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Undergraduate Program

Bachelor of Science in Population Health

UNM’s newest major represents a liaison between the study of health care systems, finance and health policy and health law with an emphasis on prevention and wellness in communities.

Population health is the essence of trans-disciplinary science - not solely the combination of multiple disciplines, but rather a new science focused on answering complex questions about the sources of health and the causes of illness and disability. 

The discipline:

  • Focuses on health improvement within populations.
  • Produces integrated knowledge and action regarding the societal, behavioral, biological and organizational system causes of health and disease. It also examines what creates health risks and what policies, health systems and public health practices are effective in curbing those risks.
  • Requires innovations in approaches to reducing disparities and improving population health.
  • Requires technological solutions to grass roots problems.
  • Will find practitioners and scientists from different backgrounds to come together and transcend the limits of their knowledge and expertise to create this new discipline.

Graduates will develop skills to promote the health of populations in a variety of domains that comprise the continuum from wellness to health care, from health systems to community systems, from health policy to community policies, and from economic theory to economic practices. They will find jobs in varied fields, including:

  • Business
  • Informatics
  • Engineering
  • Architecture and planning
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Community advocacy
  • Political organizations
  • Policy analysis and evaluation
  • Community Advocacy
  • Disaster preparedness

Admission Requirements

All students seeking acceptance to the College of Population Health must meet requirements for admission to the University. See the Admissions section of the UNM Catalog for information on University admission requirements.

The College of Population Health follows a rolling admissions deadline and applications are reviewed at the time of submission. Applications are accepted through the College of Population Health Web site.

All students applying to the B.S. in Population Health are required to complete PH 101 Introduction to Population Health and PH 102 Global Health Challenges and Responses; or students must have completed either PH 101 or PH 102 with a grade of "B" or better, and be currently enrolled in the other course. Acceptance is contingent upon maintaining a "B" average between the two courses.

Application requirements

Application Instructions

This is a separate admissions process and requires a separate application packet from that of the College of Population Health. You must contact the UNM Office of Admissions to obtain the correct information.

Apply to College of Population Health

Students transferring from another institution or those seeking admission to UNM for the first time must submit a formal application to the UNM Office of Admissions. Consult the UNM general catalog for information regarding application and transfer regulations.

This means that College of Population Health candidates actually complete two separate application processes – one submitted to the University, with a second submitted to the College of Population Health.

Degree Requirements

The BS in Population Health is granted to students upon fulfillment of the following:

  1. Completion of 121 credit hours of course work of the prescribed curriculum.
  2. Completion of the UNM core curriculum.
  3. Completion of at least 42 credit hours of upper-division course work numbered 300 or above.
  4. Compliance with the minimum residence requirements, as stated in the Undergraduate Program in the UNM Catalog.
  5. Areas of focused study are optional, and credit hours may vary from 12-15 hours, depending on the selected topic.

Maintenance of an overall minimum GPA of 2.0.


UNM CoreCredit Hours
Area 1Writing and Speaking9
Area 2Mathematics3
Area 3Physical and Natural Sciences7
Area 4Social and Behavioral Sciences 6
Area 5Humanities6
Area 6Foreign Language3
Area 7Fine Arts3
Population Health CoreCredit Hours
PH 101Introduction to Population Health3
PH 102Global Health Challenges and Responses3
PH 201Population Health Biology3
PH 210Essentials of Epidemiology: The Language of Population Health3
PH 221Population Health: Introduction to Social, Cultural, Behavioral Theory3
PH 230Introduction to Environmental and Occupational Health3
PH 240Health Policy: A Primer for Population Health Practice3
PH 241Fundamentals of Health Care Finance3
PH 310Population Health Research Methods3
PH 350Health Data Systems3
PH 360Population Health Management3
PH 420Population Health Evidenced-Based Practices3
PH 421Population Health Planning I3
PH 422Population Health Planning II3
PH 475Population Health Capstone6
Areas of Focus
Examples: Biostatistics; Built Environment; Community Health Education; Disaster Medicine; Environmental Health; Exercise Science; Health Economics; Health Information Systems; Health Policy; Nutrition.12
Provides students with the flexibility to explore courses21
Degree Total121