The Department of Educational Psychology offers this degree program.
Is this program for me?
International, national and regional demand for public health educators, health promotion and health education specialists, and allied health professionals with a B.S. degree is dramatically expanding due to increasing community health problems and demands for service along with a greater emphasis on prevention in the recent Health Care Reform legislation. Widespread worker shortages are projected. For example, by 2012 approximately one-quarter of the estimated public health workforce will be eligible to retire. By 2016 a 44% increase in employment opportunities for health educators is forecast.
The Bachelor of Science in Health offers three degree tracks:
1. Public Health
UH is one of just a few U.S. universities offering a BS degree in Health with a Public Health Track. This degree option provides courses required for entry-level public health jobs found in government agencies, health corporations, community non-profit organizations and health care facilities. The Public Health Core, combined with a Health Promotion Specialization and Health Electives offers numerous strong opportunities to Public Health majors for employment. It provides key concepts and competencies nationally deemed necessary in undergraduate public health coursework by national organizations such as the Association for Prevention, Teaching and Research and the American Public Health Association. This degree plan addresses the competencies necessary for students to qualify for CHES (Certified Health Education Specialist). It also serves as a feeder-program for graduate study in our College of Education programs, local Schools of Public Health, and health professional schools in the Texas Medical Center and statewide.
2. Health Promotion
The Health Promotion Track consists of core Health Promotion Courses and Advanced Health Electives designed to provide the student with the flexibility to develop areas of individual competencies desirable for future employment. Socio-cultural, behavioral, psychological, and biological factors contributing to wellness and disease are emphasized. It is an ideal major for students interested in public/community health practice, health behavior research, program planning and delivery, and pre-professional or graduate preparation. This degree plan addresses the competencies necessary for students to qualify for CHES (Certified Health Education Specialist).
3. Health Promotion for Allied Health Professionals
This Track consists of Health Promotion Core, Health Electives, and Approved Electives. Students who have completed a two-year Associate degree program in an allied health field (e.g., dental hygiene, respiratory therapy, health information technology, speech-language pathology assistant, nursing, occupational therapy assistant, pharmacy technician, radiologic technology, physical therapy) may transfer in University core course requirements and advisor-approved courses from their Allied Health Field. This curriculum provides a program that coordinates well with previous backgrounds and training and allows students to progress to a Bachelor’s Degree. This degree plan addresses the competencies necessary for students to qualify for CHES (Certified Health Education Specialist).
Since degree plans change periodically, students will follow the degree plan that is in place at the time in which they complete an official, approved degree plan. Following are the most current sample degree plans for Health majors:
Please see a Health Undergraduate Advisor for more information.
It will typically take 4 years to complete the degree if students are enrolled full-time (12 hours).
What will I learn?
Specific course work includes introduction to public health, health behavior, health promotion and disease, and program planning. In addition, an internship is complemented by an approved minor.
Graduates from the program will learn to:
- Assess Individual and Community Needs for Health Promotion
- Plan and implement Health Promotion Strategies, Interventions, and Programs
- Serve as a Health Promotion Resource Person
- Communicate and Advocate for Health Promotion
- Evaluate Health Promotion Programs
- Conduct Health Behavior Research
- Prepare for entry into pre-professional or graduate programs
What can I do with my degree?
Graduates of the program may seek placement in a variety of career settings. They include government organizations, schools, health agencies, patient-care facilities, and international, global, community or worksite settings. The degree can also prepare students for entry into health-related graduate programs such as medicine, pharmacy, optometry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, dentistry or public health.
All three degree plan tracks address the competencies necessary for students to qualify for (CHES) Certified Health Education Specialist. CHES competencies are generic to the practice of health promotion and health education, whether it takes place in schools, colleges, workplaces, health care settings, or other settings within a community.
Graduates from the program may work in the following settings:
- Community and Public Health Agencies – coalition building, needs assessments, grant writing, media advocacy, budgeting, public speaking, etc.
- Healthcare settings – provide patient education, develop and conduct health and wellness programs, and develop health outreach services in the community.
- Worksite Health Promotion – employee wellness programs, health screenings, health resource person, annual health fairs, etc.
- Schools, Colleges and Universities – health educator for wellness programs and recreational activities.
- Voluntary Health Agencies - plan, implement, and evaluate components of the agency’s programs. Train volunteers, fundraise, and educate the community.
To apply for this major, make an appointment with the Health Undergraduate Advisor.