Public Health, B.S.

Admission Requirements

Incoming freshmen who meet University of South Carolina admissions standards are eligible for admission to the degree programs offered by the Arnold School of Public Health. Transfer admission requires school approval as well as prerequisite conditions detailed with the specific programs.

Degree Requirements (120 hours)

See Arnold School of Public Health for progression requirements and other regulations.

Program of Study

Requirements Credit Hours
1. Carolina Core 32-44
2. College Requirements 12-15
3. Program Requirements 32-44
4. Major Requirements 32

Founding Documents Requirement

All undergraduate students must take a 3-credit course or its equivalent with a passing grade in the subject areas of History, Political Science, or African American Studies that covers the founding documents including the United State Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation and one or more documents that are foundational to the African American Freedom struggle, and a minimum of five essays from the Federalist papers.  This course may count as a requirement in any part of the program of study including the Carolina Core, the major, minor or cognate, or as a general elective.  Courses that meet this requirement are listed here.

1. Carolina Core Requirements (32-44 hours)

CMW – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Written (6 hours)

Must be passed with a grade of C or higher​

ARP – Analytical Reasoning and Problem Solving (6-7 hours) 

Must be passed with a grade of C or higher​

SCI – Scientific Literacy (8 hours)

Must be passed with a grade of C or higher​

GFL – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language  (0-6 hours)

Students shall demonstrate in one foreign language the ability to comprehend the topic and main ideas in written and, with the exception of Latin and Ancient Greek, spoken texts on familiar subjects. This ability can be demonstrated by achieving a score of two or better on a USC foreign language test. Those failing to do so must satisfactorily complete equivalent study of foreign language at USC.

GHS – ​Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking (3 hours) 

GSS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences (3 hours) 

Must be passed with a grade of C or higher​

AIU – Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (3 hours)

CMS – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component1 (0-3 hours)

INF – Information Literacy1 (0-3 hours)

VSR – Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility1 (0-3 hours)


Carolina Core Stand Alone or Overlay Eligible Requirements — Overlay-approved courses offer students the option of meeting two Carolina Core components in a single course. A maximum of two overlays is allowed. The total Carolina Core credit hours must add up to a minimum of 31 hours. At least one of these requirements must be satisfied by a course not applied elsewhere in general education. (3-9 Hours)

2. College Requirements (12-15 hours)

Must be passed with a grade of C or higher

Course Title Credits
EPID 410Principles of Epidemiology3
EXSC 191Physical Activity and Health3
PUBH 302Introduction to Public Health3
SOCY 101Introductory Sociology3
UNIV 101The Student in the University (transfer students are not required to take this course)3
Total Credit Hours15

3. Program Requirements (32-44 hours)

Supporting Courses (20-21 hours) 

Must be passed with a grade of C or higher

Course Title Credits
CHEM 111General Chemistry I3
CHEM 111LGeneral Chemistry I Lab1
PHYS 201General Physics I3
PHYS 201LGeneral Physics Laboratory I1
Select one of the following:4
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Lab
General Physics II
and General Physics Laboratory II
Total Credit Hours12

Program Electives (8-9 hours): Each student must complete 8-9 credit hours of related courses (300 level or above) to support coursework in the major. All major specific electives must be approved by the student’s academic advisor. A minimum grade of C in these courses is required.

Courses offered by departments and programs that are acceptable for program elective credit are outlined here.

Natural Science Cognate (12 hours)

Must be passed with a grade of C or higher

Each student must complete a cognate of 12 credit hours of natural and physical sciences. The cognate is intended to support the course work in the major. Depending on student interests, cognate courses may be selected from one or several units. A cognate differs from a minor in that the courses must be 300 level or above and may be distributed over more than one subject area. Courses applied toward minimum Carolina Core requirements cannot be counted toward the cognate. All cognate courses must be approved by the student’s academic advisor.

The list of course options for the Natural Science Cognate are outlined here

Minor (18 hours) optional 

Students majoring in Public Health may pursue minors offered by other units. In completing a minor, students may apply advisor-approved courses to both the minor and cognate, or elective requirements.

Electives (0-12 hours)

Students in Public Health must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours. Depending on specific course choices, students must complete an appropriate number of elective courses.

4. Major Requirements (32 hours)

A minimum grade of C is required in all major courses

Course Title Credits
ENHS 321Environmental Pollution and Health3
EXSC 223Anatomy and Physiology I3
EXSC 223LAnatomy and Physiology I Laboratory1
EXSC 224Anatomy and Physiology II3
EXSC 224LAnatomy and Physiology II Lab1
HPEB 300Introduction to Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior3
HPEB 470Principles of Global Health3
HPEB 553Community Health3
HSPM 412Health Economics3
HSPM 500Introduction to Health Care Management and Organization3
COMD 500Introduction to Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology3
or EXSC 410 Psychology of Physical Activity
PUBH 498Public Health Capstone Seminar (Carolina Core Integrative Course, Public Health, BA, BS)3
Total Credit Hours32

Major Map

A major map is a layout of required courses in a given program of study, including critical courses and suggested course sequences to ensure a clear path to graduation.

Major maps are only a suggested or recommended sequence of courses required in a program of study. Please contact your academic advisor for assistance in the application of specific coursework to a program of study and course selection and planning for upcoming semesters.

Public Health, B.S.