University of Washington School of Public Health

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BS in Public Health

Introduces undergraduates to public health issues, such as health disparities, emerging infectious diseases, chronic diseases, access to health care and modes of health care delivery, the geography of health, and the effects of behaviors, health care, nutrition, society, genetics, and the environment on health and disease.

Likely Careers

An undergraduate degree in public health is an initial step on the path to a career or graduate studies in public health or other health related careers often public or private agencies in the areas of health education, project management, policy, or communication.

At a Glance

Administering Department:
SPH


Admission to the BS in Public Health is competitive. Competitive majors require specific prerequisite courses and minimum grades for admission consideration. Please see How to Apply to learn more about the admission process.

More information

Program Website

206-221-4561
phmajor@uw.edu


Upon satisfactory completion of the BA/BS in Public Health, graduates will be able to:

Population Health

  • Explain the historical development of public health
  • Analyze the evolution of global public health systems and structures to address population health
  • Analyze interactions between the key determinants of human health
  • Analyze disease trends over time, by geographic distribution, and across racial groups
  • Examine the interactions between health behavior, behavior change and health promotion and how these factors contribute to health and wellbeing
  • Distinguish between individual and population health; prevention and treatment; and health and healthcare

Natural Science

  • Explain applications of biology, chemistry, nutrition and genomics in population health
  • Explain the role of biomedical innovation, implementation and evaluation in population health
  • Explain the biology of major infectious diseases and chronic diseases of public health significance
  • Apply a life course approach to identify critical periods in human development

Environment

  • Compare and contrast the physical and the built environment including how each impacts health
  • Explain how exposure to physical, chemical and biological agents in the environment influence health
  • Examine strategies to address environmental health issues

Social Science

  • Explain basic concepts of population dynamics and demographic change
  • Examine theories of behavior change and demonstrate application in public health
  • Explain how political and economic theories influence public health

Ethics and Social Justice

  • Analyze the value system or ethics of public health
  • Integrate social justice framework into practice
  • Apply ethical frameworks to decision-making in public health
  • Debate the role of legal systems including how they enable and constrain public health practice
  • Integrate principles of ethical research into public health practice

Policy and Politics

  • Develop a public health policy brief
  • Consider the range of influence of public health policy initiatives
  • Identify the role of politics in determining delivery of public health
  • Describe the role of economics in health policy decision making

Communication

  • Demonstrate effective use of written and oral communication
  • Successfully collaborate within a diverse team
  • Participate in advocacy and civic engagement
  • Apply health communication tools to improve information literacy and public health knowledge for a defined audience
  • Demonstrate skill in interdisciplinary collaboration and community partnerships
  • Create visual representations of micro and macro explanations of health

Assessment & Measurement

  • Compare and contrast a range of measures and tools to assess health of populations
  • Apply the scientific method and thinking to complex questions
  • Use evidence-based decision-making and critical thinking to identify public health problems and solutions
  • Identify appropriate qualitative and quantitative practices and methods to assess specific public health research questions
  • Explain the strengths and weaknesses of different study designs
  • Compare and contrast the application of clinical research, population research, and program evaluation in public health
  • Apply integrative, systems thinking to solve public health problems