Bachelor of Science in Public Health

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Public Health program at Wayne State University prepares you to address public health issues by teaching you how to promote healthy lifestyles, detect and limit health disparities and research disease and injury prevention.

While anchored by a strong core of public health curriculum, the public health major is highly interdisciplinary, giving students free rein to pull health-related electives from a variety of other disciplines related to their core interests.

Why Wayne State's public health major?

  • Undergraduate research opportunities
  • Affordable tuition and generous financial aid
  • AGRADE program to accelerate your graduate study
  • Hands-on experiences that improve the health of Detroit through direct partnerships with local community organizations and the Department of Public Health

Learning objectives

Through the public health degree program, you learn how to assess and prevent health disparities. You'll also find yourself exploring various health-related topics with courses centered around the well-being of individuals, communities, populations and the world.

The Bachelor of Science in Public Health program prepares you to:

  • Develop ethical decision-making as related to community health.
  • Identify the cultural context in which public health professionals work.
  • Protect and improve community and population health through the promotion of healthy lifestyles.
  • Explore the legal, ethical, economic and regulatory dimensions of health care and public health policy.
  • Learn to research disease, injury prevention, health disparities and health care equity through various research methods.
  • Discover the importance of biostatistics, community and organizational dynamics, epidemiology and public health practice.

Public health is a field that all students can identify with. A public health curriculum can teach us about the safety and well-being of individuals, families and entire populations – both now and for generations to come. Studying this critical topic at WSU will allow students to engage in health disparity and health equity issues and create stronger communities here in Detroit before they even graduate." – Dr. Heather Dillaway

Public health program requirements and curriculum

The Bachelor of Science in Public Health requires a minimum of 120 credits. To meet these requirements, public health majors must satisfy the college group requirements, the university general education requirements and the overall public health program requirements.

The nature of the public health curriculum gives students the freedom to focus on health-related topics that interest them, propelling their path toward a suitable career in the health professions.

View requirements

Bachelor's in public health concentrations

Public health majors can choose a concentration that will appear on their transcript. Concentrations are a set of courses designed to help students develop expertise in a content area that aligns with their career goals and interests. The optimal time to start thinking about selecting a concentration is when you're moving through your 3000-level courses. Students should select a concentration before taking 4000-level courses.

  • Advocacy and practice

    Community-based, non-profit and government work.

    Students with this concentration will learn about public health practice, including the promotion of health, through policy, education, outreach and advocacy. You'll also gain skills in using data to support research, effective communication, finance and budgeting, as well as coalition building to influence public policy and resource allocation. This concentration is geared toward students interested in the social determinants of health and finding novel ways to improve the health of communities.

    Skills gained: Data use, finance and budgeting, effective communication, coalition building.

    Course # Title Credits
    PH 3450 Advocating for Change in Public Health 3
    PH 3700 Funding Public Health 3
    PH #### Plus choose three public health elective courses. 9
    Total 15
  • Research and evaluation

    Use of data to solve health problems.

    Students with this concentration will learn about systematic data collection and analysis, qualitative and quantitative research methods, program evaluation and continuous quality improvement. You'll also explore how creative data visualization can help illustrate a public health issue and communicate health recommendations to the general public. This concentration is designed for students interested in epidemiology, health care administration, using data to solve public health challenges and advancing knowledge through clinical and intervention research.

    Skills gained: Data collection and analysis, program evaluation, data visualization, continuous quality improvement.

    Course # Title Credits
    PH 4650 Health Data Visualization and either 3
    PH 4400/4500 Quantitative Methods in Public Health or Qualitative Methods in Community Public Health 3
    PH #### Plus choose three public health elective courses. 9
    Total 15
  • Interprofessional

    Multidisciplinary approaches to health care delivery and administration.

    Students on this track will learn the importance of ethical execution of healthcare delivery, effective communication to advance health in diverse populations, fiscal responsibility and the importance of teamwork. This track could be best suited for students interested in patient care, health care delivery, health law and policy, and for students planning to pursue careers in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and more.

    Skills gained: Ethical health care delivery, patient-provider communication, team-based approaches to health care.

    Course # Title Credits
    PH 3800 Law and Public Health 3
    PH 4250 Interprofessional Education and Public Health 3
    PH #### Plus choose three public health elective courses. 9
    Total 15

Bachelor's in public health courses

The public health degree program incorporates core courses in topics such as biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health and behavioral aspects of public health. Each of these intersecting subjects works to teach students how to improve the quality of life in their community and beyond.

Explore public health courses

Emphasis on experiential learning

Public health majors have a wide range of hands-on learning opportunities that allow them to gain professional experience through their practicum and senior capstone project.

The practicum course gives each student the means to synthesize, integrate and apply their practical skills and training learned from their classes through a real-world setting.

The senior capstone project encapsulates each component that public health majors – often including a portion of their practicum experience – have learned to create a final project presentation.

An accelerated path to your M.P.H.

Qualified public health majors and minors can earn their Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) through the Accelerated Graduate Enrollment (AGRADE) Program. Students may apply up to 15 credits to both the bachelor's in public health and the Master of Public Health degree. Through the AGRADE program, students earn their B.S.P.H. and M.P.H. in five years, saving them valuable time and money.

Make an appointment with your public health advisor to learn about the AGRADE program.

Public health bachelor's degree career outlook

Earning your public health degree prepares you for an engaging, community-centered career amidst the growing demand for public health professionals. Graduates open doors to a wide range of career opportunities working in public administration, community health departments, government or nonprofit organizations.

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Tuition and financial aid

Along with providing affordable, quality education through low tuition and fees, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers extensive scholarships and financial aid for both full-time and part-time public health majors.

Try our net price calculator to estimate your public health degree tuition and financial aid savings.

Learn more about Wayne State University's B.S. in public health

Whether you're passionate about disease prevention, health equity, health policy, public health education or research, our public health degree program leads you to a successful health career.

Earn your Bachelor of Science in Public Health at Wayne State University and learn how to address the complex public health challenges facing your community and across the world.

Career insights

This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.