Academic Catalog


Bachelor of Science in Public Health Public Health (BSPH)

Program Email: []
Program Director: Dr. Elizabeth A. Brown

Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) will possess knowledge and skills necessary to prevent disease, prolong life, and promote health. Graduates will also have the skills to be leaders in their community where they can showcase their ability to describe data related to social determinants of health, determine interventions needed for various communities, and demonstrate the ability to collect, manage, and analyze data. Graduates will be able to serve as leaders in the various capacities at the local, state, or federal level. Students will have skills valuable to health departments, non-profit organizations, hospitals, and even the military. Graduates may consider furthering their education with a Master of Public Health while others may pursue clinical programs (e.g., medicine, nursing, or physician assistant), occupational therapy, physical therapy, dental hygiene, etc. 

The curriculum for the Public Health major incorporates rigorous coursework in epidemiology and biostatistics, social and behavioral aspects of health, the United states healthcare delivery system, healthcare ethics, the natural sciences, health policy, and environmental health issues, among other areas. The program also provides students with courses in basic research methods necessary for assessment, analysis, communication, research, problem solving, and critical thinking abilities in the emerging emphasis on evidence-based health care and public health. Students will have the opportunity to gain practical public health exposure and mentoring in clinical, research, or community settings.

The Bachelor of Science in Public Health is available in a hybrid format with some courses offered online and some in personThe program can also be completed fully online to increase flexibility for students. 

Admission to the Bachelor of Science in Public Health Program

  1. ODU students who have completed all prerequisite courses with a C or better and meet the minimum cumulative GPA (2.00) requirement are admitted to the Bachelor of Science in Public Health program. Transfer students may complete the prerequisite courses at another college or university but are responsible for having a transfer credit evaluation completed by the transfer evaluation unit in the Office of Admissions to determine that transfer courses are equivalent and acceptable to Old Dominion University requirements.  Admission is conducted on a rolling basis. Students who have met all program admissions requirements will be referred by their advisor in the Health Sciences Advising Center/ODU Online Health Sciences advisor to the program director for major declaration, program admission, and assignment to a program advisor. For additional information on the curriculum or admission requirements, please contact: Program Director ( or College of Health Sciences Advising Center (

  2. Students must be accepted to the program before enrolling in any 400-level required course.

  3. For non-native English speakers, a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 550 on the paper-based test (or 79-80 on the iBT) is required.

Continuance and Readmission Policy

In addition to the Old Dominion University continuance policies in this catalog, the following policies are specific to all declared majors in the BSPH Program:

  1. A grade of C (2.00) or better is required in all BSPH courses to continue in the program.
  2. A student who earns a grade of D or F in any course required by the major will not be considered in good academic standing in the major.
  3. A cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better is required to continue in the BSPH program.
  4. A BSPH student who fails a BSPH course and is readmitted to the BSPH program is allowed to repeat the failed course only once during the next course offering.
  5. A student who leaves the major and is readmitted may be required to take additional course work prior to or concurrent with readmission.
  6. A student may be readmitted to the BSPH major only once.

Internship (Capstone Experience)

The internship (capstone experience) PUBH 468 is a three-credit course that serves as the capstone experience for students pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Public Health. The internship is a planned, supervised, and evaluated 200-hour experience under the direction of the internship coordinator. (Note: Students enrolled in the linked BSPH to MPH program are required to perform 120 hours as those students take graduate-level courses and are required to complete an Applied Practice Experience/practicum in the graduate program.) The policies, guidelines, and processes followed by the coordinator and students are delineated in the Internship Manual provided to students when they enroll in the program. The internship provides the opportunity for students to integrate their academic work into experiential learning to gain additional experience in the field or community of the student's choice. The experience will allow a student to gain basic job entry or advanced skills by working with experienced public health or healthcare professionals in a public or private organization. Students may select the internship site, or they may seek guidance from faculty about possible sites.

Students may be eligible for internship upon senior standing in the major (at least 90 credits) and completion of all required prerequisites. Senior standing is imperative for success in the internship course as the foundational skills and concepts are achieved during the span of entire coursework at ODU. Internships must be sought and undertaken in an organization, agency, department, or community that provides planning and/or services that are relevant to the core areas of public health. Any student who plans to organize an internship without the appropriate foundation may be at a disadvantage in the organizations in which internships are undertaken. All public health students will complete an internship related to public health. The internship experience and corresponding internship course both address the relevance of developing skills and competencies as required for the future of public health practitioners.  

As part of the course assessment, students are required to develop an electronic portfolio (ePortfolio). The ePortfolio is a collection of work completed by the student during the internship and can be used to present the student’s “professional” or digital self to others. In addition to submitting an ePortfolio, students must submit a comprehensive attendance record that covers the entire internship period.

Students who have five or more years of supervisory or management experience in a public health field can apply for a Prior Learning ePortfolio Challenge, which could replace the internship course A cover letter and resume will be required for initial review. Please contact the BSPH internship coordinator to discuss this option. 

Some internship sites may require the student to complete a criminal background check and/or proof of vaccination status prior to beginning the internship. 

Students who do not pass the internship in the first attempt will have the opportunity to repeat the course one additional time. If they are unsuccessful on their final attempt, they will be unable to earn the Bachelor of Science in Public Health.