College of Public Health Catalog 2015/2016

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Bachelor of Science in Public Health

(See also USF Undergraduate Catalog at:

For students who entered their undergraduate degree in Spring 2009 or after.

USF offers the first Bachelor’s in Public Health housed in an accredited College of Public Health in Florida.  The BS in Public Health provides the student-centered courses required for entry-level public health jobs found in government agencies, health corporations, community non-profit organizations and health care facilities.

Undergraduate public health students are encouraged to participate in research ranging from laboratory studies to participatory community-based research with a focus on the culturally competent aspects of healthy community development including the social, economic, educational components.  This research provides entry-level student employment opportunities on a variety of specific public health projects while learning basic research skills including data collection, data entry and technical report writing.  Under faculty leadership, students are mentored to achieve personal goals whether they choose employment after their bachelor’s degree or admission into a graduate or professional program.

The BS in Public Health is a generalist degree with no concentrations, tracks or specializations.   However, the faculty are available to advise undergraduate students seeking a double major or an accelerated degree across disciplines, e.g. BS in Geography and MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health.

Students completing the BS in Public Health will be able to:

  1. Identify and articulate the core functions of public health.
    1. Explain the basic principles of epidemiology.
    2. Assess social and behavioral interventions to improve health of populations.
    3. Identify the impact of the environment and communicable diseases on health.
    4. Explain the role that public health plays in disaster prevention and management and evaluate public policy issues with respect to access, quality and cost when understanding health disparities within vulnerable populations.
  2. Exhibit critical thinking and analytical abilities, including the capacities to engage in inductive and deductive thinking and quantitative reason, and to construct sound arguments. 
    1. Identify topics pertaining to public health research.
    2. Generate research questions, analyze and present data, and interpret and discuss findings.
    3. Demonstrate awareness about current public health topics including an analysis of the societal attitudes that generate differences on current public health topics.
  3. Communicate using effective oral skills. 
    1. Demonstrate an ability to contribute effectively to group discussions and presentations.
    2. Apply effective public speaking skills during classroom presentations.
  4. Develop effective written presentations. 
    1. Demonstrate the use of information literacy skills such as locating and evaluating pertinent public health information.
    2. Demonstrate the ability to use library resources and scientific databases.
    3. Exhibit proper referencing secondary materials in APA format.

BS in Public Health Guidelines

The following requirements are taken from the guidelines published in the 2009-2010 USF Undergraduate Catalog.

Admission standards:  Admission to the College of Public Health is open to students who have been accepted to the University of South Florida and have declared a major in public health.  Undergraduate students must submit a formal application for admission into the College of Public Health during orientation and advising for new students. 

Graduation Requirements: The College of Public Health offers one undergraduate degree: Bachelor of Science.   

  1. Complete at least 120 accepted semester hours with a minimum USF cumulative GPA and overall GPA of 2.00. (Important! All grades including “D”s and “F”s are used to calculate GPA’s for students in the College of Public Health.)
  2. Maintain major GPA of 2.00 in USF coursework.
  3. Complete the Foreign Language Entrance Requirement if entering USF fall semester, 1987 or later.
  4. Students enrolling in a college must satisfy State Rule 6A-10.30 (Gordon Rule) concerning computation and communication.  Transfer students who enter the University of South Florida with 60 or more semester hours from a regionally accredited institution are considered to have met the communication portion of the Gordon Rule.
  5. Complete Core Curriculum Requirements of 36 hours credit (See the curriculum table below)
  6. Physical Education coursework is limited to 2 semester hours.
  7. ROTC courses are limited to 9 semester hours.
  8. None of the 20 credits may be taken in the student’s major unless S/U is the only grading option. Coursework fulfilling the Gordon Rule requirement may not be taken S/U.
  9. The Audit option is available only during the first 5 days of classes.
  10. Complete at least 9 semester hours at a Florida public university in the Florida State University System during summer terms if entering USF with fewer than 60 semester hours.
  11. “D” grades are not acceptable in the major. 
  12. Complete all major course requirements.
  13. Complete a minimum of 48 hours of upper-level courses (numbered 3000 or above).
  14. Thirty (30) of the last 60 semester hours must be completed at USF to fulfill the residency requirement.

BS in Public Health Curriculum

(2009 catalog year and later)

Students should regularly review their Degreeworks to ensure that they are on track to complete all graduation requirements and in preparation for advising appointments.

(Download/View Curriculum as PDF)


Suggested Degree Applicable Courses 

  • Ethics (3 credit hours)
    • PHI 1600 Introduction to Ethics
    •  PHC 4931 Health Care Ethics
  • Writing (3 credit hours)
    • ENC 3250 Professional Writing
    • PHC 4720 Foundation PH Writing (also Writing Intensive Exit)
  • Statistics
    • STA 2023 Introductory Statistics 

 Required Public Health Core Courses: 33 Total Hours (11 three credit hours courses)
Indicates offered online (**online starting spring 2014)

  • PHC 4101 Introduction to Public Health*
  • HSC 4551 Survey of Human Disease*
  • PHC 4030 Introduction to Epidemiology*
  • HSC 4211 Health, Behavior and Society*
  • HSC 4537 Medical Terminology*
  • HSC 4624 Foundations of Global Health*
  • HSC 4630 Understanding U.S. Health Care*
  • PHC 3302 Intro to Environ & Occupational Health*
  • PHC 4069 Biostatistics in Society*
  • PHC 4942 Public Health Seminar (3 hours)**
  • PHC 4942 Public Health Seminar (3 hours)**


 Required Elective Courses: 12 Hours 
*Indicates offered online

  • HSC 2100              Contemporary Health Science*
  • HSC 2130              Sex, Health , and Decision Making
  • HSC 2017              Careers in Public Health
  • HSC 3541              Human Structure & Function
  • HSC 4172              Women’s Health: PH Perspective*
  • HSC 4579              Foundations of Maternal & Child Health*
  • PHC 4931              Health Care Ethics
  • PHC 4032              Foundations of Infection Control*
  • HSC 4573              Foundations of Food Safety*
  • HSC 4504              Foundations of PH Immunology*
  • HSC 4140              Introduction to Geographic  Information System (GIS)*
  • PHC 4109              Public Health Biology*
  • PHC 4592              Public Health Genetics *
  • PHC 4406              Pop Culture Vices & Epidemiology
  • PHC 4031              Emerging Infectious Diseases*
  • HUN 3126             Food and Culture
  • HUN 3272             Sports Nutrition*
  • HUN 3296             Nutrition and Disease*
  • HSC 4430              Occupational Health and Safety*
  • PHC 3320              Environmental Health Science*
  • PHC 3721              Research Methods in Envir. And Occupational Health*
  • HSC 4213              Environmental and Occupational Risk Analysis
  • PHC 4188              Public Health Emergencies in Large Populations
  • PHC 4241              Mental Health and Disasters
  • PHC 4234              Public & Private Sector Continuity Planning for Emergencies
  • PHC 4375              Community Participation in Homeland Security/Disaster prep
  • PHC 4376              Disaster by Design: Homeland Security
  • HSC 4933              Special Topics
  • HSC 4631              Critical Issues in Public Heath*
  • HUN 2201             Nutrition
  • HSC 2933              Selected Topics in Public Health

 Additional Undergraduate Requirements (36 hrs)

 Foundations of Knowledge & Learning (FKL) Course Requirements for Catalog Years 2009 and Later

  • ENC 1101 & 1102 (6 hrs)
  • Natural Science (Physical Science (3 hrs) and Life Science (3 hrs)) total 6 hrs
  • Mathematics & Quantitative Reasoning (6 hrs)
  • Social & Behavioral Sciences (6 hrs)
  • Humanities(6 hrs)
  • Fine Arts (3 hrs)
  • Human/Cultural Diversity in Global Context (3 hrs)

Exit Requirements (6 hrs)
*Indicates offered online

  • Capstone: HSC 4631 (3 hrs)*
  • Writing Intensive: PHC 4720 (3 hrs)*


  • A bachelor's Degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours
  • All students must take at least 48 hours at the 3000 & 4000 level
  • 12 hours of Gordon Rule Writing ENC 1101/1102 plus 6 hours of other GRW courses taken at USF only.
  • 9 hour summer rule: All students who entered USF with fewer than 60 hours are required to take at least 9 hours of course work in the summer at a State of Florida 4 year University.
  • FLENT: Foreign Language Requirement for ALL USF students: Students must have 2 years of the same language in high school OR they must take 2 semesters of the same language in college.
  • Physical Education: limited to 2 semester hours.






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