Public Health Courses

Core Courses

PUBH 100 Foundations of Public Health (3 credits)
This course will introduce students to the core concepts and methods in the field of public health, a field which has long been understood as the “science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting physical health and efficiency through organized community efforts.” Public health measures are the reason that more people today live longer, healthier lives than they did one century ago, although there are still vast disparities in health throughout the world that remain to be addressed. Through a brief survey of the history and philosophy of public health as it has developed in the United States and in other regions of the world, this course will offer students an initial exposure to some of the methods and tools of public health data collection. A closer, more-detailed examination of a few case studies will increase students’ understanding of the ethical, economic, and policy-related dimensions of public health, and why communications and knowledge of the underlying science of human health and disease are essential to successful public health initiatives. No prerequisites.

PUBH 110 Global Public Health (3 credits)
This course will introduce students to the core concepts and methods in the field of global health. National Institutes of Health has proposed definition for global health as collaborative trans-national research and action for promoting health for all. This course focuses on common health problems faced by the human population as a whole. The course explores foundations of global health as a professional and academic discipline, and provides an overview of global health research methods and social determinants of health. Other topics covered in this introductory course include: prevention of neonatal and pediatric deaths worldwide, chronic non-communicable diseases and aging, prevention and control of infectious diseases, environmental health, major initiatives to address global concerns like tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS; emerging issues of globalization and global health like emerging infectious diseases and bioterrorism, and the priority areas for global health in the 21st century. No prerequisites.

PUBH 200 Epidemiology (4 credits)
This course will introduce core descriptive and analytical epidemiological concepts such as the epidemiological triad, natural history of disease, measurement of occurrence of disease and screening criteria. Students will review and outline various epidemiological study methods including clinical trials, case control, cohort, and cross sectional as they relate to risk association and causation. Concurrently they will compare genetic and environmental influences on health. They will test the efficacy of disease prevention and treatment programs, evaluation of health services and policy implementation. Students will learn of ethical principles applying to epidemiology, throughout the course. An emphasis in this course will be on student engagement involving case study review, real-life application and student led projects on current public health issues. Pre-Requisite or Co-Requisite: MATH 108. (QFR)

PUBH 490 Senior Capstone in Public Health (3 credits)
In this course, students will research an issue in public health that is relevant to the cohesive theme they designed for their major and write a formal research paper analyzing the issue. Prerequisites: senior, Public Health major status; completion of at least 35 credits in the Public Health major, including PUBH 100, PUBH 110, PUBH 200, and PUBH 390.


Students majoring in public health are required to define a cohesive theme for their chosen electives, in consultation with their advisor in the major, as part of PUBH 100: Foundations of Public Health. This is part of developing a vital “habit of mind” for future graduate study or careers in public health – namely, the ability to recognize the intersection of multiple factors in matters of public health. Students identify an area of public health that interests them (such as rural public health, health maintenance, gender identity and violence, diet and nutrition, global public health) and the electives that will help them acquire relevant knowledge and methodologies in this area. The Public Health Steering Committee will discourage over-emphasis on a single discipline.

The list of public health electives below will be reviewed and revised periodically by the Public Health Steering Committee to reflect course and seat availability, as well as the creation of new courses. Some electives have pre-requisites, yet students coming to the public health major from other majors may already have completed those pre-requisites, and professors may choose to waive pre-requisites at their discretion.

Some electives that do not focus solely on public health could be appropriate for the public health major if a student’s projects within the course are related to public health. Similarly, topics courses could be appropriate if the topic for that section is related to public health. In both cases, these courses are designated by an asterisk (*).

Arts & Humanities Division

  • ENGL 155: On Being a Man: Representations of the Masculine in Film and Fiction
  • *ENGL 268: Issues in British Literature & Culture Since 1660
  • *ENGL 310: Creative Writing – Nonfiction (PQ: Level IV Writing and permission of Instructor)
  • *ENGL 382: Issues in American Literature & Culture
  • *PHIL 271: Values & Society
  • PHIL 336: Ethics (if not already used to satisfy core requirement)
  • *RELS 241: Religion and Science
  • RELS 341: Religion & Medicine
  • RELS 365: Near Death Experience (PM: Permission of instructor)
  • *SPAN 240: Spanish for the Professions (PQ: SPAN 102) *
  • *SPAN 245: Topics in Spanish for the Professions (PQ: SPAN 240)
  • *SPAN 341: Interpretation Studies (PQ: SPAN 243 or Spanish faculty approval)
  • *THEA 250: Applied Theatre

Physical & Life Sciences Division

  • *BIOL 101: Biology in Practice
  • BIOL 150: Human Biology (if not already used to satisfy core requirement)
  • BIOL 206: Human Anatomy and Physiology I (PQ: Nursing major status)
  • BIOL 207: Human Anatomy and Physiology II (PQ: BIOL 206)
  • BIOL 210: Microbiology of Disease (PQ: BIOL 206, 207 and CHEM 105)
  • *BIOL 242: People and Plants of Thailand
  • BIOL 309: Medicinal Plants (PQ: BIOL 101, 202, and 203)
  • BIOL 314: Immunology (PQ: BIOL 101, 202, and 203)
  • BIOL 315: Pathological Processes (PQ: BIOL 101, 202, and 203)
  • BIOL 317: Exercise Physiology (PQ: BIOL 101, 202, and 203)
  • BIOL 344: Pathophysiology (PQ: BIOL 101, 202, and 203)
  • BIOL 350: Reproductive Biology (PQ: BIOL 101, 202, and 203)
  • *CHEM 107: General Chemistry I (PQ: Math level 3 or higher; co-requisite CHEM 107L)
  • *CHEM 108: General Chemistry II (PQ: CHEM 107/107L; co-requisite CHEM 108L)
  • *CHEM 109: Accelerated General Chemistry (PQ: High school Chemistry, dept. permission)
  • *CHEM 150: Topics in Chemistry
  • ENCH 315: Environmental Chemistry (PQ: CHEM 108 or 109)
  • *GEOL 110: Environmental Geology
  • NURS 336: Rural Nursing (PQ: NURS 234, 257, and/or 357, or permission of instructor)
  • *PHYS 125: Energy, Environment, and Society

Social and Behavioral Sciences Division

  • ANTH 235: Biological Anthropology (PQ: ANTH 105)
  • ANTH 361: Medical Anthropology (PQ: ANTH 105)
  • *BUSA 381: Human Resources (PQ: BUSA 230)
  • ECON 250/350: Health Economics
  • ECON 315: Government Policy (PQ: ECON 221, 223)
  • *ECON 318: Environmental Economics (PQ: ECON 221, 223)
  • HIST 162: Health and Disease in Modern World History
  • HIST 241: Environmental Injustice
  • HIST 283: History of Medicine & Public Health
  • HIST 331: Women in American Healthcare
  • HIST 383: Epidemics in Modern History
  • *POSC 215: International Organizations (PQ: POSC 105 or 108)
  • *POSC 240: Women, Men and Politics (PQ: POSC 101, 107, or any WGS course)
  • *POSC 320: Public Administration (PQ: POSC 101 or 107)
  • *POSC 325: Global Environmental Governance (PQ: POSC 101 or 108, and one Int’l/Comp Politics course)
  • *POSC 380: Regulatory Policy and Administration (PQ: POSC 101)
  • PSYC 250: Addictive Behaviors
  • PSYC 273: Health Psychology
  • PSYC 301: Developmental Psychology (PQ: PSYC 110, 111 and C+ or better in PSYC 290)
  • PSYC 302: Clinical Psychology- Abnormal
  • PSYC 303: Social Psychology (PQ: PSYC 110, 111 and C+ or better in PSYC 290)
  • PSYC 304: Cognitive Psychology (PQ: PSYC 110, 111 and C+ or better in PSYC 290)
  • SOCI 260: Food & Social Justice (PQ: SOCI 105 or 155)
  • SOCI 322: Population & Ecology (PQ: SOCI 105)
  • SOCI 350: Healthcare Administration (PQ : SOCI 105)
  • SOCI 381: Sociology of Health & Medicine (PQ: SOCI 105)