Health Policy and Management Major, B.S.P.H.

Department of Health Policy and Management

Visit Program Website

Rosenau Hall, CB# 7411

(919) 966-4609

Morris Weinberger, Chair

Kristin Reiter, Associate Chair

Rebecca Slifkin, Associate Chair

Melanie Studer, Program Director

Jackie Siler, HPM Academic Program Support Coordinator

Lynnette Jones, Academic Coordinator

The mission of the B.S.P.H. program in health policy and management is to improve the health of individuals and communities and reduce health inequities in the United States and abroad by educating future health leaders, managers, policymakers, practitioners, and researchers. We are committed to ensuring that all people — irrespective of age, gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, geographic origin, religion or economic resources — have access to high-quality health care services.

Admission to the program is required.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the health policy and management program (B.S.P.H), students should be able to:  

  • Examine the organization, financing, management, and performance of the U.S. health system
  • Discuss the politics of public health and health policy in the U.S.
  • Discuss health-related legal and ethical issues and their impact on the U.S. health system
  • Manage and analyze data using appropriate methods and tools
  • Formulate strategic alternatives for achieving an organization’s goals and objectives
  • Apply basic methods and techniques in financial management
  • Discuss approaches to effectively lead and manage people, projects, and organizations
  • Locate, use, evaluate, and synthesize public health information
  • Communicate public health information, in both oral and written forms through a variety of media and to diverse audiences
  • Perform effectively on teams
  • Demonstrate attitudes and behaviors consistent with a professional environment

Throughout the curriculum, students will also receive exposure to the following foundational public health domains:

  • The history and philosophy of public health as well as its core values, concepts, and functions across the globe and in society
  • The basic concepts, methods, and tools of public health data collection, use, and analysis and why evidence-based approaches are an essential part of public health practice
  • The concepts of population health, and the basic processes, approaches, and interventions that identify and address the major health-related needs and concerns of populations
  • The underlying science of human health and disease, including opportunities for promoting and protecting health across the life course
  • The socioeconomic, behavioral, biological, environmental, and other factors that impact human health and contribute to health disparities
  • The fundamental concepts and features of project implementation, including planning, assessment, and evaluation
  • The fundamental characteristics and organizational structures of the U.S. health system as well as the differences between systems in other countries
  • The basic concepts of legal, ethical, economic, and regulatory dimensions of health care and public health policy and the roles, influences, and responsibilities of the different agencies and branches of government
  • The basic concepts of public health-specific communication, including technical and professional writing and the use of mass media and electronic technology

Prerequisite Courses Required for Admission

BIOL 101
Principles of Biology
and Introductory Biology Laboratory H
ECON 101Introduction to Economics H4
STOR 155Introduction to Data Models and Inference3
One of the following courses:1.5-3
Introduction to Financial Accounting
Financial Accounting CS
Management Accounting SS
Management Accounting CS
Financial Accounting
One of the following courses:3-4
Precalculus Mathematics
Calculus for Business and Social Sciences
Calculus of Functions of One Variable I H
Calculus of Functions of One Variable II H
Calculus of Functions of Several Variables H
Decision Models for Business
Decision Models for Business and Economics
Total Hours15.5-18

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.


The undergraduate degree offered is the bachelor of science in public health (B.S.P.H.). Four majors are available to undergraduate students: biostatistics, environmental health sciences, health policy and management, and nutrition. Each of these combines features of a broad-based education with concentrated study in a specific public health discipline. The programs prepare individuals for preprofessional positions in health-related fields and provide a firm base for graduate study. Students are permitted to pursue two majors in the school. Students are subject to the requirements in place when they are admitted to the Gillings School of Global Public Health; consequently, requirements described in this catalog particularly apply to students admitted to the school during the 2020–2021 academic year. In addition to the information presented below please see the Gillings Program Search (GPS) for the most up to date information on the school.

Students who wish to obtain the B.S.P.H. degree typically spend two years in the General College of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (or in an equivalent core program of academic study elsewhere) and two subsequent years under the administration of the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Enrollment in the B.S.P.H. degree programs is limited. Typically a student is selected in the latter half of the sophomore year and admitted on a competitive basis for junior year entry to the major. The minimum recommended grade point average for admission to programs in biostatistics, environmental health sciences, health policy and management, and nutrition is 3.0.

For current UNC–Chapel Hill students, the initial step of B.S.P.H. application is available in ConnectCarolina under the "Apply Majors" tab.

Transfer students interested in biostatistics and health policy and management majors must apply through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions using the Transfer Common application. Transfer students interested in environmental health sciences and nutrition majors must be accepted to UNC–Chapel Hill first and then satisfy campus residency requirements during their first and/or second semester at UNC–Chapel Hill, and then apply as a current UNC–Chapel Hill student.

For high school seniors, our four majors participate in the University Assured Enrollment Programs under EXCEL@Carolina. Assured enrollment programs guarantee students a spot in an undergraduate major within one of Carolina’s professional schools or a spot in an accelerated undergraduate/graduate program. Programs include unique opportunities such as early access to classes, individualized mentorship, and career connections. For additional information, please visit EXCEL@Carolina.


In addition to the program requirements listed below, students must

  • attain a final cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
  • take at least half of their major course requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill.

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

Core Requirements
Public Health Core Courses: 1
BIOS 600Principles of Statistical Inference3
or ECON 400 Introduction to Statistics and Econometrics
EPID 600Principles of Epidemiology for Public Health3
SPHG 351Foundations of Public Health3
SPHG 352Public Health Systems and Solutions4
Health Policy Management Courses: 1
HPM 310Introduction to Law and Ethics in Health Management3
HPM 320Introduction to Strategic Planning and Marketing3
HPM 330Introduction to Health Organization Leadership, Management, and Behavior3
HPM 340Foundations of Health Care Financial Management3
HPM 341Information Systems, Technology, and Tools3
HPM 350Introduction to Health Services Systems3
HPM 351Politics, Public Health, and Health Policy3
HPM 352Introduction to Health Services Systems II3
HPM 393Field Training in Health Policy and Management (requires a $400.00 field training fee)2
HPM 697B.S.P.H. Capstone3
Total Hours42

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans can be used as a guide to identify the courses required to complete the major and other requirements needed for degree completion within the expected eight semesters. The actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Students should meet with their academic advisor to create a degree plan that is specific and unique to their interests. The sample plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UNC–Chapel Hill in the fall term. Some courses may not be offered every term.

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
BIOL 101
Principles of Biology
and Introductory Biology Laboratory H
ECON 101 Introduction to Economics H 4
Hours 8
Sophomore Year
STOR 155 Introduction to Data Models and Inference 3
BUSI 102
Introduction to Financial Accounting
or Financial Accounting CS
or Management Accounting SS
or Management Accounting CS
MATH 130
Precalculus Mathematics
or Calculus for Business and Social Sciences
or Calculus of Functions of One Variable I
or Calculus of Functions of One Variable II
or Calculus of Functions of Several Variables
or Decision Models for Business
or Decision Models for Business and Economics
Hours 7.5-10
Junior Year
Fall Semester:  
HPM 341 Information Systems, Technology, and Tools 3
HPM 350 Introduction to Health Services Systems 3
SPHG 351 Foundations of Public Health 3
Spring Semester:  
HPM 320 Introduction to Strategic Planning and Marketing 3
HPM 340 Foundations of Health Care Financial Management 3
HPM 352 Introduction to Health Services Systems II 3
SPHG 352 Public Health Systems and Solutions 4
Any Semester in the Junior Year:  
EPID 600 Principles of Epidemiology for Public Health 3 3
Any Semester in the Junior or Senior Year:  
BIOS 600
Principles of Statistical Inference 1
or Introduction to Statistics and Econometrics
Hours 28
Senior Year
Fall Semester:  
HPM 393 Field Training in Health Policy and Management 2 2
HPM 310 Introduction to Law and Ethics in Health Management 3
HPM 330 Introduction to Health Organization Leadership, Management, and Behavior 3
HPM 691H Honors Research (optional elective) 3
Spring Semester:  
HPM 351 Politics, Public Health, and Health Policy 3
HPM 697 B.S.P.H. Capstone 3
HPM 692H Independent Honors Research (optional elective) 3
Hours 20
Total Hours 63.5-66

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Special Opportunities in Health Policy and Management

Honors in Health Policy and Management

Students who meet the eligibility criteria are invited to participate in the two-semester honors research program in their senior year. HPM 691H is offered as a seminar in the fall semester. HPM 692H is offered as a seminar in the spring semester. Students defend their proposals in the fall and their theses in the spring.

School and Departmental Involvement

Opportunities exist for involvement in student organizations such as the Healthcare Executives Student Association, the Healthcare Improvement Group, AcademyHealth, the Student Global Health Committee, GlobeMed, the Minority Student Caucus, the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, and the school’s student government. Most students are also active in one or more health-related campus organizations, such as the Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC) and Get Covered Carolina.

Experiential Education

Each student in the program is required to complete a 10-week (400-hour minimum) internship during the summer between the junior and senior years. In addition, some health policy and management courses provide the opportunity for students to work on service-learning and consulting projects with health organizations in the community.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad prior to entering the program in the junior year. While in the program, students may complete their 10-week (400-hour minimum) internship in a country other than the United States.

Undergraduate Awards

The department presents awards for undergraduate students at an annual Awards Day in late spring.

Undergraduate Research

Students with research interests may seek opportunities to work with faculty members on research projects. In addition, those who meet eligibility requirements may pursue honors thesis research.