Public Health

Public Health (formerly Community Health) is an interdisciplinary concentration through which students examine a variety of issues, including population health and disease, health policy, cross-cultural and international aspects of health, the organizational and social structures through which health services are delivered and received, and the public health system. Courses in the concentration allow students to explore the ways in which the social, political, behavioral and biological sciences contribute to the understanding of patterns of population distributions of health and disease. The concentration also provides students with courses in basic research methods and statistics necessary for problem solving and critical thinking in the emerging emphasis on evidence-based health care and public health.

The requirements listed below are for AB Public Health concentrators in the class of 2016 and beyond.  AB Community Health concentrators, in the classes of 2014 and 2015 should refer to, for degree requirements.  The undergraduate component to the five-year AB/MPH differs in some ways from the Public Health concentration. Please refer to Meet early with a concentration adviser to discuss your plans. 

1. Core Courses: (non-substitutable)
PHP 0310Health Care in the United States1
This course is best taken as a freshman or sophomore.
PHP 0320Introduction to Public Health1
This course is a prerequisite to the Fundamentals of Epidemiology (PHP 0850), and best taken as a freshman or sophomore.
PHP 1501Essentials of Data Analysis1
This course is a prerequisite to PHP 1910.
PHP 1910Community Health Senior Seminar (This course should be taken as a senior. PHP 0320, PHP 0310, and PHP 1501 are required prior to course.)1
PHP 0850Fundamentals of Epidemiology1
This is a pre-req for PHP 1910.
2. Environmental Health and Policy (Select one of the following):1
Current Topics in Environmental Health
Environmental Health and Disease
Environmental Law and Policy
Environmental Health and Policy
Environmental Justice: The Science and Political Economy of Environmental Health and Social Justice
3. Health, Health Care Systems and Policy (Select one of the following):1
Emergency Medical Systems: An Anatomy of Critical Performance
Case Studies in Public Health: The Role of Governments, Communities and Professions
The Burden of Disease in Developing Countries
Comparative Health Care Systems
Global Health Nutrition
Health Economics
4. Social and Behavioral Science for Prevention (Select one of the following):1
Doctors and Patients- Clinical Communication in Medicine
HIV/AIDS in Africa: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Support HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Programs
Alcohol Use and Misuse
Obesity in the 21st Century: Causes, Consequences and Countermeasures
Tobacco, Smoking, and the Evil Empire
Translation, Diffusion and Cultural Relevance of Health Promotion Interventions
Principles of Health Behavior and Health Promotion Interventions
Social Determinants of Health
Physical Activity and Public Health
Environmental and Policy Influences on the Obesity Epidemic
Behavioral and Social Approaches to HIV Prevention
Behavioral and Social Science Theory for Health Promotion
Designing and Evaluating Public Health Interventions
Health Communication
5. Approved General Electives (Select four electives; no more than two (2) can be Human Biology/Physiology courses):4
The four electives may be selected from: A. the approved courses from the areas listed above or B. the approved general electives listed below.
Health of Hispaniola
Pain and the Human Condition: Exploring the Science, Medicine, and Culture of Pain
Pathology to Power: Disability, Health and Community
Introduction to Conducting Clinical Research
The Epidemiology of Violence and its Consequences
Culture and Health
AIDS in Global Perspective
Bioethics and Culture
Anthropology of Addictions and Recovery
International Health: Anthropological Perspectives
Principles of Nutrition (Human Biology/Physiology course)
Nutrition for Fitness and Physical Activity
The Biology of AIDS
Botanical Roots of Modern Medicine
The Foundation of Living Systems (Human Biology/Physiology course)
Genetics (Human Biology/Physiology course)
Principles of Immunology (Human Biology/Physiology course)
Principles of Physiology (Human Biology/Physiology course)
Diet and Chronic Disease
Controversies in Medicine (Human Biology/Physiology course)
Health Inequality in Historical Perspective
Social Contexts of Disease
Race, Difference and Biomedical Research: Historical Considerations
Humans, Nature, and the Environment: Addressing Environmental Change in the 21st Century
Environmental Stewardship
Environmental Science in a Changing World
Native American Environmental Health Movements
Health and Healing in American History
International Perspectives on NGOs, Public Health, and Health Care Inequalities
The Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience (Human Biology/Physiology course)
Environment and Society
HIV/AIDS: Politics, Culture and Society
Unequal From Birth: Child Health From a Social Perspective
Inequalities and Health
Perceptions of Mental Illness
Macro-Organizational Theory: Organizations in Social Context
Aging and the Quality of Life
Human Needs and Social Services
Sociology of Medicine
Aging and Social Policy
Social Perspectives on HIV/AIDS
Military Health: The Quest for Healthy Violence
Total Credits12

Honors: An Honors track is available for students who qualify.  Honors track students are also required to enroll in PHP 1980 in both semesters of their senior year to conduct research and write the honors thesis.  Please visit for details or email for more information. 

Study Abroad/Study Away: Courses taken elsewhere may be applied to non-core courses. Meet with a concentration adviser, and be prepared to provide a syllabus or syllabi, that you are interested in transferring to your concentration plan.

Inquiries: Prof. William Rakowski at; Prof. Mark Lurie at; Academic Program Manager, Liz Malone at