No matter how your interest in Public Health began, the University of Colorado Denver’s Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences has got your future covered with multiple degree options.
Whether you choose the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science in Public Health, you receive the best quality education delivered in the first-of-its-kind team teaching approach with world-class faculty from both the University of Colorado Denver and the Colorado School of Public Health through the Anschutz Medical Campus.
Our Public Health degrees empower you to take control of your academic journey regardless of where you start. You determine your schedule from our flexible course options, even if you already have a full-time job. You decide whether you want to minor, major, or even go on to earn your Master’s of Public Health with only one additional year through our 4 + 1 program—saving you time and money.
The public health programs offer a unique dual teaching method which utilizes the faculty at both CU Denver and the Anschutz Medical Center to give you real world public health tools to support classroom theory.
You will graduate with a degree that gives you a broad array of knowledge and skills. You will understand the latest ideas and methodologies, and you will gain the ability to understand the multiple sides of public health issues—from theory to practice.
You’ll learn from widely cited experts in the field and understand how to identify sources of illness, control disease outbreaks, evaluate social elements of health, and protect the environment—all parts of public health.
Public Health Specialists are more in demand than ever before with some of the highest projected growth rates for any career trajectory in the nation. And during the pandemic public health has proven itself to be more important than ever before. Without the public health advocacy and actions the world developed in 2020 and beyond, we would be a much different place than where we are today.
Careers stemming from a Public Health bachelors degree are numerous and full of opportunity.
Public health careers include:
- Public Health specialists at local, regional, and national levels
- Health Communicators
- Community Health Organizers
- Health promotion and Disease Prevention specialists
- Emergency Preparedness & Response experts
- Health and Disease Research Coordinators and Administrators
- Health Policy Analysts
Those who move onto graduate level degrees can find careers such as:
- Public health educator and consultant
- Behavioral Health specialist
- Addiction Counselor
Public health provides the perfect undergraduate preparation for a wide variety of healthcare fields including medicine, nursing, dentistry, occupational therapy, and more.
CLAS Core – 15 credit hours
These classes give you a well rounded education and support the theory and skills you will get with your public health degree.
- Writing and presenting
- Literature and culture
- Behavioral science
- Social sciences
- Natural and physical sciences
Public Health Core—23 credit hours
The Public Health Core curriculum draws from a sweeping variety of disciplines including social and behavioral sciences, medicine, nursing, business, economics, statistics, epidemiology, law, chemistry, and more.
Course topics for both the BA and BS include:
- Introduction to Public Health
- Health Policy
- Perspectives in Global Health
- Environmental Health*
* speak to your advisor if you are interested in the 4 + 1 program
The Bachelor of Arts (43 credit hours of Public Health courses)
- Mental Illness and Society
- Urban Health
- Public Health and Aging
- Special topics courses in Public Health
- Language Arts or other Electives
Bachelor of Science (73 credit hours of public health courses)
The BS utilizes your electives to achieve this degree within the 120 hour structure and fulfills all the minimum requirements for medical school. These courses include topics such as:
- Chemistry, Physics, Calculus
- Population Change and Analysis
- Rhetorics of Medicine & Health
- Health Economics
- Health Risk Communication
- Medical Anthropology: Global Health
Electives and/or foreign language proficiency
The Bachelor of Science degree uses your electives for a deeper dive into the science of public health whereas you may take more discretionary electives with the Bachelor of Arts.
You may also need to take coursework in a foreign language offered through Modern Languages. Talk to your advisor for details, especially if you’ve taken foreign language courses or have experience in a foreign language in your past.
You, like many of our students, may be interested in a double major. Common combinations include:
- Physics—course overlap with the BS with this combination.
- Pre-Med— overlap with this combination.
- Sociology—course overlap with this combination.
- Ethnic Studies—course overlap with this combination.
- Chemistry—course overlap with the BS with this combination.
- Business—especially if you are interested in Healthcare Administration
- Biology—course overlap with the BS with this combination.
Add a minor to your degree
We also recommend a minor in Ethnic Studies, Psychology, Biology or other science minors which may offer overlapping courses. Speak with your advisor to learn more.
If you are in either our BA or BS in Public Health degree programs, you may be eligible to save time and tuition money by enrolling in our ambitious 4 + 1 Bachelor of Arts or Science in Public Health to Master of Public Health degree program.
The 4 + 1 Bachelor and Masters degree allows you to get your Masters in Public Health in as little as one year of post Bachelor's work by utilizing masters level courses in your Bachelor degree.
If you are interested in the 4 + 1 program, speak with a Public Health advisor as early as possible in your undergraduate career—particularly because one of the earlier core courses, Intro to Epidemiology, may be taken at Anschutz for graduate-level credit.
Your timeline may look different as a transfer student, so speak with your advisor.
Students will be able to:
- Describe and apply the social-ecological perspective to health and diseases; that is, understand health as the outcome of processes that occur on many levels, ranging from the social and cultural context to cellular and intracellular processes.
- Integrate multiple disciplines and research traditions to identify and explain the social, behavioral, and biological determinants of health, wellness, and disease in human communities and populations;
- Understand apply the core principles of health promotion/disease prevention to specific health problems in the community
- Describe the basic elements of the health policy processes and identify and describe the major institutional players in health policy, both domestically and internationally;
- Analyze how health needs, perceptions of health needs, and the organizational and social structures through which health services are delivered and received vary cross-culturally;
- Articulate the basic structure, organization, and financing principles of contemporary health care systems;
- Use the statistical, imaging, and qualitative research skills necessary for problem-solving and critical thinking in the areas of epidemiology, health care, planning, and community health needs assessment;
- Explain health disparities across socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity using an interdisciplinary perspective; and
- Students who select the BA degree will demonstrate a working knowledge of Biology and Mathematics suitable for students who wish to pursue careers and advanced training in public health.
- Students who select the BS degree will demonstrate a working knowledge of Biology, Mathematics, Chemistry, and Physics suitable for students who wish to pursue advanced training in medicine and/or the laboratory sciences.
The cost of tuition for the BA/BS in Public Health is different for in-state and out-of-state students. See the link for the current table of rates.
Residents of Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) states may qualify for reduced tuition rates. The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program requires students to maintain current residency in WICHE state until degree completion.
Each year, CU Denver undergraduate students are awarded over $30 million in scholarships from institutional, local, state, and national sources. Learn more, and apply here.
Many departments and offices at CU Denver offer student employment (including work-study, student hourly positions) through LynxConnect. Learn more here.
If you are an incoming freshman to CU Denver (in-state, out-of-state, and international applicants), you can apply through either the Common Application or the Milo Application. Transfer students will need to submit the Milo Application.
Incoming First-year Students
CU Denver requires that students complete the Colorado Higher Education Admission Requirements (HEAR). You will not have to meet all Minimum Academic Preparation Standards (MAPS) for admission, but you will need to complete CU Denver coursework by graduation.
We have strong connections with other four-year and community colleges. If you have completed more than 24 hours of transferable coursework, you will be evaluated for admission on the basis of your college GPA without regard to your high school performance. If you have fewer than 24 hours, you will be evaluated based on both your high school and college GPAs. For more information and to plan your transfer, see transfer admissions in the admissions office.
You will need to begin your application through the Office of International Affairs. They will help you manage your application process.
Domestic Application: January 1
International Applications: Priority is September 15, and Final is October 15
Domestic Applications: May 15
International Applications: Priority is January 15, and Final is March 15
Domestic Applications: August 1
International Applications: Priority is March 15, and Final is May 15