribute to health disparities
  • The fundamental concepts and features of project implementation, including planning, assessment, and evaluation
  • The fundamental characteristics and organizational structures of the U.S. 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
  • Basic concepts of public health-specific communication, including technical and professional writing and the use of mass media and electronic technology

Additional Information

For more information about this program, please contact:

DSPH Academic Advising Team
Office of Education

Additional information can be found on the Dornsife School of Public Health website, including admissions criteria and how to apply.

Degree Requirements

General Education Requirements
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
COM 230Techniques of Speaking3.0
COM 320 [WI] Science Writing3.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development *1.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
or ENGL 111 English Composition I
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
or ENGL 112 English Composition II
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
or ENGL 113 English Composition III
PBHL 101Public Health 1013.0
UNIV PH101The Drexel Experience1.0
Students must select one of the following math sequences:12.0
Introduction to Analysis I
and Introduction to Analysis II
and Mathematics for the Life Sciences
Calculus I
and Calculus II
and Calculus III
Physical and Life Sciences Requirements **16.0
Students must select one of the following biology sequences:
Cells, Genetics & Physiology
and Cells, Genetics and Physiology Laboratory
and Biological Diversity, Ecology & Evolution
and Biological Diversity, Ecology and Evolution Laboratory
Cells and Biomolecules
and Cells and Biomolecules Lab
and Genetics and Evolution
and Genetics and Evolution Lab
and Physiology and Ecology
and Anatomy and Ecology Lab
Students must select one of the following chemistry sequences:
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
Social Science Requirements
PSY 101General Psychology I3.0
SOC 101Introduction to Sociology3.0
Social Science Electives37.0
Urban Anthropology
Anthropology of Immigration
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Economics of Health Care Systems
Sociology of the Environment
Geographic Information Systems
Equatorial Guinea: Society & Environment
History of Work & Workers in America
Principles of Human Resource Administration
Health-Care Ethics I
Management Information Systems
Organizational Behavior
Women and Children: Health & Society
Injury Prevention and Control
Burden of Disease
Drugs, Society, and Public Health
Violence and Trauma in Public Health
Health Inequality
Biomedical Ethics
International Human Rights
Developmental Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Industrial Psychology
Psychology - Inequity & Injustice
Social Problems
Race, Ethnicity and Social Inequality
Sociology of Health and Illness
Women's Health and Human Rights
Public Heath Core Course Requirements
PBHL 301Epidemiology in Public Health3.0
PBHL 302Introduction to the History of Public Health3.0
PBHL 303Overview of Issues in Global Health3.0
PBHL 304Introduction to Health & Human Rights3.0
PBHL 308The U.S. Public Health System3.0
PBHL 314Environmental and Occupational Health3.0
Interdisciplinary Public Health Requirements
Select one PBHL course from each PH Department below:12.0
Community Health & Prevention: PBHL 305, PBHL 306, PBHL 309, PBHL 313, PBHL 316, or PBHL 422
Environmental & Occupational Health: PBHL 307, PBHL 317, PBHL 319, PBHL 350, PBHL 457, or PBHL 458
Health Management & Policy: PBHL 315, PBHL 318, or PBHL 333
Select 12.0 additional PH course credits (PBHL 102-494)12.0
Public Health Capstone Experience
PBHL 497Capstone Experience I2.0
PBHL 498Capstone Experience II3.0
PBHL 499Capstone Experience III3.0
Free Electives39.0
Total Credits181.0

Co-op cycles may vary. Students are assigned a co-op cycle (fall/winter, spring/summer, summer-only) based on their co-op program (4-year, 5-year) and major. 

COOP 101 registration is determined by the co-op cycle assigned and may be scheduled in a different term. Select students may be eligible to take COOP 001 in place of COOP 101.


Please note that students who take the BIO 131 & BIO 134, BIO 132 & BIO 135, and BIO 133 & BIO 136 sequence will be required to take fewer free electives.


Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.

Sample Plan of Study

4 year, 1 co-op

First Year
BIO 1073.0BIO 1093.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0VACATION
BIO 1081.0BIO 1101.0MATH 239 or 1234.0 
ENGL 1013.0CIVC 1011.0SOC 1013.0 
MATH 1014.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0Free electives6.0 
PBHL 1013.0MATH 102 or 1224.0  
UNIV PH1011.0PSY 1013.0  
 15 15 16 0
Second Year
CHEM 1114.0CHEM 1124.0COM 2303.0COOP 101*1.0
PBHL 3033.0PBHL 3013.0PBHL 3043.0Free elective3.0
Interdisciplinary Public Health requirement3.0PBHL 3023.0PBHL 3143.0Interdisciplinary Public Health requirements6.0
Social Science electives6.0Interdisciplinary Public Health requirements6.0Free electives6.0Social Science electives7.0
 16 16 15 17
Third Year
Free elective3.0Interdisciplinary Public Health requirement3.0  
Interdisciplinary Public Health requirement3.0Social Science electives6.0  
Social Science electives6.0   
 15 12 0 0
Fourth Year
PBHL 4972.0PBHL 4983.0PBHL 4993.0 
Free electives6.0Free electives6.0Free electives9.0 
Social Science electives6.0Social Science electives6.0Interdisciplinary Public Health requirement3.0 
 14 15 15 
Total Credits 181

Co-op cycles may vary. Students are assigned a co-op cycle (fall/winter, spring/summer, summer-only) based on their co-op program (4-year, 5-year) and major. 

COOP 101 registration is determined by the co-op cycle assigned and may be scheduled in a different term. Select students may be eligible to take COOP 001 in place of COOP 101.



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