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Bachelor of Science in Public Health

Location: Boston
Start Term: Fall

As a public health specialist, you have the power to help protect the health of populations around the globe working in areas such as vaccine availability, health related legislation, clean air and water accessibility, addictive or dangerous substance issues, and more.

In this full-time, four-year program, you’ll work with world-class educators to develop knowledge in public health along with a strong foundation in the basic sciences, liberal arts and an informed sense of healthcare issues. When you graduate, you’ll be prepared to begin your meaningful career or continue your education at the graduate level.

Graduates of this program may wish to continue their education at the graduate level with our Master of Public Health program offered at our Boston campus or online.

Freshman applicants can view their admission requirements on the Undergraduate Applicants page.

Students with 12 or more college credits may transfer in to the first or second year of the program. Courses must have been completed at a regionally accredited college or university with a grade of C or better for transfer. Math and science courses taken more than ten years prior to the anticipated date of matriculation to MCPHS will not be accepted.

While there are no specific required courses for entry into the first year of our program, the admission committee will look for success in any math and science courses you have already taken. If you complete any of the courses listed below, you may receive transfer credit and your first year course load may be lighter. However, due to the lock-step nature of MCPHS programs, entering the first year of the program with transfer credits will not change the total length of your program. Courses, other than elective courses, may not be moved forward in your schedule.

Required Courses For Entry to Year II:

Linked courses are available through the MCPHS School of Professional Studies. 

Additional Courses Accepted for Transfer Credit:

  • Statistics (3 credits) (Acceptable substitutions include Basic Statistics, Biostatistics, Psychological Statistics, Economic Statistics)
  • Introduction to Psychology (3 credits)
  • Cultural Anthropology (3 credits)
  • Interpersonal Communications for Health Professionals (3 credits)
  • Humanities elective (3 credits) (Acceptable courses include Literature, Creative Writing, Philosophy, Ethics, Religious Studies, Select Fine Arts, Advanced Level Languages) General Elective (3 credits) (Acceptable courses include History, English, Fine Arts, Philosophy, Government, Ethics, Foreign Language, Psychology, Religious Studies, Anthropology, Communications, and Economics)
  • Behavioral Sciences Elective (3 credits) (Acceptable courses include any upper-level psychology course)
  • Microbiology with lab (4 credits)

Year I-Fall

BIO 150L Biology I Laboratory 1
BIO 151 Biology I: Cell and Molecular Biology 3
CHE 131 Chemical Principles I (w/ lab) 4
LIB 111 Expository Writing I 3
MAT 151 Calculus I 3
FYS 101 First Year Seminar 1
BIO 152 Biology II: Biology of Organisms (w/ lab) 4
CHE 132 Chemical Principles II (w/ lab) 4
LIB 112 Expository Writing II 3
MAT 152 Calculus II 3
LIB 133 American Culture, Identity and Public Life 3
PBH 250 Introduction to Public Health 3
HSC 310O Healthcare Informatics 3
LIB 120 Introduction to Psychology 3
MAT 261 Statistics 3
General elective 3
HSC 301O Health Promotion 3
BIO 255 Medical Microbiology w/ Lab 4
SSC 230 Cultural Anthropology 3
SSC 495 Evolution of the Health Professions 3
General elective* 3
LIB 220 Introduction to Interpersonal Communication for Health Professionals 3
MAT461 Biostatistics 3
LIB 512 Healthcare Ethics 3
General electives** 6
BIO 405 Plagues of the Past, Present, and Future 3
PBH 330 Epidemiology 3
PBH 340 Environment and Health 3
General elective 6
Behavioral Sciences elective 3
Public Health electives 9
Humanities elective 3
PBH 435 Public Policy and Public Health 3
PBH 460 Public Health electives 6
PBH 480 Field Placement 3

Total credits to complete degree requirements: 123 sh (128 with premed minor)

YEAR II - SPRING: *Students choosing a premed minor substitute organic chemistry for general electives (Adds 2sh to the program):

CHE 231 - Organic Chemistry I (w/lab) (4 semester hours)
CHE232/4 - Organic Chemistry II (w/lab) (4 semester hours)

YEAR III - FALL: **Students choosing a premed minor substitute the following for general electives in Year III (Adds 3 sh to the program):

BIO 360 Cellular Biochemistry** (4 semester hours)
PHY 280/280L Physics I w/ Lab** (4 semester hours)
PHY 284/284L Physics II w/ Lab** (4 semester hours)

Public Health Required Core Courses 31 sh:


HSC 301O

Health Promotion

BIO 255

Medical Microbiology w/ Lab

BIO 405

Plagues Past, Present and Future

HSC 310

Healthcare Informatics

MAT 461


PHB 250

Intro to Public Health

PHB 330


PHB 340

Environment and Health

PBH 435

Public Policy and Public Health

SSC 495

Evolution of the Health Professions

Public Health Electives (5 must be chosen from this category, 15 sh):


BEH 250

Health Psychology

BEH 260

Behavioral Health

BEH 454

Stress and Illness

BIO 260

Molecular Biology

BIO 455

Advanced Microbiology (w/ lab)

PBH 335

Human Sexuality

PBH 420

Community Health

PSB 320

Introduction to Healthcare Delivery

PSB 425

Healthcare Management

SSC 432

Medical Anthropology

SSC 444

Cigarettes in American Culture

Students in the Public Health program take a curriculum with a strong foundation in the basic sciences, liberal arts and an informed sense of healthcare issues that develops the necessary knowledge and skills to apply public health principles of health promotion and disease prevention to their future career or graduate school placement. By the end of the Public Health program, students will have developed proficiency in the following learning domains:

Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World as it Relates to Individual and Population Health

Students will gain this knowledge through study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, languages and the arts. Focused by engagement with broad questions, both contemporary and enduring.

Intellectual and Practical Skills

Students will gain these skills through inquiry and analysis, critical and creative thinking, written and oral communication, Quantitative literacy, Information literacy, teamwork and problem solving.  These skills should be practiced extensively, across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance.

Personal and Social Responsibility

Students will demonstrate civic knowledge and engagement—local and global, intercultural knowledge and competence, ethical reasoning and action, foundations and skills for lifelong learning. Student learning should be anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges

Integrative and Applied Learning

Students will demonstrate synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies. This is demonstrated through the application of knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems

Background Domain

Students should be exposed to the following content Areas: Science, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Math/Quantitative Reasoning, Humanities/Fine Arts

Public Health Domains

Overview of Public Health: Students should have an introduction to the history and philosophy of public health as well as its core values, concepts, and functions across the globe and in society

Cumulative Experience and Field Experience

Students should have opportunities to integrate, apply, and synthesize knowledge through cumulative and experiential activities.

Cross-Cutting Areas

Students should be exposed to concepts and experiences necessary for success in the workplace, further education, and life-long learning.

Our students learn from faculty who are leaders in their fields and are committed to the success of each student. Discover our full list of Public Health faculty

The mission of the Bachelor of Science in Public Health Program is to use guidance from the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, the Council on Education for Public Health, and the American Association of Colleges and Universities to assist students in developing the necessary skills to apply public health principles of health promotion and disease prevention to their future career or graduate school placement. This mission recognizes the vast opportunity for the application of public health skills across a wide array of experiences, both educational and occupational. The program further aims to impart a “Culture of Public Health” that provides guiding principles by which students frame their discussions, actions, and future endeavors.


Download the Program Fact Sheet

Find out what makes this program unique at MCPHS.


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