Javascript is currently not supported, or is disabled by this browser. Please enable Javascript for full functionality.

Skip to Main Content
University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
 
  Jul 21, 2024
 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Public Health, BSPH


Return to Academic Programs Return to: Academic Programs

Curriculum & Requirements

The BSPH curriculum consists of 10 credits of introductory Foundational courses, including a one-credit first-year seminar. This is followed by 15 credits of Core courses that provide students with an introduction to each of the fundamental disciplines of public health (epidemiology, behavioral and community health, biostatistics, health policy and management, and environmental health). A cluster of 18 credits of upper tier major electives is also required. Major electives can be topical in nature if a student chooses to have an area of focus.  Students may also take 6 credits of pre-approved non-BSPH coursework to fulfill the cluster requirement. Finally, each student will complete one of five choices of course-based capstone experience (3 credits) as well as a 120 hour service-learning requirement.

Program Requirements

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

 HOURS

General Education Requirements

 variable

BSPH Foundational & Core Curriculum

TIER 1: Foundational Courses

TIER 2: Core Courses

25 credits

TIER 3: BSPH Major Elective Courses

18 credits

BSPH Capstone

3 credits

Service Learning

120 hours

General Education Requirements

A. Writing/Communication

  1. ENGCMP 0200 SEMINAR IN COMPOSITION  
  2. Writing intensive (2 courses)

We recommend one of the following to fulfill #2 above

B. Algebra and Quantitative and Formal Reasoning

  1. Algebra (1 course)
  2. PUBHLT 0310 INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC HEALTH BIOSTATISTICS  

C. Language

Second Language (2 courses)

D. Diversity

PUBHLT 0120 ESSENTIALS OF HEALTH EQUITY: EXPLORING SOCIAL AND STRUCTURAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH  will fulfill this requirement

E. Humanities and Arts, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences

  1. Literature (1 course)
  2. Arts (1 course)
  3. Creative Work (1 course)
  4. Philosophical Thinking or Ethics (1 course)
  5. Social Science (1 course)
  6. Historical Analysis (1 course)
  7. Natural Sciences (3 courses)

PUBHLT 0110 GENES, CELLS, AND COMMUNITIES: INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC HEALTH BIOLOGY  will fulfill one of the required courses for #7.

F. Global Awareness and Cultural Understanding

  1. Global Issues (1 course)
  2. Geographic Region Specific (1 course)
  3. Cross-Cultural Analysis (1 course)

BSPH Foundational & Core Curriculum:

Students must complete 25 credit hours

Tier 1: Foundational Courses

Tier 2: Core Courses

TIER 3: BSPH Major Elective Courses

Students must complete 18 credit hours

Students must take a minimum of 18 credit hours of major elective BSPH courses. Electives can be organized into topical areas (“clusters”) to allow students to explore an area of interest in greater depth. Students are free to create their own cluster based on their area of interest in collaboration with their advisor. Public health is an interdisciplinary field by design, and our goal is to provide a degree that encourages students to take advantage of the full breadth of training in relevant disciplines that is available across the University of Pittsburgh by incorporating classes from other schools into their clusters. Therefore, students may take six credits of pre-approved non-BSPH electives to complete to fulfill this elective cluster requirement

BSPH elective courses:

Students may take up to 6 credits of pre-approved non-BSPH electives. The current list of pre-approved non-BSPH courses can be found in the BSPH handbook.

*New course for AY 23-24, please see PeopleSoft for course information.

BSPH Capstone

Students must complete 3 credit hours

The BSPH Capstone Experience provides students with the opportunity to synthesize their learning in different competency areas and apply cross-cutting skills. Students can choose from five options to complete their undergraduate training within the school. Each experience is designed to challenge students to synthesize what they have learned, apply knowledge and skills acquired, and gain new experience in public health practice. The capstone will be guided and monitored by faculty mentors in addition to being supervised within the course context.

Option 1: PUBHLT 0910 BSPH CAPSTONE PROJECT  
  • 3-credit semester-long course
  • Project-based course focusing on case-studies from local public health organizations that highlight a real-life challenge where students work in groups to design a solution.
  • Final deliverable is poster presentation at BSPH Capstone Symposium.
  • Timing: Students cannot take this course until senior year.
Option 2: Practicum + PUBHLT 0911 BSPH CAPSTONE SEMINAR  
In-person Practicum
  • Students must enroll and in a minimum of 2 credits of a pre-approved public health practicum
  • Pre-approved semester-long public health-related practicum completed by the student. Options include: Internship, Research project with faculty member or independent study, study abroad experience, Bachelors of Philosophy in the Honors College on a public health topic.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 10 hours per week at their practicum. Students must complete a total of 140 hours engaged in the activity over the course of the practicum.
  • Students will be required to have a supervisor or preceptor for their experience. There will be midway and final check-ins with this individual to ensure successful completion of project. Forms for check-ins can be found at http://www.sph.pitt.edu.
  • Timing recommended: Junior or Senior year (this could include in the summer or over academic breaks).
PUBHLT 0911 BSPH CAPSTONE SEMINAR  
  • All students who participate in an in-person practicum to fulfill their capstone must also enroll in PUBHLT 0911 .
  • Final deliverable is poster presentation at BSPH Capstone Symposium based on analysis and synthesis of practicum experience.
  • Timing: Students cannot take this course until senior year.

Service Learning


As part of the BSPH degree, we will incorporate service learning and experiential learning opportunities to complement the curriculum and provide students with meaningful ways to apply their coursework to real work scenarios. All students are required to complete 120 hours of service learning over the course of four years. The first ten hours are built into PUBHLT 0100 , and portions of the remainder may also be course-based. Students will self-track hours but will be monitored by the Experiential Learning Specialist in the Office of Student Affairs. Additionally, the Experiential Learning Specialist will assist in placement and learning objectives at these sites. Students can also earn service learning hours as part of their practicum, study abroad experiences or internships if appropriate. These opportunities should be discussed with the academic advisor.

APPENDIX 1: School of Public Health General Education Requirements

The School of Public Health is committed to providing all undergraduates with a holistic learning experience. In addition to the public health course requirements, students must also fulfill their general education requirements. See more information below.

A. Writing

Written communication is central to almost all disciplines and professions. Developing writing proficiency is an especially important part of undergraduate education to provide a base appropriate for professional or graduate education or for professional employment. The school requires that all students complete the following writing courses during their undergraduate career.

1. Composition

Students must complete the composition requirement, ENGCMP 0200 SEMINAR IN COMPOSITION  or its equivalent, with a minimum grade of C- by the end of their first year of study. Part-time students should complete the requirement within their first 30 credits. Transfer students must complete this requirement within their first 15 credits. 

Based on placement, students may be required to complete ENGCMP 0150 WORKSHOP IN COMPOSITION  or its equivalent, prior to enrolling in ENGCMP 0200  . Students may be exempt from the composition requirement with a 660 or above Evidence-Based Reading and Writing SAT score or an ACT English score of 27 and a 5 on the AP English: Language and Composition or AP English: Literature and Composition.

2. Two Writing-Intensive Courses

Writing intensive courses (W-Courses) are designed to teach writing within a discipline through writing assignments that are distributed across the entire term. In these courses, students will produce at least 20-24 pages of written work. A significant portion of this work should be substantially revised in response to instructor feedback and class discussion.

All students must complete two courses that are designated as W-Courses.

B. Algebra and Quantitative and Formal Reasoning

1. Algebra

Students must complete the algebra requirement, MATH 0031  or its equivalent, with a minimum grade of C- by the end of their first year of study. Part-time students should complete the requirement within their first 30 credits.  Transfer students must complete this requirement within their first 15 credits. Students will be exempt from the algebra requirement with a 620 or above Math SAT score or a 27 or above Math ACT score, or completion of full year High School Algebra 2, Trigonometry, Pre-calculus, or Calculus course with a grade of B or better.

2. Quantitative and Formal Reasoning

All students are required to take and pass with a minimum grade of C- at least one course in university-level mathematics (other than trigonometry) for which algebra is a prerequisite, or an approved course in statistics or mathematical or formal logic.  PUBHLT 0310 INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC HEALTH BIOSTATISTICS  will satisfy this requirement.

C. Language

A Sequence of Two Courses in a Second Language

All students are required to complete with a grade of C- or better two terms of university-level study in a second language other than English. Exemptions will be granted to students who can demonstrate elementary proficiency in a second language through one of the following:

  1. Having completed three years of high school study of a second language with a grade of B or better in each course;
  2. Passing a special proficiency examination;
  3. Transferring credits for two terms or more of approved university-level instruction in a second language with grades of C or better;
  4. Having a native language other than English. 

D. Diversity

All students must complete one course that is designated as a Diversity course but may take this course within their major field of study. Diversity courses may also be courses that fulfill other General Education Requirements.  PUBHLT 0120 ESSENTIALS OF HEALTH EQUITY: EXPLORING SOCIAL AND STRUCTURAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH  will fulfill this requirement.

E. Division Requirements in the Humanities and Arts, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences

Each student is required to take nine courses in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences distributed as below. Such courses allow students to pursue their own interests while they explore diverse views of a broad range of human cultures, modes of thought, and bodies of knowledge. The courses that fulfill these requirements are truly courses in the disciplines that draw on the unique resources of a research university.

1. A Course in Literature

By studying a range of literary and other texts in this course, students will be introduced to the techniques and methods of textual analysis and will develop critical perspectives on a variety of forms of cultural expression.

2. A Course in the Arts

This course introduces students to modes of analysis appropriate to music, theatre, or the visual and plastic arts. It may take the form of a survey, the study of a genre or period, or may focus on a particular artist.

3. A Course in Creative Work

In this course students are expected to produce some form of creative work, and they will also be trained in the techniques and modes of its production. The course could be situated in theatre, studio arts, writing, visual arts (including photography, film), music, and dance; or it may be a course that engages in innovative or original work in relation to written, oral, or visual material, new media, social media, and other contemporary forms of communication and representation.

4. A Course in Philosophical Thinking or Ethics

This course will emphasize close and critical reading of theories about knowledge, reality, humanity, and values. Courses could focus on human nature; scientific reasoning; theories of cognition and consciousness; human/social rights; competing systems of belief; morality; concepts of freedom; theories of justice; social obligations/constraints; or ethics, including applied or professional ethics.

5. A Social Science Course

A course that treats topics considered of significant importance in the social or behavioral sciences (including social psychology). Courses will introduce students to the subject matter and methodology of a particular discipline and will involve them in the modes of investigation, analysis, and judgment characteristically applied by practitioners.

6. A Course in Historical Analysis

In this course, students will develop skills and methods by which to understand significant cultural, social, economic, or political accounts of the past. The course may focus on pivotal moments of change, or important transitions over longer periods of time. Courses could explore developments in science, technology, literature, or art, and the ideas around them, or examine critical historical shifts by analyzing various data or cultural forms.

7. Three Courses in the Natural Sciences

These will be courses that introduce students to scientific principles and concepts rather than offering a simple codification of facts in a discipline or a history of a discipline. The courses may be interdisciplinary, and no more than two courses may have the same primary departmental sponsor. PUBHLT 0110 GENES, CELLS, AND COMMUNITIES: INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC HEALTH BIOLOGY  will fulfill one of the courses for this requirement.

F. Global Awareness and Cultural Understanding

Each student must complete three courses in global awareness and cultural understanding distributed as below.

1. A Course in Global Issues

This course will examine significant issues that are global in scale. Courses could address, for example: globalization; the global and cultural impact of climate change/sustainability; the effects of and resistances to colonialism; or worldwide issues related to health, gender, ethnicity, race, technology, labor, law, or the economy.

2. A Course in a Specific Geographic Region

This course will be an in depth study and analysis of a particular region or locality outside of the United States.

3. A Course in Cross-Cultural Awareness

This course, through cross-cultural perspective, will promote knowledge of and reflection upon the cultures of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, or the indigenous peoples of the world past and present. Students will develop an understanding of cultures, traditions, and societies that differ substantially from those that prevail in North America and Europe.

 

Tier 2: Core Courses


This tier consists of 15 credits of classes that provide students with an introduction to each of the fundamental disciplines of public health (epidemiology, behavioral and community health, biostatistics, health policy and management, and environmental health).

Tier 3: BSPH Major Electives


This tier consists of 18 credits of upper-tier BSPH electives that can be used to focus on an area of interest.  Students may also take 6 credits of pre-approved non-BSPH electives. Please see BSPH handbook for current list of pre-approved non-BSPH electives courses.

Total Credits: 120


Return to Academic Programs Return to: Academic Programs



Catalog Navigation