Earning bachelor's degrees in public health
A four-year undergraduate degree serves as a first step toward a career in public health. While the standard minimum credential in the field is a master's degree, the Bachelor of Science is a foundation for graduate studies.
The B.S. in public health combines science basics and specialized courses with core academic subjects that can develop your quantitative, communication and analytical skills. You can expect to study human anatomy, physiology, personal health and nutrition, along with topics like these:
- Community health
- Cultural diversity in public health
- Environmental health
- Epidemiology and disease
- Public health information
- Public health program planning
Electives cover specialty areas such as women's health, child health, global health issues, infectious diseases and more.
Public health career options, outlook and salary
In some related careers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job growth for the 2010-2020 decade to be faster than the average for all U.S. occupations. Shown here are growth projections, 2010 median wages and the typical level of education:
- Dietitians: 19.7 percent growth, with $53,250 salary; bachelor's degree, often with internship
- Health care social workers: 33.5 percent growth, with $47,230 salary; master's degree required
- Health educators: 36.5 percent growth, with $45,830 salary; bachelor's degree required
Public health graduates can seek work in federal, local and private community health agencies. Careers may focus on public health communications, administration, research or clinical care. Depending on your interests and level of training, job possibilities include public health epidemiologist, maternal health specialist, marketing manager, vaccine program manager, disease prevention expert and public health coordinator.
Beyond your bachelor's degree
Many graduates with bachelor's degrees in public health continue their education with a Master of Public Health degree. The MPH generally takes two years to complete, and is available online.
Make an impact on your community's well-being with a degree in public health. Web-based studies offer a convenient way to link your ambition with a health agency career.