Bachelor of Science in Public Health


When the world is seized by a global pandemic, public health professionals provide much-needed guidance and expertise. To respond to an increased need for public health experts, GMercyU is launching an innovative Public Health Program for fall 2021.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the health field but prefer not to work in a clinical setting, our baccalaureate degree in public health is an excellent choice. The public health field spans population health, health education and promotion, disease prevention, epidemiology, and environmental health. With a degree in public health from GMercyU, you could help to promote the health and well-being of populations and communities — and address social inequity in the form of health disparities. 

 

Degree Option

4 + 1 MPH Degree Option

With GMercyU's 4+1 MPH program option, students can earn both a bachelor of science (BS) degree in Public Health and a master’s degree in public health (MPH) in just five years. Take graduate credits during your senior year – as part of your undergraduate tuition – and then seamlessly complete your online MPH the following year.  

Applicants requesting admission to the 4+1 MPH program must have junior status in GMercyU’s BSPH program and meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of at least six PUB courses;
  • Minimum cumulative major GPA of 3.3 (B+);
  • Minimum cumulative overall GPA of 3.0 (B);
  • Completion of MTH 234 with a grade of 3.0 (B) or higher prior to entry into the MPH;
  • Completion of at least six credit hours in the social sciences prior to entry into the MPH;
  • Room remaining in the academic plan for four open electives by the time of entry into the MPH program.  

The GMercyU Difference

Our Public Health Program is CHES-eligible, meaning you’ll be prepped and ready to sit for the CHES (Certified Health Education Specialist) credential exam before entering the workforce.

The program also offers direct entry to GMercyU’s new Master’s in Public Health (MPH) Program.  And, it is the only program of its kind to offer our unique set of elective options that span the sciences, communication, health administration, and the social determinants of health.

More benefits include:

  • Personalized instruction with GMercyU’s low 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio  
  • Courses taught by public health experts (no teaching assistants)
  • An internship that’s built into your final semester’s coursework, where you can apply your new skills and knowledge in a real-world setting
  • A grant-writing capstone project, that will help you develop a very marketable skill

And, you will learn at an institution whose history and mission is rooted in service – at GMercyU, we have been developing change-makers and social justice advocates for decades.

Curriculum

Public health students must complete 48 credits in public health courses. The following is an example of the curriculum.
 

PUB 100 Introduction to Public Health
PUB 200 Health Behavior & Health Education
PUB 220 Environmental Health 
PUB 250 Global Health
PUB 300 Human Disease and Disease Prevention
PUB 310 Health Disparities
PUB 320 Health Communications
PUB 330 Epidemiology and Population Health
PUB 340 Health Systems, Policies and Advocacy
PUB 380 Research in Public Health
PUB 400 Planning Public Health Interventions
PUB 405 Evaluating Public Health Interventions
PUB 480 Public Health Professional Seminar
PUB 490 Public Health Internship
PUB 495 Public Health Grantwriting Capstone

Students must also complete 9 credit hours in an elective concentration, or from a list of electives, to complement their public health coursework. This major also includes a 3-credit seminar for exploring possible internships, a 6-credit internship, and a 3-credit capstone course. Note: Senior year for 4+1 MPH students will look different.

Undergraduate Minors

Increase the value of your public health degree by adding an undergraduate minor. GMercyU offers a wide variety of complementary minors, so you can choose the one that best meets your personal and professional goals.

Internship Opportunities

As Public Health major at GMercyU, you will complete a seminar focused on exploring internship opportunities, so you can find the right fit for your interests. Then, in your final semester in the Program, you will gain invaluable experience in a setting that matches your unique career goals. Here are just a few of your internship options:

  • American Red Cross Tri-County Chapter
  • Berks WIC Nutrition Center
  • Bucks County Heath Improvement Project  
  • Chester County Health Department
  • Coatesville Center for Community Health
  • Chester County Food Bank
  • Valley Youth House – Chester County Office
  • Family and Community Services of Delaware County
  • Pennsylvania Resources Council Eastern Regional Offic
  • Montgomery County Health Department
  • Women’s Center of Montgomery County
  • Health Federation of Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia Department of Public Health
  • Philadelphia Health Partnership
  • Public Health Management Corporation

Career Outcomes

Public health is a field in need of workers! Even before the COVID-19 public health emergency, job opportunities in this field were expected to increase nationally by 10% through 2028, Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.  According to a 2017 survey of state and local public health workers, 22% planned to retire in the next five years (de Beaumont Foundation, 2019).

Salaries for MPH graduates in the Philadelphia area average about $68,000 – more than twice the average wage for the region, according to a survey conducted by Burning Glass Technologies.

Career Opportunities

Public health is a broad and diverse field. Experts are needed all over the world to work for government health departments and agencies, private corporations, non-profit organizations, community clinics, schools, and more.  Jobs for those with a bachelor’s in public health can include these careers and more:

  • Community health worker
  • Disease prevention specialist
  • Emergency response planner
  • Health education specialist
  • Healthcare consultant
  • Prevention program coordinator
  • Public health advocate
  • Public health planner
  • Public health officer
  • Public health scientist
  • Researcher

Earn a master's degree in public health (MPH) to advance your career!