Academic Programs

The University of Miami (UM) School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS) offers courses leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH).  Baccalaureate education provides the foundation for further education in public health and specialized health professional fields.  The program is currently undergoing the accreditation process with the Council on Education for Public Health.

Admission

Admission as a new freshman or transfer student to the BSPH program is handled through the Office of Undergraduate Admission and is open to applicants who meet the general requirements for admission to the UM.

Applicants interested in any of the SONHS' baccalaureate programs are encouraged to speak with a representative from the SONHS’ Office of Student Services (OSS) and/or the UM’s Office of Undergraduate Admission.

Academic Policies

Grades

Students should refer to the Student Handbook for more detailed information on the SONHS' policies related to grades, progression, and dismissal.

Undergraduate BSPH students must earn a C- or higher in each course for the major to progress.

When a course must be repeated, progression in the BSPH program may be altered in order for prerequisites to be met.  Such alteration may lengthen the time required to complete the BSPH program.

Grade Point Averages (GPAs)

Students should refer to the Student Handbook for more detailed information on the SONHS' policies related to GPAs, progression, and dismissal.

Requirements to Declare

Current UM students who wish to switch into the BSPH program must posses a minimum 2.8 UM GPA to be considered.

Incoming transfer students who plan to enter the BSPH program must possess a minimum 2.8 transfer GPA to be considered for admission.

Requirements to Continue

BSPH are strongly encouraged not to continue with the BSPH degree if they have less than a 2.5 UM GPA after 15 credits completed in the major.

Requirements to Graduate

Students enrolled in the BSPH program must complete their coursework with a minimum 2.0 UM GPA and a minimum 2.0 major GPA to graduate.

Prerequisuites and Corequisites

Students must successfully complete all specified prerequisites with a C or higher before entering a nursing course or with a C- or higher before entering a health science or public health course.  Students must also register for all required corequisites at the time of enrollment.  If students enroll in a health science, nursing, or public health course without the proper prerequisite or corequisite, they may be dropped from the course at the discretion of the course instructor, OSS, Associate Dean, or Dean.  Students should consult an academic advisor in the OSS to discuss any questions related to course enrollment.

Residency Requirements

Undergraduate BSPH students must adhere to the general UM residency rules.  At least half of the public health major and at least half of the public health minor must be taken in residence at the UM.  Exceptions to the residency requirements may only be obtained through an appeal to the Undergraduate Academic Standing and Admissions Committee (UGASAC).  Students should speak with an academic advisor in the OSS for more information on the residency requirements and on the UGASAC appeals process.

Transfer Credit

Students may transfer health science, nursing, or public health courses from other institutions to the UM with approval by the OSS.  Detailed course descriptions or syllabi must be be presented to the OSS for transfer equivalency reviews.

Degree Requirements

Listed in this section are the degree requirements for the BSPH program.

The University of Miami's General Education Requirements (GERs) consist of the Areas of Proficiency, Areas of Knowledge, and Advanced Writing and Communication Skills requirements.  Through the completion of the GERs, graduates acquire essential intellectual skills and engage a range of academic disciplines.  The GERs provide students with the opportunity to study methodologies and achievements in all areas of human inquiry and creative endeavor, and to cultivate abilities essential for the acquisition of knowledge.  The GERs also allow students to create an integrative map for their academic careers, providing a context for more focused studies. 

There are numerous ways students can create plans of study for the BSPH program.  Students should feel empowered to use the information listed in the Academic Bulletin and the Student Handbook to take charge of their education, pursue their own academic interests, and create their own, unique plans of study.  Students should meet with an academic advisor in the OSS to discuss any questions related to degree requirements and plans of study.

Areas of Proficiency

The Areas of Proficiency requirements ensure students either possess or develop the ability to express themselves effectively, to use mathematics with facility, and to reason cogently.

English Composition

Good writing facilitates clear thinking, and clear thinking is the foundation of effective communication.  The expectation is that students become adept at using the English language as an effective communication tool.  Effective writing skills are representative of an educated person because they are instruments to advance ideas efficiently and persuasively.  

Requirements

Students complete this requirement by completing ENG 105 and ENG 106 (Note: SAT or ACT verbal scores can be used to waive the ENG 105 requirement; credit will not be awarded for the waiver.  Students who enter UM with credits for ENG 105 or ENG 106 may take ENG 208 to finish this requirement).

Outcomes

By completing the English Composition requirement, students will be able to:

  1. gather information, synthesize data, compare various points of view, and present results in writing
  2. develop the ability to read texts critically and to use textual evidence to support a sophisticated written argument
  3. consider audience, tone, organization, and standard conventions in relationship to specific rhetorical tasks

Mathematics

In a world increasingly influenced by science and technology, it is important for students to acquire the capacity to use and understand essential mathematical applications.  The mathematics requirement helps students learn to use quantitative methods to solve problems by emphasizing the manipulation, interpretation, and application of quantitative data.

Requirements

Students complete this requirement by completing a course in each of the following areas:

  1. Mathematics: MTH 107 or higher
  2. Statistics: BPH 202 or other approved statistics course

Math placement criteria is established affected by the Department of Mathematics.  The following items may affect students’ math placement at the UM: SAT and ACT scores, ALEKS math placement scores, and AP, IB, dual enrollment, and transfer credits.  Students should review the information listed on the Department of Mathematics website and consult with an academic advisor in the OSS if they have any questions.

Outcomes

By completing the Mathematics requirement, students will be able to:

  1. select quantitative tools appropriate for solving problems
  2. use quantitative tools appropriate for solving problems
  3. interpret quantitative data in an appropriate manner for solving problems

Social Science

Requirements

Students complete this requirement by completing PSY 110 and an additional approved social science course for a total of 6 credits.

Modern Language

Requirements

Students complete this requirement by completing one 3 credit Modern Language course at or above the 200 level.

Natural Science

Requirements

Students complete this requirement by completing BIL 150 and BIL 151, as well as CHM 103 and CHM 105 or CHM 111 and CHM 113 or CHM 121 and CHM 113 for a total of 9-10 credits.

Areas of Knowledge (Cognates)

The Areas of Knowledge requirement is designed to help students understand and appreciate intellectual achievements in major areas of human inquiry and creative endeavor.  The courses offered in the Areas of Knowledge provide a broad array of intellectual and cultural exploration.  In satisfying these requirements, students examine creative expression in the arts, literature, and philosophy; study human development and behavior; and explore the mathematical, scientific, and technological world.

Students fulfill the Areas of Knowledge requirement by completing a specific "cognate" in three distinct areas: Arts & Humanities, People & Society, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).  Cognates are groups of "at least three related courses for at least 9 credits" focused on a specific topic.  Majors and minors can be used to fulfill a cognate in its respective Area of Knowledge.  Each cognate used to fulfill one of the Areas of Knowledge must have a different Responsible Academic Unit (RAU).  Several cognates may include the same courses; however, one course cannot be used to complete multiple cognates.  For more information on cognates, go to the "General Education Requirements" section of the Academic Bulletin or visit http://www.miami.edu/cognates/.

Arts & Humanities

Arts & Humanities cognates engage students in the study of the most enduring and influential works of art, imagination, and culture.  Through study, creation, and performance, courses in this area enable students to understand the works of artists, musicians, novelists, philosophers, playwrights, poets, historians, and theologians.  These courses cultivate the ability to interpret, critically evaluate, and experience the creative products of human culture and expression.

Requirements

Complete one Arts & Humanities cognate. 

Outcomes

By completing the Arts & Humanities requirement, students will be able to:

  1. critically evaluate and interpret the creative products of humanistic and artistic expression, applying appropriate vocabulary and concepts for their description and analysis
  2. understand the creation and performance of art

People & Society

People & Society cognates help students understand and analyze the organization of society and the patterns of social change, in the past and in the contemporary world.

Requirements

Complete one People & Society cognate.  The public health major may be used to fulfill this cognate area.

Outcomes

By completing the People & Society requirement, students will be able to:

  1. analyze the organization of society
  2. analyze patterns of social change

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

STEM cognates develop students’ abilities to think critically about mathematical, scientific, and technological issues by understanding the processes and methods of scientific inquiry involved in experimentation, observation, and quantitative analysis.  The STEM cognates nurture literacies that enable students to make informed decisions in an increasingly complex world.

Requirements

Complete one STEM cognate. 

Outcomes

By completing the STEM requirement, students will be able to:

  1. understand the use of quantitative tools, experimentation, and observation to analyze and solve mathematical, scientific, environmental, and technological problems
  2. interpret quantitative data and draw useful conclusions

Major

Refer to the "Major Requirements" section below for information on the courses required for the BSPH program.

Minor

BSPH students are not required to complete a minor.

Advanced Writing and Communication Skills

The Advanced Writing and Communication Skills requirement empowers public health students to develop their communication skills, both written and verbal, enabling them to better articulate information relating to health science, nursing, and public health.

Requirements

To fulfill this requirement, students must complete five designated writing-intensive courses.  Several public health requirements and/or electives may qualify as writing-intensive.

Public health Courses that Require Formal Student Writing or Presentation

The following courses carry writing and presentation components and may count for the BSPH program:

Course Writing Assignment Student Presentations
BPH 301 Various papers Various presentations
BPH 305 Three reflective papers Final student presentation
BPH 309 Three reflective papers Final student presentation
BPH 310 Four reflective papers Final student presentation
BPH 321 Five reflective papers Student presentations throughout class
BPH 490 Five journal entries, final paper Final student presentation

Outcomes

By completing the Advanced Writing and Communication Skills requirement, students will be able to:

  1. effectively communicate information related to public health in both speech and in writing, using appropriate information sources, presentation formats, and technologies
  2. demonstrate the necessary written and verbal communication skills to effectively carry out a career in healthcare

Plan for assessment

Student Performance on Written Assignments and Presentations

In order to graduate from the BSPH program students must successfully pass two courses in English Composition (i.e., ENG 105 and ENG 106) as well as five writing-intensive courses with a grade greater than or equal to 70%.  The majority of public health courses include written assignments and student presentations as part of the course grade.  Grading of student written assignments and oral presentations are based on defined rubrics.  These courses may be applied to the BSPH program as outlined in the major requirements.

Graduating Senior Survey (GSS) Responses for Questions Related to Written and Verbal Communication

Based on the results from the GSS, students believe their undergraduate coursework in the BSPH program significantly enhanced their written, oral, and formal presentation skills, which, in turn, allowed them to more effectively interact with various individuals and groups.

Electives

Students must earn a minimum of 120 credits to complete the BSPH degree.  Students may need to take varying numbers of elective credits beyond the degree requirements listed above to reach the 120 credit threshold.

Major Requirements

Public health can be a primary major or an additional major.

Coursework in the BSPH program is based on recommendations made by the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (2008) for undergraduate course work in public health.  Students are required to complete 33 credit hours of public health coursework, which includes 27 credit hours of core required courses and 6 credit hours of approved public health electives.

Visit the "MAJORS" link to learn more about the major requirements for the SONHS' BSPH program, which are listed under the "OVERVIEW" section for the public health major.

Second Major Requirements

A second major in public health is available to all UM students.  Students who pursue a second major in public health must complete the the following courses:

BPH 206Introduction to Public Health3
BPH 208Introductory Epidemiology3
BPH 309Health and Environment3
BPH 310Global Health3
BPH 321Health Promotion and Disease Prevention3
BPH 322Introduction to Health Policy3
BPH 352Biological Principles of Public Health3
BPH 465Public Health Statistics and Data Management3
BPH 490Field Practicum in Community Health3
Elective (*)3
Elective (*)3
Total Credit Hours33

(*) = Students may choose an elective from the following courses: APY 205, BPH 301, BPH 303, BPH 305, BPH 306, BPH 317, BPH 319, BPH 355, BPH 402, BPH 419, BPH 461, BPH 487, BTE 450, BSL 460, COS 324, COS 325, COS 426, COS 427, COS 472, GEG 231, GEG 241, GEG 334, GEG 336, GEG 341, GEG 343, GEG 345, GEG 346, GEG 348, GEG 366, GEG 412, INS 570, INS 571, INS 572, INS 573, INS 599, KIN 155, MGT 270, MKT 388, and SOC 480

Minor Requirements

The SONHS offers a minor in public health.  The School also collaborated with the School of Communication to offer a minor health communication.

Visit the "MINORS" link to learn more about the minor requirements for the public health and health communication minors.

Classes Not Applicable Toward SONHS Degrees

The following courses do not count toward the 120 credits required of the BSPH degree: DAN 101-104, ENG 103, and MTH 099.  Based on their ENG or MTH placement scores, students may need to complete ENG 103 or MTH 099 before enrolling in higher-level requirements.  Even though the courses listed above cannot count toward graduation, they can count toward the 12 credits required to be considered a full-time student.

Senior Assessments

In line with the SONHS’ ongoing accreditation efforts, seniors with a major in the health science, nursing, and public health may be required to participate in general or major-specific senior assessments lasting up to several hours each.  Scores on senior assessments will not affect students’ GPAs or ability to graduate, but failure to complete required assessments may delay or prevent students’ ability to graduate.

Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) and Master of Public Health (MPH)/Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) 4+1 Program

The SONHS and the Graduate Programs in Public Health at the UM Miller School of Medicine have developed a Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) to a Master in Public Health (MPH) or Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) 4 + 1 program.

Program Highlights

  1. Undergraduate students enrolled in the BSPH program in the SONHS who qualify academically may apply to the MPH or MSPH program in the fall of their junior year
  2. Accepted students are able to take 12 credit hours of Master’s-level public health courses in their senior year
    1. BSPH students taking Master’s-level public health courses in their senior year must obtain a grade of B or better in these courses in order for them to count toward the graduate degree
    2. All Master’s-level credit hours count toward their MPH or MSPH degree
    3. By completing 3-6 credit hours of Master’s-level MPH or MSPH coursework in the summer following completion of their BSPH degree, students can complete the MPH or MSPH degree in only one additional academic year
  3. Students accepted to the 4 +1 program continue to pay undergraduate tuition for the senior year
    1. Upon graduation with the BSPH, students matriculate into the MPH or MSPH program and complete the remaining credit hours of MPH or MSPH coursework at UM graduate school tuition rates

Admission Criteria

  1. BSPH students must have an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher at the time of application to be considered; accepted students who do not maintain a 3.0 GPA for the remainder of their undergraduate coursework are subject to re-evaluation
  2. GRE scores are not required for UM undergraduates who apply to the 4+1 program
  3. Admissions decisions are made solely by the admissions committee for the Graduate Programs in Public Health at the UM Miller School of Medicine

Research Experience

Students may participate in research experiences through the SONHS or the Office of Undergraduate Research and Community Outreach during their time at the UM.  Students should speak with the academic advisors located in the OSS to learn more about the research opportunities available to them at the UM.

Required Coursework and Sample Plans of Study

Visit the "MAJORS" link to learn more about the academic requirements for the SONHS' BSPH program and to view a sample graduation plan, which are listed under the "OVERVIEW" and "PLAN OF STUDY" sections, respectively, for the BSPH program.

Major in Public Health

BPH 200. Basic Concepts Public Health. 3 Credit Hours.

This course focuses on current health care issues and the health care system as well as the future direction of health care.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Summer.

BPH 202. Introductory Statistics in Health Care. 3 Credit Hours.

Application of descriptive and inferential statistics. Principles and methods of summarizing data including tables, graphs, percentile ranks, central tendency, variability, normal distribution. Basic concepts of probability, hypothesis testing, and analysis of variance. Examples and problems from nursing, health sciences, and public health.
Corequisite: MTH 101. Or Requisite: ALEKS > or = 55 or SAT Score > or = 630 or ACT > or = 28.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

BPH 206. Introduction to Public Health. 3 Credit Hours.

Introduction to all aspects of public health, including health services administration, and policy.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

BPH 208. Introductory Epidemiology. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is a general introduction to epidemiology, definition of concepts and natural history of disease and levels of prevention. It also covers measures of morbidity and mortality. Epidemiologic aspects of infectious and chronic diseases.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

BPH 301. Human Sexuality and Vulnerable Populations. 3 Credit Hours.

The study of human sexuality via multidisciplinary theoretical perspectives and research. Students will examine the complex relationships of the physiological, psychological, cultural, gender, religious, historical, and political aspects of human sexuality. Human sexuality in the context of health disparities will form the foundation for the course. WRITING COURSE.
Prerequisite: BPH 206 or Requisite: Nursing Clinical Major.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.

BPH 303. Hiv/Aids And Health Maintenance For Health Care Providers. 3 Credit Hours.

Definition, diagnosis, management and care of diverse patient populations with HIV infection and AIDS. Presented and discussed from an interdisciplinary healthcare perspective.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

BPH 305. Issues in Health Disparities. 3 Credit Hours.

This course will be an introduction to the general research on health systems and health disparities. Emphasis will be paced on social, biological, economic, and social policy issues that impact on the health of minority populations. Concepts associated with epidemiology, poverty, racism, public policy, and international politics will be explored. WRITING COURSE.
Prerequisite: BPH 206 or Requisite: Nursing Clinical Major.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

BPH 306. Principles of Nutrition. 3 Credit Hours.

Principles of nutrition integrated with cultural dietary patterns for client adaptation across the lifespan.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

BPH 309. Health and Environment. 3 Credit Hours.

This course examines health issues, scientific understanding of causes and possible future approaches to control of the major environmental health problems. Topics include how the body reacts to environmental pollutants; physical, chemical, and biological agents of environmental contamination; vectors for dissemination; susceptible populations; the scientific bases for policy decisions and emerging global environmental health problems.
Prerequisite: BPH 206.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

BPH 310. Global Health. 3 Credit Hours.

Introduction to the concepts of global health and the critical links between public health and social and economic development. Determinants of health and patterns of disease and health outcomes across the global are critically examined. The course reviews the determinants of health status in terms of biology, demography, epidemiology, culture, sociology, economics, and politics. Key concerns regarding reproductive health, child survival, nutrition, communicable diseases, and chronic diseases are examined. Health care delivery in developed vs. undeveloped regions of the world are emphasized.
Prerequisite: BPH 206.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

BPH 317. Theories in Growth and Development. 3 Credit Hours.

Application of growth and development theories through the lifespan with a case study approach to issues commonly encountered nursing practice in a variety of clinical settings.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

BPH 319. Contemporary Issues in Bioethics for Health Care. 3 Credit Hours.

The course will cover bioethical issues in the health care environment including ethical principles, theories and decision making strategies.
Prerequisite: BPH 206.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

BPH 321. Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. 3 Credit Hours.

The focus of this course is on the understanding and implementation of strategies aimed at promoting health and preventing disease. It also focuses on optimal health maintenance and wellness support for individuals, families, and communities. The content of the course includes health across the lifespan and resources associated with health promotion. Common health alternations will be discussed, as well as socio-cultural perceptions of health and illness.
Prerequisite: BPH 206.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

BPH 322. Introduction to Health Policy. 3 Credit Hours.

This course provides an introduction to the organization, delivery, and financing of health care in the United States. We will consider policy challenges created by the structure of the health care system, including access to care, quality of care, and cost growth. Major areas of focus will include public insurance programs, private insurance, the uninsured, health disparities, and implementation of health care reform legislation.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

BPH 352. Biological Principles of Public Health. 3 Credit Hours.

This course examines the biological basis and pathogenesis of diseases from a public health perspective and describes the impact on populations. This course also presents the basic scientific and biomedical concepts of modern public health problems and explores in depth mechanisms and models of the major categories of disease. The biologic principles presented in this course are foundations to developing and implementing public health disease prevention, control, or management programs.
Prerequisites: BPH 206 and BIL 150/151 and CHM 103 or 111 or 121 and CHM 105 or 113.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

BPH 355. Global Nutrition. 3 Credit Hours.

This course examines nutrition related public health issues in the global setting. Nutrition related morbidity and mortality, etiologic factors, and population-focused strategies to address these issues are covered. Food relief and nutrition policies and programs at the local, national and international levels are examined. Current scientific research in international nutrition is reviewed from an epidemiological perspective.
Prerequisite: BPH 206.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

BPH 402. Global Health Disparities Research. 3 Credit Hours.

This is a 4 week intensive educational experience that prepares students to be successful conducting supervised health disparities research as part of the MHIRT program at a foreign institution, disseminating findings, and applying to graduate school. The training program is broken into a preparation phase (3 weeks prior to leaving to their host country), and a dissemination phase (1 week after they return). Students will be working as a research assistant at a foreign site for eight weeks in between the preparation and dissemination phases of this training program. Students will learn about the influence of culture and healthcare policy on health and health disparities, research design, statistics, communicating research findings and careers in health disparities research.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

BPH 419. Contemporary Health Issues in South Florida. 3 Credit Hours.

This course will provide students with an in-depth look at public health topics relevant to communities in South Florida. Emphasis will be placed on the social, cultural, and policy issues that impact the health of vulnerable populations in our community. Interdisciplinary researcher knowledge and practice from the University of Miami and other relevant institutions will be highlighted.
Prerequisite: BPH 206.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

BPH 461. Practicum in Health Disparities Research. 1-4 Credit Hours.

This course is designed to provide opportunities for students across all levels of higher education to participate in health disparities research. Students will be mentored by a health disparities researcher with an active research project. Objectives will be established by the research mentor and the student according to educational level, interests and opportunities. Students will be incorporated into the research team and expected to attend project meetings. They will also be expected to participate in scholarly work that could contribute to the success of the project. Examples of scholarly work include co-authoring research papers and presentations, developing recruitment materials, assisting in compiling/developing data collection measures, or any other product deemed appropriate by the mentor.
Components: PRA.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

BPH 465. Public Health Statistics and Data Management. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is designed to give students an opportunity to apply basic principles of statistics and data management in public health. Students will learn to use statistical techniques to answer questions relating to the morbidity and mortality of health conditions and the efficacy and effectiveness of public health interventions.
Prerequisites: BPH/HCS/NUR 202 and BPH 206.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

BPH 487. Global Health Practicum. 3 Credit Hours.

Collaborative clinical venture between UM/SON and an International School of Nursing. Students will exchange supervised western clinical experiences, knowledge and skills for the care of clients and families in specialty areas, including MedSurg, ICU and/or Emergency nursing units. Students will apply and synthesize basic science knowledge and skills that foster ethical, legal, and culturally specific health care.
Components: PRA.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.

BPH 490. Field Practicum in Community Health. 3 Credit Hours.

This course provides students with field experiences in community health. During the didactic portion of the course, students will be introduced to the basic principles and methods used in community health assessment, program development, program implementation, and evaluation. During the field experience component of the course students will work under the supervision of lead faculty to apply the knowledge and skills they obtained during their course of study to address a public health issue.
Prerequisite: BPH 206 and 208 and 321 and 465.
Components: PRA.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

BPH 499. Selected Topics. 6.00 Credit Hours.

Offerings will vary by semester based upon student demand and availability of faculty.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Offered by Announcement Only.