An undergraduate major in this discipline is one of the healthcare degrees that provide job opportunities in the field of public health. Other possibilities are healthcare and public administration, nursing, and informatics. At this level, you have the choice of a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. Generally, the difference is that the former focuses on social sciences, such as sociology and psychology. The science program usually has more natural sciences classes, such as chemistry, mathematics, and statistics. You can expect a biology class in both.
This article will look at the Arts and Science programs to see if how their curricula may differ. We will provide examples of what courses you can expect. In preparation, students currently in high school should take classes in biology, chemistry, and mathematics. A foundation in these subjects will benefit your college studies.
Bachelor of Arts
The University of California (UC) Berkeley School of Public Health has a B.A. that prepares students to advance to a graduate degree. Math classes include probability studies and statistics. Your secondary schooling in biology will help in the epidemiology course, which is the study of the control and transmission of diseases. This program also offers a long list of electives that allow students to specialize in an area of interest. You choose ten electives from these groups:
- Community Health & Human Development
- Environmental Health Sciences
- Health Policy & Management
- Infectious Diseases
The UC B.A. has the diversity to tailor the courses to your career ambitions. Whether you strive for a leadership role or behind-the-scenes research-oriented position, this degree can accommodate. Future managers may opt for electives from Health Policy & Management that examines theories of law, economics, and political and ethical issues in healthcare. The courses in the category of Infectious Diseases will have a significant emphasis on medicine. Courses involve endocrinology, genetics, immunology, bacterial pathogenesis, and microbiology.
If you are undecided on the Arts or Science path, you may want to review the program at the University of Colorado-Denver. The school offers a B.A. and a B.S. in public Health. As mentioned above, the difference is that the former concentrates on the social sciences versus natural sciences. Their B.A. curriculum has many science courses. However, these are avoidable through the extensive list of electives. The exception is the requirement to complete at least two biology classes.
Bachelor of Science
The UC Denver B.S. curriculum has a slew of mandatory science courses. There are four biology, eight chemistry, and four physics courses. Chemistry and biology have laboratory work as well.
The University of Arizona-College of Public Health offers a B.S. in the major. Their curriculum stresses science courses in anatomy, physiology, biology, biology lab, algebra, and chemistry. Some of the science credit hours are in the pre-major courses. Fifteen credit hours of the total thirty hours consist of pre-major biology, chemistry, and algebra.
You may have a better chance of finding an online learning format with a B.S. degree. National University is one example of a program whose graduates qualify for entry-level jobs in government and non-governmental agencies, healthcare facilities, and voluntary health organizations. Their curriculum begins with fourteen “preparation” courses for the major. As expected, the emphasis is on the sciences, namely anatomy, physiology, psychology, microbiology, and biomedical statistics. Graduates will have a grasp of the principles of public health and its effect on communities, and people at the local, state, and national levels.
Another difference is that the Bachelor of Science has programs where you can combine your BSPH and MSPH or MPH. Students who select this option begin graduate work in their senior year. Tulane University offers this program, which reduces the graduate degree by six to twelve months.
Nova Southeastern University (NSU) also provides a combined degree. There is unique by coupling the B.S. in Public Health with Osteopathic Medicine. The school is the first in the U.S. to combine the two degrees into an accelerated seven-year program. The undergraduate portion takes three years, followed by four years of medicine at the College of Osteopathic Medicine. Upon completion, you graduate with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree (D.O.). T
If you prefer an online degree, then a Bachelor of Science typically, have more choices in schools. There are a range tuition costs, as well as some accelerated programs. A further benefit of online learning is the start dates. Excelsior College, for example, has an online Bachelor of Science in Health Services with a concentration in Public Health. The study plan is asynchronous, which allows students to complete each eight-week session at their own pace. Also, many of the online programs do not require any campus visits.