Undergraduate Academic Programs

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science in Public Health - Environmental Health Degree

Description of Program

The BSPH in Environmental Health degree is a four year undergraduate program offered through the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at Indiana University Bloomington. The field of public health is charged with assessing, understanding, and responding to the behavioral and ecological factors that influence the health of communities throughout the world. Public health professionals strive to improve the health of individuals and communities by efforts situated in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, hospitals, schools and universities, and corporations. Students choosing the BSPH in Environmental Health degree are required to take courses that expose them to the basic fundamentals required of a public health professional in the areas of environmental health, epidemiology, biostatistics, public health administration, and community health as well as toxicology, environmental sampling and analysis, environmental health management, and other environmental health specialty courses. At the conclusion of their course work, students must complete an internship which allows them to experience the day-to-day operations of a public health agency in addition to participating in the development, implementation, and evaluation of specific public health programs. Students completing this degree will be well positioned to begin employment as an environmental health specialist or pursue an advanced degree.


Apply online for undergraduate admission to Indiana University at http://admissions.indiana.edu/.

A newly admitted freshman or transfer student, beginning in the fall 2019 semester, pursuing a BSPH in Environmental Health degree, will receive an offer of direct freshman admission to the this program if he or she meets both of the following criteria:

  1. Entrance Test Scores: The applicant must have earned one of the following minimum standardized test scores:
    • a combined critical reading and math score on the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) of 1280. --or--
    • a composite score on the ACT (American College Test) of 27.
  2. Academic Performance: The applicant must either:
    • possess a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.5. --or--
    • rank in the top 12 percent of his or her high school graduating class.

Before entering the School of Public Health - Bloomington as an environmental health major, all other students begin studies in the University Division, and then subsequently certify into this program as soon as they satisfy the following two admission criteria:

  1. successful completion of at least 30 credit hours.
  2. minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA) at Indiana University.

Students in the University Division must also declare their intention to major in environmental health to the University Division Records Office. If a student earns less than 2.0 semester GPA for the term before entering the School of Public Health-Bloomington, the student may be admitted on academic probation as long as the student has completed 30 credits and has at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA.

International applicants for admission to a second undergraduate degree program in the School of Public Health - Bloomington, whose primary language is not English, must satisfy one of the following criteria before being considered for admission directly into one the School's degree programs:

  • submission of a minimum score on the Test Of English As a Foreign Language (TOEFL), of 550 on the paper-based test, or 213 on the computer-based test, or 80 on the Internet-based test.
  • submission of a minimum score of 7 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • proof of completing at least three full years of secondary school in a predominantly English speaking country.

For students from countries where the TOEFL and the IELTS are not available, other evidence of English proficiency may be considered.

All entering international students whose primary language is not English will be required to take a special examination in English with IU prior to registering. Prepared by IU and designed to test a student’s ability to use English in an academic setting, the exam consists of three parts: an essay on a general topic, a listening comprehension exercise, and a grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension section. There is little that one can do to prepare for this exam other than to continue using written and spoken English at every opportunity. Appropriate remedial English courses may be prescribed on the basis of the results of this test.

International students whose primary language is not English must agree to take any English language courses prescribed from the results of this examination. Fees for special part-time English courses are the same as for other courses; however, credits earned do not meet degree requirements. If the results of the proficiency examination indicate that full-time work in English is required, the student will be assigned to the Intensive English Program (IEP).  

Students enrolled in IEP do not take academic courses until they achieve adequate English proficiency. If a student has serious doubts about English ability and is not financially prepared to undertake the additional time and expense of an intensive English program here, the student should consider completing English study in the student’s home country. In addition, the student may consider delaying admission to a future session.

Degree Requirements

This is a four-year program leading to the BSPH in Environmental Health degree. There is a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA) entrance requirement. Graduation requirements include:

  • completion of general education requirements.
  • completion of environmental health major requirements.
  • a minimum of 120 successfully completed credit hours which count toward the degree program.
  • a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  • a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in all courses used to fulfill the requirements of the major portion of this degree.
  • No Pass/Fail except for free electives.
General Education (20 – 39 credits)

All undergraduate students must complete the IU Bloomington campus-wide general education common ground requirements. Such students must visit the 2018-2019 General Education Bulletin to view these requirements.

Major (78-86 cr.)

Foundational Anatomy and Physiology (3-10 cr.)
This requirement may be met in one of two ways.

OPTION 1: This requirement may be met by completing the following one-course-combination of Anatomy and Physiology:

  • MSCI-M 115 Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology (3 cr.)

OPTION 2: Alternatively, students may meet this requirement by completing the following individual courses in Anatomy and Physiology:

  • ANAT-A 215 Basic Human Anatomy (5 cr.) +(N&M)
  • PHSL-P 215 Basic Human Physiology (5 cr.) +(N&M)

Public Health Core (15 cr.)
A minimum grade of C– is required in each course.
Complete each of the following courses:

  • SPH-B 366 Community Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-E 311 Introduction to Epidemiology (3 cr.)
  • SPH-P 309 Public Health Administration (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 381 Introduction to Biostatistics (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 241 Foundations of Environmental Health (3 cr.) +N&M

Environmental Health Courses (23 cr.)
A minimum grade of C– is required in each course.
Complete each of the following courses:

  • SPH-V 201 Introduction to Occupational Safety and Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 214 Environmental Regulations and Code Compliance (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 215 Food Safety and Sanitation (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 341 Environmental Health Management and Policy (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 442 Introduction to Toxicology (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 443 Environmental Sampling and Analysis Techniques (3 cr.) -or- SPEA-E 375 Techniques of Environmental Science (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 496 Field Experience in Environmental Health (5 cr.)

Foundational Chemistry (5 cr.)
Complete each of the following courses:

  • CHEM-C 117 Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry I (3 cr.) +N&M
  • CHEM-C 127 Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry I Laboratory (2 cr.) +N&M

Foundational Science (17-18 cr.)
Complete each of the following courses:

  • BIOL-L 112 Foundations of Biology: Biologic Mechanisms (4 cr.) +N&M
  • BIOL-L 113 Biology Laboratory (3 cr.)
  • PHYS-P 201 General Physics 1 (5 cr.) +N&M -or- PHYS-P 101 Physics in the Modern World (4 cr.) +N&M
  • PSY-P 101 Introduction to Psychology I (3 cr.) +N&M
  • BIOL-V 235 Introduction to Public Health Biology (3 cr.) -or- BIOL-L 211 Molecular Biology (3 cr.)

Professional Electives (15 cr.)
Complete a minimum of 15 credits from one of the following lists:

List A

  • BIOL-L 307 Biodiversity (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 328 Disease Ecology and Evolution (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 412 Analysis of Cancer Research (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 472 Microbial Ecology (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 473 Ecology (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-M 375 Human Parasitology (4 cr.)
  • BIOL-M 380 Microbiology of Infectious Disease (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-Z 373 Entomology (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-Z 476 Biology of Fishes (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 208 Environment and Society (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 338 Geographic Information Science (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 341 Ecological Restoration: Science, Politics, and Ethics (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 343 Perspectives on Environmental Decisions (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 347 Water Security and Sustainability (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 369 The Geography of Food (3 cr.)
  • GEOG G 444 Climate Change Impacts (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 445 Food, Place, and War (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 451 Physical Hydrology (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 453 Water and Society (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 461 Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 469 Food and Global Poverty (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 478 Global Change, Food, and Farming Systems (3 cr.)
  • INTL-I 222 Global Health Connections (3 cr.)
  • INTL-I 420 Global Sustainability Studies (3 cr.)
  • INTL-I 429 Global Health Politics (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 260 Introduction to Water Resources (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 311 Introduction to Risk Assessment/Risk Communication (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 316 Insects and the Environment (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 324 Controversies in Environmental Health (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 412 Risk Communication (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 418 Vector-Based Geographic Information Systems (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 431 Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 451 Air Pollution and Control (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 452 Solid and Hazardous Waste Management (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 460 Fisheries & Wildlife Management (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 466 International and Comparative Environmental Policy (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 275 Introduction to Emergency Management (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 412 Leadership and Ethics (3 cr.)
  • SPH-O 343 Sustainable Agriculture (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 360 Environmental Justice (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 422 Issues in Global Environmental Health (3 cr.)

List B

  • CHEM-C341, Organic Chemistry I Lectures (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 342 Organic Chemistry Lectures II (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 343 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 383 Human Biochemistry (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 483 Biological Chemistry (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-N 330, Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry (5 cr.)
  • PHYS-P 202, General Physics II (5 cr.)

+ Courses with a A&H notation may apply toward both major requirements and the general education, arts and humanities requirement.

+ Courses with a N&M notation may apply toward both major requirements and the general education, natural and mathematical sciences requirement.

+ Courses with a S&H notation may apply toward both major requirements and the general education, social and historical studies requirement.

Suggested Environmental Health Courses for the First-Year Student
Fall Semester
SPH-V 241 Foundations of Environmental Health (3 cr.)
CHEM-C 117 Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry I (3 cr.)
CHEM-C 127 Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry I Laboratory (2 cr.)
BIOL-L 112 Foundations of Biology: Biologic Mechanisms (4 cr.)
MATH-M 118 Finite Mathematics (3 cr.)
Elective (1 cr.)

Spring Semester
SPH-V 201 Intro to Occupational Safety and Health (3 cr.)
ENG-W 131 Elementary Composition 1 (3 cr.) or equivalent
Arts and Humanities Elective (3 cr.)
Social and Historical Studies Elective (3 cr.)
BIOL-L 113 Biology Laboratory (3 cr.)
Special Opportunities

Degree programs in public health balance theoretical knowledge with professional experience through internships and opportunities to work with faculty on research, teaching, and service projects.


The work of a public health professional is diverse and includes activities such as documenting the spread of disease and illness, developing and managing programs designed to change health-related behaviors, implementing regulatory initiatives and working with policy makers to facilitate societal changes that promote well-being. Public interest in a healthy lifestyle is increasing the demand for public health professionals. Public health careers can be found in local, state, and federal government; nonprofit organizations; businesses and corporations; hospitals; county health departments; universities; and with health foundations and health-based grant projects. A public health degree can lead to career positions such as the following:

  • Biostatistician
  • Disease Prevention Manager
  • Environmental Health Specialist
  • Health Data Analyst
  • Health Promotion Specialist
  • Maternal and Child Health Specialist
  • Public Health Educator
  • Public Health Epidemiologist
  • Public Health Researcher
  • Sexual Health Educator
  • Technical Advisor for HIV/AIDS Programs
  • Vaccine Advisor and Program Manager
  • Youth Tobacco Prevention Coordinator

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