Community, global, and public health are the fastest growing, most exciting, and versatile areas of study on college campuses across the United States today. Community health is the applied science of protecting and improving the health and well-being of individuals, families, populations, and communities using evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention programs and policies. Accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the BS in Community Health prepares students with the knowledge and understanding of community and public health systems, issues and policies related to health promotion, and health education and disease prevention in populations of all sizes. Community, public, and global health specialists work with a variety of health-related organizations and are expected to confront complex behavioral, cultural and social health and well-being issues at the local, national and global levels.
Community Health students develop the competencies and skills necessary for entry-level positions in a variety of professional settings such as local, state, and federal health and social service agencies and non-governmental and voluntary health organizations, health care, and private industry. Students completing this degree are eligible for and strongly encouraged to take the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam.
The BS in Community Health is unique in that it provides a solid foundation for students interested in pursuing graduate degrees in public health or advanced training in a health profession (see the Clinical Science concentration).
Students may wish to complete an optional concentration in Global Health, Clinical Science, Nutrition, or Physical Activity and Public Health. Selection of a concentration is not required.
Global Health Concentration
The Global Health concentration focuses on understanding diseases and other health security threats reflecting the new global landscape, such as tobacco use and obesity, and emerging pandemics such as COVID-19, avian influenza, and Ebola. Students complete the required coursework for the BS in Community Health and specialized coursework in global health in addition to interdisciplinary coursework. This concentration is designed for students interested in public health at the global level and is particularly focused on improving health conditions in less developed countries.
Clinical Science Concentration
The Clinical Science concentration prepares students for graduate clinical training in a health profession field such as medicine, dentistry, nursing, optometry, occupational and physical therapy, and pharmacy. This concentration provides students the flexibility to design their curriculum to satisfy prerequisites for these programs. Students choosing this option are encouraged to check coursework requirements for their desired health profession because such requirements vary.
The Nutrition concentration provides students interested in nutritional health with a strong knowledge base in factors affecting individual, community, and global nutrition, as well as the tools to plan effective interventions.
Physical Activity and Public Health Concentration
Numerous public health burdens such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and depression can be prevented, delayed, or managed with proper physical activity. The Physical Activity and Public Health concentration prepares students to effectively advocate for policies, programs, and legislation that enables equitable opportunities for physical activity across all levels of society. The completion of this concentration prepares students to take the Physical Activity and Public Health Specialist certification.
- For all policies governing bachelor's degrees, see A.5.3.2 Requirements for Bachelor's Degrees.
- A criminal background check and proof of vaccination status may be required of students prior to beginning the internship if required by the internship organization.
- A minimum grade of C must be earned in all major courses.
- Students must check with their advisor to ensure that all requirements have been met prior to graduation and should assess their own degree evaluation in Patriot Web each semester.
Total credits: 120
Students must fulfill all requirements for bachelor's degrees, including the Mason Core requirements.
|Written Communication 1|
|ENGH 101||Composition (Mason Core)||3|
|ENGH 302||Advanced Composition (Mason Core) (social science section recommended)||3|
|COMM 100||Public Speaking (Mason Core)||3|
|or COMM 101||Fundamentals of Communication (Mason Core)|
|Any Mason Core Quantitative Reasoning course||3-4|
|Any Mason Core Information Technology course||3-7|
|Any Mason Core Literature course||3|
|Any Mason Core Arts course||3|
|Natural Science 2|
|Any Mason Core non-lab science course 3||3|
|Any Mason Core lab science course||4|
|Any Mason Core Western Civilization course||3|
|GCH 205||Global Health (Mason Core)||3|
|Social and Behavioral Sciences|
|Any Mason Core Social and Behavioral Sciences course||3|
Nonnative speakers of English with limited proficiency in the language may substitute ENGH 100 for ENGH 101. Students must attain a minimum grade of C in ENGH 100 or ENGH 101, as well as in ENGH 302, to fulfill degree requirements.
Only for students who choose the Global Health concentration, Nutrition concentration, or no concentration. Students in the Clinical Science concentration complete the Mason Core Natural Science requirement within their concentration courses.
The recommended course for students in the Nutrition and Physical Activity and Public Health concentrations is NUTR 295 Introduction to Nutrition (Mason Core). This is a prerequisite for required courses in these concentrations.
|Select one of the following:||8|
|Human Anatomy and Physiology|
and Human Anatomy and Physiology
|Applied Human Anatomy and Physiology I|
and Applied Human Anatomy and Physiology II
Community Health Major Core
Completion of this curriculum also prepares students to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam.
|GCH 300||Introduction to Public Health||3|
|GCH 310||Health Behavior Theories||3|
|GCH 332||Health and Disease||3|
|GCH 335||Applied Health Statistics||3|
|GCH 350||Health Promotion and Education||3|
|GCH 360||Health and Environment||3|
|GCH 376||Health Ethics, Leadership, and Advocacy||3|
|GCH 380||Public Health Research Methods||3|
|GCH 411||Health Program Planning and Evaluation (fulfills writing intensive requirement)||3|
|GCH 412||Fundamentals of Epidemiology||3|
|GCH 445||Social Determinants of Health||3|
|GCH 465||Community Health Capstone (Mason Core)||3|
|or GCH 466||Physical Activity in Public Health Capstone|
Completing the Degree without a Concentration
Students completing the BS without a concentration follow the coursework outlined below.
|Select nine credits of 300- or 400-level courses from the following||9|
Other 300- or 400-level course approved by advisor
|Select 30 credits of General Electives||30|
Global Health Concentration (GLOH)
The optional global health concentration enables students to look at public health issues through a global lens and increases understanding of the differences in health, well-being, disease, and interventions that exist within an international context.
|GGS 101||Major World Regions (Mason Core)||3|
|or GGS 103||Human Geography (Mason Core)|
|or GGS 340||Health Geography|
|GCH 305||Introduction to OneHealth||3|
|GCH 405||Global Health Interventions: History and Systems||3|
|GCH 406||Global Health Interventions: Emerging Issues||3|
|GCH 426||Global Emerging Infectious Diseases||3|
|One 3-credit 300- or 400-level GCH course||3|
|Select 21 credits of General Electives||21|
Clinical Science Concentration (CLNS)
The optional clinical science concentration prepares students to apply for graduate programs in fields such as medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, dentistry, pharmacy, and optometry. This concentration does not guarantee entrance into a graduate health professional program. It is important to note that, depending on the type of graduate program in which a student is interested, additional coursework may be required. It is the student's responsibility to determine the essential criteria for admission to their target schools in consultation with the health professions advising office.
|Select a minimum of 20 credits of the following:||20|
|Introductory Biology II-Survey of Cell and Molecular Biology (Mason Core)|
and Introductory Biology II Laboratory (Mason Core) 1
|Cell Structure and Function (Mason Core) 1|
and Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory
|Biology of Microorganisms|
and Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory
|General Chemistry I (Mason Core)|
and General Chemistry Laboratory I (Mason Core) 1
|General Chemistry II (Mason Core)|
and General Chemistry Laboratory II (Mason Core) 1
|Organic Chemistry I|
and Organic Chemistry Lab I
|Organic Chemistry II|
and Organic Chemistry Lab II
|College Physics I (Mason Core)|
and College Physics I Lab (Mason Core) 1
|College Physics II (Mason Core)|
and College Physics II Lab (Mason Core) 1
|Select 26 credits of General Electives||26|
At least 8 of these credits must be selected from these courses to fulfill the Mason Core Natural Science requirement.
Nutrition Concentration (NUTR)
The optional nutrition concentration provides students interested in nutritional health with a strong knowledge base in factors affecting individual, community, and global nutrition, as well as the tools to plan effective interventions.
|NUTR 315||Fundamentals of Cooking||3|
|NUTR 410||Introduction to Food Safety and Defense||3|
|NUTR 420||Strategies for Nutrition Education||3|
|NUTR 421||Community Nutrition||3|
|NUTR 422||Nutrition throughout the Life Cycle||3|
|NUTR 423||Nutrition and Chronic Illnesses||3|
|NUTR 451||Nutrition Assessment||3|
|Students should select from the following list or get advisor approval:||3|
|Food and Human Evolution|
|Global and Community Health Internship|
|Taste and Place|
|Food, Culture, Nutrition and the Mediterranean Diet|
|Nutrition and Weight Management: Obesity, Anorexia, and Bulimia|
|Special Topics in Nutrition and Food Studies|
|Select 15 credits of General Electives||15|
Physical Activity and Public Health (PAPH)
Numerous public health burdens such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and depression can be prevented, delayed, or managed with proper physical activity. The optional physical activity and public health concentration prepares students to effectively advocate for policies, programs, and legislation that enables equitable opportunities for physical activity across all levels of society. Students in this concentration should take GCH 466 Physical Activity and Public Health Capstone. The completion of this concentration prepares students to take the Physical Activity and Public Health Specialist certification.
|KINE 200||Methods of Exercise Instruction||3|
|KINE 310||Exercise Physiology I||3|
|KINE 320||Principles of Human Nutrition||3|
|or NUTR 295||Introduction to Nutrition (Mason Core)|
|KINE 350||Exercise Prescription and Programming||3|
|KINE 370||Exercise Testing and Evaluation||3|
|KINE 380||Exercise Prescription and Programming for Special Populations||3|
|ATEP 300||Functional Anatomy||3|
|GCH 410||Physical Activity and Public Health||3|
|Select 18 hours of general electives||18|
Bachelor of Science in Community Health Sample Plan of Study
Detailed four year plans can be found at https://chhs.gmu.edu/students/academic-advising/undergraduate-advising/program-planning-advising-sheets