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Public Health

Public Health

Interdisciplinary Minor

Dr. Elizabeth Yost, Director

Public health encompasses a diverse array of fields, reflected in the interdisciplinary nature of all public health programs. Careers in public health focus on major health concerns such as infectious diseases/pandemics, antibiotic resistant bacteria, nutrition/obesity, drug and alcohol addiction, mental health, bio-terrorism, environmental health issues related to water/food/air quality, food (in)security, STDs, women’s health, and health concerns related to poverty/health care disparities both nationally and internationally. Gaining an interdisciplinary understanding of the physical, social, and cultural aspects of health and medicine prepares students for success in graduate training and careers of passion in medical and health fields.

This minor is designed to help students become familiar with the multidisciplinary nature of public health work, increase their awareness of the opportunities available in this diverse field, and inspire them to discover lives of purpose and passion through careers in health and medicine.

Students interested in pursuing the Public Health minor should consult with the Director, Dr. Elizabeth Yost (, on their course selections and should be aware that internship opportunities in public health are available.  Students are encouraged to contact Dr. Yost to inquire about internships.

The minor in Public Health consists of six (6) courses.  Students are required to take Introduction to Public Health and Global Health Disparities courses.  The remaining four courses are split between electives in Natural Science & Public Health (List A below) and electives in Social, Cultural and Behavioral Aspect of Public Health (List B below). Students may request that special topics courses or pre-approved study abroad courses count toward fulfillment of either List A or List B courses, as appropriate.  Credit for such courses may be granted only with the approval of the Director of the Public Health minor.  Students who are sociology majors may not double count the Intro to Public Health course or the Global Health Disparities course toward their sociology major.


Required Courses

  1. SOC 171 - Introduction to Public Health (no prerequisite)
  1. SOC 271 – Global Health Disparities (prerequisite: Introduction to Public Health)

Elective Courses

  1. Students must take a combination of four (4) additional courses from List A and B, below. The courses must be from at least three (3) different departments, and two courses must be from each list. 

Note: Courses from Lists A and B may have prerequisite courses that must be taken prior to enrollment.  See course descriptions below for further information.


List A.  Natural Sciences and Public Health

BIO 100- Microbes and Your World

BIO 203 – Microbiology

BIO 301 – Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy

BIO 302 – Developmental Biology

BIO 305 – Genetics

BIO 317 - Pathophysiology

BIO 350 - Toxicology

BIO 404 - Immunology

BIO 424 – Comparative Animal Physiology

BIO 409 – Biochemistry (see also CHE 309)

CHE 110 – Chemistry of the Environment

CHE 210  – Environmental Chemistry

CHE 309– Biochemistry or CHE 303 Chemistry of Biological Compounds

CHE 310 - Greener and Sustainable Chemistry

CHE 320 – Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry


List B.  Social, Behavioral, and Cultural Aspects of Public Health

PSY 112 – General Psychology

PSY 202 – Lifespan Development Psychology

PSY 205 – Drugs and Behavior

PSY 220 – Human Sexuality

PSY 233 – Psychopathology I

PSY 234 – Psychopathology II

PSY 320 – Health Psychology w/Lab

ENV 101 – Introduction to Environmental Studies

SOC 221 – Social Inequalities

SOC 370 – Environmental Sociology

SOC 382 – Introduction to Social Welfare

POL 373 – Human Rights and Social Justice

PHL 225 - Ethics

PHL 226 – Global Ethics

PHL 325 – Biomedical Ethics