Bachelor of Science in Public Health Degree

Bachelor of Science in Public Health

Offered By: College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Create Healthy Environments With a Bachelor’s in Public Health

Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree program can prepare you to work as public health professionals in various health-related settings, including community-based organizations, government agencies, behavioral health agencies, primary care centers and global or domestic nonprofit organizations.

The BS in Public Health coursework is designed to teach you to carry out day-to-day tasks of community health organizations, such as data collection and analysis, program planning, community outreach, communications and program support.

This public health bachelor’s degree provides the knowledge, resources and tools needed to design and implement health promotion programs — including health education interventions and policies for specific populations within the larger community. Public health practitioners focus on the prevention of communicable and chronic diseases, as well as health education and promotion and reducing the impact of environmental hazards.

Benefits of Earning Your Public Health Bachelor’s Degree at GCU

The Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree can be beneficial for those interested in improving the health and wellness of communities. You will be taught fundamental skills in data collection and analysis, communication, community assessment, program planning, implementation and evaluation. Our BS in Public Health degree program teaches foundational knowledge and broad training skills that can prepare you to pursue career opportunities in public health or for further study in public health.

As a Christian university, GCU offers faith-integrated courses that are based on a Christian worldview. This curriculum promotes the development of personal ethics and servant leadership practices that are relevant to public health practice. This program teaches you to lead with empathy, kindness, compassion and social justice in order to provide an opportunity to make a positive difference in the health of communities.

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GCU’s bachelor’s in public health online program provides convenience and flexibility in your schoolwork. You will work through the same courses and curriculum as a traditional on-campus program, but with the added benefit of being able to work from anywhere. GCU makes it easy to apply as an online student, as it is the same application process as an on-campus student. A public health bachelor’s degree can prepare you to work in a variety of healthcare-related jobs with a focus on the general population in your community.

Before applying for enrollment in the Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree program, you should take some time to learn what you can expect from the curriculum. Below, you can explore some of the topics that you will be taught in your classes. You can also examine some of the potential career paths you might pursue after graduation.

Unlock Your Potential With a BS in Public Health Degree

As a bachelor’s in public health student, you will be taught skills such as:

  • Addressing social determinants of health
  • Locating and using public health information and data
  • Advocating for health promotion and community engagement
  • Culturally appropriate communication

This field emphasizes promoting health and wellness, tracking disease outbreaks, preventing injury and disability and creating healthy communities.

Study Diverse Public Health Course Topics

In this on-campus and online public health degree program, your instructors will guide you in examining the following topics:

  • The history and philosophy of public health
  • The structure of the U.S. health system and the regulatory dimensions of health policy
  • Global health, the science of human health and the factors that impact health disparities
  • Health promotion and disease prevention
  • Environmental and occupational health and safety
  • Community assessment and planning, as well as implementation and evaluation of public health interventions
  • Public health data systems and informatics
  • Ethics and communication in public health

The Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree program includes a capstone course that gives you the opportunity to integrate and apply your public health knowledge and skills. You’ll complete either a 30-hour volunteer service-learning opportunity in the field of public health or a research-based project developing a proposal to address a public health issue.

Career Paths for Graduates With a Bachelor’s in Public Health

With a Bachelor of Science in Public Health, you may prepare for community health careers such as:

  • Health education specialist
  • Community health worker

Community Health Employment Settings

Employment settings that undergraduate public health degree graduates may also consider exploring include:

  • Government (local and state health departments)
  • Domestic or global community health nonprofit organizations
  • Social service organizations
  • Behavioral health organizations
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Healthcare coverage/health insurance companies

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook estimates job growth for health education specialists and community health workers to increase by about 12% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than average, accounting for an estimated increase of 15,200 jobs in the field.1 The Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree can be an ideal option for you if you are interested in a healthcare career focused on advancing strategies that promote and protect health.

BS in Public Health Accreditation

GCU’s bachelor’s in public health program integrates the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) Seven Areas of Responsibility for Health Education Specialists, addressing fundamental skills in community assessment, program planning, implementation and evaluation.

Bachelor of Science in Public Health FAQs

As you consider your healthcare-related career path options, you may find it helpful to explore the following frequently asked questions and answers. If you have questions about enrolling as an undergraduate public health student, please contact a university counselor at GCU or fill out the form on this page.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health education specialists and community health workers have a median annual wage of $48,860 as of May 2021.2

While both BS and BA degrees in public health will cover important public health course topics and information, there are a few differences when it comes to the specialized courses in the curriculum. A BS degree will focus more on sciences (i.e., natural science, health science and environmental science) to help prepare students for graduate study in public health, research and public health roles in health care systems. In contrast, a BA degree focuses more on humanities and social sciences to help prepare for community-based public health, advocacy and administration roles.

If you are passionate about healthcare in general and public health in particular, then a Bachelor of Science in Public Health can be worth the effort and time. This degree can be a versatile choice, as it may open the door to a variety of different career paths and employment settings. You may also decide that a public health degree will enable you to make a meaningful, positive difference in your community.

Apply today to earn your bachelor’s in public health online or on campus at GCU. Our Christian learning community welcomes all those who seek higher education from the biblical perspective.

1 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Health Education Specialists and Community Health Workers, retrieved on July 5, 2023.

2 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics(“BLS”), Health Education Specialists and Community Health Workers as of May 2021, retrieved on July 5, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as health education specialists and community health workers. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, and accept employment from, determines salary not only based on education, but also individual characteristics and skills and fit to that organization (among other categories) against a pool of candidates.

TOTAL CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
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Online: 7 weeks
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TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
TUITION RATE:
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]
Online: $485 per credit [More Info]

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
Major:
56 credits
Open Elective Credits:
24-30 credits
Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.

Requirements

Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
  • PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
  • BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Core Courses

Course Description

This course examines the principles and processes of small groups and the development of skills for participation and leadership in small group settings, as well as practice in problem solving, decision making, critical reasoning, and information sharing.

Course Description

This course introduces students to the concepts of the scientific method and critical thinking in making observations and formulating hypotheses. Students learn about the structure of cells, DNA replication and gene expression, metabolic pathways, cell cycle, and cell division. The final section of the class includes an overview of animal form and function, organs and organ systems, and physiological processes, with an emphasis on human systems.

Course Description

This course incorporates principles of human health and disease, health education and promotion, and a consideration of how public health professionals promote a culture of health through engaging and empowering individuals and communities to choose healthy behaviors and reduce their risks for disease. Through an examination of the core functions and goals of public health, levels of prevention, social determinants of health, and the theoretical contexts of health behaviors, students begin to understand the cultural context for health promotion and the complexities involved in promoting and protecting public health.

Course Description

This course is a study of elementary theories of probability, distribution, and testing of statistical hypotheses. Practical experience is provided in the application of statistical methods. Prerequisite: MAT-134, MAT-144 or MAT-154.

Course Description

This course examines factors in both the natural and built environment that influence human health. Along with an overview of contemporary environmental health issues, students examine elements of workplace health and safety, emergency preparedness, and the impact of organizational policies and procedures on human health in occupational settings.

Course Description

This course reflects psychology’s growing interest in health-related issues by offering an overview of health psychology from a biopsychosocial model. Topics include theories related to health behavior, stress, pain development and management, in addition to patient adherence. Furthermore, the discussion explores cancer and chronic illness development and management. A review of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), the hospital setting, and effects on patients are examined. Finally, the course examines health-related behaviors such as substance abuse, nutrition, and exercise. Prerequisite: PSY-102.

Course Description

Course Description: This course introduces the steps of public health programming implementation with an emphasis on assessment and planning. Students examine the assessment process, frameworks for community assessment, and the utility of theoretical models in planning. Along with the fundamentals of program management, students delve into strategic approaches to planning, including goal setting, process evaluation, and change management, to effectively engage communities in public health programming. Prerequisite: PUB-200.

Course Description

This course examines global health concepts with a focus on low- and middle-income countries. Students develop a global perspective in understanding the influence of culture and the sociopolitical factors involved with health and well-being. The course considers key topics of water and sanitation, agriculture and nutrition, maternal and child health, and climate change, along with practical knowledge for working in a global health-focused career.

Course Description

This course introduces basic epidemiological concepts including methods to study the distribution and determinants of disease. Students learn fundamental research methods and components of a strong research design and apply qualitative and quantitative methods to describe disease and test hypotheses. Transmission and the clinical progression of disease are evaluated through epidemiological models. Prerequisite: PSY-380.

Course Description

This writing intensive course examines the knowledge and skills needed to implement and evaluate public health interventions in various settings. Students learn the steps involved in the implementation of evidence-based interventions, allocation of resources, and marketing and promotion of programs. An overview of evaluation approaches and designs is provided and students apply data collection skills used in evaluation, including survey design and data analysis. Ethical considerations during the implementation and evaluation of interventions are also explored. Prerequisite: PUB-360.

Course Description

In this course, students explore diverse data systems, such as disease registries, surveillance data, and geographic information systems, to learn about health and disease. Students learn to use technology to manage and share data appropriate for the targeted audience and apply tools of health informatics to interpret and communicate data for decision making and program or policy development. Prerequisite: PUB-380.

Course Description

In this writing-intensive course, students examine the structure, function, financing, and delivery of public health and health care services at the local, state, and federal levels. Students explore the role of policies and regulations on the delivery and quality of public health and health care services. The course also considers the relationship between private and public sector health care systems and public health in addressing population health. Strategies for advocacy, including advocating for health issues and communities, are also explored.

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to examine ethical approaches to working in diverse teams, across cultures, and with vulnerable populations. Students explore ethical issues related to community-based research and public health programming, along with approaches to navigate through ethical dilemmas. This course covers how professionalism and human rights guide decisions that lead to a respect for others and social justice.

Course Description

In this culminating course, students have the opportunity to integrate and apply the public health knowledge and skills acquired in their program either through a 30-hour volunteer service-learning opportunity in the field of public health, or through a research-based project developing a proposal to address a public health issue. This experience is designed to promote critical reflection, allow the student to develop leadership skills, and provide a practical connection to the field of public health. Prerequisites: PUB-380 and PUB-410.

Locations

GCU Campus Student


Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

GCU Online Student


Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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