Through the Bachelor of Arts in Public Health, students are engaged and enlightened about matters related to the health of societies locally, nationally, and globally. By systematically examining biological, environmental, cultural, behavioral, historical, economic, and political factors that impact health, students in the program become informed citizens who can consider the public’s health in whatever life roles they assume.
With a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health, graduates can pursue entry-level positions in the public health workforce or graduate school within the health sciences or related fields by building the necessary prerequisite course work into their studies. Those who go on to careers in medicine, nursing, or dentistry (to name a few) will find that the School of Public Health provides a broad foundation in the biological and behavioral sciences, viewed from social ecology and population-based perspectives. Our graduates emerge from the program prepared to tackle health equity and social justice issues.
During their first two years, students complete prerequisite general education course work including introductory courses in public health. Once admitted to the major, students spend their final two years engaging in the major course work sequence as a true community of learners. In addition to the core public health courses, students also work with their advisors to select a complement of courses focused on their professional and/or academic goals. Specific degree requirements are available below.
Degree Requirements Heading link
- ENGL 160 – Academic Writing I: Writing for Academic and Public Contexts (3 semester hours)
- ENGL 161: Academic Writing II: Writing for Inquiry and Research (3 semester hours)
- Foreign language (16 hours in a single language or equivalent) – see below for additional information
- Quantitative Reasoning course – Select from: STAT 101, STAT 130, MATH 105, MATH 110, MATH 121, MATH 125, MATH 160, MATH 165, MATH 170, MATH 180, COMM 201, CLJ 262, POLS 201, PSCH 343, SOC 201, PHIL 102, or PHIL 210 (3 – 5 semester hours) – see below for additional information
- PUBH 100: Health and the Public (3 semester hours)*
- PUBH 105: Foundations for Public Health (2 semester hours)**
- PUBH 110: Public Health and Global Societies (3 semester hours)***
- PUBH 120: Public Health and the Study of Disease and Epidemics (3 semester hours)
- Additional Analyzing the Natural World course – Select from: ANTH 105, BIOS 110, BIOS 120, or BIOS 104
- Exploring World Cultures course
- Understanding U.S. Society course
- Understanding the Individual and Society course
- Understanding the Past course
- Understanding the Creative Arts course
- Additional General Education course(s) from any category, as necessary to total 24 hours of General Education credit
- Free electives to total 60 hours
* May be used to satisfy Individual and Society or US Society category below.
**Required for new first year students in the School of Public Health as well as transfer students who enter the School of Public Health with less than 24 credit hours earned. Others may enroll with permission of instructor if space permits.
***May be used to satisfy Individual and Society or World Cultures category below.
Foreign Language Requirement (16 semester hours)
The basic requirement is proficiency in a language that has a recognized literature or culture. The level of proficiency must be the equivalent of that expected of the student who has completed the elementary and intermediate levels of language study (i.e., the first two years) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Students studying foreign language at UIC are strongly encouraged to register for required language courses in consecutive semesters until the requirement is met. Students may satisfy the requirement in any one of several ways:
- By presenting qualifying scores on Advanced Placement examinations in foreign language, a qualifying score on a UIC foreign language placement test, appropriate course work as awarded per the State Seal of Biliteracy, or other authorized proficiency test for languages not offered at UIC.
- By transferring credit for two years of a single language at the college level.
- By completing four semesters of language courses at UIC. The university currently offers complete sequences in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Polish, Russian, and Spanish.
- By completing a partial sequence of language courses as determined by the results of a placement test or placement by a language department. The school determines eligibility for credit in a recommended course.
- By presenting evidence of secondary education completed in a country where the language of instruction was other than English. No elementary- or intermediate-level course or proficiency credit will be given for that language. The language requirement, however, will be considered fulfilled only if the student consults their Advisor for application of this rule and receives conditional approval.
- By transferring four semesters of credit in American Sign Language courses from an accredited U.S. college or university. Courses must include the study of deaf culture.
Quantitative Reasoning Requirement (3 - 5 semester hours)
Students in the School of Public Health must demonstrate competency in quantitative reasoning to earn a degree. STAT 101 or STAT 130 is recommended to fulfill this requirement. However, such competence can be demonstrated in any one of the following ways:
- Achievement of a score on the mathematics placement examination high enough to qualify for enrollment in MATH 180.
- Grade of B or better in any one of the following courses: MATH 105, 110, 121, 125, 160, 165, 170, 180, STAT 101, or 130. STAT 101 or STAT 130 is recommended.
- Grade of B or better in a mathematically oriented or quantitative course in a department in LAS other than Mathematics. Such courses must require MATH 090 or 105 as a prerequisite. At present, such courses include COMM 201, CLJ 262, POLS 201, PSCH 343, and SOC 201.
- Grade of B or better in a logic course in the Department of Philosophy: PHIL 102 or 210.
- Transfer students may present equivalent courses taken elsewhere, for which they have received a grade of B or better, to satisfy this requirement.
Required Major Courses
- PUBH 300 – Critical Thinking in Public Health (4 semester hours)
- PUBH 301 – Critical Thinking in Public Health II (2 semester hours)
- PUBH 310 – Public Health and Global Citizenship (3 semester hours)
- PUBH 320 – Ecologies of Health and Modern Life (3 semester hours)
- PUBH 330 – Health Equity and Health Disparities (3 semester hours)
- PUBH 340 – Health Literacy (3 semester hours)
- PUBH 350 – Health Systems, Health Policy (3 semester hours)
- PUBH 360 – Local Citizenship and Community Health Initiatives (4 semester hours)
- PUBH 370 – Using the Public Health Toolbox (3 semester hours)
- PUBH 395 – Professional Topics Seminar (two semesters of enrollment required) (0 semester hours)
- PUBH 410 – Historical and Contemporary Public Health Challenges I (2 semester hours)
- PUBH 411 – Historical and Contemporary Public Health Challenges II (2 semester hours)
- PUBH 397 – Baccalaureate Project in Public Health (3 semester hours)
- Public Health Selectives (15 semester hours) – In consultation with their Advisor, students must develop an area of focus and choose 15 hours from a list of courses representing an array of disciplines (Anthropology, Black Studies, Communication, Education, Gender and Women’s Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Urban Studies and 400-level public health courses, with the exception of MPH core, with permission of instructor). Students are highly encouraged to consider PUBH 393: Public Health Fieldwork for one of their selective options.
- Public Health Electives (3 semester hours) – Pre-approved by Advisor as relevant to the student’s plan of study.
- Free Electives (7 semester hours)
Note: If any of the selective courses have prerequisites that are not already satisfied with the University and General Education Requirements, students are advised to choose free electives that work toward satisfying these prerequisites requirements.