Public Health as a Major


Public Health as a Major

If you choose to pursue a B.S. in Public Health, you will join a group of students dedicated to documenting, monitoring, assessing, and improving the health of all communities, especially those who are marginalized.

We offer a B.S. in Public Health and a B.S. in Public Health with a Concentration in Health Services Administration

Please note: Students in the Public Health major are required to either completed complete 21 units of upper division electives or complete a minor. For students who decide to pursue a minor, their minor substitutes for those elective units.

Changing your major to Public Health

The Public Health degree program is “impacted” which means the number of students who can be admitted to the major is limited. Each semester, we offer a competitive opportunity for students already at SJSU to apply to change their major to Public Health.

The application period for Spring 2018 will take place at the end of the semester, after the spring grades have posted. The application will consist of a google form where you will provide information about your GPA, number of units, courses you have completed, etc. The form will open on Friday May 25th and close on Monday June 4th at 11:59pm. There will be a link to the form on this page. Please wait until all your grades from Spring 2018 have posted to complete the application. If you are still waiting on grades on June 4th, complete the form and send an email to the program coordinator noting what grade is still outstanding.

You will not have to complete any additional forms to apply to change your major to Public Health, but advisors will verify your stated GPA by looking up your transcript. It is our understanding that the change of major process will become fully online by June 4th, so you should not need to be on or near campus to have your major officially changed.

Students will be notified of the decision to admit to the major by June 11th. 

Criteria for Admission to Health Science

In order to apply, you must have completed at least 12 units of college coursework (at SJSU or another college). Students will be admitted based on their SJSU GPA or their All College GPA (whichever favors the applicant).

For the past three semesters, we have admitted students with between a 3.0 - 4.0 GPA. Students with GPAs in the 2.8 - 3.0 range have sometimes been admitted. Students with below a 2.8 GPA have rarely been admitted. We do look at special circumstances (like one course with an F that pulls down a GPA from what would otherwise have been a 3.0 or very strong performance in Public Health preparatory courses amidst poorer performance in other courses). Please note any special circumstances on the application form in the final question. There is no limit to the number of times a student may apply to the major, however, it is important to find your major within a reasonable time frame for you to complete the necessary courses at SJSU, so if you find you are applying multiple times, we encourage you to seek advising support with our faculty or with the CASA Success Center to see whether there is an alternative pathway to meet your goals aside from through the Public Health major.


How should I register for fall classes if I don't know whether I'll be admitted into the major or not?

It can be tricky for students changing their major to figure out what classes to enroll in. If you are lower division still and have not completed your GE, then your priority focus should be on completing your GE requirements. We encourage you to enroll in HS 1, HS 15, or HS 67, as these courses clear both GE and major requirements if you are admitted to the major.

If you have already completed your lower division GE courses, then you have take an educated guess about whether you are likely to be admitted and enroll accordingly. It might make sense to try to enroll in upper division SJSU Studies courses or electives. You may have to change the courses you are registered for based on being admitted or denied admission to the major. The department will not be issuing permission codes for non-majors to enroll in courses restricted to majors and minors. If you are admitted into the major, you will be able to enroll in courses within the major and a major advisor will work with you to try to get you into the appropriate courses for the fall semester.