About

Can you see yourself in a rewarding career promoting positive health behaviors by designing, implementing and evaluating educational programs and services in a variety of settings? Are you interested in graduate education in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant or public health and want a major that provides all the required prerequisites AND a foundation in public health?

The bachelor of science degree in public health studies (BSPH) trains individuals interested in improving and promoting health. Our graduates work as vital members of community and health-care teams. They serve in hospitals, clinics, non-profit agencies, and health departments, as well as, industries, schools, local, state, and national governmental offices and private businesses. Some majors also go on to graduate education in a variety of medical, dental, allied health and public health programs.

The BS in public health studies has three concentration areas.

Community health educators assist individuals and communities as they strive for improved health. The community health concentration builds specialized knowledge and skills in community organization, needs assessment, and educational strategies in order to plan, implement, and evaluate programs and services in a community-health setting. Graduates typically find employment in local health departments, hospitals, governmental agencies and a variety of community-based organizations such as substance abuse agencies, pregnancy prevention programs, STI prevention programs, community assessment initiatives and heart and cancer associations.

The pre-health professions concentration prepares students for entry in graduate professional schools in areas such as medicine, dentistry, physician assistant, pharmacy, physical therapy and public health. Students can participate in an optional internship that allows them some early exposure to their intended medical, allied health or public health field.

The worksite health promotion concentration offers a unique opportunity to blend public health, exercise science, and business management courses in preparation for a career as a health promotion specialist in various worksite settings. Worksite health promotion specialists plan and coordinate programs in areas such as nutrition, fitness, weight control, smoking cessation, hypertension, and stress management. In addition to assisting employees maintain or improve their health, they also advise company executives on health policies and programs.

ECU Advantage

ECU’s public health studies program prepares students to improve the health and well-being of individuals, communities, populations, and the environment. The large and diverse faculty includes experienced public health professionals who bring a wide range of experiences and training to the program. The faculty is dedicated to preparing highly qualified health professionals to succeed in a dynamic global workforce. The program is designed to ensure that students meet national competencies for health educators and prepares them to pass the National Certified Health Education Specialist exam (CHES).

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Jennifer Matthews (2302 Carol Belk Building; 252-328-1704; cremeensj@ecu.edu)

Students entering the public health studies degree program choose one of three concentrations: community health, prehealth professions, or worksite health promotion. The community health concentration requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 for entry. Students entering the worksite health promotion concentration must have a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA and a minimum 2.5 GPA calculated on three courses: ECON 2113; HLTH 2000; PSYC 3241. Students entering the prehealth professions concentration must have a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA and a minimum 3.0 GPA calculated on the following courses: BIOL 1100, BIOL 1101, BIOL 1200, BIOL 1201; CHEM 1150, CHEM 1151, CHEM 1160, CHEM 1161. All students must declare on or before reaching 90 credit hours.

Minimum degree requirement is 124 s.h. as follows:

1. General education requirements including those listed below - 40 s.h.

(For information about courses that carry general education credit see General Education Program.)

    All concentrations:
    • HLTH 1000 - Health in Modern Society
    • MATH 1065 - College Algebra
    • PSYC 1000 - Introductory Psychology
    Community health concentration:
    • BIOL 1050 - General Biology
    • BIOL 1051 - General Biology Laboratory
    • or
    • BIOL 1100 - Principles of Biology I
    • BIOL 1101 - Principles of Biology Laboratory I
    • space
    • SOCI 2110 - Introduction to Sociology
    Prehealth professions concentration:
    • BIOL 1100 - Principles of Biology I
    • BIOL 1101 - Principles of Biology Laboratory I
    • BIOL 1200 - Principles of Biology II
    • SOCI 2110 - Introduction to Sociology
    Worksite health promotion:
    • BIOL 1050 - General Biology
    • BIOL 1051 - General Biology Laboratory
    • or
    • BIOL 1100 - Principles of Biology I
    • BIOL 1101 - Principles of Biology Laboratory I
    • space
    • PSYC 3241 - Personnel and Industrial Psychology
2. Common core - 21 s.h.
  • BIOS 1500 - Introduction to Biostatistics or
  • MATH 2228 - Elementary Statistical Methods I

  • EHST 2110 - Introduction to Environmental Health Sciences
  • HLTH 2000 - Principles of Public Health
  • HLTH 3010 - Health Problems I

  • HLTH 3020 - Health Disparities or
  • HLTH 3025 - LGBT Population Health and Disparities or
  • HLTH 3100 - Issues in Latino Health

  • HLTH 3050 - Public Health Systems and Policy
  • HLTH 4011 - Introduction to Epidemiology in Health Education and Promotion
3. Concentrations - 41- 51 s.h.

(Choose one concentration.)

    a. Community health concentration (41 s.h.)
    • HLTH 3000 - Theory and Practice in Community Health Education
    • HLTH 3002 - Women's Health Across the Lifespan
    • HLTH 3520 - Introduction to Global Health
    • HLTH 4605 - Community Strategies for Health Education
    • HLTH 4609 - Needs Assessment and Program Planning
    • HLTH 4611 - Program Evaluation
    • HLTH 4880 - Capstone: Applied Principles of Health Education and Promotion
    • HLTH 4991 - Health Education and Promotion Internship
    • Cognates:
      • BIOL 2130 - Survey of Human Physiology and Anatomy *
      • BIOL 2131 - Survey of Human Physiology and Anatomy Laboratory
      • space
      • NUTR 1000 - Contemporary Nutrition or
      • NUTR 2105 - Nutrition Science
      • Note:

        *This course can count towards general education requirements.

      b. Prehealth professions (45-48 s.h.)
      • HLTH 3030 - Health Behavior
      • HLTH 3300 - Introduction to Patient Education
      • HLTH 4200 - Planning and Evaluation in Health Promotion
      • Cognates:
        • Choose one of the following sets of biology courses:
        • BIOL 1201 - Principles of Biology Laboratory II
        • BIOL 2130 - Survey of Human Physiology and Anatomy
        • BIOL 2131 - Survey of Human Physiology and Anatomy Laboratory
        • or
        • BIOL 2140 - Human Physiology and Anatomy I
        • BIOL 2141 - Human Physiology and Anatomy I Laboratory
        • BIOL 2150 - Human Physiology and Anatomy II
        • BIOL 2151 - Human Physiology and Anatomy II Laboratory

        • Complete each of the following chemistry courses:
        • CHEM 1150 - General Chemistry I
        • CHEM 1151 - General Chemistry Laboratory I
        • CHEM 1160 - General Chemistry II
        • CHEM 1161 - General Chemistry Laboratory II
        Choose 22 s.h. from the following:
        • ATEP 2800 - Medical Nomenclature for Human Performance or
        • HIMA 3000 - Medical Terminology for Health Professionals or
        • HLTH 2700 - Medical Terminology for Public Health Professionals

        • BIOL 2110 - Fundamentals of Microbiology
        • BIOL 2111 - Fundamentals of Microbiology Laboratory
        • BIOL 2300 - Principles of Genetics
        • CHEM 2750 - Organic Chemistry I
        • CHEM 2753 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
        • CHEM 2760 - Organic Chemistry II
        • CHEM 2763 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
        • CHEM 2770 - Biological Chemistry
        • CHEM 2771 - Biological Chemistry Laboratory
        • HLTH 4901 - Prehealth Professions Field Experience
        • HLTH 4902 - Prehealth Professions Field Experience

        • HLTH 4910 - Prehealth Professions Internship or
        • other approved HLTH electives

        • KINE 2850 - Structural Kinesiology
        • KINE 3805 - Physiology of Exercise
        • PHYS 1250 - General Physics I
        • PHYS 1251 - General Physics Laboratory I
        • PHYS 1260 - General Physics II
        • PHYS 1261 - General Physics Laboratory II
      c. Worksite health promotion (51 s.h.)
      • HLTH 3030 - Health Behavior
      • HLTH 4006 - Health Promotion in the Workplace
      • HLTH 4609 - Needs Assessment and Program Planning
      • HLTH 4611 - Program Evaluation
      • HLTH 4880 - Capstone: Applied Principles of Health Education and Promotion
      • HLTH 4991 - Health Education and Promotion Internship
      • Cognates:
        • BIOL 2130 - Survey of Human Physiology and Anatomy *
        • space
        • EHST 3900 - Introduction to Occupational Health or
        • ITEC 3292 - Industrial Safety
        • space
        • FINA 2244 - Legal Environment of Business
        • KINE 2850 - Structural Kinesiology
        • KINE 3805 - Physiology of Exercise
        • KINE 4805 - Exercise Evaluation and Prescription Laboratory
        • KINE 4806 - Exercise Evaluation and Prescription
        • space
        • NUTR 1000 - Contemporary Nutrition or
        • NUTR 2105 - Nutrition Science
        • Note:

          * This course can count towards general education requirements.

      4. Electives:

      It is recommended that courses be taken which reinforce content in the physical, social, and behavioral sciences, or provide the student with a community health specialty area such as gerontology, environmental health, or health promotion. Number of elective hours varies by concentration.

        For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

        Careers With This Degree

        Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

        • Public Health Education and Promotion
        • Health Specialties Teacher, Postsecondary
        • Education and Training
        • Public Health Education and Promotion

        Career Opportunities

        ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

        NC Tower

        This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

        • Self-employed;
        • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
        • Work outside of North Carolina.

        US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

        This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

        Degree-specific internships

        For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.

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