Public Health Major

The goal of the Public Health Major is to prepare health practitioners in the public health disciplines of wellness, health promotion, and holistic disease prevention as well as in community health services through cooperative, multi-disciplinary experiences.  Coursework focuses on examining the social, behavioral, and environmental determinants associated with pressing health problems to plan, implement, and evaluate appropriate health promotion programs and preventive services to improve population health.

Requirements for the Public Health Major

Major Required Courses(31-34 credits)
HC-201Introduction to Public Health3
HC-202Introduction to Global Health (DAC)3
HC-203Introduction to Epidemiology (GP, NSP, QAC, ICW)3
HC-228Health Ethics3
or PH-131 Medical Ethics
HC-245Introduction to Public Health Research3
HE-390Environmental Health3
HC-415Community Health Planning and Promotion3
HC-425Research Seminar (CAP/WAC)3
HC-430Health Promotion Program Implementation & Evaluation3
HC-445Pre-Practicum Seminar1
HC-450Practicum: Community Health (CAP/WAC)3-6
Electives(31-38 credits)
Majors Electives (Group 1) 1
Select one or two courses from the following:3-6
Health and Nutrition
Health Policy
Multiculturalism and Health
Group Process
Community Health Education (GP, ICW, DAC)
Department Workshop:Community Health
Independent Study in Health
Interdisciplinary Electives (Group 2) 1
See Health Sciences Department for list of approved courses.9-13
Required Ancillary Courses
BI-161Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
BI-162Human Anatomy and Physiology II (NSP Lab)4
CH-112Survey of Chemistry4
EN-252Technical Writing3
PS-275Psychological Statistics (QR/QAC or MA/QR)4
or MA-150 Statistics I
or SO-275 Social and Behavioral Statistics
Total Credits62-72

Students must take at least one course from Group 1 with a maximum of two. Eligible courses for Group 1 are HE-120 and any 200-level course offered by the Health Sciences Department. Students must take the remaining major elective courses (3 to 4 courses) from Group 2. Eligible courses for Group 2 are any 200-level course outside of the Health Sciences Department. For Group 2, each elective must come from a different department.

Department of Health Sciences: Public Health Sample Timeline for Completion of Degree

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
Semester OneCredits
LASCFirst-Year Seminar (FYS) 3
EN-101 College Writing I (WR) 3
MA 1XXAny Math Course (MA/QR) 3
HC-201 Introduction to Public Health 3
LASCLASC Elective (ICW) 3
Semester Two
EN-102 College Writing II (WR) 3
PS-101 General Psychology (HBS) 3
HC-202 Introduction to Global Health (DAC) 3
CH-112 Survey of Chemistry (NSP #1) 4
BI-161 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4
Year Two
Semester Three
LASCDistribution Elective (CON) 3
HC-203 Introduction to Epidemiology (GS, NSP, QAC, ICW) 3
BI-162 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (NSP #2) 4
LASCDistribution Elective (CA) 3
EN-252 Technical Writing 3
Semester Four
LASCDistribution Elective (GP) 3
Health Ethics
or Medical Ethics
HC-245 Introduction to Public Health Research 3
ElectiveMajor/Interdisciplinary Elective #1 3
Psychological Statistics (QR #2/QAC)
or Statistics I
Year Three
Semester Five
LASCDistribution Elective (TLC) 3
ElectiveMajor/Interdisciplinary Elective #2 3
ElectiveDistribution Elective #3 3
HE-390 Environmental Health 3
Elective Course 3
Semester Six
LASCDistribution Elective (USW) 3
HC-425 Research Seminar 3
ElectiveMajor/Interdisciplinary Elective #3 3
ElectiveDistribution Elective 3
ElectiveDistribution Elective 3
Year Four
Semester Seven
HC-415 Community Health Planning and Promotion 3
HC-445 Pre-Practicum Seminar 1
HC-430 Health Promotion Program Implementation & Evaluation 3
ElectiveDistribution Elective 3
ElectiveDistribution Elective 3
Elective:Major/Interdisciplinary Elective #4
ElectiveMajor/Interdisciplinary Elective #5 3
Semester Eight
HC-450 Practicum: Community Health 3
ElectiveDistribution Elective 3
ElectiveDistribution Elective 3
ElectiveFree Elective 3
 Total Credits122

Note: LASC Distribution Electives, do not have to follow this order.

Please see LASC section of this catalog for information on the Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum (LASC) and for policies governing the use of major courses toward LASC requirements.


Students are required to meet with their academic advisor to review their courses for the upcoming semester. A minimum of 120 credits is required for graduation.  First-year and transfer students with 45 or fewer credits at the time of admission shall complete two academic programs (a major/major or major/minor) to qualify for graduation.  For more information, please view the MajorPlus section of this catalog.

HC-201 Introduction to Public Health

This course is an overview and will focus on populations, prevention, and the evidence-based practice of public health.

Every year. 3 Credits

HC-202 Introduction to Global Health

LASC Categories: GP, ICW, DIV, DAC

The course introduces students to the main concepts of public health and the critical links between public health and social and economic development. Students get an overview of the determinants of health, how health status is measured, and the influences of various factors, including cultural, historic, geographic, social, economic, and political issues on the health of individuals and communities. The course also introduces students to key concerns regarding nutrition, reproductive health, infectious disease, and chronic diseases. The course will be global in coverage but with an important focus on the developing world and on the health of the poor.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

HC-203 Introduction to Epidemiology

LASC Categories: ICW, NSP, QAC, GP

Prerequisites: any Math course and HC-201.

Basic epidemiologic concepts are covered and application of concepts to everyday problems; e.g., hazards in food supplies and risks associated with lifestyle.

Every year. 3 Credits

HC-220 Health Policy

Prerequisites: HE-100

Examination of the process and factors that influence formulation, implementation and modification of health policy in the United States.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

HC-228 Health Ethics

Prerequisites: HE-100 or HC-201

Ethical issues in health including genetic research, euthanasia, medical intervention and reproductive technologies as well as professional ethics.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

HC-234 Multiculturalism and Health

Examination of diverse ethnic/racial and cultural beliefs beliefs and practices affecting health and illness

Spring only and every year. 3 Credits

HC-245 Introduction to Public Health Research

Prerequisites: EN-252

This course introduces students to health sciences research. Students will develop critical skills including effectively navigating and interpreting information, distinguishing between high quality and low quality sources of evidence. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of staying actively informed of current events relevant to public health and how informed public health professionals can seek out high quality news on public health as well as discern effective from misleading news relevant to public health policy. Students also will spend extensive time exploring the difference between information found on internet searches and social media versus reliable health agency information.

Spring only and every year. 3 Credits

HC-338 Peer Education Training

Prerequisites: HE-100

Emphasis on student development of practical skills to implement programming centered on peer education programs and focused on preventative health.

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

HC-340 Global Perspective in Public Health

LASC Categories: GP, ICW

Seminar course for students accepted into a global service learning trip during the academic year. It is designed to prepare students through curriculum-based learning, the components of service learning; ethical partnering with vulnerable communities, and the cultural/historical/political and economic factors that impact health and healthcare policies within the population where immersion takes places. There will be self-reflection and integration of learning through journal writing, critical thinking and exercises formal preparation for service in the host country and final paper at the end of the semester.

Other or on demand and every year. 3 Credits

HC-345 Introduction to the U.S. Health Care System

Prerequisites: HC-201

This course is an overview of the U.S. health care system (USHCS) and its components. Subjects to be reviewed include how social determinants of health influence access to health care and the role of healthcare providers and their effect in the health care system. The history of USHCS, the financing of services, types of services offered as well as access and quality of these services. Understanding these topics will help formulate an understanding of how the USHCS functions and the factors involved in the delivery of healthcare services.

Fall only and every year. 3 Credits

HC-350 Group Process

Prerequisites: HE-100

A didactic and experiential examination of various theories of group dynamics and their application to the facilitation of health-related groups. Research paper.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

HC-403 Department Workshop:Community Health

The subject matter of this course will be reflective of the changing issues within the field of community health.

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

HC-408 Directed Study: Public Health

Directed study offers students who because of unusual circumstances may be unable to register for a course when offered, the opportunity to complete an existing course with an established syllabus under the direction and with agreement from a faculty member.

3 Credits

HC-415 Community Health Planning and Promotion

Prerequisites: 4 courses in the major at 200 level or above.

Emphasis on community analysis; defining and verifying community health problems and establishing goals and objectives. Research paper.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

HC-425 Research Seminar

LASC Categories: CAP, WAC

Prerequisites: HC-228 or PH-131, HC 203 and one of the following MA-150, PS-275 or SO-275.

Students will be required to produce a proposal for a research study based on a community public health issue.

Every year. 3 Credits

HC-430 Health Promotion Program Implementation & Evaluation

Prerequisites: HC-245 and HC-415

The success of a well-planned health promotion program depends on effective implementation and evaluation procedures. This course will review the process of program planning and explore implementation and evaluation strategies. This course will equip students to collect, analyze, interpret, and disseminate evidence of a program's effectiveness to relevant stakeholders. The course will culminate with a written evaluation plan and mock poster presentation delivered to an audience of peers.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

HC-445 Pre-Practicum Seminar

Prerequisites or Corequisite: HC-415

Discussion of career opportunities in the public health field, professional development, and graduate coursework in the health sciences field. This mandatory class should be taken the semester before registering for the practicum.

Fall and Spring and every year. 1 Credit

HC-450 Practicum: Community Health

LASC Categories: CAP, WAC

Prerequisites: 24 credits in HE/HC courses and EN-102

Field experience in which students will select a community health speciality area and spend a semester pursuing their goal through participation. See HE 440 Practicum in Health.

Every year. 3-6 Credits