General Program (Competency-Based)

The BS in Public Health competency-based degree completion option1 is ideal for busy working professionals like you. Your progress is measured by the mastery or demonstration of skills, abilities, and knowledge in a particular area of study.

Each competency has been carefully designed by expert faculty with input from employers, with your education and future employment in mind.

The General Program is also offered in the following degree completion options:


Degree Completion Requirements

  • 180 total quarter credits

Students may be eligible to transfer up to 135 credits.

This represents the minimum credits for program completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 844-767-9522.

Courses and Competencies:

AoE: Principles of Public Health (PUBH 1000)

Build foundational knowledge of the principles and practice of safeguarding and improving the health of populations. Examine the philosophies, goals, history, and organization of the field of public health. Discuss the role of the government in improving the health and well-being of its citizens. This course explores key concepts of public health, including morbidity and mortality, infectious and chronic disease, social determinants of health, and health disparities within populations.

  • PF1006 Introduction to Public Health: Identify concepts related to public health.
  • PF1007 Professional Goals: Develop professional goals based on program learning outcomes.
  • PF1008 Impact of Chronic Illness: Analyze the impact of chronic illness on communities.
  • PF1009 Public Health Services: Analyze public health services and career opportunities.
  • PF1010 Advocacy of Public Health: Advocate for public health interests.

AoE: Context of Healthcare Delivery (HLTH 1005)

Effective advocacy through politics, policy, and professional associations is one method of improving healthcare delivery in the United States. However, effective advocacy depends on individuals who fully understand current issues, systems, existing policies, and related contexts. In this course, you’ll engage in a systems-level analysis of the implications of healthcare policy on issues of access, equity, affordability, and social justice in healthcare delivery. Examine legislative, regulatory, and financial processes relevant to the organization and provision of healthcare services. You’ll also assess the impact of these processes on quality and safety in the practice environment and disparities in the healthcare system.

  • HD1001 Bills and Laws: Identify the key points of historical bills and laws in healthcare.
  • HD1002 Healthcare Systems: Compare aspects of the U.S. healthcare system to other countries.
  • HD1003 Vertical and Horizontal Integrated Systems: Analyze the benefits and limitations of integrated systems.
  • HD1004 Current Health Issues in the Workplace: Analyze the impact of current healthcare delivery issues.
  • HD1005 Barriers to Care: Apply strategies to mitigate barriers of care.
  • HD1006 Continuum of Care: Develop patient plans throughout the continuum of care.

AoE: Behavioral and Cultural Issues in Healthcare (HLTH 2110)

Many factors influence the health behavior and wellness of individuals and populations. Understanding these factors helps healthcare professionals reduce health disparities and address healthcare access issues for vulnerable populations. In this course, you’ll examine the cultural and behavioral factors and issues that influence the management and delivery of healthcare services. Develop a framework for assessing the effect of culture and behavior in a variety of settings and situations. Identify health disparities attributable to diverse cultural and behavioral factors and discuss their implications for healthcare policy. You will also engage in application-based writing assignments to further examine the goals and objectives of addressing health disparities as well as obstacles for confronting vulnerable populations.

  • BC2001 Health Disparities: Demonstrate understanding of health disparities.
  • BC2002 Cultural Competence: Apply culturally competent practices when working with patients and other healthcare professionals.
  • BC2003 Social Ecological Model: Apply the social ecological model to community health issues.
  • BC2004 Health Disparity Programs: Evaluate intervention programs aimed at mitigating health disparities.
  • BC2005 Advocacy: Advocate for changes to policies or programs that positively impact the health of vulnerable populations.

AoE: Theories of Health Behavior (HLTH 2500)

Become familiar with established and emerging health behavior, health education, and health promotion theories and models. Develop the knowledge and skills necessary for applying various theoretical frameworks and models related to understanding psychosocial, cultural, and contextual factors influencing health behavior and behavior change. Throughout this course, you will focus on the role of theories and models in planning, implementing, and evaluating health interventions at various levels.

  • HB2001 Influences on Health Behavior: Analyze the influences of personal, social, and environmental factors on health.
  • HB2002 Health Behavior Theories and Models: Describe key concepts associated with healthcare behavior theories and models.
  • HB2003 Changing Health Behaviors: Analyze theory-based strategies to change health behaviors.
  • HB2004 Applying Health Behavior Theories and Models: Apply theories and models to the development of strategies that influence health behaviors in specific populations with health issues.

AoE: Environmental Health (PUBH 3000)

Human interaction has a major influence on the natural world, resulting in outcomes that can impact human and environmental health. In this course, you’ll learn the principles of environmental health and examine the short- and long-term effects of environmental hazards on human health. You will consider your own interactions with natural and human-made environments to assess the impact of chemical, physical, biological, and social elements on your health. Explore the potential impact of climate change on population health, emerging global health threats related to the environment, and environmental factors involved in the etiology and transmission of both communicable and non-infectious disease. Using concepts and methods presented in the course, you’ll conduct an environmental risk assessment to determine the health of home environments. You will also conduct a written analysis to report your findings, identifying actions to improve inspection results.

  • EH3001 Introduction to Environmental Health: Analyze the impact of environmental factors on health.
  • EH3002 Agents of Environmental Disease: Analyze the health effects of agents of environmental disease.
  • EH3003 Environmental Policy: Explain local, national, and global environmental policies relating to air, food, water, and waste management.
  • EH3004 Environmental Health Assessment: Apply findings from an environmental health assessment to home and workplace safety.

AoE: Human Disease and Prevention (PUBH 3100)

Through this course, you’ll explore the historical milestones concerning human disease and prevention, morbidity and mortality rates associated with various diseases, and the biological effects of infectious and chronic disease on the human body. Discuss the general characteristics of disease transmission, symptoms, treatment, prevention, and control among various populations. You will also examine psychosocial and behavioral factors that influence human disease.

  • DP3001 Public Health Trends: Analyze the impact of public health trends on disparities.
  • DP3002 Biological Factors: Analyze how the impact of disease on the human body informs public health strategies.
  • DP3003 Spread of Disease: Recommend public health strategies informed by the epidemiologic triangle and change of infection.
  • DP3004 Culture and Psychosocial Factors: Analyze the impact of culture and psychosocial factors on the incidence and prevalence of chronic disease.
  • DP3005 Emerging and Re-Emerging Risk: Recommend strategies to address emerging and re-emerging disease risk factors.
  • DP3006 Modifiable Risk Factors: Recommend strategies to address modifiable risk factors aimed at preventing disease.

AoE: Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare (HLTH 3100)

The nature of health services, such as personal evaluations, clinical research, invasive surgeries, and end-of-life care, facilitates a host of ethical and legal considerations of which professionals must be aware. In this course, you’ll examine the legal and ethical issues that are fundamental to the practice of healthcare and the conduct of health-related research. Explore a historical overview of events and milestones that have shaped the contemporary regulatory landscape. Investigate and assess issues of privacy and confidentiality, informed consent, licensing, and malpractice, among others. Additionally, you will consider ethical decision-making models for assuring the quality, safety, and appropriateness of healthcare and services. You will also apply ethical principles and legal considerations to real-world scenarios.

  • EA3001 Ethical Decision-Making Models: Apply ethical decision-making models.
  • EA3002 Code of Ethics: Apply codes of ethics to health-related issues.
  • EA3003 Legal Issues: Apply healthcare-related laws to healthcare settings.
  • EA3004 Good Samaritan Laws: Synthesize information on Good Samaritan Laws.
  • EA3005 Informed Consent: Apply informed consent criteria.
  • EA3006 End of Life: Analyze the ethical and legal issues related to completed advanced directives.

AoE: Global and Public Health (HLTH 3115)

The course is designed to provide an overview of public and global health issues that transcend national borders, class, race, ethnicity, and culture. Explore the role of the healthcare provider in preserving and promoting health among diverse populations. Consider global health and their role in health promotion, protection, and maintenance, and in illness prevention of targeted populations. Principles of epidemiology and the influencing sociopolitical factors that impact health and well-being are explored.

  • PG3001 Global Health Trends and Practices: Identify key influences on global health trends and practices.
  • PG3002 Global Health Populations: Describe key public health populations and global health factors that affect diverse populations, cultures, as well as women and children.
  • PG3003 Infectious Disease: Identify and describe infectious diseases and their modes of transmission.
  • PG3004 Chronic Disease: Identify and describe chronic diseases and their modes of transmission.
  • PG3005 Global Health Organizations and Strategies: Describe global health agencies, their roles, and the ways which they support global public health.
  • PG3006 The Future of Global Health: Recognize emerging trends in global public health as they relate to population growth, new technology, and ethical/legal considerations.
  • PG3007 Apply Principles of Global Public Health: Recommend strategies to positively affect global public health in an identified population.

AoE: Principles of Epidemiology (HLTH 4200)

This course focuses on the principles governing the study and practice of epidemiology. Explore the various methods available to health professionals for selecting and measuring factors of interest, describing their distribution, detecting associations, and identifying populations at risk. The features, advantages, and limitations of common epidemiologic research designs are also addressed.

  • PE4001 Descriptive Epidemiology: Identify the personal, temporal, and spatial aspects of disease.
  • PE4002 Study Designs: Apply study designs to the surveillance of diseases.
  • PE4003 Role of the Epidemiologist: Analyze the role of the epidemiologist in informing scientific, ethical, economic, and political decisions within public health.

AoE: Introduction to Research Methods and Analysis (HLTH 4205)

This course examines the basic components required for the conduct of health-related research. It provides you with the analytic tools needed to understand and assess research methods described in the scientific literature. Basic research methods are described, including surveys, observational studies, experimental and quasi-experimental design, use of primary and secondary data, and statistical techniques for analyzing and interpreting data.

  • RM4001 Research Questions: Develop health-related research questions designed around the scientific method.
  • RM4002 Literature Review: Evaluate peer-reviewed research surrounding health-related topics.
  • RM4003 Research Design: Apply research design to health-related topics.
  • RM4004 Ethics in Research: Apply ethical principles to health-related research.
  • RM4005 Data Collection and Analysis: Apply data collection and analysis tools to health-related topics.
  • RM4006 Presenting Your Proposal: Present formal research proposals.

AoE: Public Health Education and Communication (PUBH 4000)

Effective delivery of health education and communication often leads to improved health literacy and positive changes in behavior among populations. This course provides you with an overview of health education and its role in improving the health of individuals as well as populations. Review the philosophical, historical, ethical, and theoretical foundations of health education as well as effective principles for the delivery of healthcare. Examine the primary responsibilities and competencies of health educators, trends in the field, professional organizations, national certification, and the code of ethics.

  • PU4001 History and Trends: Identify key historical events and trends in the health education profession.
  • PU4002 Professional Organizations: Analyze the role of professional organizations in public health advocacy.
  • PU4003 Professional Development Plans: Apply certification standards to a professional development plan.
  • PU4004 Codes of Ethics: Apply the Health Education Code of Ethics.
  • PU4005 Communicating to Populations: Apply communication strategies for public health education.

AoE: Introduction to Healthcare Management (HLTH 4000)

This course presents management concepts and theories designed to influence and improve the performance of healthcare organizations. The external and internal environments of organizations are identified, as well as key management functions, roles, and responsibilities. Essential aspects of healthcare management are addressed.

  • HM4001 Manager vs. Leader: Differentiate the characteristics of managers and leaders.
  • HM4002 Emotional Intelligence: Analyze the influence of emotional intelligence on leadership style.
  • HM4003 Roles and Responsibilities: Delegate responsibilities within a healthcare management team.
  • HM4004 Leadership Strategies: Apply leadership strategies to management scenarios.
  • HM4005 Leadership Philosophy: Develop a personal leadership philosophy reflective of emotional intelligence and leadership style.

AoE: Healthcare Economics from a Population Health Perspective (HLTH 4530)

This course engages you in the foundations for economic evaluation from a population health approach. You’ll examine healthcare as a market and compare the supply and demand principles in healthcare versus a typical business. Gain an understanding of how economic losses or gains impact health care policy changes, sectors of the population, physician staffing, and stability. Additionally, you’ll explore the epidemiological, social, global, and future economic impact of healthcare.

  • HH4001 Introduction to Economics: Identify concepts related to healthcare economics.
  • HH4002 Health Insurance and Reimbursement: Analyze the impact of health insurance, reimbursement, and the social determinants of health on the management of chronic diseases.
  • HH4003 Economics of Population Health: Analyze the impact of social determinants of health.

AoE: Planning Public Health Programs (PUBH 4030)

Planning culturally relevant and effective public health programs is essential to improving the health of populations. This course gives you an introduction to public health program planning and design, including the process of needs assessment. Examine and apply various models and theoretical frameworks of program planning. Explore fundamental competencies relating to planning, such as writing goals and objectives, selecting strategies, developing budgets, and planning for specific populations. The course introduces concepts related to program implementation, management, and evaluation as they relate to the planning process.

  • PP4001 Community Assessment: Justify the selection of public health problems within targeted communities.
  • PP4002 Planning Models: Justify the selection of planning models to address chose public health problems within targeted communities.
  • PP4003 Mission, Goals, Objectives, and Strategies: Develop measurable goals, objectives, and intervention strategies to address chosen public health issues.
  • PP4004 Program Plan Implementation: Develop budgets, timelines, and marketing strategies for program plan implementation.
  • PP4005 Program Proposal: Develop proposals to resent program plans.

AoE: Evaluating Public Health Programs (PUBH 4100)

How do public health professionals know when a program is working? This course provides an introduction to evaluating public health programs. Examine various types of program evaluations, including formative, process, outcome, and impact evaluations. Learn how to design and conduct practical and effective program evaluations that determine whether program goals are achieved. You will also practice implementing a program evaluation plan to evaluate the effectiveness of a program, and use the results of the evaluation to improve performance.

  • EV4001 Purposes of Program Evaluation: Analyze purposes of program evaluation and distinguish between types of evaluation.
  • EV4002 Program Evaluation Steps:  Apply the steps in designing and conducting program evaluations.
  • EV4003 Program Evaluation Standards:  Assess program evaluation criteria to meet standards.
  • EV4004 Data Collection:  Recommend valid data collection tools applicable to program evaluation plans.
  • EV4005 Data Analysis and Reporting:  Develop plans for data analysis and reporting results.

AoE: Public Health Policy for Social Change (PUBH 4200)

In this course, you’ll examine one of the most influential factors shaping the health of populations: public policy. Public health policy impacts the public’s health at the local, state, and federal levels. Explore the institutional, economic, social, ethical, and political factors that impact public policy. Examine how public policy is developed and discuss issues relating to health advocacy within the framework of social justice.

  • SX4001 Introduction to the U.S. Government: Recognize the structure and function of the branches of the U.S. government.
  • SX4002 Policy Process: Analyze the development of policy to address public health issues.
  • SX4003 Legal and Ethical Ramifications of Policy: Analyze the legal and ethical ramifications of public health policy.
  • SX4004 Critiquing Policy: Recommend amendments to public health policy.
  • SX4005 Advocacy Skills: Develop advocacy plans for public health issues to affect positive social change.

AoE: Capstone (PUBH 4000)

This capstone course gives you the opportunity to examine contemporary global public health issues. You’ll also have the chance to evaluate and synthesize the key concepts and skills you have gained from this program of study. Complete a final capstone project based on service learning, field observations, or a review of literature.

  • CS4001 Program Learning Outcomes: Analyze health knowledge as it applies to professional standards.
  • CS4002 Annotated Bibliography: Evaluate resources relating to selected health issues and professional standards.
  • CS4003 Professional Development: Apply communication skills related to professional development.
  • CS4004 Social Change: Apply social change concepts to a selected health issue.
  • CS4005 Communication Skills: Apply communication skills to selected health issues and professional standards.
1Walden University’s competency-based options are priced as an all-you-can learn model, where students subscribe to three-month learning periods instead of paying for courses or credit hours. Walden offers monthly starts, the first Monday of every month, for the competency-based option. If you start the BS in Healthcare Management, BS in Public Health, or BS in Health Studies program anytime in 2019, please note that the earliest you can complete the program is December 31, 2019.
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