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The College of Public Health requires students to earn a minimum of 120 hours for the Bachelor of Public Health with a cumulative grade-point average of 2.75 or higher. In addition, students must earn a grade of C or better in all major-required courses. Students will need to complete the following coursework to complete the requirements for the Bachelor of Public Health degree.

UK Core Requirements

The UK Core is the University of Kentucky’s general education program. For the complete UK Core requirements, see the UK Core section Undergraduate Bulletin, The courses listed below are required courses that also fulfill UK Core areas.

Intellectual Inquiry in Arts and Creativity

Choose one course from approved list

Intellectual Inquiry in the Humanities

Choose one course from approved list

Intellectual Inquiry in the Social Sciences

*CPH 201 Introduction to Public Health

Intellectual Inquiry in the Natural, Physical, and Mathematical Sciences

*BIO 103 Basic Ideas of Biology (or higher)

Composition and Communication I

CIS/WRD 110 Composition and Communication I

Composition and Communication II

CIS/WRD 111 Composition and Communication II

Quantitative Foundations

* MA 109 College Algebra OR MA 111 Introduction to Contemporary Math (or higher)

Statistical Inferential Reasoning

*BST 230 Statistical Literacy in Public Health

Community, Culture and Citizenship in the USA

*GRN 250 Aging in Today’s World

Global Dynamics

Choose one course from approved list

Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement

CPH 470 Public Health Capstone

Pre-major Requirements

The Bachelor of Public Health is a selective program that requires students to complete the following pre-major courses with a 3.0 GPA before moving forward to the Public Health major requirements.

*BIO 103 Basic Ideas of Biology (or higher)

*BST 230 Statistical Literacy in Public Health

CLA 131 Medical Terminology from Greek & Latin

*CPH 201 Introduction to Public Health

  • Requirement of B or higher

*GRN 250 Aging in Today’s World

*MA 111 Introduction to Contemporary Math OR MA 109 College Algebra (or higher)

*Please note, that 15 credits of the pre-major requirements may be utilized for UK Core hours. A student’s elective credits will vary depending on how many courses are used as UK Core requirements.

Major Requirements

Major requirements introduce students to the core functions of Public Health. All students in the BPH program take the following Public Health major-required classes and must earn a grade of C or better:

CPH 310 Disease Detectives: Epidemiology in Action

CPH 320 Foundations of Environmental Health

CPH 330 Health Analytics I

CPH 350 Introduction to Health Systems and Policy

CPH 440 Foundations of Health Behavior

CPH 455 Public Health Practice and Communication

CPH 476G A Sick World: Global Public Health in the Early 21st Century

CPH 255 Public Health: Careers for a Healthy World

Guided Electives

Guided electives are intended for students to tailor the BPH to their specific interests. Students must complete the stated amount of credits in additional Public Health, Natural Science, and Social Science courses and must earn a grade of C or better.

Public Health Electives

Students choose at least 18 credit hours at appropriate levels of public health courses not otherwise required for the degree.

No more than 2 at the 200-299 level
CPH 202 Public Health through Popular Film
CPH 203 Sexual Health
CPH 241 Health and Society: A Global Perspective

No more than 2 at the 300-394 level
CPH 309 Health, History, and Human Diversity
CPH 315 Chronic Disease Epidemiology
CPH 318 Global Cancer Epidemiology
CPH 345 Food Fight: Public Health and Nutrition
CPH 351 Population Health and Crisis Management
CPH 352 Public Health and Social Media
CPH 365 Special Topics in Public Health

Unlimited from the 395-level or above
CPH 395 Independent Studies in Public Health
CPH 423 The Health of Kentuckians
CPH 441 Tobacco and the Public’s Health
CPH 450 Managing Health Services Orgs to Improve Population Health

Natural Science Electives

Students choose at least 6 credit hours of 200+ level courses from the following departments:

Anatomy (ANA)

Biology (BIO)

Chemistry (CHE)

Physiology (PGY)

Pharmacology (PHA)

Physics (PHY)

Social Science Electives

Students choose at least 9 credit hours of 200+ level social science courses from the following departments:

Anthropology (ANT)

Geography (GEO)

Sociology (SOC)

Free Electives

Free electives offer students flexibility in their studies. Students may choose any university course to complete the minimum 120 hours required for graduation. Most students in the BPH program have approximately 30 credit hours of free electives in their degree. Students may choose to use these courses to take prerequisites necessary to apply to professional programs such as Medicine, Dentistry, or Pharmacy; as requirements for a minor or certificate; or by taking a mix of courses of interest from various departments.

Regardless of how a student chooses to structure their free electives, these courses offer a unique way to meet the required hours for graduation.

BPH Program Overall Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)

The BPH program has four overall student learning outcomes. In order to demonstrate achievement of these outcomes, the BPH program faculty have developed competencies which students demonstrate through coursework and a culminating experience.

(SLO 1) Demonstrate Knowledge of Public Health from an Interdisciplinary Perspective


  • Explain the science concepts underlying the concepts of human health and disease and the basic approaches to health promotion and disease prevention
  • Identify the leading causes of mortality, morbidity, and health disparities among local, regional, and global populations.
  • Discuss the role of gender, race, ethnicity, and other evolving demographics in affecting public health.
  • Identify the basic sociological and psychological concepts, processes, approaches, and interventions that address the major health-related needs and concerns of individuals and communities.
  • Explain the influences that science and technology are having on individual and public health.
  • Assess the values and perspectives of diverse individuals, communities, and cultures and their influence on health behaviors, choices, and practices.
  • Recognize the impact of legal, ethical, economic, regulatory dimensions of health care and public health policy, and the roles influences, and responsibilities, of different agencies and branches of government.
  • Assess the fundamental characteristics and organizational structures of the U.S. Health system and to note significant differences in systems in other countries.
  • Discuss the role of community engagement in promoting public health and social justice.
  • Examine the fundamental right to health and health services.

(SLO 2) Show Competency in Ethical Issues, Social Responsibility, and Problem Solving Using Evidence-based Concepts in Core Public Health Areas


  • Describe risk factors and modes of transmission for infectious and chronic diseases and how these diseases affect both personal and public health.
  • Outline approaches for assessing and controlling environmental hazards that affect community health and address control methods for selected environmental hazards.
  • Describe how the methods of epidemiology and surveillance are used to safeguard the population’s health.
  • Identify the fundamental features of project management and evaluation, including basic management of resources (financial, human, and material), as well as quality improvement in public health efforts.
  • Outline individual and community preparedness considerations regarding health emergencies and public disasters.

(SLO 3) Show Competency in Relationship-building and Team Dynamics to Plan and Promote Public Health and Reduce Health Disparities


  • Apply relationship-building values and the principles of team dynamics to perform effectively in different team roles to plan and deliver patient-/population-centered care that is safe, timely, efficient, effective, and equitable.
  • Work with individuals of other professionals to maintain a climate of mutual respected and shared values and appreciate the role of community collaborations in promotion public health.
  • Communicate with families, communities, and other health professionals in a responsive and responsible manner that supports a team approach to the maintenance of health and treatment of disease.
  • Appreciate the multiple determinants of health, including sociological, economic, genetic, behavioral, environmental, and other factors that impact human health and health disparities.
  • Identify stakeholders who influence health programs and interventions.
  • Collaborate with others from diverse backgrounds in addressing health disparities and inequities.
  • Participate in the political process to improve health and health services.
  • Analyze ethical concerns and conflicts of interest that arise in the field of public health.
  • Advocate for evidence-based social changes that improve the health of individuals and communities.
  • Champion the role of prevention in promoting a healthy community.
  • Endorse lifestyle behaviors that promote individual and public health and well-being.
  • Value multicultural perspectives and sensitivities on health.

(SLO 4) Apply Theories and Concepts to Communicate the Interconnectedness among the Physical, Social, and Environmental Aspects of Population Health


  • Use scientific data, including tools of informatics, knowledge of one’s own role and those of other professions to appropriately assess the well-being of a community and address the healthcare needs of the populations served.
  • Discuss the interconnectedness among the physical, social, and environmental aspects of community health through the creation of systems-based diagrams regarding population flows for a particular disease in relation to the environment, different stakeholders, and the population’s overall health status.
  • Conduct literature searches and written papers on a health issues using a variety of academic and public resources to include references and related resources, regarding a current issue, related trends, and potential interventions for an assigned public health challenge.
  • Analyze alternative viewpoints regarding various health topics.
  • Assess the source and quality of health information and data, as related to individual and community health.
  • Apply basic concepts of public health specific communication, including technical and professional writing and the use of mass media and electronic technology.
  • Apply the basic concepts, methods, and tools of public health data collection, use, and analysis and explain why evidence-based approaches are an essential part of public health practice.

BPH Program Brochure

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BPH Student Handbook

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