Department of Health Policy and Management

BSPH Program Competencies & Degree Requirements

BSPH Program in Health Policy and Management Competencies

Competencies define what students should know and be able to do upon completion of their degree program. They guide our curriculum planning and assessment processes.

Students in the BSPH Program in Health Policy and Management develop the following competencies:

Knowledge of the U.S. health system

  • Examine the organization, financing, management and performance of the U.S. health system
  • Discuss the politics of public health and health policy in the U.S.
  • Discuss health-related legal and ethical issues and their impact on the U.S. health system

Analytical and management skills

  • Manage and analyze data using appropriate methods and tools
  • Formulate strategic alternatives for achieving an organization’s goals and objectives
  • Apply basic methods and techniques in financial management
  • Discuss approaches to effectively lead and manage people, projects and organizations

Cross-cutting skills and professionalism

  • Locate, use, evaluate and synthesize public health information
  • Communicate public health information, in both oral and written forms through a variety of media and to diverse audiences
  • Perform effectively on teams
  • Demonstrate attitudes and behaviors consistent with a professional environment

Throughout the curriculum, students will also receive exposure to the following foundational public health domains:

  • The history and philosophy of public health as well as its core values, concepts and functions across the globe and in society
  • The basic concepts, methods and tools of public health data collection, use and analysis and why evidence-based approaches are an essential part of public health practice
  • The concepts of population health, and the basic processes, approaches and interventions that identify and address the major health-related needs and concerns of populations
  • The underlying science of human health and disease, including opportunities for promoting and protecting health across the life course
  • The socioeconomic, behavioral, biological, environmental and other factors that impact human health and contribute to health disparities
  • The fundamental concepts and features of project implementation, including planning, assessment and evaluation
  • The fundamental characteristics and organizational structures of the US health system as well as the differences between systems in other countries
  • The basic concepts of legal, ethical, economic and regulatory dimensions of health care and public health policy and the roles, influences and responsibilities of the different agencies and branches of government
  • The basic concepts of public health-specific communication, including technical and professional writing and the use of mass media and electronic technology

Degree Requirements

The table below indicates the required courses for the BSPH program in Health Policy and Management and the semester in which they must be taken.  All courses must be completed with a grade of C (not C-) or better.

Junior Fall
HPM 350 – Introduction to Health Services Systems I (3 credits)
HPM 341 – Information Systems, Technology & Tools in Health Services Administration (3 credits)
SPHG 351 – Foundations of Public Health (3 credits)
Junior Spring
HPM 352 – Introduction to Health Services Systems II (3 credits)
HPM 320 – Introduction to Strategic Planning and Marketing (3 credits)
HPM 340 – Foundations of Health Care Financial Management (3 credits)
SPHG 352 – Public Health Systems and Solutions (4 credits)
HPM 393 - Field Training Experience (2 credits)
Students complete the internship during the summer, but register for HPM 393 during their Senior Fall.
Senior Fall
HPM 310 – Introduction to Law and Ethics in Health Administration (3 credits)
HPM 330 – Introduction to Health Organization Leadership, Management & Behavior (3 credits)
Optional elective: HPM 691H – Honors Research (3 credits)
Senior Spring
HPM 351 – Policy Issues in Health Services Delivery (3 credits)
HPM 697 – BSPH Capstone (3 credits)
Optional elective: HPM 692H – Independent Honors Research (3 credits)
EPID 600 - Principles of Epidemiology (3 credits)
Must be taken Junior Fall or Junior Spring
BIOS 600 - Principles of Statistical Inference (3 credits) OR
ECON 400 - Economic Statistics and Econometrics (3 credits)
Can be taken any term.

Students must also meet the following general graduation requirements:

  • Minimum hours required (not counting required physical education): 120
  • Credit hours not to exceed 165
  • Junior-Senior distribution of approximately 60 semester hours

Field Training (Internship)

A 10-week full-time internship (400 hour minimum) in a health-related setting is required during the summer between the junior and senior years. The internship provides students an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills being acquired through their coursework and further develop and demonstrate attainment of program competencies.

Students are not placed in an internship, but rather work with the department’s Career Services Coordinator and their faculty mentor to search for and secure an internship. Students register for HPM 393 (2 credits) during their senior fall. A field training fee of $400 is also required.

HPM 697 BSPH Capstone

2018 BSPH graduates celebrate together at the end of the semester.

2018 BSPH graduates celebrate together at the end of the semester.

During fall and spring semester of the senior year, students work in teams to complete a major project in a community organization. This capstone project serves as a culminating experience for the program, providing students with an opportunity to synthesize, integrate, and apply knowledge and skills gained through their coursework and further develop and demonstrate attainment of program competencies. These projects are completed under the direction of faculty and with a preceptor, typically within a public health department, community health center, hospital, medical office, or non-profit organization.  Teams begin planning and working with their preceptors during their senior fall in HPM 330.