About the BS in Community Health
Community, global, and public health are the fastest growing, most exciting, and versatile areas of study on college campuses across the United States today.
The Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Community Health at Mason prepares students to protect and improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities, and populations—locally and globally—by developing and implementing evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention programs and policies.
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.
Our program is distinct in that it provides a solid foundation for students interested in pursuing graduate studies in public health or advanced training in a health profession (see the Clinical Science concentration). Students completing this degree are eligible to take the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam. Finally, majors in our program can choose to complete an optional concentration in Global Health or in Clinical Science.
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 avian influenza, Ebola, and the Zika virus. 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 best of both worlds, a professional degree program with strong science background for the ultimate undergraduate degree experience. A frequent choice for pre-med students, the Clinical Science concentration prepares students for post-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.
Degree requirements are designated by the academic year during which they were published in the University Catalog. Students are responsible for meeting the degree requirements that were stipulated in the catalog at the time of enrollment into the program. Links for degree requirements from previous academic years can be found in the archive of undergraduate catalogs.
Program of Study
Students must complete 120 credits of undergraduate course work. A minimum grade of C must be obtained in all courses in the major including those courses required for an optional concentration (clinical science, global health). Students should make an appointment with an academic advisor upon being accepted into the program and before registering for courses each semester.
View degree requirements for the BS in Community Health and for the optional concentrations in clinical science and global health.
As an interdisciplinary degree with a strong liberal arts foundation, the B.S. in Community Health is a flexible degree allowing students to pursue careers in a variety of settings. The following is a sample of career paths in the field:
- Community Health Educator
- Community Health Specialist
- Community Health Worker
- Diabetes Nutrition Educator
- Environmental Health Specialist
- Health Communication Specialist
- Health Content Specialist
- Health Program Manager
- Health Promotion Coordinator
- Project Manager
- Public Health Advisor
- Public Health Analyst
- Public Health Educator
- Research Assistant
- Wellness Coordinator
Community Health majors may choose to complete either a 3 or 6-hour internship as part of their training to improve professional skills in a supervised practice setting in the U.S. or abroad. In order to receive approval for an internship, students must first earn a grade of B or better in GCH 497 Pre-Internship Seminar (1 credit). The coursework includes resume and cover letter writing, interviewing skills, networking, communication, professionalism, job search strategies, and relationship dynamics in the workplace.