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Public Health Minor

The goal of Public Health is to protect, preserve, and promote the health of communities and populations. Solving Public Health problems requires a full understanding of the complex relationships between disease processes and the social determinants of health. Such an understanding draws on concepts and skills from many different liberal arts disciplines.

The Public Health Minor includes a number of different tracks from which students can choose. All tracks share a common structure with all students taking the same introductory core (Public Health and Epidemiology) and a culminating seminar. Students complete an experiential learning activity prior to enrollment in the seminar.

Tracks vary mainly in their specific suite of foundational courses and specific elective options.  This structure allows the Minor to incorporate a greater range of courses and content areas, while still guiding students to engage with the most appropriate courses to meet their goals.

Summary of track options:
  • Public Health Fundamentals: This track provides a broad-based foundation in the core areas of Public Health and the disciplines that inform it. This track is well suited for students who wish to complement their major course of study with a comprehensive introduction to the theories, tools, and concepts of Public Health.
  • Global Health: The coursework in this track introduces students to international health and development issues through a Public Health lens. Students will investigate the social, economic, political, and environmental determinants of global health inequity, and the programs and policies used to address it.
  • The Environment & Public Health: This track supports the exploration of environmental issues as they relate to human health and disease, with an emphasis on Environmental Health and climate change. Students have the opportunity to blend foundational courses in Public Health with courses related to environmental policy, ethics, and science.
  • Health, Wellness, & Society: This track emphasizes the multidimensional nature of health, with a focus on the social, cultural, and behavioral determinants of human health. Students will explore personal and community-based practices that promote health, and the theoretical underpinnings of these practices.
  • Data & Public Health: This track introduces students to the foundations of Public Health and Data Science, and is appropriate for students interested in the intersection of health, computing, and statistics (the three pillars of Health Data Science, a growing field).
  • Health Equity & Justice: This track introduces students to issues in health equity and health opportunity. Students will learn about the intersectionality of health with wealth, race/ ethnicity, gender, disability, and other axes of identity. Elective courses will provide additional foundation in these critical social issues.
Declaration Process

Students will meet with the Minor coordinator, Sarah Menefee, to discuss the track requirements and to fill out a declaration form (pdf). If students wish to change tracks after declaring the first time, they will be required to submit a new declaration form. The declaration meeting also will include discussion of the experiential learning activity and culminating seminar.

Structure of the Public Health Minor (See catalog for track-specific details):
  • Core Requirements (6 credits): All students take KINE 280 (Foundations of Public Health) and KINE 270 (Foundations of Epidemiology).
  • Track Requirements (3-6 credits): All students take additional foundational courses in Public Health, and in some cases a foundational course in the track content area.
  • Track Electives (6-9 credits): Elective course options in each track provide students depth in the track-specific content area.
  • Experiential Learning Activity (1 credit): To fulfill this non-credit bearing requirement, students must complete 30 hours (minimum) of a hands-on experience related to Public Health, as verified by a site supervisor. This must be completed and approved for students to receive Instructor Permission to register for PBHL 400.
  •  Public Health Minor Seminar (PBHL 400, 1 credit): This seminar will serve as a culminating experience and an opportunity for students from different tracks to collaborate. To register for PBHL 400, students must have completed core and track requirements and the experiential learning activity. They may have a maximum of 6 credits of elective requirements remaining.