Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Slippery Rock University

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

Slippery Rock University’s Public Health Program is well known for the quality of its graduates. Public Health majors are successful at continuing on into graduate programs in the field of health science and finding jobs in a variety of health-related professions.

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 graduate study in a health-related field along with entry level positions in such areas as health promotion, health education, and health data management.

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 at Slippery Rock University.

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.


  • 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. (UO 1)
  • 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. (UO 2,3,4)
  • 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. (UO 8,9,10)
  • 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. (UO 5,7,9)


Public Health, BS Program Page

Public Health Department Page

Professional Licensure/Certification Page



Major GPA: 2.0 or higher
Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher


Rock Studies 2 Requirements42-44
Other Basic Requirements0-3
Computer Competency0-3
Major Requirements60
Natural Science and Math College-Wide Requirements9-11

* 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.


The Rock
SUBJ 139Foundations of Academic Discovery 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
Select one of the following:3-4
The Human Body: Fundamentals of Structure and Physiology
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
Physical Sciences Inquiry
Select one of the following:3-4
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Lab
Elements of Physics I with Lab
Understanding the Physical World
Thematic Thread
Select 12 Credits 212
Total Hours42-44

Course offered in multiple subjects; cannot take course in first major subject.


One course from each category; six credits must be 300-level or above; no more than 4 credits from one subject area; specific courses required in first major, regardless of prefix of course, cannot be used to satisfy thread requirements; any course with same prefix as first major cannot be used to satisfy thread requirements, even if it is not a course in the first major.

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


Students must take and pass a course with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) designation prior to graduation.  Students can meet this requirement by taking any DEI - designated course in any program at any time during their undergraduate career. 


  • 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 112
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 2
Death and Dying 2
Public Health and Physical Activity 2
Women's Health Issues 2
Human Sexuality 2
Public Health Administration 2
Total Hours60

Course counts for 50% of Major requirements and Major GPA


Course counts for 50% of Major requirements but not for Major GPA


Some courses may require pre-requisites. Please see course descriptions to determine if there are any pre-requisites for that specific course.


Complete one of the following BIOL courses3-4
The Human Body: Fundamentals of Structure and Physiology
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
Complete one of the following CHEM courses (CHEM 111 is required if completing CHEM 107):3-4
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Lab
Introduction Chemistry I
STAT 152Elementary Statistics I3
Total Hours9-11


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 Summer 2022
Revised 05.30.2023
UCC 02.28.23


Plan of Study Grid
First Year
HLTH 103 Health and Behavior Change 3
CHEM 104 Introduction Chemistry I 3
ENGL 102 Critical Writing 3
ESAP 101 FYRST Seminar * 1
SUBJ 139Foundations of Academic Discovery 1 3
ENGL 104 Critical Reading 3
SCI 102 Understanding the Physical World 3
Creative & Aesthetic Inquiry 3
Humanities Inquiry 3
Second Year
HLTH 210 Introduction to Public Health 3
BIOL 110 The Human Body: Fundamentals of Structure and Physiology 3
STAT 152 Elementary Statistics I 3
Select one of the following: 3
Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice
Ethics and Civil Discourse
Civil Discourse and Democracy
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Declare a Thematic Thread 2
HLTH 301 Introduction to Health Education 3
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Thematic Thread Requirement - 300+ Level 3
Thematic Thread Requirement - 300+ Level 3
Social Science Inquiry 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 Supporting Course 3
Fourth Year
HLTH 406 Program Planning and Evaluation 3
Public Health Supporting Course 3
Electives 9
Potential On-line Winter Courses
International Health
HLTH 410 Epidemiology 3
HLTH 440 Public Health Seminar 3
Public Health Supporting Course 3
Electives 5
HLTH 450 Internship 12
Potential On-line Summer Courses
Personal Health
Women's Health Issues
International Health
 Total Hours**120

Course offered in multiple subjects; cannot take course in first major subject.


Work with your Academic Adviser to declare a Thematic Thread by the end of your fall semester in your second year.


If you enter Fall 2021 or later and do not pass the Computer Competency exam.


Students are encouraged to take ESAP 101 as a Free Elective.

** 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: 04.14.2024