Undergraduate Academic Programs

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science in Public Health - Epidemiology Degree

Description of Program

The B.S.P.H. in Epidemiology degree is a four-year undergraduate degree offered through the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Students who choose this degree program take courses related to five core areas: epidemiology, health administration, environmental health, biostatistics, and social and behavioral health. They also take courses that expose them to the basic fundamentals required of a public health professional in the areas of disease surveillance, study design, data collection and analysis, identification of risk factors for infectious and chronic diseases, and interpretation of findings from research studies.

At the conclusion of their coursework, students complete an internship which provides them an opportunity to apply, within an actual work environment, their newly acquired skills and competencies. Students completing this degree will be well positioned to begin employment as epidemiologists or to pursue an advanced degree.

Degree Requirements

This is a four-year program leading to a B.S.P.H. in Epidemiology. Graduation requirements include:

  • completion of general education requirements.
  • completion of epidemiology 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 General Education Common Ground Requirements. Visit gened.indiana.edu to review them.

Major (65–72 cr.)

Anatomy and Physiology Requirement (3–10 cr.)
A student may complete either one of the following two options to complete this requirement:

This requirement may be satisfied by completing the following course:

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

Alternatively, a student may satisfy this requirement by completing both of the following individual anatomy and physiology courses:

  • ANAT-A 215 Basic Human Anatomy (5 cr.) or SPH-K 205 Structural Kinesiology (3 cr.)
  • PHSL-P 215 Basic Human Physiology (5 cr.)

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

Epidemiology Courses (20 cr.)
A minimum grade of C– is required in each course.
Complete each of the following courses:

  • SPH-E 250 Public Health Surveillance and Monitoring (3 cr.)
  • SPH-E 350 Infectious Diseases: Outbreaks and Field Investigations (3 cr.) (P: SPH-E 311).
  • SPH-E 353 Distribution and Determinants of Chronic Diseases (3 cr.)
  • SPH-E 358 Epidemiologic Methods: Concepts (3 cr.)
  • SPH-E 359 Epidemiologic Methods: Applications (3 cr.)
  • SPH-E 496 Field Experience in Epidemiology (5 cr.)

Additional Major Courses (15 cr.)
Complete each of the following courses:

  • MATH-M 118 Finite Mathematics (3 cr.), (or) MATH-M119 Brief Survey of Calculus (3 cr.) +Math Modeling
  • SPH-H 494 Research and Evaluation Methods in Health and Safety (3 cr.) (P or C: SPH-Q 381 and Junior or Senior Standing)
  • SPH-Q 400 Introduction to Biostatistical Computing (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 235 Introduction to Public Health Biology (3 cr.)
  • STAT-S 303 Applied Stats for Live Sciences (3 cr.)

Related Content Courses (12 cr.)
A minimum grade of C– is required in each course.
Complete any 12 credits from the following courses:

Mathematics and Statistics

  • MATH-M 211 Calculus I (4 cr.)
  • MATH-M 212 Calculus II (4 cr.)
  • MATH-M 301 Linear Algebra and Applications (3 cr.)
  • MATH-M 303 Linear Algebra for Undergraduates (3 cr.)
  • MATH-M 311 Calculus III (4 cr.)
  • STAT-S 431 Applied Linear Models I (3 cr.)
  • STAT-S 432 Applied Linear Models II (3 cr.)

Writing and Public Speaking

  • COLL-P 155 Public Oral Communication (3 cr.)
  • ENG-W 231 Professional Writing Skills (3 cr.)

Behavioral and Community Health

  • PSY-P 101 Introduction to Psychology I (3 cr.) +N&M
  • PSY-P 102 Introduction to Psychology II (3 cr.) +S&H
  • SPH-B 310 Health Care in Diverse Communities (3 cr.)
  • SPH-B 403 Public Health Program Planning (3 cr.)
  • SPH-F 150 Introduction to Public Health (3 cr.) +S&H
  • SPH-F 255 Human Sexuality (3 cr.) +S&H
  • SPH-H 263 Personal Health (3 cr.) +S&H
  • SPH-E 493 Independent Study in Epidemiology (3 cr.)
  • SPH-E 450 Special Topics in Epidemiology (3 cr.)

Topical Health and Health Promotion

  • SPH-H 172 International Health and Social Issues (3 cr.)
  • 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 320 The Nature of Cancer Management (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 334 Heart Health and Diabetes (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 220 Nutrition for Health (3 cr.) or SPH-N 231 Human Nutrition (3 cr.)

Environmental Health

  • 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 422 Issues in Global Environmental Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 450 Understanding & Preventing Environmental Risks to Human Health (P:SPH-E11, Statistics, V342, V343) (3cr.)
  • SPH-V460 Capstone:  Environmental Health Problem-Solving & Communication (P: SPH-V450) (3 cr.)

International Studies

  • INTL-I 202 Global Health and Environment (3 cr.)


  • SOC-S 358 Social Issues in Health and Medicine (3 cr.)
  • SOC-S 370 Research Methods in Sociology (3 cr.)

Pre-Health Professions
Consult with your advisor if you are pre-health to ensure you take the necessary courses.

  • BIOL-L 111 Introduction to Biological Evolution and Diversity (4 cr.) +N&M or BIOL-L 211 Molecular Biology (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 112 Foundations of Biology: Biological Mechanisms (4 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 113 Biology Laboratory (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-M 200 Micro Organisms in Nature and Disease Management (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 117 Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry I (3 cr.) +N&M
  • CHEM-C 341 Organic Chemistry I LecturesControl (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 342 Organic Chemistry II Lectures (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 343 Organic Chemistry I Lab (2 cr.)
  • CHEM-N 331 Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry Lecture (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-N337 Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry Lab (2 cr.)
  • PHYS-P 201 General Physics I (5 cr.) +N&M
  • PHYS-P 202 General Physics II (5 cr.) +N&M

+ 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 Environmental Health Courses for the First-Year Student
Fall Semester
BIOL-L 112 Foundations of Biology: Biologic Mechanisms (4 cr.)
MATH-M 118 Finite Mathematics (3 cr.)
Arts and Humanities Elective (3 cr.)
ENG-W 131 Elementary Composition 1 (3 cr.) or equivalent
Elective (3 cr.)
Elective (3 cr.)

Spring Semester
MCSI-M 115 Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology (3 cr.)
SPH-E 250 Public Health Surveillance and Monitoring (3 cr.)
World Languages and Culture elective (3 cr.)
Elective (3 cr.)
Elective (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 projects.


Public interest is increasing the demand for public health professionals. 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 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 such as:

  • 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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