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Undergraduate Programs

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Population Health Major

Lehigh University's Bachelor of Science (BS) in Population Health degree prepares students to investigate the determinants of health using data science, and to 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. 

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Community and Global Health Major

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in community and global health emphasizes conceptual, methodological, and analytical approaches to implementing health services, interventions, and programs in communities. While the BS degree in population health teaches students the methods to study determinants of health, the BA in community and global health teaches students to intervene to improve health based on these determinants.  With respect to methodology, the BA degree is also distinct because it emphasizes the importance of qualitative research methods, as well as mixed-method approaches that combine qualitative with quantitative methods. The BA degree also underscores the importance of cultural understandings in health within the United States and other nations. Finally, grounded in interdisciplinarity, the 120 credit BA degree prepares students to improve global and domestic health outcomes.

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Pre-health Studies

For students planning to enter medical, veterinary, or dental school, College of Health programs help prepare you for this next step.  The BS and BA programs are designed so that students can take their recommended classes to prepare them for entrance examinations.   Our coursework embedded with experiential learning prepares future medical experts to be knowledgeable and responsive to the health needs of populations through data-driven approaches.  Students in the College of Health gain an understanding of health policy and will differentiate themselves from other medical school applicants with this interdisciplinary approach.

Suggested course of study plan for pre-health students.

4+1 accelerated programs

Lehigh's College of Health offers students the opportunity to earn an MS in Population Health or a Master of Public Health (MPH) at an accelerated pace. Students accepted into the 4+1 accelerated program begin taking graduate classes during their junior and senior years and can complete the program one year after earning their undergraduate degree. Current Lehigh students enrolled in one of the COH majors, or majoring in Health, Medicine and Society who earn a minimum overall GPA of 3.5, may elect to be enrolled in the 4+1 accelerated program once they achieve junior standing - a minimum of 54 credits. Students in these programs who do not qualify for direct admittance to the MS or MPH based on their GPA must apply for acceptance and two letters of recommendation are required.  To declare interest in pursuing the 4+1 program, students must complete the declaration form.  

What are the benefits of the 4+1 program?

  1. 20% tuition discount on graduate tuition
  2. no application process for students with an overall GPA of 3.5 or better
  3. complete up to 4 graduate courses while an undergraduate student
  4. save more than 40% off the total cost of the graduate degree 
  5. fulfill the MS or MPH degree requirements in 1/2 the time

Minor Programs

The minor in Community Health is for students not pursuing a major in community and global health interested in exploring a qualitative approach to investigating the multiple determinants of health. Total credits 16-19.

  • CGH 001 Introduction to Community Health
  • One Methods Course
    • BSTA 001 Population Health Data Science I & BSTA 002 Population Health Data Science I Algorithms Lab
    • BSTA 005 Statistical Literacy in Health
    • CGH 106 Qualitative Methods in Health Research
  • One Determinants Course
    • CGH 103 Biological & Environmental Determinants of Health
    • CGH 104 Sociocultural & Political Determinants of Health
    • CGH 105 Commercial Determinants of Health
  • Two electives, including at least one (1) cross-cultural, at least 1 300-level

The Biostatistics minor provides quantitatively oriented students with conceptual knowledge and hands-on skills in applied statistics and data science techniques commonly employed in the field of biostatistics. The curriculum seeks to prepare students to interpret and contribute to quantitative research in health-related fields, including community and population health. The minor serves to broaden student employment possibilities post-Lehigh while making them more competitive as applicants to health-related graduate programs that favor prior training in applied statistics. Total credits 17.

BSTA 001 & BSTA 002: Population Health Data Science I and Population Health Data Science I Algorithms Lab
BSTA 101 & BSTA 103: Population Health Data Science II and Population Health Data Science II Algorithms Lab

Electives (choose 3)  
BSTA 305 Population Health Data Science III
BSTA 306 Population Health Data Science III Algorithms Lab
BSTA 307 Applied Machine Learning for Health Sciences
BSTA 308 Advanced R Programming
BSTA 309 Outbreak Science & Public Health Forecasting    
BSTA 320 Independent Study or Research in Biostatistics

Students in the Global Health minor will 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.  Total credits 15-18.

  • CGH 004 Introduction to Global Health
  • POPH 106 Global Environment and Human Welfare
  • Field or Research Experience
  • Two electives chosen in consultation with the adviser

The minor in Health Policy & Politics is intended for students interested in receiving more advanced training and experiences in healthcare policy-making processes and the political factors that influence this process.  Courses introduce the theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding the different phases of the policy-making process; the important roles that politicians, bureaucrats, and civil society play in the design and implementation of policy; as well as the role of the international community, such as the World Health Organization (WHO).  Total credits 18-22.

  • CGH 004 Introduction to Global Health
  • CGH 313 Health Policy and Politics
  • CGH 104 Sociocultural & Political Determinants of Health
    • or CGH 105 Commercial Determinants of Health
  • Field or Research Experience
  • Two electives in consultation with the adviser. One elective must be at the 300-level.

The minor in Indigenous Peoples Health provides students with a basic understanding of the concepts and perspectives needed to work with the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and their communities.  Students will learn about issues such as sovereignty, colonialism, historical trauma, and the connections these concepts play in the health disparities, inequalities, and inequities Indigenous peoples face today.  Students will also learn the basics of developing and implementing health programs with Indigenous peoples and their communities. Total credits 15-16.

  • CGH 122 Indigenous Healing Traditions
  • CGH 322 Contemporary Indigenous Health
  • Independent Study or Research
  • Two electives from the list below or in consultation with the adviser. 
    • CGH 004 Introduction to Global Health
    • CGH 021 Culture and Health
    • CGH 104 Sociocultural & Political Determinants of Health
    • CGH 151 Special Topics in Indigenous Peoples Health
    • CGH 351 Special Topics in Indigenous Peoples Health
    • POPH 003 Justice, Equity, and Ethics in Population Health
    • POPH 106 Global Environment and Human Welfare
    • HMS/EDUC 375 Community Based Participatory Research Methodology

The Maternal & Child Health minor provides students a deeper understanding of the lifecourse approach and the multiple determinants that shape the health and wellbeing of women, children, and families across the life course and intergenerationally. Students will apply these foundational concepts to evaluate maternal and child health research, programs, and policies in the US and globally. Total credits 15-18.

  • POPH 001 Introduction to Population Health
    or CGH 001 Community Health 
  • POPH 105 Introduction to Maternal and Child Population Health
  • EPI 306 Lifecourse Epidemiology
    • or CGH 332 Aging, Health & Social Policy
  • Two electives chosen in consultation with the adviser 

The minor in Population Health is for students not pursuing a major in population health interested in taking a data science approach to investigating the multiple determinants of health.  Total credits 15-16.  

  • POPH 001 Introduction to Population Health
  • BSTA 001 Population Health Data Science I & BSTA 002 Algorithms Lab I 
  • EPI 304 Methods in Epidemiology I
  • One elective chosen in consultation with the adviser 


Lehigh’s college of 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
  • Optum Labs
  • Novo Nordisk
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Google Health
  • Microsoft Health

Consulting Organizations

  • Accenture
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • 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 Questions Asked By High School Students

Read the top questions below and also to learn more about the College of Health.

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 or BA majors in our college are able to complete the pre-med requirements and their major 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 >

Current students enrolled in the College of Health are planning double majors in Astrophysics, Economics, Behavioral Neuroscience, Business, and Health, Medicine, and Society. A double-major taken outside the College of Health is 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.  Students have interned with the PA Department of Health, City of Bethlehem, Aledade, Cooper Surgical, Commonwealth Care Alliance, Lifescan, Inc., Temple University Hospital, UMass Medical School, St. Luke’s Hospital Network, St. Vincent’s Hospital, CT, Tufts Uni Global Obesity Research Institute.

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