Academic Catalog 2020-2021

Slippery Rock University

Health Science - Public Health, Bachelor of Science (BS) - Liberal Studies

Public Health is a discipline in which professionals deliver health information and programs within the community setting. Graduates of this program have a broad based background in the field of health that prepares them for entry level positions in health education, health promotion, health data management or for further graduate study in a health-related field.

Upon completion of this program our students are eligible to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist examination, which is a national credentialing examination for people who wish to practice health education in a community (non-public school) setting. Today, the Certified Health Education Specialist credential is often preferred or even required for many community health education positions. Graduates who complete our Public Health program successfully pass the Certified Health Education Specialist examination at a rate well above the national average. Recent graduates have entered positions in state and local health departments, community based wellness programs, voluntary health organizations such as the American Heart Association or American Cancer Society, and federal government health programs, and health insurance companies. Graduates also enter graduate programs in physical or occupational therapy, physicians assistant, nutrition, and public health.

Students are encouraged to take additional coursework or minors in complementary areas of study such as gerontology, Spanish, psychology or business. The program culminates in a 12-credit internship, which provides hands-on experiences and further insight into career opportunities in public health. Students may select their own internship site or may choose from a database of previously used sites. It is through this internship experience that students actually identify the branch of public health in which they would like to practice. Students are required to select a major project for their internship experience that demonstrates mastery of entry-level professional skills. Frequently interns remain at the sites as employees following their internships.

Public Health faculty members have on-going research projects in which advanced level students can become involved. Students help professors analyze data and prepare professional conference presentations, which the student actually presents under the mentorship of the faculty member. Other student activities include the Pennsylvania Public Health Association Collegiate Chapter and the peer health education program run by the SRU student health service.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Effective Professional Communication: Communicate with clients in an individual or group setting and with health professionals in a variety of health settings using a combination of communication skills for a clear exchange of ideas and information, listening and comprehending the viewpoints of others, effectively presenting information in oral and written formats and integrating media/technology.
  • Professional Competency: Use reasoned judgment drawing upon a broad knowledge base from social, behavioral and natural science, education and health to assess, plan, implement, evaluate and coordinate health promotion for individuals and communities.
  • Professional Ethics: Apply high ethical standards to public health practice with a sensitivity to multicultural traditions, legal issues, and adherence to a code of ethics of professional health organizations.
  • Continual Professional and Personal Development: Continue personal and professional development in holistic health, including the components of physical, emotional, spiritual, social, environmental and vocational health, through continuing education, advanced study, and participation in professional health organizations

Related Links

Public Health, BS Program Page

Public Health Department Page

Professional Licensure/Certification Page

Curriculum Guide

GPA Requirement

Major GPA: 2.0 or higher
Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher
GPA in the major to be eligible for internship: 2.5 or higher


Liberal Studies Requirements45-46
Other Basic Requirements0-3
Computer Competency0-3
Major Requirements60
Natural Science and Math College-Wide Requirements12

* All undergraduate degree programs require a minimum of 120 credits.  Some courses meet multiple requirements, but are only counted once toward the 120 credit total required to graduate.

Liberal Studies Requirements

See Liberal Studies Guide for Goal and Enrichment choices

Goal Course Requirements
Complete Goal requirements as indicated below
Basic Requirements
ENGL 102Critical Writing3
ENGL 104Critical Reading3
COMM 200Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice3
The Arts
Global Community
Human Institutions/Interpersonal Relationships
Science, Technology & Math
Complete nine to ten credits of Recommended courses below:9-10
Introduction Chemistry I
General Chemistry I
Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab
Elementary Statistics I
Challenges of the Modern Age
Enrichment Course Requirements
Select one course from three of the following Enrichment Areas:9
Total Hours45-46


Basic Math Requirement

Check with your adviser or a current degree audit report to see if you have been exempted from this course. The credit earned in this course will not be counted toward the 120 credit hour minimum needed to earn a degree.

Complete one of the following:0-3
Meet required minimum SAT or ACT math score OR
Beginning Algebra
Total Hours0-3

Computer Competency

Demonstrate "computer competency" by one of the following:0-3
Pass Computer Competency Exam OR
Select one of the following at SRU or another post-secondary institution:
Introduction to Computing for Liberal Arts
Computer Concepts
Introduction to Computing and Programming
Technology for Wellness
Total Hours0-3

Major Requirements

  • 30 major credits must be taken at SRU or PASSHE
  • 30 major credits must be taken at the 300 level or above
Required Courses in Public Health
HLTH 103Health and Behavior Change 13
HLTH 210Introduction to Public Health 13
HLTH 301Introduction to Health Education 13
HLTH 309Introduction to the Study of Disease 13
HLTH 310Environmental Health 13
HLTH 311International Health 13
HLTH 312Data Management for Health Science 13
HLTH 313Biostatistics 13
HLTH 314Nutrition and Health 13
HLTH 406Program Planning and Evaluation 13
HLTH 410Epidemiology 13
HLTH 440Public Health Seminar 13
Required Internship
HLTH 450Internship 1,212
Required Course outside of Major Department
BIOL 210Medical Microbiology with Lab 33
Select three courses from the list below:9
Aging and the Older Person 3
Death and Dying 3
US Healthcare Systems 3
Public Health and Physical Activity 3
Women's Health Issues 3
Human Sexuality 3
Public Health Administration
Nutrition and Exercise 3
Total Hours60

Natural Science and Math College Wide Requirements

Must take the following 4 courses & Lab (9-10 credits)
CHEM 104Introduction Chemistry I3
or CHEM 107 General Chemistry I
CHEM 111General Chemistry I Lab1
STAT 152Elementary Statistics I3
BIOL 216Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab3

Important Curriculum Guide Notes

This Curriculum Guide is provided to help SRU students and prospective students better understand their intended major curriculum. Enrolled SRU students should note that the My Rock Audit may place already-earned and/or in progress courses in different, yet valid, curriculum categories. Enrolled SRU students should use the My Rock Audit Report and materials and information provided by their faculty advisers to ensure accurate progress towards degree completion. The information on this guide is current as of the date listed. Students are responsible for curriculum requirements at the time of enrollment at the University.

PASSHE - Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Institutions

This program is effective as of Fall 2016.
Revised 08.05.20
UCC 03.05.20