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Explore our BS in Public Health - Health Psychology and Behavior concentration

Gain an in-depth understanding of how social, emotional, and cognitive factors influence a population’s behavior and attitudes about health.

This concentration is ideal if you aspire to work in research, clinical settings, or the community and want to understand why people make certain choices regarding their health.

In this public health bachelor's concentration, you’ll learn to:

  • Understand the social, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive factors associated with disease, illness, and injury.
  • Influence health behavior and affect health outcomes.

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Degree Completion Requirements

  • 181 quarter credits
    • General education courses (46 cr.)*
    • Core courses (80 cr.)
    • Concentration (25 cr.)
    • Elective courses (25 cr.)
    • Capstone course (5 cr.)

Students may be eligible to transfer up to 135 credits. At least 45 credits must be completed at Walden.

This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.


Course Code Title Credits
HMNT 1001

Living and Learning in a Technological World

Imagine life without cell phones, television, or the Internet. Recent technological developments have significantly altered all aspects of human life: at work; in play; and in personal, family, and social interactions. In this course, students examine the advantages, disadvantages, and controversies of living and learning in an ever-changing technological environment. By exploring multiple perspectives, students discover how technology is changing media, culture, business, health, human behavior, and overall access to information. In a dynamic, reflective, and engaging classroom environment, students use a variety of audio, visual, literary, and artistic resources, to engage in open dialogue. Students are also introduced to the tools essential to success at Walden. Students complete the course with a personalized success plan that provides a customized roadmap and tools that they can use immediately on their journey toward the completion of their bachelor's degree. *Note: virtual, cyber, digital, and asynchronous are used to describe online environments in this course.

(6 cr.)


PUBH 1000

Foundations of Public Health

This course is an introduction to the principles and practice of safeguarding and improving the health of populations. Students examine the philosophies, goals, history, and organization of the field of public health. They discuss the role of the government in improving the health and well-being of its citizens. Students explore key concepts of public health, including morbidity and mortality, infectious and chronic disease, social determinants of health, and health disparities within populations.

(5 cr.)
HLTH 1005

Context of Healthcare Delivery

Students in this course describe the causes and consequences of historical events on health and medical care in the United States. They explain barriers related to cost, quality, and access to health and medical care. Students examine unique and complex aspects of subsystems and classify vertical and horizontal integrated healthcare delivery systems. They compare characteristics of healthcare in the U.S. with healthcare systems in other countries. Students also identify current and future issues, trends, and forces in healthcare reform.

(5 cr.)
HLTH 2500

Theories of Health Behavior

Students in this course are introduced to established and emerging health behavior, health education, and health promotion theories and models. Students can develop the knowledge and skills necessary to apply various theoretical frameworks and models related to psychosocial, cultural, and environmental factors influencing health behavior and behavior change. Throughout this course, students will focus on the role of theories and models in planning, implementing, and evaluating health interventions in a variety of settings.

(5 cr.)
HLTH 2110

Behavioral and Cultural Issues in Healthcare

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. Students in this course examine the cultural and behavioral factors and issues that influence the management and delivery of healthcare services. Students develop a framework for assessing the effect of culture and behavior in a variety of settings and situations. They identify health disparities attributable to diverse cultural and behavioral factors and discuss their implications for healthcare policy. Students 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.  

(5 cr.)
HLTH 4200

Principles of Epidemiology

Students in this course focus on the principles governing the study and practice of epidemiology. Consideration is given to 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 addressed. (Prerequisite(s): MATH 1002/1030 or STAT 3001.)

(5 cr.)
HLTH 4205

Introduction to Research Methods and Analysis

In this course, students examine the basic components required for the conduct of health-related research and provides students 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.

(5 cr.)
PUBH 3000

Environmental Health

Human interaction has a major influence on the natural world, resulting in outcomes that can impact human and environmental health. In this course, students learn the principles of environmental health and examine the short- and long-term effects of environmental hazards on human health. Students consider their own interactions with natural and human-made environments to assess the impact of chemical, physical, biological, and social elements on their health. They also 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, students conduct an environmental risk assessment to determine the health of home environments. They also conduct a written analysis to report their findings, identifying actions to improve inspection results.  

(5 cr.)
PUBH 3100

Human Disease and Prevention

Through this course, students 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. Students discuss the general characteristics of disease transmission, symptoms, treatment, prevention, and control among various populations. They also examine psychosocial and behavioral factors that influence human disease.  

(5 cr.)
HLTH 3100

Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare

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, students examine the legal and ethical issues that are fundamental to the practice of healthcare and the conduct of health-related research. They explore a historical overview of events and milestones that have shaped the contemporary regulatory landscape. They also investigate and assess issues of privacy and confidentiality, informed consent, licensing, and malpractice, among others. Additionally, students consider ethical, decision-making models for assuring the quality, safety, and appropriateness of healthcare and services. They also apply ethical principles and legal considerations to real-world scenarios.  

(5 cr.)
HLTH 3115

Public and Global Health

Through this course, students widen their perspectives of promoting health and preventing disease as they examine health issues that transcend national borders, class, race, ethnicity, and culture. Students discuss the role of the healthcare provider in preserving and promoting health among diverse populations as well as their role in illness prevention and health promotion, protection, and maintenance of targeted populations. They explore principles of epidemiology and the influencing sociopolitical factors that impact health and well-being of humankind. Students also engage in assignments designed to provide practical application of content on topical issues, such as infant mortality rates in the United States and abroad, infectious or communicable disease, and implications of global climate change on health, among others.

(5 cr.)
PUBH 4000

Public Health Education and Communication

Effective delivery of health education and communication often leads to improved health literacy and positive changes in behavior among populations. In this course, students receive an overview of health education and its role in improving the health of individuals as well as populations. Students review the philosophical, historical, ethical, and theoretical foundations of health education as well as effective principles for the delivery of healthcare. They also examine the primary responsibilities and competencies of health educators, trends in the field, professional organizations, national certification, and the code of ethics.  

(5 cr.)
HLTH 4000

Introduction to Healthcare Management

In this course, students examine management concepts and theories designed to influence and improve the performance of healthcare organizations. They identify and examine the external and internal environments of organizations as well as key management functions, roles, and responsibilities. Exploring essential aspects of healthcare management, students engage in a variety of conceptual and practical activities, such as profiling a healthcare manger, assessing the value of leadership in decision making, and comparing strategic plans. Students delve deeper into content through weekly discussions on a variety of topics, such as emotional intelligence, applications of financial management, issues of quality and safety, the purpose of strategic planning, and challenges in human resources.

(5 cr.)
HLTH 4530

Healthcare Economics From a Population Health Perspective

Students are provided with the foundation for economic evaluation from a population health approach. Students can develop an understanding of healthcare as a market, compare supply-and-demand principles in healthcare versus a typical business, discuss how economic losses or gains impact healthcare policy changes, sectors of the population, physician staffing, nursing staffing, and stability. Students in the course also explore epidemiological, social, global, and future economic impact of healthcare. (Prerequisite(s): HLTH 4000 and MATH 1030 or MATH 1040 or STAT 3001.)

(5 cr.)
PUBH 4030

Planning Public Health Programs

Planning culturally relevant and effective public health programs is essential to improving the health of populations. In this course, students are introduced to public health program planning and design, including the process of needs assessment. Students examine and apply various models and theoretical frameworks of program planning. They also explore fundamental competencies relating to planning, such as writing goals and objectives, selecting strategies, developing budgets, and planning for specific populations. Students learn about concepts related to program implementation, management, and evaluation as these relate to the planning process. HLTH 3115).

(5 cr.)
PUBH 4100

Evaluating Public Health Programs

How do public health professionals know when a program is working? This course provides an introduction to evaluating public health programs. It examines various types of program evaluations, including formative, process, outcome, and impact evaluations. Students apply concepts for designing and conducting practical, ethical, and effective program evaluations that determine whether program goals are achieved. Students also explore ways to appropriately disseminate program evaluation results. (Prerequisite(s): PUBH 4030.)

(5 cr.)
PUBH 4200

Public Health Policy for Social Change

Students in this course 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. Students explore the institutional, economic, social, ethical, and political factors that impact public policy. Students examine how public policy is developed and discuss issues relating to health advocacy within the framework of social justice. (Prerequisite(s): HLTH 3115.)

(5 cr.)


PSYC 1001

Introduction to Psychology

In this course, students will be introduced to the scientific study of observable behavior and internal experiences such as thoughts and feelings. Psychological facts, principles, and theories associated with methods of analysis, learning, memory, brain functioning, sensation, perception, motivation, emotions, personality, social behavior, human development, and psychological disorders and treatment will be introduced. Students will learn to understand human behavior by examining the integrative influences of biological, psychological, and social-cultural factors. The concepts in this course will prepare psychology majors for more in-depth study of the major areas of psychology, and will provide a foundational understanding of human behavior for non-psychology majors.

(5 cr.)
PSYC 2001

Cross-Cultural Psychology

Contemporary life requires the ability to relate to people who are different. In this course, students will explore major areas of psychology in light of culture's influence, challenging their own world views and unconscious biases in order to develop greater sensitivity to the impact of cultural differences on interactions in a variety of settings. Topics include definitions and approaches to understanding culture; the role of psychology in understanding bias; cultural aspects of cognition and intelligence; emotion; motivation; development and socialization; disorders; and applications of cross-cultural psychology. (Prerequisite(s): BS in Psychology: (PSYC 1001 OR PSYC 1001Y) AND PSYC 2000 All other programs: PSYC 1001 OR PSYC 1001Y)

(5 cr.)
PSYC 4001

Cultural Perspectives in Health Psychology

How does one's culture influence health-related behavior and how does culture impact an individual's response to stress, pain, and illness? In this course, students learn how biological, psychological, sociological, and cognitive factors affect individual health behaviors. Students engage in discussions and practical, application-based assignments on a variety of topics, including cultural responses to health, stress management, and coping mechanisms; pain theory and management techniques; health psychology theories and models; and strategies for helping people achieve health psychology goals when faced with illness. Students apply principles of health psychology to case studies and real-life examples related to promoting, achieving, and maintaining optimal health as well as psychological adjustment to illness in different cultures.   PSYC 1001 [or PSYC 1002 and PSYC 1003] and PSYC 2000.) 

(5 cr.)
PSYC 2005

Social Influences on Behavior

Individuals are often influenced by others and by the social situations in which they find themselves. Students in this course examine the basic concepts and applications of social psychology, including attitudes, beliefs, and behavior; stereotyping; prejudice and discrimination; interpersonal relationships; group behavior; and the effect of environmental stress on behavior. They also learn how bias can sway objective conclusions as well as how ethical factors influence research in social psychology. Students apply principles and theories presented in the course to case studies and situations in daily life, including instances of stereotyping and discrimination. They also use these theories to understand strategies for helping others and reducing aggressive behavior.   (Prerequisite(s): PSYC 1001 [or PSYC 1002 and PSYC 1003] and PSYC 2000.)

(5 cr.)
PSYC 4006

Global Perspectives in Psychology

While traditional psychology in the United States has been Western in focus, increased globalization has promoted an examination into human behavior from a broader perspective that includes the influence of cultural and global trends on individual and group behavior. In this course, students explore a variety of global perspectives in psychology as well as some of the issues and controversies facilitated by differing cultures. They explore and discuss trends and research methods in global psychology, indigenous psychology, psychotherapy in a global world, and the role of psychologists internationally. Students critically evaluate psychological issues from a global rather than a domestic perspective.   PSYC 1001 [or PSYC 1002 and PSYC 1003] and PSYC 2000.) 

(5 cr.)


HLTH 4900


This capstone course provides students with the opportunity to synthesize knowledge and skills acquired throughout their program into a practical, integrative literature review of a selected topic specific to their area of concentration and personal interest. Through this project, students gain experience in refining their résumé, locating and assessing professional literature, and presenting arguments and findings. Students also engage in weekly discussions on networking, professional organizations, and the promotion of positive social change. They also reflect on their learning experience throughout the program and consider how they can use these experiences to enrich future professional endeavors. (Prerequisite(s): All prior health core and concentration courses completed. This course must be taken in the student's final quarter.)

(5 cr.)


Choose five courses from general education, BS in Public Health, or other Walden bachelor’s degree programs. Your elective credits should total 25 to meet your program requirements. You may also be eligible to transfer previous credit to meet elective requirements. Note on minors: Electives can also be used to complete a six-course minor. Although this program requires fewer than six elective courses, you have the option to complete a minor and graduate with more than the required number of credits for this program.


Tuition and Fees

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost Amount
Tuition 181 quarter credit hours $325 per quarter hour $58,825
Technology Fee Per quarter $160 $2,560


*Tuition reflects the minimum time to completion. Time to completion varies by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition reductions. Walden may accept up to 135 transfer credits. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 844-768-0109.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included and may cost up to an additional $5,000.


Many Walden degree-seeking students—67%—receive some form of financial aid.* Create a customized plan that makes sense for you.

*Source: Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Data reports as of 2018.

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Program Savings

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Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to this bachelor’s program, you must have a high school diploma or its equivalent and meet the general admission requirements. All applicants must submit a completed online application and transcripts. More information for international applicants.



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