Brief Program Description

The United States and the State of Texas face a workforce crisis in public health. To help meet workforce shortages in our State and Nation, the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) has developed a B.S. Degree in Public Health that includes 1) prepare graduates for entry level positions in public health and 2) equip them to pursue certificate and graduate degrees in the field.

Several student populations will be served by the degree including those interested in health careers and in dual degree programs (e.g. medicine and public health). The degree will be administered by the School of Biological Sciences (SBS) and will be overseen by a Program Coordinator. Students will be advised by the Biological Sciences Advising Center. The interdisciplinary degree plan will include pre-requisite courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics; foundational courses; core courses in public health; and a choice of six elective concentrations. Admission to the program will be via an application process and students must complete pre-requisite coursework (with a 2.75 cumulative grade point average or better) to apply for the program. Students will be selected by a faculty committee, chaired by the Faculty Advisor and Coordinator of the degree plan. Student cohorts will be facilitated by 1) common courses taken, 2) participation in Texas Public Health, an undergraduate student organization focused on public health, and 3) attendance at local and regional public health conferences.

The degree program will be phased in over a three year period and interdisciplinary faculty from the SBS, the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the Department of Sociology and the Texas Department of State Health Services have been recruited to teach a new line of public health courses. Strong support for the degree program also has been offered by the Bridging Disciplines Program; Center for Women's and Gender Studies, College of Engineering; Jackson School of Geosciences; LBJ School of Public Affairs; Schools of Law, Nursing and Undergraduate Studies; Texas Interdisciplinary Plan, and the Departments of Advertising and Public Relations, Economics, Kinesiology and Health Education, Geography and the Environment, Government, Mathematics, Nutritional Sciences, and Sociology

External supporters of the degree program include the George Washington University, School of Public Health and Health Services; The University of Texas School of Public Health (Austin, Brownsville, and Houston campuses); the Association of Schools of Public Health; the Association of Public Health Laboratories; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Workforce and Career Development; the Texas Department of State Health Services; and the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department.