Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH)


The Department of Nutrition is one of the top-ranked Nutrition Departments in the country and our Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) program is one of the best pre-med programs nationwide. This program introduces undergraduate students to the science of nutrition in health and disease, and to social and behavioral aspects of eating in the context of public and individual health. The curriculum offers a wide range of courses covering the biochemical, epidemiological and behavioral aspects of human nutrition and the related diseases. The Nutrition BSPH program prepares students for graduate study in public health and biomedical sciences. including nutrition, medicine, pharmacy or dentistry, or for entry-level positions in public health or dietetics. It requires all students to participate in nutrition research, with possibility to develop and defend Honors Thesis.

General Information

Minimum Credit Hours

120 2 yrs in UNC General College prior to application.

Expected Duration

4 yrs

Learning Environment


Dual Degree Options Available


Application Cycle

Fall See application details page for more info.

Application Deadline 1

January 12, 2021 See application details page for more info.

Applicant Information

Who Should Apply

UNC students with a C or higher in prerequisites; C or higher in all SPH courses. The program will prepare students for graduate studies in nutrition, biomedical sciences, medicine, dentistry and other public health professions.

Enrolled Student Demographics

  • Total Enrollment 1620
  • Female 72%, Male 28%
  • Underrepresented Minority Students 16.3%
  • International 11%

Program Costs & Funding

Admissions Information

Prior Degree Required

60 hours of undergraduate coursework

Required Prerequisites

C or better in each of the following: BIOL 101 & 101L, CHEM 101 & 101L, CHEM 102 & 102L, MATH 231, BIOL 252 & 252L, CHEM 261, and NUTR 240. Please note: NUTR 240 is only currently offered in the fall semester.

Standardized Test(s) Accepted

None required Students' grades from their first 2 years at UNC are reviewed.

Standardized Test Scores

  • GRE scores are neither required nor typically recommended for applicants to the Master of Public Health program.
  • Undergrad G.P.A.

    Incoming students had a mean undergraduate GPA of 3.7

    Letters of Recommendation Required

    2 (academic and/or professional; academic preferred)

    Faculty-Student Match Required

    Not required

    Interviews Required

    Not required

    Work Experience Required

    None required

    Visit Opportunities

    Learn about opportunities to come to UNC Gillings to meet faculty, staff, and current students. If you are unable to come to campus – don’t worry – our representatives attend a variety of recruitment events around the United States as well as host virtual fairs and webinars.

    During the Program

    Required Courses

    For a detailed description of all the requirements for this degree program please click here for the Student Handbook.

    Comprehensive Exam Type(s)

    No comprehensive exams

    Capstone, Thesis or Dissertation

    None required

    Practicum, Internships & Fieldwork

    At least one semester of faculty supervised research required

    Global Options Available

    The UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health strives to integrate global content and approaches across the School’s courses, programs and degrees. We believe that every student should emerge from our School with an understanding of global health issues. Some courses are focused largely on global issues, others are designed so that global and local issues are intertwined and some still are evolving. Learn more about these options.

    NOTE: Undergraduate students have limited opportunity to pursue our certificates or global health courses.

    After the Program

    Employment Opportunities

    The main goal of this program is to prepare students for graduate studies.

    Example Job Responsibilities

    Graduate studies in nutrition, biomedical sciences, medicine, dentistry, and other health professions. Entry level positions in community and public health nutrition or in clinical or research laboratories.

    1. Complete online application
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      • Application Deadline: January 12, 2020
      • Fee: 0

      (The Graduate School Application is a common application system for UNC-Chapel Hill programs.)


        See program details in GPS for requirements such as prequisites, prior degree, work experience, any test score waivers, as well as a tuition estimate and program overview.

        • The first step is to "Apply for Major/Minor Change" in ConnectCarolina, which is available from the "other academic..." dropdown menu, located under the Academics section of the Student Center tab (SelfService > Student Center). Once you select the "Apply for Major/Minor Change" option from the dropdown menu, click on the double arrow to go to the Apply for Major/Minor Change page. You will then select the BSPH major that you wish to apply for from the "Major/Minor" dropdown menu. You can click "Dept. URL" button to display a link to department website. Once you have made your selection from the "Major/Minor" dropdown menu, you will need to select fall semester and year from the "Term" dropdown menu. When the student is ready to submit their request, they will need to click the "I Agree" checkbox in order for the "Submit Request" button to become available.
        • You will receive an email the next business day with a link to start the BSPH application. As a result, you cannot submit a major change form on the due date of the application, as the email with the application link does not get sent until the next business day. Please pay close attention to application deadlines to ensure that you can complete and submit the application on time.
        • Current UNC students are eligible to apply to a Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) degree program after completion of department-specific BSPH major prerequisites and most General College requirements. Students are eligible for admission after completing 52-60 credit hours of coursework or by examination/advanced placement credit. UNC students typically apply to the Gillings School of Global Public Health in the second semester of their sophomore year of study for fall admission the following academic year. You may apply to more than one major; however you will need to complete and submit separate applications to each major (so you will need to start the process again with “Apply for Major/Minor Change" in order to apply to the 2nd public health major, as you will receive another separate email with the link to that application the next business day).
      2. Applicant type

      3. Plans for undergraduate study

      4. Applicant information,  including North Carolina residency information.

      5. Educational history

      6. Prerequisite courses

      7. Work and volunteer experience

        (Upload your resume in this section.) It is not necessary to enter this information if it is included on your resume.

      8. Awards, recognitions and activities

        It is not necessary to enter this information if it is included on your resume.

      9. Community standards

        You will be asked about honor code, crime, academic sanction, military discharge, etc.

      10. Upload your personal statement.

        • Upload your statement in the Supplemental Documents section. Please address the following (no more than two pages, single-spaced):
          • When/how/why did you become interested in the BSPH program?
          • What experience (volunteer or paid) contributed to your interest in the field?
          • What do you feel you have to offer to the program and field?
          • How will this program prepare you for your projected career?
      11. Enter names of recommenders. UNC will then send them an email with instructions for submitting a letter on your behalf. We encourage references from professors or teachers (or teaching assistants) or work/research supervisors who have worked directly and closely with you and who can speak about you with specificity.

          • Three (3) letters of recommendation are required. Two recommenders should be qualified to evaluate your academic and personal qualifications, as well as your potential for academic success in a professional program.
      12. Document submission (check legibility of uploads)

        • Applicants should preview all documents uploaded into the application system to ensure that all documents are legible for committee review.
      13. Track your progress.

        • You will be able to track status through the Graduate School application. Once a decision is made, you will receive an email instructing login to the Graduate School application portal to see the decision letter.
    2. FYI: costs and funding (separate from the admissions process)
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      1. Check out our Costs and Funding page.

      2. Apply for FEDERAL financial aid by March 1 (please verify this date via FAFSA) via FAFSA. If you've been admitted and completed the FAFSA form by their deadline, the UNC Office of Scholarships and Student Aid will create a financial aid package for you.

      3. Department funding

        • Department does not offer funding for this program.
    3. FYI: application review process
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      1. SPH application review:

        • Interview
          • No interview required.
        • You will be notified via email regarding program decision.

    The Gillings Program Search is a tool for exploring academic programs at the School. It is a prospectus for the current year to be used in consultation with an academic adviser and does not constitute the complete degree or program requirements for graduation or program completion.

    Credit Hours:
    Department Information
    • Jonathan Earnest
    • Academic Coordinator
    • 919-966-7212
    • 260 Rosenau Hall CB # 7461 Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7461
    • Mirek Styblo
    • Adjunct Associate Professor Associate Professor
    • (919) 966-5721
    • 2302 Michael Hooker Res. Center
      CB 7461
      Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7461