In order to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health, a student must earn at least 120 credits comprised of General Education requirements, major courses, and general electives. All students in the Community Health major must complete all major requirements and maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a major GPA of 2.0 to graduate with the degree.


Undergraduate Program Competencies

No matter which path you take within our program, upon graduation, you will have mastered each of the Department’s undergraduate competencies:

  • Discuss the history and philosophy of public health as well as its core values, concepts, and functions across the globe and in society.
  • Use basic public health concepts, methods, and tools for data collection and analysis.
  • Identify the major health-related needs and concerns of populations and formulate basic processes, approaches, and interventions as possible solutions.
  • Describe the underlying science of human health and disease including opportunities for promoting and protecting health across the lifespan.
  • Examine the socio-economic, behavioral, biological, environmental, and other factors that impact human health and contribute to health disparities.
  • Demonstrate the fundamental concepts and features of project implementation, including planning, assessment, and evaluation.
  • Compare and contrast the fundamental characteristics and organizational structures of the health systems of the United States and other countries.
  • Characterize the basic concepts of legal, ethical, economic, and regulatory dimensions of health care and public policy.
  • Illustrate the basic concepts of public health-specific writing and communication.
  • Assess and communicate individual and community-level needs for health promotion and disease prevention.
  • Create and apply strategies that effectively incorporate cultural competences with health promotion and community health initiatives.
  • Synthesize and apply principles and theories of community health that are needed for the development of effective and evidence based health promotion and disease prevention strategies. 
  • Promote and advocate for effective community health initiatives at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • Collaborate with community organizations to apply public health principles in a real-world setting.

University General Education Requirements

In addition to completing a major course of study, students are required to complete a set of General Education requirements intended to provide exposure to broad areas of historic and contemporary human thought and experience. The program that each student must follow is determined by his/her date of matriculation at the University of Maryland--College Park.

General Education: The following students are required to complete General Education requirements:

  • New freshmen who matriculated in Fall 2012 or later.
  • Transfer students (from private or non-Maryland public institutions of higher education) who matriculated to the University of Maryland--College Park in Fall 2012 or later.
  • All transfer students who matriculated to the University of Maryland--College Park starting in Fall 2016 regardless of the date of their matriculation to another Maryland public institution.
  • Returning or transfer students who have had a separation from the University of Maryland--College Park of five or more continuous years.

To learn more about the General Education program, please visit

*If you are a University of Maryland student who falls under the CORE program, please contact an academic advisor for more information on requirements.

Community Health Major Requirements

All Community Health majors must take required coursework and may select from various health electives of their choosing. All Community Health major requirements must be completed with grades of "C-" or higher. A student’s Community Health major required coursework will depend on when he/she entered the major, as indicated in the links below:

Please click on when you entered the major to see the major requirements

Entered Fall 2018 and laterEntered Spring 2011-Spring 2018Entered Before Spring 2011

Entered Fall 2018 and later: 

Public and Community Health Core (13 credits total)

  • SPHL 100: Public Health & Society (recommended in first semester in SPH)
  • HLTH 124: Intro to BCH (recommended first semester in BCH)
  • EPIB 301: Epidemiology for Public Health Practice
  • EPIB 315 (AR): Biostatistics for Public Health Practice (pre-requisite: EPIB 301)
  • HLTH 306: Health Policy Issues in Community Health

Public and Community Health Foundational Science (8 credits)

  • BSCI 170 (NL): Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • BSCI 171: Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology Lab
  • BSCI 201 (NL): Human Anatomy and Physiology I

Social and Behavioral Public Health (9 credits)

  • HLTH 200: Introduction to Research in Community Health
  • HLTH 230 (HS): Introduction to Health Behavior
  • HLTH 364: Social Media and Digital Tools

Community Public Health (9 credits)

  • HLTH 140: Personal and Community Health
  • HLTH 302: Measuring Change in Community Based Research (pre-requisites: HLTH 200, EPIB 301)
  • HLTH 391: Making a Difference: Applying Community Health (pre-requisites: SPHL 100, HLTH 124, HLTH 140, HLTH 200, HLTH 230, EPIB 301; co/pre-requisites: EPIB 315, HLTH 302)

Health Electives (12 credits)

Professional Preparation and Public Health Practice (18 credits)

  • HLTH 420 (OC): Effective Strategies for Public Health Practice (co-requisite: HLTH 490; pre-requisites: HLTH 391, BSCI 170/171, BSCI 202)
  • HLTH 490: Professional Preparation in Community Health (co-requisite: HLTH 420; pre-requisites: HLTH 391, BSCI 170/171, BSCI 202)
  • HLTH 491: Community Health Internship (pre-requisites: HLTH 420, HLTH 490; *all programmatic requirements MUST be completed prior to HLTH 491)

Entered Spring 2011-Spring 2018:

Supportive Requirements (21 credits total): 

  • HLTH 130: Introduction to Public & Community Health
  • HLTH 140: Personal and Community Health
  • HLTH 230: Introduction to Health Behavior
  • BSCI 170/171 (formerly BSCI105): Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology/Lab
  • BSCI 201: Anatomy & Physiology I
  • BSCI 202: Anatomy & Physiology II

Health Electives (18 credits total): Health electives allow the student to tailor their educational experience and to be exposed to a variety of topic areas in the context of community health. Students may select any six (18 credits) health electives from a pre-determined list. 

Below is a list of courses that count as electives in the Community Health major.

Please remember: 

  • Not all courses are offered each semester, and some are only offered in summer and winter. 
  • Restrictions and prerequisites for all courses must be met, and may change over time. 
  • When permission to enroll is required for courses offered outside the BCH Department, you must contact the specific Department offering the course for that permission. 
  • Honors courses listed below are restricted to students who have applied and then been accepted into the BCH Honors program.
  • If you find another UMCP course that you believe is clearly related to public/community health, please email a justification to your academic advisors (Ms. Hodgson and Mr. Wootten) who will consider adding it to the approved list of electives.  
  • Mr. Wootten and Ms. Hodgson will notify students of any additions to the lis

Course Code

Course Name


Drug Use and Abuse


Drug Use and Abuse: Honors Section


Global Health Messages: Understanding Exposure and Impact


The U.S. Tobacco Epidemic


Tweets & Likes: Digital Health and Social Media


Controlling Stress and Tension


Controlling Stress and Tension: Honors Section


Poor in America: Health and Wellbeing


Poor in America: Health and Wellbeing: Honors Section


Portrayal of Drug Use and Addiction on Screen: Does Hollywood Get it Right?


Portrayal of Drug Use and Addiction on Screen: Does Hollywood Get it Right?: Honors Section


Behavioral and Community Issues in Public Health (Note: This course is primarily for Public Health Science students, but if a HLTH major is given permission to take, will count as a health elective—contact Public Health Science major advisor for permission)


Communicating Health and Safety


Drugged, Drowsy, and Distracted Driving: Traffic Safety Issues for the New Millennium


Drugged, Drowsy, and Distracted Driving: Traffic Safety Issues for the New Millennium: Honors Section


Human Sexuality


Human Sexuality: Honors Section


Honors Seminar (Note: must be accepted into DBCH Honors Program to be eligible to take this course)


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health


Introduction to Public Health Informatics


Minority Health


Minority Health: Honors Section


Women’s Health


Women’s Health: Honors Section


Death Education


India: East Meets West—Contrasting Public Health Priorities, Pragmatics, and Polemics in the US and India (study abroad, winter term)


Medical Terminology (summer and winter only)


HLTH289, HLTH386, HLTH389, HLTH489 (Independent Study)

Independent Study: By Permission Only. To learn more, go to our website:


Any 3-credit Peer Education Program course (Note: must be accepted into UMD’s Peer Education Program to be eligible to take PEER courses)


Federal Fellows Seminar: Public Health Policy (Note: must be accepted into UMD’s Federal/Global Fellows Program to be eligible to take this course. Go to for more information.)


Federal Fellows Internship (Note: must be accepted into UMD’s Federal/Global Fellows Program to be eligible to take this course. Go to for more information.)


Global Fellows Seminar: Responses to Global Challenges: A Practitioners Perspective (Note: must be accepted into UMD’s Federal/Global Fellows Program to be eligible to take this course. Go to for more information.)


Global Fellows Seminar: Science Diplomacy—Foreign Policy and Science, Technology, and Innovation (Note: must be accepted into UMD’s Federal/Global Fellows Program to be eligible to take this course. Go to for more information.)


Global Fellows Internship (Note: must be accepted into UMD’s Federal/Global Fellows Program to be eligible to take this course. Go to for more information.)


Elements of Nutrition

Non-Standard Courses BCH will Count as Health Electives: DBCH academic advisors email Community Health majors the list of updated non-standard courses that will count as health electives each semester prior to registration. 

Professional Preparation (30 credits total):

  • HLTH 200: Intro to Research in Public Health
  • HLTH 300: Biostatistics for Public Health Practice
  • HLTH 301: Epidemiology for Public Health Practice
  • HLTH 391: Principles of Community Health I
  • HLTH 420: Effective Strategies for Public Health Practice
  • HLTH 490: Principles of Community Health II
  • HLTH 491: Community Health Internship (12 credits)

This chart outlines the sequence of Community Health major required coursework as well as co and pre-requisite courses for students who entered the major between spring 2011-spring 2018. Students entering the major in fall 2018 or later must follow separate course requirements.  Note that the 6 required health electives for the major are not listed on the chart, as these can be taken at any point in time prior to the HLTH491 Community Health Internship.

Entered before Spring 2011

Contact an advisor.

Community Health Specialization Areas

The Department of Behavioral and Community Health is excited to offer our students the following three guided specialization areas in the Community Health major!

Special Populations:  Life circumstances and related bio/psycho/social conditions can warrant special attention in understanding health risks of populations.  People with characteristics or circumstances that have unique health implications may include the groups and subgroups in the following categories:   women, children, ethnic minority groups, people with disabilities, the LBGT community, older adults, and people living in poverty, as examples.  Specific health risks and approaches to addressing these risks are explored within this specialization area.

Health Communication:  Health communication is the study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence decisions that enhance health. Health communication is fundamental in disease prevention, health promotion, health care policy, and the business of health care. Health communication uses a variety of approaches to deliver targeted messages to diverse audience segments ranging from at risk groups, to health professionals, to policy makers.  This specialization focuses on theory and practice in understanding health communication uses, and methods and materials that can be applied to health campaigns and social marketing efforts.

Health Risk Behavior: Risk behaviors are those associated with increased susceptibility to disease and/or injury.  Risk behaviors are many and varied and include cigarette smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, poor nutrition practices, unprotected sexual behavior, distracted driving, and violence, as examples.  Understanding health risks associated with specific patterns of behavior, why people engage in health risk behaviors, and methods of prevention are explored in this specialization. 

What does this mean for you?

  • You can take a cluster of courses in a specific area while earning health elective credit
  • You can strengthen your knowledge in a specific area of interest to you
  • You can cite your specialization area on your resume, cover letter and/or graduate/professional school application
  • You can start anytime and apply classes retroactively

How does this work?

  • You are required to take 12 credits in your specialization area
    • At least 9 credits must be taken in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health
    • 3 credits of approved courses can be taken outside of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health (advance approval is required by a Community Health Academic Advisor)
  • Your specialization will be recognized in a letter from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. This letter will be provided after you have completed all requirements for the Community Health major.  The specialization will not be noted on your transcript. 
  • Grades of C- or higher are required in all coursework applied to your Specialization. 
  • Questions? Contact your Community Health advisors!  Mr. Matt Wootten: andMs. Jenny Hodgson:

What steps should I take to declare a specialization?

  • Review the Specialization table and guidelines in this document (also provided on the Department website).
  • If selecting a course outside of the approved list, email Matt Wootten AND Jenny Hodgson with the syllabus and a brief justification for why you think the course fits in your Specialization.
    • The syllabus will be reviewed for applicability and you will be notified via email.
    • Outside courses must be submitted for approval prior to the HLTH491 internship semester.
  • Track your Specialization progress.
  • In the semester in which you are graduating, you will receive an email through the listserv requesting confirmation of completion.
    • Upon review and approval, a letter from the Department Chair will be emailed to you as recognition of your Specialization.
    • Keep this letter as documentation of your Specialization.  

Which courses can count toward my specialization area?

Approved courses must:

  • Have a minimum of 3 credits.
  • Clearly address your specialization area theme.
  • Directly address health content/promotion, or address one or more social determinants of health (e.g., physical environment, policy, societal/cultural forces, economics).


1.Can Peer Education experiences count for more than one specialization area?

  • No. Peer Education experiences cannot be double counted and will be applied toward one Specialization only.
  • No more than 3 credits of Peer Education coursework can count toward a Specialization.

2.Can courses used as health electives outside of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health be used as one of the three required HLTH courses?

  • Because these courses do not have the “HLTH” course code, they fall in the “other” category and can be used once to ensure that students are getting Specialization information from an accredited and monitored entity. 

Click here for more info!