Public Health

Bachelor’s degree

Make a difference! Protect and promote community health by earning a Bachelor of Health Science (BHS) in Public Health at Mizzou.

CJ Harris/University of Missouri

The mission of the Bachelor of Health Science (BHS) in Public Health is to teach students to advance public health knowledge, promote healthy behaviors and environments, address and eliminate health disparities, and prevent disease.

We value:

  • Health as a right, and strive to reduce or eliminate inequity and injustice that affects the health and dignity of all people;
  • Diversity as a strength in our education, research, and work as the right thing to do and the best strategy to engage and help the communities we care about;
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration as the key to creatively solving today’s challenging health issues;
  • Critical thinking to forge new solutions.

What is public health?

Public health is an exciting field of work dedicated to protecting and improving the health and well-being of communities, particularly those seen as the most vulnerable. While a doctor treats people who are sick, public health practitioners try to prevent people from getting sick or hurt in the first place, and promote wellness by encouraging healthy behaviors.

Why are graduates in public health important?

Public health is everywhere around us. When it works, it’s invisible. Public health professionals contribute to an increasingly needed skilled workforce that will work to improve the well-being of individuals and communities.

Careers in public health

The rising causes of morbidity and mortality from health issues including obesity, sexually transmitted diseases and an aging population have created a need for more field professionals. Completing a degree in public health opens multiple professional doors.

The Bachelor of Health Science in Public Health prepares students for entry-level careers in the field of public health and graduate school programs*, such as MU’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program. Many of our students also find fulfilling work through the Peace Corps after graduation.

Careers in public health include:

  • Certified Health Education Specialist
  • Prevention and Community Health Educator
  • Environmental Health Specialist
  • USDA Inspector
  • Wellness Coordinator
  • Client/Patient Advocate
  • Emergency Management Specialist
  • Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
  • Public Health Nursing
  • Social and Community Service Manager
  • Epidemiologist

*Students should work with an academic adviser to create a plan of study to meet degree requirements and pre-requisites for graduate programs.

Course work

Students in the BHS in Public Health program will complete a minimum of 120 credit hours. This includes general education requirements, 33 hours of core public health course work, 12 hours of approved diversity course requirements, and general electives*.

Core curricula (health education, epidemiology, environmental health, communication, diversity and culture, etc.) were determined based on the accreditation standards of the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

General electives should be complementary and further enhance student knowledge and competencies in various areas of public health practice. Given the multi-disciplinary nature of public health, students are strongly encouraged to pursue a minor or certificate.

Total credits required for graduation will be 120, and the final 30 credit hours must be taken at MU to meet residency requirements.

* The number of credits and composition of courses will vary for each student


Academic advisors are located in the CHS Student Services Office. Current Mizzou students can schedule an appointment with their adviser through MU Connect.

Advising worksheet

Students may use the Public Health advising worksheet as a guide, but they should also meet with their advisor to ensure they are on track to graduate.

Become a public health major

You can declare Public Health as your major at any point during your career at MU without a separate application.

Admission and application

Are you ready to become a Tiger? Don’t wait any longer.

Cost and financial aid

Learn more about tuition costs, scholarship opportunities and financial aid at Mizzou.

CEPH logo


The University of Missouri BHS in Public Health program is accredited through the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).