BSPH in Community Health

This degree program prepares students to provide health education, promote healthy lifestyles and choices, prevent disease, and enhance quality of life in communities.

Description of the video:

Many groups of people face significant challenges to living healthy lives, and these challenges are influenced not only by individual choices but also by where we live, work and play.

Community health majors are uniquely positioned to tackle these challenges through this major. Students gain knowledge, skills and hands-on experience that prepares them to tackle these real-world problems. Our majors are improving community health in schools, work sites, health departments, nonprofit agencies, hospitals, and coalitions throughout Indiana and the world.

Well, I've always been interested in health but not necessarily the clinical side of health. 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. This information, 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 to now we're learning the theory but then we're actually applying the theory and getting that early on, it's something that really gives students at Fairbanks an edge.

The classes were really relevant to real life work. I didn't go into the job and 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 with public health but also professionally.

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

Faculty members here they're super passionate and Sue broke into talking with students. 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 in the other.

A lot of classes will try and get you out at the community so they will involve service learning hours and we have our capstone, which is a 240-hour internship in the community forums news-based organization. It is so rewarding in this field. It's rewarding to help people, it is rewarding to solve the problems that people are experiencing.

Health is so integral to our success as people and so important for us to take care of. Being I think that's a fantastic way to try to improve society over well. So how people's actions can affect our health and our well-being as a community health major you can impact the health of an entire population of people.


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.

If you are interested in this degree we encourage you to contact our 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.

Learn more about 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.

Career options

The BSPH in Community Health will position you for many different career paths. Upon completion of the degree, you can pursue careers in health promotion or pursue additional training in medical schools, accelerated nursing programs, or other healthcare-oriented fields.

Employment opportunities for BSPH graduates with a major in Community Health are projected to grow 17 percent between now and 2030, 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


Health Education Specialists and Community Health Workers

2021 Median Pay

  • $48,860 per year

Job Outlook, 2020-2030

  • 17% (Much faster than average)
Learn more

Social and Community Service Managers

2021 Median Pay

  • $74,000 per year

Job Outlook, 2020-2030

  • 15% (Faster than average)
Learn more



Learn what you must complete in order to be admitted to this degree program.

View the admissions criteria

Still have questions?

Our admissions counselor, Sarah Schmitt, is available to meet with you virtually or in-person.

Contact Sarah