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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 foreign 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 Proficiencies 

Degree Requirements Chart

Students must fulfill the Newcomb-Tulane core requirement and the BSPH degree requirements. Students must complete 120 hours total for a bachelors degree program at Tulane.

Degree Requirements by Credit Hour    
Newcomb-Tulane Core 30 hours (excludes AP credit) 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 3010 - Foundations of Health Care Systems
SPHU 3110 - Social and Behavioral Perspectives In Public Health
SPHU 3160 - Biostatistics Applications in Public Health
SPHU 3170 - Foundations in Epidemiology
SPHU 4010 - Foundations of Public Health Policy

SPHU 4540, 4550, 4560 or 4580 - Public Health Capstone (3 credits)

Students are eligible to complete their Capstone after five 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. See 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 & Public Health
SPHU 2220 - Concepts of Health & Wellness
SPHU 2300 - Nutrition and Chronic Disease
SPHU 2333 - Introduction to Global Maternal Child Health
SPHU 3015 - Public Health Program Implementation
SPHU 3120 - Issues & Strategies in Public Health
SPHU 3300 - Sustainable Nutrition
SPHU 3330 - Disasters & Environmental Health
SPHU 3500 - Public Health Approaches to Sexual Violence
SPHU 4160 - Introduction to Statistical Packages
SPHU 4200 - Evidence Based Public Health
SPHU 4210 - 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 4400 - Bioinformatics and Genomics
SPHU 4410 - Data & Information Management in Public Health
SPHU 4570 - Internship (non-capstone)
SPHU 4910 - Independent Study (non-capstone)

Any other SPHU class that is not a core class

Additional Electives:

EBIO 2240 - Oceans and Human Health
ECON 4500 - Health Economics and Policy
EENS 3150 - Intro to Geographic Information Systems
HISU 3541 - History of Reproductive Health
PSDV 4392 - Controversies in Global Health
SOCI 3030 - Introduction to Research Design
SOCI 3040 - Introduction to Research Analysis
SPHL 6020 - Foundations in Public Health
SPHL 6050 - Biostatistics for Public Health
SPHL 6060 - Epidemiology for Public Health
SPHL 6070 – Health Systems, Policy and Management
SPHL 6080 – Design Strategies for Public Health Programs 
SPHU 2940, 3940, 4940 - Transfer credit class codes

Any 2000 or higher level MATH class

Combined degree graduate level courses: SPHL 6050, SPHL 6060, SPHL 6070 and SPHL 6080
Study Abroad credits as approved by faculty advisor or from pre-approved list
Additional classes above the 2000-level as approved by the student’s faculty advisor.

HLWL courses are not accepted as electives for the public health degree.


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.