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BS in Public Health


Why study Public Health?

Do you want to be a force for change to improve community health for all? Are you interested in many disciplines, from biology and environmental sciences, to history and ethics, to social sciences and public policy? Then Public Health may be the major for you!

The BS in Public Health is an exciting new interdisciplinary program in the Zilber School. The program provides students with transferable knowledge, skills, and experiences – both in the classroom and in communities. Students learn to effectively, ethically, and creatively diagnose, analyze, and solve a range of public health problems across diverse social and cultural contexts.

This new undergraduate degree program in public health gives students access to one of the nation’s top universities for research and community engagement, and to Wisconsin’s only accredited school dedicated to public health.


BS in Public Health (120 credits)

The BSPH 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 enable students to combine the BSPH degree with specialization in one of UW-Milwaukee’s many minors or interdisciplinary certificates.

See full description of public health major for more details.

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 Dilemmas I (3 credits)
PH 202: Public Health Dilemmas II (3 credits)
KIN 270: Statistics in the Health Professions (3 credits)
HCA 307: Epidemiology for the Health Sciences (3 credits)
PH 302: Health and Disease: Concepts and Contexts (3 credits)
PH 303: Climate Change, the Environment & Human Health (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 (3 credits)

General Education and Foundations Courses (at least 33 credits)

Elective Courses (27-33 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 multi-level 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 subject to change. Please consult the Academic Catalog for the most up-to-date information.


Job prospects for public health graduates are excellent. Trained public health professionals are essential to ensuring the health of communities and societies. In Wisconsin and nationally there is a shortage of skilled public health workers, and this shortage is projected to increase over time due to an aging public health workforce. Graduates will be equipped to enter public health and related careers in a wide variety of settings, including healthcare organizations, for-profit organizations, government agencies, non-profits, and academic institutions.

Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected faster than average growth from 2016-2026 in numerous job categories relevant to BSPH graduates, including health educators and community health workers (16% growth), environmental scientists and specialists (11%), social and community service managers (20%), and statisticians (33%).


profile photoKurt Svoboda, PhDAssociate Professor, Environmental Health SciencesSchool of Public Health414-382-1707svobodak@uwm.eduSchool of Freshwater Sciences, GLRF Main 111


The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is a central location for undergraduates 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.

Become a leader for the public’s health.