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SNHU graduate, Jean Besson, presenting to two others in a meeting. And the text Jean Besson '14

Public Health Degree Online Bachelor of Science (BS)

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Register By: January 01 Classes Start: January 03

Earn Your Online Public Health Degree

  • $320/credit (120 credits)
  • Transfer up to 90 credits
  • Aligned to competencies of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH)
  • No application fee or SAT/ACT scores
  • Regionally accredited by NECHE
  • Stepping stone to master's in public health (MPH) program

Online Public Health Degree Overview

Ready to make your mark in a rewarding field? Start by earning your online Bachelor of Science in Public Health at Southern New Hampshire University.

The year 2020 demonstrated the critical need for public health professionals around the globe to advocate for policy, data, funding and the resources required to tackle a pandemic.

The global pandemic brought to life the incredible complexity of public health. Many of the challenges faced around the world included timely communication, data collection and reporting, virus containment, medical supply chain management, inequitable impacts across communities (and learning how to protect those communities), managing populations and keeping frontline workers safe.

Though complex and challenging, it provided the opportunity for public health professionals to make substantial progress in the understanding of global pandemics and ultimately the prevention of future outbreaks.

Public health covers a range of fields – everything from fighting infectious disease outbreaks across the globe, to developing and presenting wellness programs in local communities and creating public policies. No matter where public health professionals work, they're driven by the same mission: to protect the health of populations and improve quality of life through healthy behaviors.

Dr. Sarah McCool and the text Dr. Sarah McCool"Public health is the recognition that there are certain health issues that every population suffers from, not just nationally but internationally," said Dr. Sarah McCool, an adjunct instructor at SNHU. "It's important to understand the impact of globalization and how that affects public health. You can spread a disease in the time it takes to cross the world on a trans-Atlantic flight."

With this understanding, the main goal of public health professionals is to identify public health challenges within certain populations, study the root cause and develop initiatives that make a positive impact.

Those with a public health degree can help ensure public safety in any number of ways, including:

  • Smoking and vaping awareness ads on TV
  • Physical fitness programs in school
  • Working with municipalities to create and promote safe places to walk and exercise
  • Diabetic awareness initiatives
  • Vaccination campaigns
  • Campaigns to promote healthcare facilities
  • Developing cleaner air initiatives
  • Expanding efforts to reduce food insecurity
  • Designing safe sex and reproductive health campaigns
  • Creating transportation options to health services
  • Building emergency preparedness plans
  • Creating public awareness around the signs and impacts of bullying in schools

This online bachelor's program provides a strong foundation in biological and social sciences and emphasizes evidence-based approaches to program assessment, planning and evaluation. You'll also explore strategies for preventing disease, prolonging life and improving the health of entire populations.

Learn how to:

  • Use principles to recognize patterns and trends
  • Apply public health strategies to improve health, safety and quality of life
  • Explain the effectiveness of health programs
  • Identify health disparities and promote social justice
  • Make globally, socially and ethically responsible public health decisions
  • Design communication strategies that promote public health campaigns

If you choose to continue your studies after earning your bachelor's in public health, SNHU also offers a online Master of Public Health degree – both with a general track and a global health concentration.

Public Health Career Outlook

Dr. Gail Tudor with the text Dr. Gail Tudor"Public health is the silent machine behind a healthy, growing community," said Dr. Gail Tudor, associate dean of health professions at SNHU. "When public health is successful, no one knows about it. There is no ripple, no fanfare. Just a healthy population where health equity is the norm and disease is just endemic."

The online public health degree is designed to prepare you for a variety of promising careers, including medical and health services manager, health educator or community health worker.

The demand for educated, experienced public health professionals will continue to rise based on growing populations and the need for disease prevention, surveillance and education.

Jobs for health educators and community health workers are estimated to increase by 17% through 2030.1 In 2020, the median annual wage for community health workers was $42,000 and $56,500 for health educators.

Public health professionals work in various settings and industries, including:

  • Hospitals and medical facilities: Many organizations offer classes and events about topics like nutrition and exercise as preventative care – and continue to look for ways to educate people before they become patients.
  • Managed care organizations: Healthcare and insurance costs rise when employees aren't at their healthiest, and these organizations can work with companies to focus on proactive vs. reactive solutions.
  • Nonprofit organizations: Global, national and local non-profits as well as advocacy groups have a core mission to address public health issues
  • State and local health departments: These agencies are responsible for anything from monitoring water quality in the community, inspecting restaurants and markets, and creating safe places for children to play – and everything in between.
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): With a mission to fight any threats to health and safety, the CDC is responsible for over 1,000 programs since its launch in 1995, impacting millions of people.2

With such a wide variety of health-related causes to choose from, your online public health degree could take your career in a number of directions.

And to get there, our Career Services team can assist you at any point in your job search.

Our advisors are on hand to connect you with the professional experience you need, like internships or experiential-learning projects you can add to your resume. We can also help you with your job search, from application to interview. Starting on your first day as a student to long after you graduate, our services are available whenever you need them.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Public Health Degree

Courses & Curriculum

The BS in Public Health program prepares graduates for the workforce as competent, emerging public health professionals. In the US, the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) provides guidance to colleges and universities that offer public health programs. At SNHU, the BS in Public Health was designed for you to meet today's public health challenges. To learn more, review our accreditations page.

"The focus (of our curriculum) is always on helping your community be the healthiest – mentally and physically," said Dr. Gail Tudor, associate dean of health professions at SNHU. By learning to become a public health professional, "your actions can affect an entire community, an entire nation, even the world."

The core major courses provide you with a comprehensive understanding of public health and insights into the administration and evaluation of public health programs, as well as the healthcare delivery system.

Course topics include epidemiology, research and assessment, program planning, health communication and education, healthcare law and ethics in national and global contexts.

As a student in the public health degree program, you'll complete a project within your capstone course toward the end of your program. The project or paper you'll work on throughout the term encompasses all your learnings throughout the program – and it's also a product you'll be able to show employers when you present your portfolio.

Curriculum Requirements & Resources
  • General education courses: All bachelor's students are required to take general education classes, if not obtained in prior coursework. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
  • Earn math credits for what you already know: Save time and tuition with our Pathways to Math Success assessments. Show your knowledge of the materials in your program's math courses, and you could earn up to 9 math credits – at less than $50 for each course assessment.

Tuition & Fees

As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation—and haven't raised our costs in a decade.

We also offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Undergraduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 30 credits 
Degree/Certificates $960 $320 $9,600
Degree/Certificates (U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)* $675 $225 $6,750

Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

References