Public Health

The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Public Health degree program equips students with the knowledge to face pressing health challenges, including health inequities by race, gender, and sexuality, infectious and chronic diseases, food and water safety, sanitation, and environmental issues.

Professor teaching to a class of students

Complete your Public Health major with Simmons University

Simmons University is nationally recognized for providing students in our Public Health major with the conceptual and empirical foundation for analyzing the interplay between health, science, and society.

Throughout the Public Health degree experience, students will find a unique niche in the field that best matches their interests, skills, and passion for making an impact—setting them up for a rewarding career.

What you will learn with a bachelor’s in Public Health?

Students earning their Public Health degree learn how to interpret public health data, frame a public health issue, review and apply scientific literature, and present findings on approaches to the issue. The interdisciplinary coursework covers emerging research, trends, and solutions that can act as long-term prevention of an issue on a widespread scale—like the eradication of disease.

Through the curriculum and hands-on learning, students in the Public Health major are shaped into confident, skilled advocates capable of influencing a healthier, more educated public.

All undergraduate Public Health degree students complete 12 core courses spread across the four years to establish a strong foundation in fundamental and emerging topics in the field, including human development, health communications, microbiology, global health, environmental science, and epidemiology.

The Public Health bachelor’s degree culminates in a capstone requirement of either an internship or research experience, providing students with a rewarding, hands-on learning experience to deepen their in-classroom knowledge. Learn more about the course options in our Program Requirements below.

In addition to the BS in Public health degree, students can add a public health minor to science, pre-med, health profession studies, or social work for a broadened perspective of the reach of their field.

What can you do with a Public Health degree?

The field of Public Health touches many aspects of people’s lives. The work done in this field reflects the tireless efforts of its practitioners to continuously strive for improvement and innovation that can solve pressing health challenges facing the world.

There is a rising demand for public health professionals due to increased global concerns regarding health inequities, infectious and chronic disease epidemiology, food and water safety, sanitation, and environmental health issues.

With this demand, graduates of the BS in Public Health degree programs are making a difference every day. The interdisciplinary curriculum sets the stage for students to have the flexibility to carve out a specialization in public health that best matches their interests and goals. As a result, Simmons Public Health degree graduates enter public health careers in a wide range of in-demand roles such as emergency management specialists, health educators, epidemiologists, community health workers, researchers, and public health communicators—all seeking to identify and solve important issues in public health.

In addition to beginning a public health career, the Public Health program also prepares students to continue their education and increase specialization through an advanced degree program like Simmons’ accelerated online Master of Public Health (MPH) or Bachelor’s in Public Health + MS in Nutrition 4+1 degree.

The Public Health department also has matriculation agreements in place for Masters Programs in Public Health with Boston University School of Public Health (Select Scholars Program) and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Interested students should discuss these options with the Chair of the Public Health Department in the fall of their junior year.

Engage in hands-on learning with a bachelor’s degree in Public Health

Simmons University’s Public Health major provides access to Boston’s world-class, vibrant medical community. There are many prestigious teaching hospitals and research labs within walking distance of the Simmons campus. Students will enrich their academic experience by attending talks, pursuing research and internships, and interacting directly with leading experts in public health research and policy through guest lectures.

Internship and research opportunities are an essential element of the Public Health degree, enhancing the in-classroom experience for deeper understanding of course concepts. They allow students to explore specialized interests, build career-ready skills, and establish strong connections with dedicated mentors in the field. Simmons Public Health undergraduate students have interned in prominent locations such as the Boston Public Health Commission and Boston Children’s Hospital.

Admission requirements for the BS in Public Health

Students interested in applying to the undergraduate Public Health degree program must submit the following items to be considered for undergraduate admission:

  • Completed Application
  • High School Transcript
  • SAT or ACT Test Scores
  • TOEFL Scores (required if English is not your first language)
  • College Essay College Transcript (if applicable)
  • Two Letters of Recommendation (one teacher, one counselor)

Learn more about Simmons University’s first-year undergraduate application process, including deadlines and what we look for in an applicant.

Learn more about our Public Health major!

Earn your Public Health degree at Simmons University and get started on the path to a fulfilling career. Contact our faculty with any questions—their information can be found below—or you can request more information about our Public Health major, schedule a campus tour, or find out how to apply to our Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health!

Customize your degree in Public Health

Your advisor will help you develop a curriculum tailored to your interests and career goals. At Simmons you'll have opportunities to explore double majors and complementary minors to customize your study. Our accelerated degree in Public Health (BS) and Nutrition (MS) lets interested students earn their undergraduate and graduate degree in only 5 years. 

Simmons students pursuing a BA or BS in Public Health can apply to simultaneously complete coursework toward their MPH. The combined degree program decreases the total number of credits needed to earn two degrees, providing an opportunity to jumpstart your career as a public health professional. Interested students should contact Prof. Val Leiter ([email protected]) to discuss this option.

If your future plans include applying to medical, dental or veterinary school make sure to speak with your advisor as soon as possible so you can plan to meet the admission requirements of those professional programs. 

We also offer a minor in public health for students pursuing other majors. 

Internships and research opportunities

Internships and research are essential to public health students. You'll have opportunities to explore your interests, build your skills and develop mentoring relationships with leaders in the field. 

Our students put their knowledge into practice in many ways, including:

  • Studying abroad — from Chile to China to Switzerland — to gain a global perspective on this universally-important major.
  • Interning and studying at places like the Boston Public Health Commission and Boston Children's Hospital. 
  • Partnering with our Communications Department to produce Public Service Announcements about timely health issues. 

Apply to Simmons' bachelor's in Public Health

So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a visit...now you're ready to apply! Let's get started.

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Our Faculty

Learn more about our Public Health major faculty

Val Leiter photo

Valerie Leiter

  • Professor, Chair of Public Health and Undergraduate Program Director