Public health is defined as the science of protecting and improving the health and well-being of diverse populations. Public health draws upon theory and evidence from multiple disciplines to identify the causes of poor health and address those causes through organized community efforts. It includes a strong emphasis on preventing illness, addressing health disparities, and using health data. Studying public health will provide you with an understanding of the individual, social, organizational, and structural determinants of health, and give you tools to intervene at different system levels to help people and communities become healthier.
The BSPH introduces students to the history and core concepts of public health and its role in U.S. and international health systems. Students will gain knowledge of public health theory and approaches, as well as the skills necessary to apply this knowledge in entry-level professional public health roles across Maine. Through the culminating 120-hour field experience, students will work on public health projects within their communities that integrate their learning and provide valuable experience in public health planning and program delivery.
The BS in public health will prepare you for early career, entry-level positions at local health departments, businesses, social service agencies, health systems, nonprofit community organizations, hospitals and more. The degree also provides a strong foundation for graduate programs in multiple fields, including USM’s Master of Public Health (MPH), other graduate health training programs, public policy, and law.
Credit Hours: The BS in public health requires 35 credits in public health courses plus 9 credits in approved electives, and a required introductory statistics course for a total of 48 credits (exclusive of USM Core Curriculum requirements). Several required public health courses, the required courses from other departments, and some of the approved electives may also be used to satisfy the Core curriculum requirements as appropriate.
Public Health Courses (35 credits):
Required Course (pick one) from Other Departments (4 credits):
Approved Electives (select three for 9 credits):
Additional three credit electives relevant to public health and offered at the 200-level or higher will be considered based on student request.
Students must achieve a 2.0 grade point average and grades of C- or better in all courses that count toward fulfillment of the major requirements. Students will be placed on academic probation for failure to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Students failing to rectify the GPA deficiency within a one-year probation period will be removed from the BS in public health major and from their status as a student within the Department. Upon rectifying the GPA deficiency, students can reapply for admission into a Departmental major.
Students will graduate with a bachelor of science in public health when following requirements are satisfied:
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
- Completion of all University Core curriculum requirements
- Completion of all BSPH required coursework with minimum grades of C-
- Completion of 120 credits
Please check with the chair of Public Health regarding transfer policies and accepted courses.
For all baccalaureate degrees at the University of Southern Maine, a minimum of 30 credits hours, including at least nine hours in the major, must be completed while matriculated in the school or college from which the degree is sought. A student may earn no more than six of these 30 credit hours at another campus of the University of Maine System. In addition, 30 of the final 45 credits of a student’s degree program must normally be completed at USM.
USM Core Requirements
The USM Core Curriculum is a coherent, integrative, and rigorous liberal education that enables our graduates to be world-minded, intentional, life-long learners and captures your general education degree requirements.
Please Note: Core requirements may be part of your major and/or minor, and Core may have been fufilled with transfer credit. Please consult your MaineStreet Degree Progress Report (DPR) and review your degree progress with your Advisor. For additional information, access the USM Core webpage.