Undergraduate Academic Programs

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science in Public Health - Community Health Degree

Description of Program

The B.S.P.H. in Community Health degree is a four-year undergraduate program offered through the Department of Applied Health Science at Indiana University Bloomington. The field of public health promotes and protects the health of people where they live, work and play. Public health workers address the behavioral and socio-ecological factors that influence health outcomes around the globe. They work in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, hospitals, schools and universities, and corporations. This degree program aligns with the competencies established by the Council on Education for Public Health, the federally recognized accrediting body for public health academic programs.

Students who choose this degree option study the core disciplines in public health: epidemiology, public health administration, environmental health, biostatistics, and social and behavioral health. Core coursework includes theoretical and applied stud of health promotion and disease prevention, health disparities, research methods,
measurement and evaluation, public health program planning, and community health. At the conclusion of their course work, students complete an internship, gaining experience in the day-to-day operations of a public health agency and participating in the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of public health programs.

Degree Requirements

This is a four-year program leading to the degree B.S.P.H. in Community Health degree. There is a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) entrance requirement. Graduation requirements include:

  • completion of general education requirements.
  • completion of community 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 courses used to complete the portions of this degree entitled: public health core, community health courses, and related content courses.
  • No Pass/Fail except for free electives.
General Education (20–39 credits)

All undergraduate students must complete the IU Bloomington General Education Common Ground Requirements. Visit gened.indiana.edu to review them.

Major (80–87 credits)

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.) +(N&M)

OPTION 2: This requirement may be met 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.) P or C: SPH-Q 381 or SPH-H 381
  • 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

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

  • SPH-B 310 Public Health in Diverse Communities (3 cr.)
  • SPH-B 403 Public Health Program Planning (3 cr.) P: B 366 & Jr/Sr
  • SPH-B 496 Internship in Public Health (max 9 cr.)
  • SPH-H 263 Personal Health (3 cr.) +S&H
  • SPH-H 494 Research and Evaluation Methods in Health and Safety (3 cr.) P or C: SPH-H 381 & Jr/Sr
  • SPH-K 200 Microcomputer Applications in Kinesiology (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 235 Introduction to Public Health Biology (3 cr.) +N&M

Additional Required Courses (18 cr.)
Complete each of the following courses:

  • BIOL-L 104 Introductory Biology Lectures (3 cr.) +N&M or BIOL-L 112 Foundations of Biology: Biological Mechanisms (4 cr.) +N&M or BIOL-L100 Humans and the Biological World (5 cr) +N&M
    (Note: Pre professional students should complete BIOL-L 112)
  • CHEM-C 101 Elementary Chemistry I (3 cr.) +N&M or C 103 Introduction to Chemical Principles (5 cr.) +N&M or C 117 Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry I (3 cr.) +N&M
    (Note: Pre professional students should complete CHEM-C 117)
  • SPH-B 250 Public Health Communication (3 cr.)
  • SPH-360 Writing in Public Health (3 cr.)
  • PSY-P 101 Introduction to Psychology 1 (3 cr.) +N&M
  • PSY-P 102 Introduction to Psychology 2 (3 cr.) (P:P101) +S&H

Related Content Courses (21 cr.)
A minimum grade of C– is required in each course.
Complete any 21 credits from the following related content courses.

Public Health

  • SPH-B 150 Introduction to Public Health (3 cr.) +S&H
  • SPH-B 416 Introduction to Health Counseling (3 cr.)
  • SPH-B 491 Readings in Public Health  (1-3 cr.)
  • SPH-B 492 Research in Public Health  (1-3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 350 Topical Seminar in Health Promotion (1-3 cr.)

Public Health, Gerontology

  • SPH-B 315 Health in Later Years (3 cr.)
  • SPH-B 335 Aging Health, and Diverse Populations (3 cr.)
  • SPH-B 354 Aging Today (3 cr.)

Human Development and Family Studies

  • SPH-F 150 Introduction to Life Span Development (3 cr.) +S&H
  • SPH-F 180 Introduction to Child and Youth Work (3 cr.)
  • SPH-F 255 Human Sexuality (3 cr.) +S&H
  • SPH-F 258 The Tie That Binds: Relationships, Marriage and Family  (3 cr.) +S&H
  • SPH-F 330 Leadership Theory and Practice in Youth Development (3 cr.)
  • SPH-F 341 Today's Families:  Understanding Change in Family Dynamics (3 cr.)
  • SPH-F 345 Parents, Parenting and Children (3 cr.) (P: SPH-F 150)  
  • SPH-F 346 The Prenatal Period Through Early Childhood - Human Development I (3 cr.) (P: SPH-F 150)  
  • SPH-F 347 Middle Childhood Through Adolescence - Human Development II (3 cr.) (P: SPH-F 150)  
  • SPH-F 348 Early Through Late Adulthood Human Development III (3 cr.) (P: SPH-F 150)  
  • SPH-F 350 Topical Seminar in Human Development and Family Studies (3 cr.) (repeatable with different topic) 
  • SPH-F 410 The Science of Positive Youth Development (3 cr.) (P: SPH-F 150)
  • SPH-F 417 African American and Latino Families (3 cr.) (P: SPH-F 150)
  • SPH-F 458 Family Law and Policy (3 cr.)
  • SPH-L 102 Participant Leadership Development (1 cr.)

Topical Health and Health Promotion

  • SPH-H 150 Children's Health up to Age 5 (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 160 First Aid and Emergency Care (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 170 Health and Surviving College Years (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 172 International Health and Social Issues (3 cr.) +S&H
  • SPH-H 174 Prevention of Violence in American Society (3 cr.) +S&H
  • SPH-H 180 Stress Prevention and Management (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 205 Introduction to Health Education (1 cr.)
  • SPH-H 220 Death and Dying (3 cr.) +S&H
  • SPH-H 235 Obesity and Health (3 cr.) +S&H
  • SPH-H 305 Women's Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 306 Men's Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 315 Consumer Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 318 Drug Use in American Society (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 319 Global Health Promotion (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 320 The Nature of Cancer (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 330 Human Sexuality Education in Diverse Settings (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 334 Heart Health and Diabetes (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 351 Complementary and Alternative Approaches to Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 395 Practicum in College Sex Education (3 cr.) (Instructor consent required) 
  • SPH-H 401 Emergency Medical Technician (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 404 Emergency Medical Technician Laboratory (1 cr.)
  • SPH-H 418 The Nature of Substance Use Disorder (3 cr.) (Seniors only)
  • SPH-H 419 Principles of Substance Abuse, Assessment, and Treatment
  • SPH-H 460 Practicum in First Aid Instruction (3 cr.) (P: SPH-H 160 with “B” or equivalent grade)
  • SPH-N 220 Nutrition for Health (3 cr.) or SPH-N 231 Human Nutrition (3 cr.) +N&M
  • SPH-R 101 Resource Development/Fundraising (3 cr.)
  • SPH-S 101 Introduction to Safety (3 cr.)
  • SPH-S 217 Safety: A Personal Focus (3 cr.)
  • Any one credit SPH course (1 cr.)

Pre professional

  • BIOL-L 113 Biology Laboratory (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 211 Molecular Biology (3 cr.) and BIOL-L 323* Molecular Lab (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-M 200 Microorganism in Nature/Disease (3 cr.) and BIOL-M 215 Microorganism Laboratory (1 cr.) or BIOL-M 250 Microbiology (3 cr.) and BIOL-M 315 Microbiology Lab (2 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 341 Organic Chemistry 1 Lectures (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 342 Organic Chemistry 2 Lectures (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 343 Organic Chemistry Lab 1 (2 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 383 Human Biochemistry (3 cr.) or CHEM-C 483 Biological Chemistry (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-N 331 Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry (3 cr.)
  • CLAS-C 209 Medical Terms from Greek and Latin (2 cr.)
  • PHYS-P 201 General Physics I (5 cr.) +N&M
  • PHYS-P 202 General Physics II (5 cr.) +N&M
  • SOC-S 100 Introduction to Sociology (3 cr.) +S&H or SOC-S 101 Social Problems and Policies, TOPIC: Medicine in America, or other topics as approved by the advisor +S&H

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

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

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

Suggested Community Health Courses for the First-Year Student
Fall Semester
ENG-W 131 Elementary Composition 1 (3 cr.) or or equivalent for General Education English Composition
BIOL L 104 or BIOL L 112 (for pre-med) (3 cr.)
SPH-H 263 Personal Health (3 cr.)
Related Content (3 cr.)
Free Elective (3 cr.)

Spring Semester
MATH M 106 or equivalent for General Education Math Modeling (3 cr.)
PSY-P 101 Introduction to Psychology (3 cr.)
SPH V 241 Foundations of Environmental Health (3 cr.) +N & M
Related Content Course (3 cr.)
CHEM C 101 or CHEM C 103 or CHEM C 117 (3 cr.) +N & M

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. Students will have the knowledge needed to take the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam and may earn additional credentials such as Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). 


The work of a public health professional is diverse and includes activities such as tracking the spread of disease and illness; developing, managing, and evaluating programs designed to change health-related behaviors; implementing regulatory initiatives; and working with policymakers to facilitate societal change to promote well-being. Public interest in a healthy lifestyle and equitable health outcomes 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:          

  • Case Manager Specialist
  • Community Health Worker
  • Contact Tracer
  • Disease Prevention Manager
  • Disease Intervention Specialist
  • Global Health Worker
  • Health and Wellness Coach
  • Health Data Analyst 
  • Health Program Evaluator
  • Health Promotion Specialist
  • Life Coach
  • Maternal and Child Health Specialist
  • Public Health Educator
  • Public Health Navigator
  • Prevention Specialist
  • Program Director
  • Research Assistant
  • Sexual Health Educator
  • Technical Advisor for HIV/AIDS Programs
  • Vaccine Advisor and Program Manager
  • Youth Tobacco Prevention Coordinator


Academic Bulletins