Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH)

Program Location 

Distance Education/Online

-  Bachelor of Science in Public Health

Program Credits 

- Bachelor of Science in Public Health - 120 Credits

Program Length 

- Bachelor of Science in Public Health

     10 Trimesters, 160 Instructional Weeks or

     20 Trimesters, 320 Instructional Weeks

Time to Complete 

- Bachelor of Science in Public Health

   40 Months or 80 Months

WCU distance education programs may not be available to residents in all states.

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code:  21-1094.00, 21-1091.00, 21-1093.00, 19-1041, 19-4042, 19-5012

Mission Statement:

The Bachelor of Science in Public Health Program’s mission is to cultivate academic and healthcare leaders who can advance and promote public health, by means of a curriculum that strengthens skills, and promotes critical thinking, engagement, and learning.  

Program Learning Outcomes
  • Analyze health care systems and policies, considering their legal, ethical, economic, and regulatory dimensions, and the roles, influences and responsibilities of the different agencies and branches of government.

  • Apply principles of population health, including the science of human health and disease, to identify health-related needs, determinants of health disparities, and opportunities for promoting and protecting health across the life course.

  • Incorporate existing knowledge in public health analyses, in recognition of the discipline’s focus on evidence-based practice.

  • Demonstrate project planning skills, including needs assessment, goal setting, program design/development, implementation, and evaluation.

  • Communicate public health messages effectively among diverse populations.

  • Explain the history of public health, its philosophy, core values, concepts, and functions across the globe and in society. 

Admission Requirements

  1. Complete an online application for admission.
  2. Participate in an interview with a University Advisor. 
  3. Complete an enrollment agreement, consisting of program policies, costs, completion requirements, and other student obligations.  If the applicant is under the age of 18, enrollment documents must be signed by a parent or guardian.  
  4. Submit documentation of high school graduation or equivalent.  
  5.  Individuals with 15 or more college-level credits are required to have a 2.25 GPA in post-secondary education.  
    1. Applicants with 15 or more college-level credits and a GPA of 2.0-2.24 may be considered for probationary admission after meeting the following admissions requirements:
      1. The applicant must provide a letter of intent.  
      2. The applicant must be approved for admission following an interview with Program Dean/Director.  
      3. The applicant must satisfy program prerequisites and achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on all coursework attempted over the first trimester (two terms).  Students failing to meet these requirements following the first trimester (two terms) will be withdrawn from the university. 
  6. Bachelor of Science in Public Health Transfer Credit Evaluation:  Only undergraduate level courses in which a grade of C (70%) or better was received will be evaluated for transfer credit.  A maximum of ninety (90) total credits may be considered for transfer, subject to the following criteria:
    1. A maximum of thirty (60) credits may be accepted from alternative credit options, such as CLEP/AP/IB/ACE, etc.
    2.  A maximum of thirty (30) credits may be accepted from military training or work experience
    3. All undergraduate students must complete at least thirty (30) credits in-residence at West Coast University  
    4. At least twenty-four (24) of the in-residence credits must come from core program courses

Additional criteria for transfer credit by type of credit is as follows: 

  General Education Credits (39 cr.)

  • Students may transfer up to thirty-three (33) general education credits.  All general education courses considered for transfer credit must reflect content aligned with one or more of the BSPH general education competencies.
  • All students are required to complete FYS002: Foundations of Success and CAPS402: General Education Capstone in-residence or equivalent.  

  Elective Credits (30 cr.)

  • Students may transfer up to thirty (30) elective course credits.

  Program Core & Track Credits (51 cr.)

  • Students may transfer up to twenty-seven (27) core and track course credits.  All core and track courses considered for transfer credit must reflect the same content and course credit as the course for which transfer credit is requested.  

Students who request to transfer credits from previously attended institutions must submit sealed official transcripts to the Registrar's Office from originating institutions prior to their first day of class.  If students are unable to submit transcripts or transcripts are unavailable, students may be enrolled for a period of one (1) term through the submission of unofficial transcripts, submitted no later than four (4) days after the start of a student's first term.  Students failing to submit official transcripts prior to the final day of the first term may be denied transfer credit for prior courses.  In addition to official transcripts, copies of course descriptions, school catalogs, and course syllabi may be requested for evaluation purposes.  

Individuals who are concurrently enrolled at another institution at the time of their matriculation to West Coast University, may be allowed to request transfer credit for courses that are in-progress.  In this situation, official transcripts must be received by the end of the first term of matriculation to receive transfer credit.  

Please note all veteran students are required to submit all post-secondary transcripts.  Please see the Veterans Educational Benefits policy in the Financial Policies and Information Section of the Catalog.  

Eligibility for Reentry

A student who has been academically dismissed from West Coast University may apply for reentry to the University's BSPH program if:

The applicant was in good standing with the University excluding previous Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) or GPA requirements at the time of their dismissal.  If any other "good standing" issues exist, the individual would be admitted to the university on probationary status.  If a student in probationary status is not in "good standing" after completing their first semester of coursework in the BSPH program, they would be dismissed from the University.  If an applicant was previously dismissed from West Coast University for any conduct violations, he/she would not be admitted into the program.  Please refer to the "Good Standing" policy for specific information on the terms.  

Individuals granted reentry would have their successfully completed WCU credits, and credits previously transferred from other institutions, considered for applicability to the BSPH degree.  Decisions regarding transferability of credit are made by the BSPH program Dean or Director.  

An individual who is readmitted by this clause will not be considered for dismissal due to the course failures in other WCU programs.  Any failures that occur after the student has reentered the university into the BSPH program would be subject to the university dismissal policy.  

Public Health Curriculum

To achieve the graduation requirement of 120 credits, all students must complete 39 credits of general education courses. However, six of the general education credits will be fulfilled by two core courses; therefore, to reach the 120 credits for graduation, an additional six credits of electives will be required. Students may request to satisfy general education credit requirements through transfer credit per university policy.

General Education Requirements

Category and Requirements 

WCU Course Requirements Transferable / Options  

A1- Written

(5 Semester Credits and 2 Courses Minimum) 

Written communication courses cover the use of writing as a means of conveying information.  In these courses, students will utilize discussions, papers, essays, research, etc. to examine, analyze, and transmit information in an appropriate academic or professional manner.  (Transferable courses will generally have ENG, JRN, or COM prefix)
Any course that meets the General Education category and requirements. 

A2. Oral Communication

(2.5 Semester Credits

Oral communication courses cover the use of language and speech as a means of conveying information.  In these courses, students will utilize language and speech to disseminate information to audiences as appropriate. 


(Transferable courses will generally have SPE, COM, JRN, ENG, or BUS prefix) 
Any course that meets the General Education category and requirements. 

A3. Critical Thinking

(5.0 Semester Credits 2

Critical thinking courses provide the skills necessary to make complex decisions.  In these courses, students will utilize complex thinking, logic, and other skills to analyze decision making processes.  (Transferable courses will generally have PHI, LOG, or COM prefixes)  Any course that meets the General Education category and requirements.

A4. Quantitative 

(5 Semester Credits and 2 Courses Minimum)

Quantitative reasoning courses provide the skills to process, analyze, and interpret data.  In these courses students will utilize math to solve problems.  (Transferable courses generally have MAT or STAT prefixes)
Any course that meets the General Education category and requirements.

B1– Social and Behavioral Sciences / Cultural
Diversity, Tradition

(8 Semester Credits and 3 Courses Minimum)

Social and behavioral science, cultural diversity, and tradition courses cover a broad range of humanities disciplines.  Courses in this competency may cover social interactions, human behavior, cultural diversity, aesthetic awareness, art appreciation and creation, history, civic duty, and other areas in the field.  (Transferable courses generally have SOC, SSC, PSY, ART, HIS, LIB, ENG, ANT, REL, POL, LNG, CRJ, or related prefixes)
Any course that meets the General Education category and requirements. 

B2. Life and Physical

(2.5 Semester Credits and 1 Courses Minimum)

Life and Physical Science courses cover vary disciplines within the scientific field.  Courses in this field may cover any scientific discipline within life and physical sciences.  (Transferable courses generally have BIO, CHEM, PHYS, ENV, NRM, or SCI prefixes)
Any course that meets the General Education category and requirements.

B3. General Education Capstone

(3 Semester Credits)

 CAPS 402 (3):  General Education Capstone Non-transferable

In addition to the courses above, all students must complete FYS 002 (3): Foundations of Success (Non-transferable). A minimum of 39 credits is required for graduation


Elective Requirements:

To achieve the graduation requirement of 120 credits, all students must complete 36 credits of electives. Students may request to satisfy all or a portion of the elective credit requirements through transfer credit for previous education. Additionally, students may complete available online course offered by the university to satisfy elective credit (some restrictions apply).  Unless otherwise requested, students will take the following university courses to meet the elective requirements:


BUS 250: Project Management 3

HA 100: Medical Terminology 3

HA 110: Introduction to Healthcare Management 3

HA 320: Healthcare Policy and Economics 3

HA 330: Healthcare Regulatory Compliance and Accreditation 3

HA 340: Healthcare Payment Systems 3

HA 420: Quality Performance Management in Healthcare 3

HA 430: Risk Management in Healthcare 3

PH 200: Software Applications 3

PHIL 435: Methods of Conflict Resolution 3

PSYC 200: Emotional Intelligence 3

SCI 210: Survey of Science and Technology 3

  Total Credit Hours: 36


Bridge Courses:  


Students who have completed at least thirty-nine (39) credits of coursework with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 may also satisfy up to nine (9) credits of elective coursework through the completion of three (3) credit graduate level courses in-residence.  All in-residence three (3) credit graduate level courses completed as part of an undergraduate program may be used to satisfy graduate requirements.


Public Health Bridge


PH 500: Foundations of Public Health 3

  PH 515: Cultural Diversity and Health Disparities in Public Health 3

  PH 535: Environmental and Occupational Health 3

  Total Credit Hours: 9

To achieve the graduation requirement of 120 credits, all students must complete 51 credits of core or track courses.  Core courses provide students with the specific discipline experience required for the degree.  Tracks allow students to create interdisciplinary degrees based on personal career goals.  All students will complete at least 39 core course credits as detailed below.  The remaining 12 credits are based on the program track the student is enrolled in.  The currently available programs are:


A minimum grade of a "C-" (70%) will be required to receive course credit in the BSPH program.  Should a student receive a "D+" (<70%) grade or lower, it will not be considered a passing grade for the BSPH program and the student will be required to retake the course.  The earned grade will be counted into the student's CGPA and will be replaced once the course is repeated with a passing grade.  The student will be placed on an academic action plan to repeat the course and meet with the program Chair.  

Core Courses (39) Credits:

HA 220Global Perspectives in Healthcare


HA 400Principles of Epidemiology


HA 410Research Methods in Healthcare


PH 100Introduction to Public Health


PH 300Public Health Cultural Competency


PH 310Health Policy and Management


PH 320Social Determinants of Health


PH 330Nutrition


PH 340Health Promotion/Health Psychology and Human Behavior


420 420Environmental Health


PH 440Biostatistics


PH 450Capstone


PHIL 350Organizational Law and Ethics


Total Credit Hours:39

Track courses (12) Credits:

PH 400Public Health Communication


PH 410Professional Writing in Public Health


PH 430Planning Public Health Programs


PH 450Capstone


Total Credit Hours:12
BPH Program Costs

For program costs, please see the Distance Education Tuition and Fees section.