The Public Health Science program based at the Universities at Shady Grove, is a science-based program for third- and fourth-year undergraduate students. The program includes courses from the many departments in the School of Public Health, such as kinesiology, biostatistics, and environmental health. Students are trained to work in the public health field at local, state, national, and international levels. 

Students in this program gain knowledge in nearly all aspects of public health. Career opportunities include:

  • Allied Health Professions
  • Health Promotion
  • Research

Explore Program Details

Requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Public Health Science at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) consists of 120 credit hours, of which 60 are completed at USG and 60 are transferred from either a community college or another accredited 4-year institution.  All undergraduate coursework at USG begins at the junior level.

To be admitted to the Public Health Science program at USG, students must have earned an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree or have completed all General Education requirements. Admitted students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better for all college level work and earned a C or better all 100- and 200-level Public Health Science program requirements (see below.)

The remaining 60 credits can be completed in 4 full-time semesters or on a part-time basis with classes offered Monday through Thursday and some evening classes. There is a recommended sequence for completing the Public Health Science bachelor’s degree that considers a student’s year in the program in course scheduling.

All students are required to participate in a Capstone course that serves as the culminating experience of the degree.  In addition, students may choose to do a 3-credit internship in lieu of an option course in their senior year.

Competencies

The Public Health Science Program includes a strong curriculum in science and public health courses, such as biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, and global health. As such, upon completion of the degree requirements, all students are expected to demonstrate their ability to:

  • Identify and describe core scientific concepts underlying disease prevention, environmental protection, and health promotion.
  • Identify and define public health problems from an ecological and interdisciplinary perspective.
  • Synthesize scientific knowledge to formulate solutions to public health problems.
  • Apply scientific knowledge to inform effective public health policy.
  • Apply scientific concepts and skills in professional public health agencies.

Curriculum

The Public Health Science curriculum requires 120 credits for graduation. The courses comprising these 120 credits can be categorized into five areas:

  • Scientific Foundation
  • Public Health Science Foundation
  • Public Health Science Options
  • General Education Requirements
  • General Electives

Scientific Foundation (31 credits)

Certain mathematical techniques and scientific principles serve as a foundation for future study in Public Health Science. These courses cover the scientific concepts essential to advanced study in the field and are pre-requisites for admission to the Public Health Science program at USG. Transfer credit is given based on a review of the syllabus and a determination of its equivalence to the following UMCP courses:

Course ID Course Title Credit
MATH220 Elementary Calculus I 3
BSCI105 Principles of Biology I 4
BSCI201 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4
BSCI202 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4

CHEM131/132

Chem I- Fundamentals of General Chemistry/General Chemistry I Lab

3/1

CHEM131/132

OR
CHEM105

Orgranic Chemisty I/Organic Chemistry I Lab
OR
Essentials of Organic and Biochemistry
3/1

OR
4

BSCI222 Principles of Genetics 4
BSCI223 General Microbiology 4

Public Health Science Foundation (35 credits)

In addition to the scientific foundation courses, the major also studies discipline specific courses that lead to advanced study in the field. These courses include, but are not limited to, the five core disciplines of public health (behavioral science, biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, and health services administration) as well as kinesiology and are instructed through the following:

Course ID Course Title Credit
HLTH130* Intro. to Public and Community Health  3
HLTH230* Intro. to Health Behavior  3
SPHL401 History of Public Health  3
SPHL498N Intro. to Environmental Health  3
KNES 360 Exercise Physiology 4
MIEH 400 or
SPHL400
Intro. to Global Health 3
HLSA 302 or SPHL 498P Intro. to Health Policy and Services  3
HLTH300 or
EPIB300
Biostatistics for Public Health Practice  3
HLTH301 or
EPIB301
Epidemiology for Public Health Practice  3
SPHL409 or
SPHL498F
Social, Political, and Ethical Issues in Public Health  3
SPHL415 Essentials of Public Health Biology:   The Cell, The Individual, and Disease  4

 

*not offered at USG. Students must take these at UMCP or take an equivalent course at a community college or other institution.

Public Health Science Options (12 credits)

The Public Health Science option courses build upon the Scientific and Public Health Science Foundation courses.  The option courses are 300 and 400 level courses offered within the major. By choosing from these courses, students have an opportunity to customize their program. Students are encouraged to specifically choose courses that best align with a particular career goal. Option courses that have been offered at USG include:

  • Program Planning & Evaluation
  • Fundamentals of Health Communication
  • Maternal, Child & Family Health
  • Public Health Informatics
  • Food Policy & Public Health

General Education Requirements

All University of Maryland graduates are required to complete the University's General Education requirements. Through the General Education program, students acquire the knowledge and skills that result in a more well-rounded graduate. These requirements can be fulfilled by earning an Associate’s degree or are determined through a course-by-course review of a student’s transcripts from institutions previously attended.

General Electives

Public Health Science majors can choose several elective courses to complete their 120- credit graduation requirement. These electives are in addition to the Public Health Science Option courses and are offered at USG by the Public Health Science program. These courses can also be taken through other UMCP programs at USG or at main campus.   General electives can also be taken at any of the other eight universities at USG through intra-institutional course sharing.

Internship

The Public Health Science internship is a 3-credit course in which a student complete 145 hours of work in a public health setting over 15 weeks. The internship allows students to integrate knowledge and skills developed in the classroom and apply them in a professional setting.  Placement in an internship is a competitive process in which students are matched with site based on their interests and career goals, but the site preceptor makes the final determination about the placement. Students enroll in SPHL491 and complete all course requirements. Internship placements have included the National Library of Medicine, Manna Food Center, Adventist Healthcare, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and other public, private, and no-profit organizations. Internships often lead to full-time employment after graduation.

Capstone

The Capstone course in the Public Health Science program is SPHL498F--Social, Political, and Ethical Issues in Public Health.  The course requires students to demonstrate mastery of the five core areas of public health: Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health Science, Health Policy and Management, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Each student is required to lead a class session on a chosen topic. This includes choosing and assigning at least two scholarly articles relevant to the topic of choice and an presenting an exploration of the key questions relating to the chosen issue. Each student writes a final paper on their chosen topic critically evaluating the topic, considering the social, political, and ethical issues of that topic from one of the five core public health domains. The paper must be 20 pages in length (not including references), and must include at least 7 to 10 primary sources.