What Is a Public Health Degree?
Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree prepares students to work as public health practitioners in various health-related settings, including community-based organizations, government agencies, behavioral health agencies, primary care centers and global or domestic nonprofit organizations.
The public health bachelor's degree coursework is designed to ensure that graduates of this program can carry out day-to-day tasks of community health organizations, such as data collection and analysis, program planning, community outreach, communications and program support. The GCU public health degree program also 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.
This public health bachelor's degree provides the knowledge, resources and tools needed to design and implement effective 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.
Public health students will learn skills such as:
- Culturally appropriate communication
- Locating and using public health information and data
- Addressing social determinants of health
- Advocating for health promotion and community engagement
This field emphasizes promoting health and wellness, tracking disease outbreaks, preventing injury and disability and creating healthy communities.
Earn Your On-Campus or Online Public Health Degree at GCU
The Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree is beneficial for those interested in improving the health and wellness of communities. Students will learn fundamental skills in data collection and analysis, communication, community assessment, program planning, implementation and evaluation. Our degree in public health program provides foundational knowledge and broad training skills to prepare graduates for entry-level career opportunities in public health or for further study in public health.
As a Christian university, GCU programs are values-oriented and based on a Christian worldview, so students can develop personal ethics and servant leadership practices that are relevant to public health practice. This program empowers students to lead with empathy, kindness, compassion and social justice in order to make the greatest difference in the health of communities.
What You’ll Learn With a Public Health Degree
In this on-campus and online public health degree program, you’ll learn about:
- 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 BS in Public Health degree program includes a capstone course that gives students the opportunity to integrate and apply their public health knowledge and skills 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.
What Can You Do With a Bachelor's Degree in Public Health?
With a Bachelor of Science in Public Health, graduates may prepare for community health careers such as:
- Health educator
- Health promotion specialist
- Community health worker
- Program coordinator or program analyst
Community Health Employment Settings
Employment settings common for public health degree graduates 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 13% from 2019 to 2029, faster than average, accounting for an estimated increase of 17,000 jobs in the field.* The Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree is an ideal option for those interested in a healthcare career focused on advancing strategies that promote and protect health.
FAQs for a Bachelor's Degree in Public Health
*COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 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 based on 2019, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Health Education Specialists and Community Health Workers
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.
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.
- 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
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.
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
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.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
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.
- 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
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.
- HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
* 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.