BSPH in Community Health

Improving the Health of Our Communities

A Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) in Community Health prepares you with the knowledge and skills needed to positively impact the health of individuals and communities. Through coursework and community-based learning experiences, you will learn how to apply the principles of social justice to improve a community’s social and health outcomes. You will gain hands-on experience in community assessment, health intervention and program development, community organizing, communication, and advocacy. You will be well trained to enter the public health workforce and will also be eligible to become a national Certified Health Education Specialist upon graduation.

Description of the video:

Description of the following video:

[Words appear on a white background: Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health Indianapolis]


Lisa: Many groups of people face significant challenges to living healthy lives.

[Video: A large group of people are shown walking outside, but the camera is off focus, making their faces blurry.]

Lisa: And these challenges are influenced not only by individual choices, but also by where we live, work, and play.

[Video: In a skywalk, a young girl wearing a red sweatshirt with white letters (IUPUI) walks toward the camera. Other people are also shown walking through the skywalk.]

Lisa: Community health majors are uniquely positioned to tackle these challenges.

[Video: A woman with long brown hair and black glasses, speaks directly to camera while sitting in an office.]

[Words appear alongside the IU logo: Dr. Lisa Staten; Social and Behavioral Sciences Department Chair]

Lisa: Through this major, students gain knowledge, skills, and hands-on experience that prepares them to tackle these real-world problems.

[Video: A woman walks up the sidewalk on the IUPUI campus. Downtown Indianapolis is in the near distance. Shots of students interacting in the Campus Center, in group discussions, and in classroom environments follow.]

Woman speaking: Our majors are improving community health in schools, work sites, health departments, nonprofit agencies, hospitals, and coalitions throughout Indiana and the world.

[Video: A young woman in a maroon top sits in a meeting room and speaks directly into camera.]

[Words appear alongside the IU logo: Elizabeth Moore, BSPH ’15; Practice Manager]

Elizabeth: I've always been interested in health but not necessarily the clinical side of health.

[Video: A young woman wearing a black top and ponytail writes on a whiteboard, students engage in a class discussion, and a young man walks into a YMCA building.]

Elizabeth: I instantly fell in love with the idea of working with the community and not just on an individual basis. I'm not just focused on why one person is ill, I want to know why everyone in that area is ill.

[Video: The man who walked into the YMCA is now walking through the building with documents in his hand, and begins writing on a notepad. He is then shown sitting in an office and addresses the camera directly.]

[Words appear alongside the IU logo: Tyler Andres; Student]

Tyler: This information in this field is going to help me improve the population as a whole, not just you know as a physician seeing a couple thousand people. I can affect millions of people’s lives now.

[Video: Two female students listen attentively to a female professor, followed by another young woman writing on a whiteboard, and students sitting in a classroom.]

Male speaking: We’re learning the theory but then we're actually applying the theory.

[Video: One of the students is then shown standing in a hall, in front of a window. HeHe wears a gray sweater and glasses as he speaks directly to the camera.]

[Words appear alongside the IU logo: Mark Diauto; Student]

Mark: And getting that early on is something that really gives students at Fairbanks an edge.

[Video: Elizabeth, in a meeting room, speaks directly into camera.]

Elizabeth: The classes were really relevant to real life work…

[Video: As Elizabeth speaks, students are shown chatting, smiling, and participating in class.]

Elizabeth: I didn't go into the job having no clue what to expect. I felt like the classes really prepared me. The instructors prepared us. Not just with the knowledge that we learned in public health but also professionally.]

[Video: A woman with red hair and purple top smiles as she speaks directly into camera.]

[Words appear alongside the IU logo: Leah Jansen; Academic Advisor]

Leah: One of the things our students often report back to me is how much real world experience our faculty members can provide in the classroom.

[Video: Various professors are shown teaching, speaking and laughing with students during class sessions.]

Leah: They’re people that are actually in the field doing the work able to provide current application of what they're learning in classes.

[Video: Tyler speaks while sitting in the office still. He is then shown looking over documents with a professional woman at the YMCA.]

Tyler: Faculty members here they're super passionate super open to talking with students. And just hearing all the different opportunities that were available in this city just right here at your fingertips I just feel like you couldn’t compare this opportunity to any other.

[Video: A man with neck-length hair and a beard, wearing a red collar shirt sits in a lobby and addresses the camera.]

[Words appear alongside the IU logo: Dan Weddle; Student]

Dan: A lot of classes will try and get you out at the community so they will involve service learning hours.

[Video: A different young man wearing a black button-up shirt, gray vest, and black glasses stands in an office hallway and begins speaking.]

[Words appear alongside the IU logo: John Coberg; Student]

John: And then, you know, we have our capstone which is a 240-hour internship in the community, or a community based organization.

[Video: Elizabeth, in a meeting room, speaks directly into camera again.]

Elizabeth: It is so rewarding in this field. It’s rewarding to help people.

[Video: Students and professors are shown chatting, smiling, and participating in class.]

Elizabeth: It is rewarding to solve the problems that people are experiencing.

Another woman begins speaking: Health is so integral to our success as people and so important for us to take care of.

[Video: The young woman speaking is now shown wearing a black top, glasses and a bun. Sitting in a meeting room at a desk, she continues speaking.]

[Words appear alongside the IU logo: Thomasina Watts, BSPH ’16; Clinical Research Specialist, Riley Children’s Hospital]

Thomasina: And I think that's a fantastic way to try to improve society overall.

[Video: Dan and Tyler sit side-by-side at a desk in a class, listening to a female professor.]

Thomasina: So how people's actions can affect our health and our well-being.

[Video: Dan is then shown walking through an office with files in his hand. He walks into a woman’s office to discuss the file, followed by John speaking again in an office hallway.]

John: As a community health major you can impact the health of an entire population of people.

[Words appear on a white background: Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health Indianapolis]

[Music ends.]

[End of transcript]

John Coberg

When I found the community health major, I knew that this is how I can make an impact.

John Coberg, BSPH Community Health Alumnus


The Social and Behavioral Sciences department is comprised of a renowned, award-winning faculty with research interests focused on important local and global health issues, including adolescent resiliency, breast cancer, campus health and wellness, family health, health disparities, homelessness, maternal and child health, opioid addiction, and the complex relationship between place and health and primary prevention of disease.

Social & Behavioral Sciences Faculty


To complete this degree, you will take a minimum of 35 credit hours of general education courses, 69 credit hours of coursework in the major, and 16 credit hours of general electives that together total at least 120 credits. Major requirements can be mapped to fulfill requirements for pre-med and other pre-professional plans.

Students who are interested in this degree are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Services at (317) 274-2000. Our advisors can answer questions about degree requirements, eligible classes, course substitutions, and course waivers. We’re here to help you. 

Eta Sigma Gamma

Community Health students have the opportunity to initiate into the national health education honorary organization Eta Sigma Gamma. Eligible students must be majors, minors, and certificate students in Community Health or MPH-SBS students that meet GPA requirements and complete initiation expectations.

Eta Sigma Gamma

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The BSPH major in Community Health will prepare students to work in entry-level positions in public health agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), hospitals and health care centers, and other organizations focused on the health and well-being of groups of individuals. It also provides excellent preparation for the Master's in Public Health degree program. Students will have opportunities to develop research skills, cultivate team work and leadership skills, and have international health experiences through additional coursework and practical opportunities. Specific program outcomes (numbered for reference, not to communicate importance) include:

  1. Recognize the social determinants of health that impact individuals and communities.
  2. Explain and apply the principles of epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, health care systems, and health policy in public and community health.
  3. Describe the historical role of public health nationally and globally, and identify and understand current and future public health challenges faced by the U.S. and the world.
  4. Select, collect, correctly interpret, and apply quality data for assessment and planning in individual and public health.
  5. Plan, administer, manage, and evaluate community health promotion interventions and programs.
  6. Implement community health promotion interventions and programs.
  7. Conduct evaluation and research related to community health promotion.
  8. Communicate effectively while serving as a resource person to individuals, communities and stakeholders.
  9. Based on evidence and data, advocate for practices, programming, and policies that address health issues.
  10. Demonstrate an understanding of cultural competency and ethical decision making.
  11. Communicate the role of fairness and justice in health equity.

Admissions Criteria

Current IUPUI Students

Declare or Change Your Major

Direct Admissions Criteria

  • Direct Admission With Test Scores
    • 2.8 cumulative GPA and 1000 on the SAT or 19 on the ACT
  • Direct Admission Without Test Scores
    • 3.0 cumulative

Intercampus Transfer

  • Must have earned a 2.5 undergraduate cumulative and previous semester GPA
  • Must maintain at least a 2.5 semester and cumulative grade point average (GPA) to remain in good academic standing and graduate from this program

Ivy Tech Transfers

  • Please e-mail Leah Jansen at