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The BSPH Degree

The Tulane Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) degree is an academic degree addressing the health of populations and communities through instruction, service, and community based research. Grounded in a background of humanities, social science, and the liberal arts, the degree fulfills Tulane University’s campus-wide undergraduate core proficiency while stressing an additional commitment to quantitative and scientific skills. This degree program is nationally accredited and has specific competencies, or educational targets. Competencies for the BSPH cover core concepts and structures of public health, along with university-required proficiencies, writing and math skills, and a non-English language.

Degree Competencies

BSPH Degree Competencies

  1. Describe the history, philosophy, core values, concepts, functions, and population-based approaches of public health.
  2. Explain the behavioral, environmental, biological, and socio-economic determinants that impact human health and contribute to health disparities.
  3. Apply data collection and analysis to develop evidence-based population approaches to public health problems.
  4. Discuss and apply cultural competencies and concepts of public health planning, implementation, assessment, and evaluation.
  5. Describe the fundamental characteristics and organizational structures of the U.S. health system as well as the systems in other countries.
  6. Describe the legal, ethical, economic, and regulatory aspects of public health practice and health policy.
  7. Demonstrate public health communication skills using oral, written, mass media, and electronic technology formats.

Newcomb–Tulane Core Curriculum 

Degree Requirements Chart

Students must fulfill the Newcomb–Tulane core curriculum requirements and the BSPH degree requirements. Students must complete 120 hours total for a bachelor's degree at Tulane.

Degree Requirements by Credit Hour    
Newcomb–Tulane Core 30 hours (minimum) Varies by student
BSPH Core 24 hours All BSPH students take these
BSPH Electives 18 hours Up to 9 hours from other departments or study abroad
BSPH Capstone 3 or 7 hours 7 hours for Honors Thesis
Total Hours 89 to 104 Varies by student, depending on AP credit, other majors, and/or minors
BSPH Course Requirements

The BSPH Degree requires a total of 45 credits, consisting of the public health core, a public health capstone, and electives that complement the student's core knowledge.

Public Health Basic Core (24 credits)

SPHU 1010  Introduction to Public Health
SPHU 1020  Cell, Individual & Community
SPHU 2150  Foundations of Environmental Health 
SPHU 2160  Biostatistics Applications in Public Health 
SPHU 3010  Foundations of Health Care Systems
SPHU 3110  Social and Behavioral Perspectives In Public Health
SPHU 3170  Foundations in Epidemiology
SPHU 4010  Foundations of Public Health Policy

Public Health Capstone (3 credits)

SPHU 4540  Senior Seminar Capstone
SPHU 4550  Capstone Independent Study 
SPHU 4560  Capstone Internship 
SPHU 4580  International Capstone 
SPHU 4900, 5000  Honors Thesis 

Students are eligible to complete their Capstone during their last three semesters as an undergraduate, and with a majority of their other program requirements completed. The Capstone is a student-driven academic and/or professional experience. Learn more about Capstone options here.

BSPH Electives

As part of their BSPH Degree, students are required to complete 18 credit hours of electives. Electives provide an opportunity to focus on specialized knowledge that complements core coursework. In recognition of the multi-disciplinary nature of public health, students may consider classes in other academic fields and should consult with academic and major advisors to discuss ways to integrate fields in the liberal arts and sciences into their curriculum. 

Students must complete a minimum of six classes for a minimum of 18 credit hours in order to complete this requirement.

A minimum of 3 elective courses for a minimum of 9 credit hours must be completed in classes offered by public health faculty (classes with a SPHU prefix).

Public Health Electives:

SPHU 2016  Evolution, Microbes & Disease Emergence
SPHU 2050  Arthropods and Public Health
SPHU 2300  Introduction to Nutrition 
SPHU 2333  Introduction to Global Maternal and Child Health
SPHU 2400  Global Health in Action 
SPHU 2410  Health & Women's Rights 
SPHU 2420  Health Challenges & Climate Change 
SPHU 2810  Pandemics and Public Health 
SPHU 3011  Introduction to Occupational Health & Safety
SPHU 3015  Public Health Program Implementation
SPHU 3100  Environmental Pollution & Biomarkers of Health
SPHU 3120  Issues & Strategies in Public Health
SPHU 3200  Nutrition and Chronic Disease 
SPHU 3330  Disasters & Environmental Health 
SPHU 3350  Lifecycle Nutrition
SPHU 3500  Public Health Approaches to Sexual Violence
SPHU 3560  Biological Basis of Disease
SPHU 3600  Women's Reproductive & Obstetric Health
SPHU 4160  Introduction to Statistical Packages
SPHU 4180  Introduction to Qualitative Methods 
SPHU 4200  Evidence Based Public Health
SPHU 4210  Health & Environmental Risk Assessment
SPHU 4220  Latino Health in the United States
SPHU 4240  Epidemiology of Sexually Transmitted Infections
SPHU 4260  Organizational Leadership & Management
SPHU 4300  Public Health Communication
SPHU 4330  Resilience in International Disasters
SPHU 4340  Public Health Genomics
SPHU 4350  Zoonotic Infections, Outbreaks, Emerging and Reemerging Diseases
SPHU 4410  Data & Information Management in Public Health
SPHU 4570  Internship (non–capstone)
SPHU 4910  Independent Study (non–capstone)
SPHU 4920  Independent Study (non–capstone)

Any other SPHU class that is not a core class.

Additional Electives:

AFRS 4800   Black Women's Health 
ANTH 2370   Anthropology of Global Health
EBIO  2240  Oceans and Human Health
ECON 4500  Health Economics and Policy
EENS 3150   Intro to Geographic Information Systems
PSDV 4392   Politics of Global Public Health 
SOCI  3030   Introduction to Research Design
SOCI  3040   Social Statistics
SPHU 5380, 5390   Study Abroad credits as approved by faculty or from pre-approved list 
SPHU 2940, 3940, 4940   Transfer credit class codes 

Any 2000 or higher-level MATH class.

Additional classes above the 2000-level as approved by the student's major advisor. 

Combined degree graduate–level courses: SPHL 6050, SPHL 6060, SPHL 6070, SPHL 6080, HPAM 6050, HPAM 6170, HPAM 6200, HPAM 6710.

Selected courses from the School of Professional Advancement (SoPA): HMLS 2750, HMLS 3250. Courses must be the on–campus section.


The Tulane BSPH degree is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and public health programs.

Tulane University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, doctorate, and professional degrees.