FAQs: B.S. in Public Health

If you have any other questions, please contact Dr. Michelle Cathorall at cathorallm@uncw.edu

General Questions

  • How do I become a student in your department?

    You can declare PBH as your major or you can change your major to PBH at any time through your SeaPort account. There is no application process as this time.

  • Are scholarships available?

    There are currently no UNCW scholarships that are limited to just PBH students. There are many university-wide scholarships that you may qualify for, as well as some external scholarships for students pursuing degrees in Public Health which you could pursue.

  • Are summer classes available in PBH?

    Yes.  Some PBH classes are generally offered in both Summer I and Summer II sessions.

  • What are the prerequisites for your program?

    Students pursuing the B.S. in PBH are required to take Anatomy and Physiology I and II (BIO & BIOL 240/241 OR EXS & EXSL 216/217, depending on concentration) and MAT 111 (or satisfactory performance on the UNCW mathematics placement test for MAT 111, or an ACT math score of 22 or higher). It is recommended that students take those courses as part of their University Studies requirements, but it is not required that you complete those courses before declaring your PBH major.

  • What can I do with a bachelor's degree in PBH?

    In public health, we:

    • promote healthy behaviors, and health-enhancing social and physical environments
    • conduct educational campaigns
    • improve health policies
    • monitor and prevent the spread of disease
    • use data to improve effectiveness of health efforts for communities

    In essence, public health professionals focus on the four "Ps":

    • Prevention
    • Promotion
    • Protection
    • Population Health

    There are numerous entry-level public health careers, including but not limited to:

    • Community Health Educator
    • Disaster Preparedness Coordinator
    • Environmental Specialist
    • Injury Prevention Specialist
    • Patient Navigator
    • Outreach Educator
    • Health Communication Specialist
  • How employable will I be with a degree in PBH?

    The demand for public health professionals continues to rise in response to global concerns such as bioterrorism, potential pandemics, HIV and AIDS, and air and water quality issues. Additionally, rising insurance costs and increased awareness of public health and wellness have generated corporate and government support for prevention and education programs in areas such as diet, diabetes, obesity, tobacco use and workplace safety, among others. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of health educators is expected to grow by 37 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will be driven by efforts to reduce healthcare costs by teaching people about healthy habits and behaviors.

  • Is there a particular course sequence I must follow?

    There is a required sequence to some extent in PBH. However, most of the core public health classes do not have pre-requisites other than being a declared Public Health major. The concentration specific courses are often sequenced. Please refer to the recommended sequencing documents (by concentration) for more information about course pre-requisites and co-requisites. Once you declare the PBH major you will be assigned an advisor who will review your audit and assist you in developing an individual curriculum plan.

  • Does your program offer online classes?

    The majority of core and concentration PBH-prefix courses are offered fully face-to-face. Some non PBH prefix courses are offered online.

  • When should I declare my major in PBH?

    You can declare your major through your SeaPort account after completing 24 credit hours. Additionally, you must have a minimum of a 2.5 overall GPA to declare the Community Health Education, Global Health, or Gerontology concentration OR a 3.0 overall GPA to declare the Pre-Clinical concentration.

  • Am I required to complete all University Studies prior to beginning PBH?


Transfer Student Questions

  • I am a transfer student. Am I required to take a course at UNCW prior to declaring my major in PBH?


  • I am a transfer student from a PBH program at another school. Will my courses be transferable to the PBH program at UNCW?

    Students may substitute suitable coursework from other institutions for classes required for the major or replace required coursework with alternative classes from UNCW. All such substitutions and replacements must be made by petition and approved by a majority of PBH faculty members. The following procedures apply:

    • The student presents the proposed substitution/replacement to their faculty advisor. This must include a syllabus of the proposed substitution/replacement course and a rationale as to why the student feels this substitution/replacement is appropriate.
    • The advisor contacts the Program Coordinator and requests that the petition be placed on the agenda of the next Public Health program faculty meeting. The Program Coordinator will send the proposal to the faculty member teaching the course in question for input.
    • The faculty review the proposal and vote on the petition. A simple majority is required to approve a substitution/replacement.
    • The student is notified in writing by the program coordinator as to the outcome of the faculty review and vote.
    • Unless there are extenuating circumstances, this same substitution/replacement would be available to all PBH students henceforth.
    • Courses may be approved for substitution, but the substitution will not take place until required artifacts are completed and approved.  Required artifacts must be submitted and approved by the instructor of the course and then uploaded to the electronic portfolio before the end of the next full semester.