As part of UWM’s long-term strategic planning, several UWM schools and colleges are being realigned. The process is underway and will be effective July 1, 2023. Learn more about how the realignment will affect the Zilber School of Public Health.

The bachelor’s in public health at UWM provides students with real-world knowledge, skills and experiences – both in the classroom and the community. You will learn how to diagnose, analyze and solve a range of public health challenges.

And when you get your public health degree at UW-Milwaukee, you will begin your public health career at one of the nation’s top universities for research and community engagement, while learning from accessible and knowledgeable instructors at Wisconsin’s only accredited school dedicated to public health.

Program Type


Program Format

On Campus
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What is your passion? There is a public health career for you.

  • Sociology and psychology? You’ll excel in community health and health promotion.
  • Political science and government? Pursue a career in policy and advocacy.
  • Math and numbers? You’ll find your niche in data analysis and biostatistics.
  • Discovering causes of disease? Your perfect career path could be epidemiology and disease prevention.
  • Biology and ecology? Make an impact in environmental health.
Zilber students at an event
What is Public Health?

When you choose to pursue a bachelor’s in public health, you will: 

  • Learn and live public health in Milwaukee’s diverse and dynamic communities.
  • Jump-start your public health career with 120 hours of field placement with our community partners.
  • Save time and money by earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree in public health in five years.
  • Learn from top instructors at Wisconsin’s only accredited school dedicated to public health.
  • Specialize by combining your bachelor’s in public health with one of UWM’s many certificates or minors.
  • Create a world that is a socially just and healthy place for all!

BS in Public Health

The bachelor’s in public health curriculum includes 120 credits, with a minimum of 33 credits of general education and other foundational courses, 54 credits in the public health major, and 27-33 elective credits tailored to each student’s interests and career goals. The large number of elective credits enables students to combine the BS in public health degree with specialization in one of UW-Milwaukee’s many minors or interdisciplinary certificates.

See the full description of the public health major.

Public Health Major Courses (54 credits):

PH 101: Introduction to Public Health (3 credits)
PH 142: Exploring Global Environmental Health (3 credits)
PH 201: Public Health from Cells to Society I (3 credits)
PH 202: Public Health from Cells to Society II (3 credits)
KIN 270: Statistics in the Health Professions: Theory and Practice (3 credits)
or SOCIOL 261: Introduction to Statistical Thinking in Sociology
PH 302: Health and Disease: Concepts and Contexts (3 credits)
PH 303: Climate Change, the Environment & Human Health (3 credits)
PH 304: Foundations of Epidemiology (3 credits)
PH 319: Introduction to Health Disparities (3 credits)
PH 327: Foundations for Action in Public Health (3 credits)
PH 346: Environmental Health and Disease (3 credits)
PH 355: Public Health Research Methods I (3 credits)
PH 408: Comparative Health Systems: A Social Determinants Approach (3 credits)
PH 410: True Lies – Consuming & Communicating Quantitative Information (3 credits)
PH 427: Strategies for Action in Public Health (3 credits)
PH 428: Project Implementation & Evaluation for a Healthy Society (3 credits)
PH 455: Public Health Research Methods II (3 credits)
PH 600: Public Health Integrative Experience (Service Learning) (3 credits)

BSPH core competencies

  1. Explain the importance of respect for diverse values, beliefs, cultures, and the dignity of individuals and communities in public health practice.
  2. Explain the history and philosophy of public health, including its core values, theories, concepts and functions in society.
  3. Collect and analyze public health data using fundamental quantitative and qualitative methods and instruments.
  4. Locate and evaluate primary scientific literature and other information sources (e.g., media) to inform evidence-based public health approaches.
  5. Outline evidence-based approaches—using data, assessment and evaluation—to address public health problems.
  6. Explain why and how public health professionals should ethically engage in interactions with study/program participants, community (partners and stakeholders), and others to address population health and health equity.
  7. Develop advocacy strategies for multilevel social policies and interventions to promote population health.
  8. Assess the advantages and disadvantages of health promotion interventions for specific populations.
  9. Discuss ethical social, ecological, political and community approaches to public health dilemmas.
  10. Explain the natural history of human health and disease, their biological and environmental origins, distribution among populations, and strategies for their prevention, management and control.
  11. Explain the interrelationship between hazards in the natural and built environment, and human and population health.
  12. Explain multilevel and ecosocial pathways through which social, economic, legal, and political structures and systems affect population health and health inequities across the lifecourse.
  13. Interpret environmental, regulatory, legal and economic structures, as well as their interactions, within communities and health systems from the perspective of social justice and human rights.
  14. Apply fundamental concepts and features of public health interventions and programs, including their planning, implementation, assessment and evaluation.
  15. Communicate public health evidence and concepts to diverse audiences using a variety of modalities and media.

Please note: All courses are subject to change. Please consult the Academic Catalog for the most up-to-date information.

Public Health Careers

Demand for well-trained public health professionals is high and on the rise.

With a public health degree from the UWM Zilber School of Public Health, you will be ready to begin your public health career in a variety of settings, including health care organizations, for-profit organizations, government agencies, nonprofits and academic institutions.

With a bachelor’s in public health, you can become a:

  • Community outreach and education coordinator
  • Biostatistician*
  • Data manager
  • Environmental, health and safety coordinator
  • Environmental scientist*
  • Epidemiologist*
  • Grant writer, coordinator or manager
  • Health educator
  • Infection control preventionist
  • Preparedness coordinator
  • Program planner, evaluator, manager or director
  • Public health analyst, coordinator or specialist
  • Risk assessor
  • Tobacco prevention coordinator
  • Violence prevention advocate

* advanced degree required.

Young Cho
  • Associate Professor, Community & Behavioral Health Promotion
Keith Dookeran
  • Associate Visiting Professor, Epidemiology
Paul Florsheim
  • Professor and Program Lead, Community and Behavioral Health Promotion, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Rose Hennessey Garza
  • Assistant Visiting Professor
Amy Kalkbrenner
  • Associate Professor, Environmental Health Sciences
Linnea Laestadius
  • Associate Professor, Public Health Policy
Michael Laiosa
  • Associate Professor and Faculty Chair
Lorraine Halinka Malcoe
  • Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director
Todd Miller
  • Associate Professor, Environmental Health Sciences
Renee Scampini
  • Teaching Faculty II, School of Public Health
Kurt Svoboda
  • Associate Professor, Environmental Health Sciences
Musa Yahaya
  • Teaching Faculty II

Public Health Research at UWM

Our faculty, students, alumni and public health professionals throughout the world are doing research to find solutions to a wide array of important public health challenges.

Here are some of the issues where you could make a difference in public health:

  • Chronic disease
  • Climate change
  • Communicable disease
  • Environmental health
  • Fair housing
  • Food insecurity
  • Global health
  • Health care access
  • Health equity
  • Immigrant health
  • Injury and violence prevention
  • Lead contamination
  • Maternal and child health
  • Mental health
  • Opioid epidemic
  • Racism and health
  • Reproductive and sexual health
  • Tobacco prevention

At UWM, the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is a central location for undergraduate students seeking on-campus research opportunities and faculty seeking enthusiastic, motivated undergraduate students with whom to collaborate. The OUR also supports these collaborations by providing student salary, travel support and professional development opportunities.

Learn more about the Office of Undergraduate Research.