Public Health

Academic Catalog: 2020–2021

  • Karl Larson, Program Director

Public Health is an interdisciplinary minor that provides an introduction to the basic concepts and principles related to the American public health system. Students will actively engage in courses with opportunity to complete case studies in health behavior, community assessment, and program development for a broad array of community issues and populations. The provision of, and understanding of, community-based health services and programs is a centerpiece of the American public health system, and it is essential students have a fundamental understanding of disease proliferation and the epidemiological approaches to address those challenges. Through participation in courses housed in a multitude of departments, students will have the opportunity to hear a broad spectrum of application in public health, from the viewpoints of state and county health, religion, healthcare, and business.

Public Health Minor:

  1. Required Core: 4 courses:
    • PBH-201 Introduction to Public Health
    • PBH-227 Health Program Planning
    • PBH-330 Health Behavior
    • PBH-338 Epidemiology
  2. Elective Courses: 2 courses selected from the following:
    • BIO-218 Fundamentals of Microbiology
    • E/M-377 Health Economics
    • HES-212 Lifespan Development
    • NUR-201 Pre-Health Professions
    • PBH-225 Critical Issues in Global Health
    • PBH-229 Safety and Injury Prevention
    • PBH-236 Systems and Modalities in Alternative Medicine
    • REL-243 Ethics and Medicine
    • S/A-242 Drugs and Society
    • S/A-262 Sociology of Medicine
    • S/A-225 Sociology of Aging
    • Any course in Research Methodology (approved by Program Director)

Students who do not attain a grade of C– or greater in any of the courses required for the minor must repeat the course(s) prior to graduation.

201 Introduction to Public Health (1 course) This course provides an introduction to the major concepts of public health. Topics covered include levels of prevention, health theories, health education, community assessments, health screenings, nutrition, health care finance, care of vulnerable populations, disaster planning, environmental health, principles of epidemiology, and infectious diseases. Application of learning will occur in a variety of course activities. Fall and Spring semester.

225 Critical Issues in Global Health (1 course) This course provides a broad snapshot of global health, providing insight to the challenges currently facing global health equity. Students will explore the major disease outbreaks effecting health, particularly in the developing world. The course will address maternal and child health, global burden of disease, infectious disease, and political differences that can influence the burden of disease. The course will explore how research findings are transferred into policy and practice. Students will be exposed to the role multiple disciplines play in addressing global health. Prerequisite: PBH-201, Spring semester.

227 Health Program Planning (1 course) In this course, students will be exposed to and have the opportunity to use the core skills needed to plan and develop community- and work site based health promotion programs designed to impact individual, group, or community behavior change. Emphasis will be placed on the theories and foundations for planning intervention strategies and managing planning teams, including conducting needs assessment, establishing mission, goals, and objectives, implementation strategies, and program evaluation. Spring semester.

229 Safety and Injury Prevention (1 course) This course explores the complex nature of intentional and unintentional injuries while examining the impact of various prevention strategies. Course areas may include safety efforts for school, consumer, home, traffic, occupational, recreational, and disaster settings. Concepts include risk communication, risk reduction, framing of messages to a given audience, evaluation of policies, and community-based capacity building with emphasis on strategies for prevention and control through a public health approach. Prerequisite: PBH-201, Fall semester.

236 Systems and Modalities in Alternative Medicine (1 course) It has become increasingly popular for Americans addressing their health concerns to choose medicine and treatment modalities outside the standard realm of conventional Western medicine. This course will review the design, practice, and cultural influences involved with alternative medical systems, including Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, and others. The course will also examine the validity and application of a myriad of alternative and complementary treatment modalities, including mind-body, energy, and biologically-based therapies. January Term, odd years.

330 Health Behavior (1 course) This course will explore major concepts and theories related to health behavior. Students will investigate the theoretical constructs behind health behavior at the individual and community level and apply those theories in a variety of health-related situations, including but not exclusive to physical activity, nutrition, sexuality, drug and alcohol behavior, mental health, and stress management. Students will examine the sociological influences on health behavior and the ethics related to working at the individual and community level to change policy, social condition, and health behavior. Fall and Spring semesters.

338 Introduction to Epidemiology (1 course) This course will introduce key concepts in epidemiology that are used to investigate disease outbreaks. These concepts include the measures of disease frequency, principles and techniques of surveillance, outbreak investigation, measures of association used in epidemiologic studies, causal reasoning, confounding, bias, and epidemiologic study design. Due to the mathematical nature of this course, students will benefit from having a comfort level with algebra, or having completed a basic statistics course. Spring semester.