BSPH in Community Health

Improving the Health of Our Communities

Do you want to help people and improve health? A BSPH in Community Health will uniquely position you to enter the public health workforce.

Description of the following video:

Description of the following video:

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

[Music]

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]

Many groups of people face significant challenges to living healthy lives. These challenges are influenced not only by individual choices but also by where we live, work and play. Through the BSPH in Community Health, students gain knowledge, skills and hands-on experience that prepares them to tackle these real world problems.

It’s an exciting time to be part of the Social and Behavioral Sciences department at the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health. Join us and be part of our efforts to address the social determinants of health and advocate for better health, while also advancing research to understand and solve emerging issues.

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 Student

Faculty

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 breast cancer, coping with stress, chronic disease health disparities, family health, risky sex behaviors, the complex relationship between place and health and primary prevention of chronic disease.

Social & Behavioral Sciences Faculty

Curriculum

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. 

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. 

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Competencies

Upon completing this degree, you will be able to:

  • Recognize the social determinants of health that impact individuals and communities in the U.S. and globally.
  • Explain the principles of epidemiology, environmental health, health care systems, and health policy, and apply them to issues of public health.
  • Describe the role and importance of data in public health.
  • Describe the historical impact of public health nationally and globally.
  • Identify and understand the key public health challenges – current and future – faced by the U.S. and the world.
  • Assess individual and community needs for health and health education.
  • Choose appropriate and quality sources of public health data, and correctly interpret the information provided.
  • Implement health and health education interventions and programs.
  • Administer health and health education interventions and programs.
  • Communicate the role of fairness and justice in health equity.
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing with individuals at the community level, as well as with diverse health stakeholders, providers, policy makers, etc.
  • Based on evidence and data, advocate for practices, programming, and policies that address health equity issues.
  • Demonstrate networking skills and cultural competency when engaging with colleagues and diverse stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate ethical decision making whenever serving in the role of a public health practitioner.

Students will have opportunities to develop research skills, team work and leadership skills, and have international health experiences through additional coursework and practical opportunities.

Admissions Criteria

Direct Admissions Criteria

  • Must have an SAT score of at least 1000
  • Must Have a high school GPA of at least 3.0

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 lwissel@iupui.edu

Career Options

Employment opportunities for BSPH graduates with a major in Community Health are projected to grow 13% between now and 2024, faster than the average for all occupations according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prospective employers, including insurance companies, local and state health departments, healthcare systems, health-related agencies, colleges, and corporations, are working to find ways to improve the quality of care and health outcomes, while reducing costs. They hire health educators and community health workers to teach people how to make healthier choices, obtain life-saving health screenings, and how to prevent diseases, medical procedures and injury. They explain how lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of developing many preventable diseases, such as lung cancer, HIV, heart disease, and skin cancer. Health educators and community health workers also help people better manage chronic conditions.

Possible career opportunities for graduates of the BSPH in Community Health include:

  • Disease Prevention Specialist
  • Health Advocate
  • Health Coach
  • Health Educator
  • Program Coordinator
  • Worksite Wellness Educator
  • Community Outreach Coordinator