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Undergraduate Degree Programs in Population Health

At a time of change in the world of health, the demand for professionals with expertise in population health and data science is growing at a rapid pace. The field of population health science seeks to advance our understanding of the multiple determinants of health, from cell to society, and how they interact to produce the health outcomes that we observe. At the College of Health, we are committed to developing our undergraduate students to succeed and lead in these emerging fields.

Population Health Major - BS in Population Health

Lehigh’s Bachelor of Science in Population Health degree prepares students to investigate the determinants of health using data science and identify novel and effective avenues for disease prevention, health promotion, diagnosis, and intervention.

The program combines courses in population health with foundational courses in mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, and computer science.

Students gain knowledge and skills through coursework, experiential learning opportunities, research projects, and engagement with traditional and nontraditional partners in pursuit of a healthier world.

The BS requires a minimum of 124 credits provides students with a strong conceptual background in Population Health as well as extensive methodological expertise in data science and epidemiology. All majors take POPH 001, Introduction to Population Health, plus core courses in Population Health Research Methods, History of Population Health, Biological Basis of Population Health, Population Health Data Science, and Epidemiology. They also complete a minimum of three 1-credit varying topics seminars in Population Health, in addition to 1-credit seminars in Design Thinking, Research Ethics, and Writing about Science. Students then pursue their individual interests by selecting an area of concentration in consultation with their adviser; at least two of these courses are required to be at the 300-level or above. The population health capstone integration occurs in the required two-semester project (POPH 301 and POPH 302), in which students plan, implement, and evaluate a population health project. Additional program details are available in the course catalog.  

4+1 accelerated BS+MS and BS+MPH

Lehigh's College of Health offers students the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Population Health or a Master of Public Health at an accelerated pace.  Students accepted into the 4+1 accelerated program begin taking graduate classes during the junior and senior years and complete the program one year after graduating with the BS in Population Health.  High school seniors interested in the 4+1 programs should apply to the BS in Population Health and can apply to either 4+1 program once at Lehigh.  Current Lehigh students enrolled in the College of Health and pursuing a BS in population health are may apply to the 4+1 accelerated program once they have achieved junior standing, a minimum of 54 credits.

Population Health Certificate Programs

In addition to the BS in Population Health and the 4+1 accelerated programs, the College of Health offers credit-bearing undergraduate certificate programs. Certificates in Population Health and Global Population Health are available to any Lehigh student as well as students from other accredited institutions. Certificates in  Indigenous Peoples Health, LGBTQ+ Population Health, Maternal and Child Population Health, Health Policy, and Environmental Health are being planned. 

Population Health Certificate

The Population Health Certificate is a 16-17 credit program that includes core courses in population health such as Introduction to Population Health, Epidemiology and Population Health Data Science. An experiential learning component provides hands-on experience to help students understand and investigate multiple determinants of health from cell to society. This certificate is open to any student pursuing a degree outside of the College of Health at Lehigh University or another accredited institution.

  • POPH 001 Introduction to Population Health (4 credits)
  • One Population Health Seminar (1 credit)
  • BSTA 001 Population Health Data Science I (4 credits)
  • EPI 304 Methods in Epidemiology I (4 credits)
  • One elective chosen in consultation with adviser (3-4 credits)

Global Population Health Certificate

The Global Population Health Certificate is a 14-16 credit program that includes core courses in global population health, experiential learning and international fieldwork relating to global health. Students gain an understanding of global health concerns and their determinants, and comparative approaches for health promotion, disease prevention and health care delivery in the international sphere. This certificate is open to College of Health BS students as well as students from Lehigh’s other undergraduate colleges and other accredited universities.

  • POPH 001 Introduction to Population Health (4 credits)
  • POPH 106 Global Environment & Human Welfare (3 credits)
  • One Population Health Seminar (1 credit)
  • Field Experience: Internship, research project or experiential learning abroad (3-4 credits)
  • One elective chosen (200 level or above) in consultation with adviser (3-4 credits)


Population Health Careers

Lehigh’s population health alumni may pursue careers in the private sector, nonprofit organizations, or local, state, federal and international governmental institutions, or go on to obtain graduate-level research or clinical training. They may work in fields including epidemiology, medicine, data science, biostatistics, global health, health economics, health policy, community health, health promotion, and health technology and innovation.

For example, graduates can work in many different industries in a variety of roles.

Job Titles Include:

  • Population health data scientist
  • Population health researcher
  • Industry consultant
  • Global health specialist
  • Bioinformatician
  • Health program specialist
  • Project analyst
  • Population health systems integrator
  • Epidemiologist/Biostatistician
  • Research analyst

Sample List of Companies that Employ Population Health Graduates:

Health Care Providers and Payers

  • Hospitals and Health Networks
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • UnitedHealth Group
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Health Technology Firms
  • BD
  • Amgen
  • Pfizer
  • IBM Watson Health
  • Optum Labs
  • Novo Nordisk
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Google Health
  • Microsoft Health

Consulting Organizations

  • Accenture
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • IBM Watson Health
  • IBM Global Business Services
  • Abt Associates
  • Battelle
  • Mathematica Policy Research
  • SAIC
  • Mitre Corporation

Job Titles Include:

  • Community health director
  • Program coordinator
  • Project manager
  • Engagement specialist
  • Health educator
  • Grants manager

Sample List of Organizations that Employ Population Health Graduates:

Advocacy and Research Organizations

  • American Hospital Association
  • American Cancer Society
  • American Heart Association
  • American Diabetes Association
  • American College of Surgeons

Nonprofit Research Organizations

  • RTI International
  • FHI 360
  • ECRI Institute

Job Titles Include:

  • Professor
  • Research associate

Job Titles Include:

  • Health educator
  • Grants manager
  • Policy scientist
  • Population health policy analyst

Sample List of Organizations that Employ Population Health Graduates:

  • National Institutes of Health
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • State Health Department
  • County Health Department
  • Peace Corps

Top Population Health Questions Asked By High School Students

Read the top questions below about the Population Health major and the Population Health certificate programs and also review our general FAQs to learn more about the College of Health.

The core of the curriculum is rooted in population health data science with a focus on health innovation and technology. Many of the courses are 4 credits – 3 credits theoretical/classroom based and 1 credit lab/hands-on. Students are afforded an array of experiential learning opportunities with faculty, research and service. Upper level electives provide students with in-depth exploration into concentration areas such as Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Community Health, Environmental Health, Health Innovation and Technology, Global Health, Social and Behavioral Health and Health Policy and Management. Concentrations are customizable based on student interest.

Although Lehigh University does not have a formal “pre-med” major, there is a recommended track of courses for students who are considering medical school. The College of Health has mapped out the undergraduate program to ensure that students who are enrolled in the BS in Population Health are able to complete the pre-med requirements along with the BS in Population Health requirements within four years. Furthermore, students who pursue advanced clinical degrees after graduation will be well-equipped with the education, experience and skills to address specific population health challenges that exist within health care systems. Learn more information about the pre-med requirements >

The BS in Population Health from the College of Health will be a stand-alone degree and the College will offer only one degree with concentrations (not various majors). This means that any additional major coupled with the BS in Population Health will be considered a two-bachelor-degree program and students must meet university requirements. The College of Health faculty and staff will support students interested in exploring their options for a robust academic experience.

The goal of the College of Health is to ensure our students gain hands-on technical skills needed to excel in the field of population health, which is accomplished through experiential learning opportunities embedded in the curriculum and formal internship experiences with our partners.

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