Department of Public Health

The Department of Public Health challenges students with a unique combination of interdisciplinary liberal arts education with a specialty focus on public health. You'll learn the conceptual foundations and empirical bases for analyzing the interplay between science, society and health. Many pre-med and other health professions students also choose to minor in public health to augment their specialty education with this broad perspective.

There is a rising demand for public health professionals, due to increased global concerns regarding infectious and chronic disease epidemiology, food and water safety, sanitation and environmental health issues — as well as health inequities. Public health professionals have excellent employment prospects as researchers, community health workers and health program managers.

Programs in this Department:

Public Health Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to identify current public health problems nationally and globally. They will be able to analyze case studies on national and global health issues (e.g. food safety, water safety, vaccination, exercise and obesity, exposure to toxins). Students will write research papers and make oral presentations in which they will describe a current public health issue. 
  • Students will be able to interpret public health data, frame a public health issue within an epidemiological context, review the literature and give oral presentations on epidemiological approaches to infectious disease, including observational studies, drug resistance studies, vaccine safety, surveillance, eradication, and outbreak studies. 
  • Students will be able to analyze case studies of health issues (e.g., infant mortality and obesity), assessing the role which gender, race, ethnicity, income, and income inequality play in the production of health inequalities.
  • Students will compare public health infrastructures in developed and developing countries in relation to food borne and waterborne disease. Students will undertake literature research and prepare case studies. Students will study the components of HACCP in relation to food safety and visit a food production plant and an urban waste sanitation plant. 
  • Students will write a research paper and make an oral presentation, in which they will compare the U.S. health care system with that in another country.