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Public Health, B.S.

A public health major at Saint Louis University is a perfect fit for service-oriented students who like to ask the bigger questions about health, understand why health differs across populations and address health disparities and social justice on a community level in diverse local, national and global settings. Public health is a natural fit with the Jesuit mission as a service-oriented field. 

Public health professionals address challenging health-related issues in today's world, such as: How can social media be used to track disease outbreaks? How do we address the growing burden of cancer in low/middle-income countries? What policies and interventions are most effective for addressing the opioid crisis?  How do we ensure safe drinking water in communities across the globe? 

Saint Louis University's B.S. in Public Health is offered through the College for Public Health and Social Justice and is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.

Program Highlights

  • Immediate impact. Public health students at Saint Louis University can immediately impact community health with a curriculum that emphasizes hands-on learning, field exposure and social justice.
  • Evidenced-based. As public health majors, SLU students use evidence-based approaches to addressing health issues and examine the roles of individual behavior, environment, biology, social structures and policy in determining health outcomes.
  • Diverse opportunities. SLU's public health major opens the door to multiple career opportunities in various settings, including community organizations, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. 
  • Employment outlook. Public health has faster-than-average job growth in a diverse workplace.
  • Pre-medical studies. Pre-med students who major in public health at SLU gain a more robust understanding of how social, community, organizational, environmental and policy factors affect the health of their future patients.
  • Medallion Program.  Designed for first-year students in all CPHSJ majors, this program connects first-year students with each other, their major, and the college through social, academic enhancement and professional development events, as well as faculty mentoring.

Additional degree options for students majoring in public health at SLU include:

  • An accelerated program in which students earn a B.S. in Public Health in four years and a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) with one additional year of study; students apply to this program during their fifth semester of study
  • A pre-med track for students interested in going to medical school
  • A Medical Scholars track for students in the Medical Scholars Program
  • Honors courses for students in SLU's Honors Program

Curriculum Overview

SLU's Bachelor of Science in Public Health curriculum contains 36 credits of major courses that include contemporary challenges in health care, global health, evidence-based practice, epidemiology, biostatistics, advocacy/policy and the biological basis of public health. Students also take six credits of public health electives, drawn from courses offered across disciplines. In the senior capstone course, students complete a culminating project and portfolio to demonstrate their achievement of program learning outcomes. 

The Undergraduate Core curriculum requirements and general education credits fulfill the remainder of the 120 credits required for graduation. Many students use their elective courses to pursue secondary majors, minors or pre-med requirements.

Student Handbook

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

Field exposure is an integral part of SLU's undergraduate public health experience. Students can embody Saint Louis University’s Jesuit mission by using the knowledge they gain in the classroom to serve others through internships, volunteerism and other service opportunities.  Field exposure, hands-on projects and engagement with public health practitioners provide valuable experience and help public health students connect with the St. Louis community. Students can also volunteer with health care providers and agencies that serve underserved communities, assist faculty with research projects and apply to national internships and summer programs in public health. 

Students are encouraged to participate in internships and summer research opportunities to further enhance their learning experiences. Internships can be completed on a volunteer basis or for general elective academic credit. Public health students have interned at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Procter and Gamble, Barnes Jewish Hospital, SSM Health–St. Louis, the Regional Health Commission, departments of health and more.   

Students can also become members of various student organizations focused on public health issues to get to know other students and engage in additional service, networking and leadership opportunities.


A B.S. in public health prepares students for entry-level careers in a variety of settings, including departments of health, government agencies, nonprofit and community health organizations, hospitals, academic centers, advocacy organizations, the pharmaceutical industry and consulting agencies. It is also excellent preparation for graduate school. 

Examples of career options in public health include:

  • Working with a community organization or health department to implement and evaluate community health interventions about issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or cancer
  • Doing infection prevention work in hospitals and other health care settings
  • Conducting surveillance of chronic and infectious diseases for local, regional or state health departments
  • Analyzing and developing health policy for a governmental agency
  • Conducting public health research in an academic setting
  • Monitoring clinical trials in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Analyzing health outcomes for insurance companies
  • Collaborating with school districts to bring opportunities for physical activity into elementary and high schools
  • Designing public health media campaigns, such as those to encourage wearing a seat belt or discourage tobacco use
  • Researching the effect of air pollution on a population’s health and advocating for policy change
  • Implementing programs aimed at violence prevention or women’s empowerment
  • Studying the barriers to healthy eating at both the personal and societal levels
  • Working for a nongovernmental organization that designs clean water and sanitation systems in developing countries

Students also have the option to complete fellowships, programs or a year of service following graduation. Graduates have completed fellowships with the Peace Corps, the United Nations, Fulbright, the World Health Organization and the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.


All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 


Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.


Tuition Cost Per Year
Undergraduate Tuition $54,760

Additional charges may apply. Other resources are listed below:

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Information on Tuition and Fees

Miscellaneous Fees

Information on Summer Tuition

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided through grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

Saint Louis University makes every effort to keep our education affordable. In fiscal year 2023, 99% of first-time freshmen and 92% of all students received financial aid and students received more than $459 million in aid University-wide.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by December 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit


Saint Louis University's College for Public Health and Social Justice is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). To see our most recent accreditation documentation, please visit the College for Public Health and Social Justice website.

  1. Graduates will be able to demonstrate foundational knowledge of public health in relation to human cultures, history, science and policy.
  2. Graduates will be able to identify health characteristics, determinants and needs across diverse populations.
  3. Graduates will be able to recognize ways to implement evidence-based approaches to public health issues in communities.
  4. Graduates will be able to communicate public health issues with an emphasis on social justice and the core disciplines of public health.
University Undergraduate Core32-35
Prerequisites for Major Courses
MATH 1400Pre-Calculus3
Required Public Health Major Courses
BST 3100Applied Biostatistics I3
EPI 4000Intro Epidemiology: Foundations & Practice3
HMP 1300Contemporary Challenges in Health Care3
PUBH 2100Introduction to Global Health3
PUBH 2300Contemporary Issues in Global Health3
PUBH 3100Public Health & Social Justice3
PUBH 3200Evidence Based Public Health3
PUBH 4000Politics and Public Health Advocacy3
PUBH 4100Biological Basis of Public Health3
PUBH 4960Capstone in Public Health3
Public Health Major Electives 6
General Electives46-49
Total Credits120

Students choose 6 credits of electives from a pre-approved list of classes (see list below).  Students should consult with CPHSJ Academic Advisors when selecting Public Health major elective courses.

Continuation Standards

  • Cumulative G.P.A. of at least 2.00
  • Minimum grade of C in all B.S. in Public Health major courses
  • Minimum grade of C- in all major pre-requisite courses
  • Minimum grade of D in all core courses
  • Minimum grade of D in all remaining general elective courses counting toward the minimum 120 credits required for graduation
  • Students who wish to apply for the accelerated B.S./M.P.H. program must meet additional requirements as outlined in the CPHSJ Undergraduate Public Health Student Handbook.

Approved Public Health Elective Courses

ASTD 3200The Urban Crisis3
BIOL 4190GIS in Biology3
BST 3000Intro to Statistical Computing3
CCJ 2250Institutional & Community Corrections3
CCJ 3150Contemporary Theories of Crime3
CCJ 3400Victimology & Victimization3
CCJ 3500Race, Ethnicity, and the Criminal Justice System3
CCJ 3600Mental Health & Crime3
DIET 3030Sustainable Food Systems3
DIET 4060Maternal and Child Nutrition & Health3
GIS 4010Introduction to Geographic Information Systems3
MUSC 2300Intro to Music Therapy3
PUBH 2700Public Health Issues in Emergency Management3
PUBH 3500Art & Public Health: Creating Relationships for Social Change3
PUBH 3930Special Topics3
PUBH 4930Special Topics3
WGST 3510The Structure of Poverty, Globally and Locally3
SWRK 2300Human Behavior Social Environment3

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester. Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
CORE 1000 Ignite First Year Seminar 2-3
CORE 1500 Cura Personalis 1: Self in Community 1
CORE 1900 Eloquentia Perfecta 1: Written and Visual Communication 3
PUBH 2100 Introduction to Global Health 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
CORE 1600 Ultimate Questions: Theology 3
HMP 1300 Contemporary Challenges in Health Care 3
MATH 1400 Pre-Calculus (Ways of Thinking: Quantitative Reasoning) 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
Year Two
CORE 1200 Eloquentia Perfecta 2: Oral and Visual Communication 3
CORE 1700 Ultimate Questions: Philosophy 3
PUBH 2300 Contemporary Issues in Global Health 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
CORE 2500 Cura Personalis 2: Self in Contemplation 0
PUBH 3200 Evidence Based Public Health 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
Year Three
BST 3100 Applied Biostatistics I 3
CORE 2800 Eloquentia Perfecta 3: Creative Expression 2-3
CORE 3400 Ways of Thinking: Aesthetics, History, and Culture 3
PUBH 3100 Public Health & Social Justice 3
General Elective: Global Interdependence Attribute 3
General Elective: Identities in Context 3
CORE 3600 Ways of Thinking: Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
CORE 4000 Collaborative Inquiry 2-3
PUBH 4100 Biological Basis of Public Health (Meets Ways of Thinking: Natural Sciences Core) 3
CORE 3500 Cura Personalis 3: Self in the World 1
General Elective: Reflection in Action Attribute 3
General Elective 3
Year Four
EPI 4000 Intro Epidemiology: Foundations & Practice 3
PUBH 4000 Politics and Public Health Advocacy 3
Public Health Elective 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
PUBH 4960 Capstone in Public Health 3
Public Health Elective 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 1-3
 Total Credits120-125

Pre-medical students must consult with their academic advisor, and with SLU's Office of Pre-Health and Pre-Law Studies to ensure the proper pre-medical course registrations.

Apply for Admission

For additional questions about undergraduate admission, please contact:
Katie Linnenbrink
Administrative assistant
Tegeler Hall 300 West

2+SLU programs provide a guided pathway for students transferring from a partner institution.