Bachelor of Science in Public Health

Earn your Degree in Public Health at Empire State University

The Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health is a 124-credit program listed with SUNY and approved as a registered degree program through the New York State Education Department. It is designed to serve students who are interested in working in the diverse field of public health or prepare students for graduate school. The program is structured around courses that address fundamental aspects of public health to prevent and protect the health of communities while addressing the health needs of various communities.

The Bachelor of Science in Public Health is guided by the competencies model from the Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) Undergraduate Learning Outcomes model. The curriculum is focused on equipping students with fundamental skills (e.g., policy, epidemiology, statistics) through core courses. Once the foundational knowledge and skills are met, students have the opportunity to customize their courses to match their educational and career goals.  Students will have the option of completing the degree program through various delivery modes such as online, independent study, blended, and/or face-to-face study.

Students completing a bachelor’s degree in Public Health will be able to:

  1. Discuss the key fundamental public health values, concepts, and functions.
  2. Evaluate the social determinants of health and equity on population health and health disparities.
  3. Analyze the role played by biological, social, environmental, cultural, and economic factors in shaping human health and disease.
  4. Apply public health data analytical principles to health-related issues.
  5. Explain the legal and ethical aspects of public health practice; and,
  6. Evaluate public health research and policy interventions.


The admissions requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Public Health will be the same as current undergraduate admissions requirements. The program will follow the university policy for granting prior learning (PLA) credits to be among the 93 maximum transferable credits.

More Information

If you would like more information about the Public Health program, please contact:


John J. Lawless, Ph.D., MPH

Prospective students should contact

Related Resources

I have questions about the Public Health program. Who do I contact?

         John J. Lawless, Ph.D., MPH
         Ext. 3182 or 315-460-3182

 I am interested in this program but I am already a student in a different AOS. Can I switch to this?

  • Any current student can switch to this program but you will have to complete all the required courses plus the two elective courses. While it is possible, it may result in you spending more time at SUNY Empire State. Discuss your interests with your current mentor.

 If I am a current student at SUNY Empire State, can I use the concentration title of “Public Health”?

  • Student matriculated prior to Spring 2023 can use the concentration title of “Public Health.”
  • Students matriculated after Spring 2023 will not be able to use the concentration of “Public Health” within an Area of Study and should seek admission to the BS in Public Health program.

Does my degree plan have to have all of the courses listed in the BS in Public Health program?

  • If you are enrolled in the BS in Public Health program you need to meet all of the course requirements.

I have a large number of transcript credits that I would like to utilize. I don’t want to take all of the courses listed for the program. Can I still be part of the BS in Public Health program?

  • If you are enrolled in the BS in Public Health program you need to meet all of the course requirements. You may wish to discuss another area of study with your mentor.

What if I want to take some of these courses, but do not want to be part of the BS in Public Health program?

  • Anyone can take these courses. They are built so that they act independently and together.

I have completed some public health coursework in my Associate’s degree. Will this apply to the BS in Public Health program?

  • It may! Please discuss with your mentor how many potential credits may transfer into the BS in Public Health program.

Are there general education requirements for the BS in Public Health program?

  • Students will need to meet the SUNY general education requirements for a bachelor’s degree. There are no special requirements beyond this for the BS in Public Health program. You will work with your mentor, to meet the requirements.

Is educational planning required as part of the BS in Public Health program?

  • Yes, as per university policy, you are required to take a minimum of 4 credits of educational planning.

Do I still need to write a rationale essay for the BS in Public Health program?

  • Yes, you would be expected to write a rationale essay that follows the current university policy.

What does the “Or” mean in the list of courses for the BS in Public Health program?

  • You can select one of the two courses listed to satisfy that program requirement. For example, you would select either HLAD-4015 Healthcare Policy OR HUSV-4050 Social Policy Analysis.

Can PLA count toward the BS in Public Health program?

  • You would discuss with your mentor possible topics and follow the usual process for prior learning assessment.

Does Empire State University offer an Associate’s degree program in Public Health?

How are these courses for the BS in Public Health offered?

  • The courses are primarily offered online or as independent studies. There may be opportunities where there group or residency studies. Please consult the Term Guide for the current listing.

After I graduate from SUNY Empire State, will I be accepted into an MPH program?

  • Getting into graduate school is based on a variety of factors (GPA, curriculum, competitiveness). SUNY Empire State’s Public Health program positions you well to get into graduate school but nothing is guaranteed. It is highly recommended that you discuss this goal with your mentor as early as possible so they can guide you on how to meet the requirements for the specific MPH program you are interested in applying to. 


Subject Number Course Title









Statistics for the Social Science

BIOL 1200 Biology I with Lab
BIOL 1201 Biology II with Lab
HLAD 2010 The United States Health System
PAFF 2132 Introduction to Public Policy
HLAD 3005 Community Health
PAFF 3015 Comparative Health Systems
HLAD 3040 Health Disparities
HLAD 3045 Healthcare Ethics
HLAD 3122 Principles of Public Health







Healthcare Policy 


Social Policy Analysis

HSCI 4200 Epidemiology 
Public Health Elective    
Public Health Elective     

All courses above are 4 credits

Please find a list of courses that will meet the requirement for two Public Health electives.  This list is not exhaustive.  Please discuss further with your mentor or program contact if you have further questions.  


Required Public Health Courses:

ADDS 3005 Interventions for Addiction Disorders

ANTH 3025 Health, Illness, and Society

CHFS 3015 Child Welfare in the United States

CHFS 3050 Interpersonal Violence

CUST 4020 Medical Humanities

DISB 3025 Psychosocial Impact of Illness & Disability

ECON 3055 Economic Issues in Health Care

ENSC 3304 Environmental Health

FSMA 3025 Healthcare Finance

HLAD 3020 Cultural Competency in Health Care

HLAD 3035 Community Health Education and Communication

HLAD 3127 Infections and Epidemics: Biocultural Perspectives

HLAD 4030 Understanding Medical Marijuans

HSCI 3200 Health Informatics

HUSV 3068 Social Welfare Policy

INMS 4030 Women Health, and Globalization

LEST 3015 Mental Health & The Law

NURS 3035-Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Global Health

PSYC 3090 Health Psychology

SOCI 3010 Aging and Society

SOSC 3010 Family Violence: Legal and Social Perspectives

THEA 3041 Theatre and Community Health