Academic Catalog 2021-2022

Slippery Rock University

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

Public Health is a discipline in which professionals deliver health information and health programs for health promotion and disease prevention to populations. Graduates of this program have a broad based background in the field of public health that prepares them for entry level positions in such areas as health promotion, health education, and health data management, along with graduate study in a health-related field.

The Public Health program is very dynamic. Coursework involves service learning experiences within a wide variety of settings. Public Health faculty members conduct on-going research projects in which advanced level students can become involved. Students help professors analyze data and prepare professional conference presentations, which the students actually present under the mentorship of faculty members. Other student activities include the Pennsylvania Public Health Association Collegiate Chapter and the peer health education program run by Slippery Rock University’s Student Health Services.

Students are encouraged to take additional coursework or minors in complementary areas of study such as gerontology, information systems, or psychology. 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 identified sites. Often it is through this internship experience that students discover 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 their sites as employees following their internships.

Recent graduates have entered positions in state and local health departments, community-based wellness programs, voluntary health agencies such as the American Heart Association or American Cancer Society, federal government health programs, and health insurance companies. Graduates also enter graduate programs in a variety of areas. Many continue their studies to become physician assistants, occupational or physical therapists, nutritionists, and nurses. Others choose to earn a graduate degree in public health.

Upon completion of the Public Health program, students are eligible to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) examination, which is a national credentialing examination for people who wish to practice health education in a community setting. Today, the CHES credential is often preferred or even required for many community health education positions. Graduates who complete our Public Health program successfully pass the CHES examination at a rate well above the national average.

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


Rock Studies Requirements42
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.

Rock Studies Requirements

The Rock
SUBJ 139University Seminar 13
ENGL 102Critical Writing3
ENGL 104Critical Reading3
STAT 152Elementary Statistics I3
Select one of the following:3
Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice
Ethics and Civil Discourse
Civil Discourse and Democracy
Integrated Inquiry
Creative and Aesthetic Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Humanities Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Social Science Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Natural Sciences Inquiry
BIOL 216Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab3
Physical Sciences Inquiry
SCI 102Understanding the Physical World3
Thematic Thread
Select 12 Credits 212
Total Hours42

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
Supporting Coursework:
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
Total Hours60

Natural Science and Math College-Wide Requirements

Must complete 9-10 credits (CHEM 111 is required if completing CHEM 107):
CHEM 107
CHEM 111
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Lab
or CHEM 104 Introduction Chemistry I
STAT 152Elementary Statistics I3
BIOL 216Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab3

Co-curricular and Experiential Learning

Students are encouraged to explore additional curricular and co-curricular opportunities. There is a strong correlation between long-term student success and participation in the following types of programs and activities:

  1. Conference attendance
  2. Service-Learning
  3. Internships
  4. Career Education
  5. Peer Education Opportunities

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 2019.
Revised 02.10.2022
UCC 02.01.2022 

Recommended Four-Year Plan

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
HLTH 103 Health and Behavior Change 3
CHEM 104 Introduction Chemistry I 3
ENGL 102 Critical Writing 3
INDS 101 FYRST Seminar 1
SUBJ 139University Seminar 1 3
ENGL 104 Critical Reading 3
SCI 102 Understanding the Physical World 3
STAT 152 Elementary Statistics I 3
Creative & Aesthetic Inquiry 3
Humanities Inquiry 3
Second Year
HLTH 210 Introduction to Public Health 3
BIOL 216 Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab 3
Social Science Inquiry 3
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Declare a Thematic Thread 2  
HLTH 301 Introduction to Health Education 3
Select one of the following: 3
Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice  
Ethics and Civil Discourse  
Civil Discourse and Democracy  
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Third Year
HLTH 309 Introduction to the Study of Disease 3
HLTH 312 Data Management for Health Science 3
HLTH 314 Nutrition and Health 3
BIOL 210 Medical Microbiology with Lab 3
HLTH 310 Environmental Health 3
HLTH 311 International Health 3
HLTH 313 Biostatistics 3
Public Health Elective 3
Fourth Year
HLTH 406 Program Planning and Evaluation 3
Public Health Elective 3
Free Electives 9
Potential On-line Winter Courses  
International Health  
HLTH 410 Epidemiology 3
HLTH 440 Public Health Seminar 3
Public Health Supporting Coursework 3
Free Electives 5
HLTH 450 Internship 12
Potential On-line Summer Courses  
International Health/Women’s Health Issues  
 Total Hours**120

** This document is meant to serve as a guide. Some planners may show more than 120 credits because faculty have created flexibility in choosing courses.  However, only 120 credits are required to obtain a degree. Please consult with your academic adviser and refer to your curriculum guide prior to registering for courses. This plan should be reviewed, and verified, by you and your academic adviser at least once each academic year. 

Major Code: 6266
Revised: 07.02.2021