Bachelor of Science in Public Health



Make a difference in the health of communities. Mercy College of Health Sciences' Bachelor of Science in Public Health prepares you to fulfill the national, state, and local demand for more professionals to address global and environmental concerns related to infectious diseases, emergency preparedness, natural disasters, chronic diseases, injury and violence, and air and water quality issues that impact the health of every community.

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Average Salary1


Start Dates Per Year: Fall, Spring, and Summer


Hour Practicum Experience


YEAR Major Length2


Projected Job Growth from 2018 - 20281



Students in our Bachelor of Science in Public Health major study disease prevention and control, community health promotion, and social, behavioral, cultural, and regulatory factors that can impact the health of local and global populations. As a Public Health student, you will gain an in-depth understanding of health promotion program-planning, grant writing, environmental health, and public health advocacy.

The Bachelor of Science in Public Health curriculum has been reviewed by experts in the field of public health and was developed to align with the responsibilities and competencies for health education specialists. Our 120-credit hour program prepares you for a career in public health or graduate education. During the final semester, you will take a review course in preparation for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam. Having a CHES certification credential is highly desired in the public health arena.



 Mercy College of Health Sciences is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


 Mercy College of Health Sciences is recognized by the State of Iowa as a participant in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).

Our full-time PhD faculty team up with specialists in specific public health fields from surrounding health agencies and governmental institutions to provide a comprehensive learning experience for students in this program. You will have the opportunity to learn from public health practitioners with expertise in their respective fields of study.

Meet Your Faculty


Earning my degree online allowed me the flexibility to be home with my children and not have to rely on expensive daycares, which would have increased the cost of earning my degree. Even though I wasn’t on campus, I was able to contact my instructors, tutors, advisors, and librarians virtually and through email.

Beth D., BSN Candidate, 2020
Practicum Experience

During your final term, you will apply the concepts you learned throughout your coursework in a setting alongside professionals in public health organizations. This 45-hour practicum experience is designed to give you direct insight into the many disciplines and careers that fall under the realm of public health. Your faculty and enrollment coach are here to help you in finding a practicum site that matches your professional and personal interests. Not to mention, you have the entire network of our healthcare partners at your disposal.

Mercy College student studying online

The Public Health program is a direct admit program. When you are admitted to Mercy College, you are admitted into the Public Health program! Learn more about admission to Mercy College. To get started, complete the FREE Mercy College application. If you are transferring credits, please visit our transfer page to learn more.

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The following courses are required to earn your Bachelor of Science in Public Health. Additional coursework may be required depending on your individual situation. A suggested course sequence* is also included. Students must also satisfy all Core requirements including Servant Leadership.

PBH 180 - Intro to Public Health (3 cr)
PBH 260 - Environmental Health (3 cr)
PBH 301 - Healthcare Delivery in the United States - A Consumer Perspective(3 cr)
HCA 303 - Healthcare Economics(3 cr)
PBH 285 - Public Health Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (3 cr)
STA 330 - Biostatistics (3 cr)
PBH 315 - Global Health Issues (3 cr)
PBH 385 - Public Health Assessment and Evaluation (3 cr)
EPI 340 - Epidemiology (3 cr)
STA 420 - Research Methodologies (3 cr)
PBH 410 - Public Health Policies and Law (3 cr)
PBH 415 - Public Health Advocacy (3 cr)
PBH 425 - Program Planning in Health Promotion (3 cr)
PBH 440 - Grant Writing (3 cr)
PBH 460 - Practicum (2 cr)
PBH 495 - Capstone (1 cr)

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The Bachelor of Science in Public Health program offers start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. View our Academic Calendar for exact semester start dates. Pre-requisites and Core requirements may be completed at Mercy College year-round.

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Next step before transforming into a life-saving hero: complete the form below. Our admissions team will get you all the info you need to know.

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1Public Health Practitioner Salary in the United States, 2021.
2Completion time varies depending on each student's unique situation.


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About Us

Mercy College of Health Sciences has been transforming students into healthcare professionals since 1899. Located in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, we offer master's degreesbachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, certificate programs, and continuing education courses.

Mercy College is the only private Catholic college in central Iowa and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), in addition to numerous programmatic accreditors.

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Mercy College is a Catholic, accredited, nonprofit institution of higher learning.