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Undergraduate Handbook

Department of Public Health

Bachelor of Science in Public Health

Welcome to Western Kentucky and especially the Department of Public Health. The Department of Public Health offers academic programs which prepare students for a wide variety of health careers. In addition, the department provides a service to the University’s colonnade program through instruction to improve the health knowledge, attitudes and behavior of students. An equally important responsibility is to carry out research and other scholarly activities which provide opportunities for student engagement, maintain the academic strength of the faculty, and expand knowledge in various fields. The department also provides service to multiple agencies, institutions, and organizations in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and across the nation.



Prepare highly competent, public health practitioners through instruction, research and service, and to enhance the health status and quality of life of diverse populations in local, state, national, and global communities.


The Department of Public Health houses five undergraduate degree programs Environmental Health Science, Healthcare Administration, Health Information Management, Health Sciences and Public Health. Minors offered include: Environmental Health, Global Health Service, Health Education, Health Education & Health Promotion, Healthcare Administration, Occupational Safety & Health, Environmental Studies and Sustainability and Worksite Health Promotion. Certificate programs are: Environmental Health, Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Informatics, Long-Term Care Administration, Occupational Safety & Health, Public Health and Worksite Health Promotion.

There are also 3 graduate programs: Master of Environmental & Occupational Health Science, Master of Healthcare Administration, and the Master of Public Health.


The Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).


University Requirements: Refer to the undergraduate catalog- Academic Information 

Degree Requirements: Students must complete a minimum of 120 unduplicated undergraduate semester hours (see undergraduate catalog) for additional information (degree requirements). 

Colonnade Requirements: Refer to the undergraduate catalog 

Residency and upper division hours: The minimum residence requirement is 25% of the minimum number of semester hours required in the students’ degree program. Students pursuing a baccalaureate degree must take at least 42 hours of upper division coursework. Students pursuing concurrent baccalaureate degrees must take at least 57 hours of upper division coursework.

Public Health Major Requirement: At least one half of the hours required for the major must be earned in courses numbered 300 and above.

Departmental Academic Regulations: Students who have completed a minimum of 30 semester hours, including the courses required for seeking admission status, with an overall GPA of 2.3 (an overall GPA of 2.5 for Health Care Administration majors), qualify for admission into a program in the Department of Public Health. Students whose grade point average fall below 2.3 for two successive semesters will be dropped from the program. Students who receive a grade below a “C” in two or more courses required in a major or minor will be dropped from the program. A student may be reinstated in the program when the overall grade point average is elevated to at least 2.3 and all courses in which a grade of less than “C” has been earned have been repeated and a grade of “C” or better was earned. Students must have an overall grade point average of at least 2.5 before enrolling in the internship. Grades below “C” in major or minor courses will not be counted toward meeting graduation requirements. Academic regulations for Health Information Management and Health Sciences majors are described subsequently with the full descriptions of the programs.

Admission requirements: Pre- seeking admission involves 24 hours including COMM 145, PH 100 and PSY 100 / PSYS 100 OR PSY/PSYS 220 OR SOCL 100; with an overall GPA of 2.0 or better. Students who have completed a minimum of 30 semester hours, including COMM 145, PH 100, PSY 100, BIOL 131 and CHEM 109, with an overall GPA of 2.3, qualify for full admission into the program. Equivalents of these courses from other accredited institutions will be accepted, but the minimum GPA requirements must be met.

Program Description

Advising: Students are encouraged to schedule at least one advising appointment with their advisor each semester.

Graduation Requirements: Students must have completed all degree/program requirements.


CPR/First Aid - Required, Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) - Optional

CHES Examination Information: https://www.nchec.org/

Certificate/Minor Programs

  • Minor, Environmental Health
  • Minor, Global Health Service 
  • Minor, Health Care Administration 
  • Minor, Health Education 
  • Minor, Health Education and Promotion 
  • Minor, Occupational Health and Safety 
  • Minor, Worksite Health Promotion 
  • Certificate, Environmental Health 
  • Certificate, Health Education and Promotion 
  • Certificate, Health Informatics
  • Certificate, Long-Term Care Administration 
  • Certificate, Occupational Health and Safety 
  • Certificate, Public Health 
  • Certificate, Worksite Health Promotion 




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 Last Modified 1/8/19