Course Descriptions

PUB 101 Introduction to Public Health

3 Credits, Fall and Spring Semesters

The course is designed to provide you with an understanding of and appreciation for population approaches to improving the health of our nation and the world, as well as knowledge of various career paths in public health.  

PUB 102 Historical and Contemporary Public Health Problems

3 Credits, Spring Semester

This course is an integrative overview of both historical and contemporary public health problems and how they were/are being addressed. The course also introduces students to the public health approach to improving health by integrating approaches from the five core areas of the discipline. Public health researchers and practitioners often examine lessons learned from previous generations as they consider strategies to effectively address current public health issues. Using a population perspective, we will examine the historical experience of the theory and practice of public health and consider the role of the field in addressing present-day issues and problems facing the nation and the globe.

PUB 210 Global Public Health

3 Credits, Spring Semester

PUB 210 will provide upper division undergraduate students with a meaningful appreciation of the challenges in achieving the human right to health in low- and middle-income countries worldwide. Students will understand the leading causes of illness, death, and disability and approaches to prevention and control of those conditions in resource-constrained settings. Students will also understand the complex interrelationships between social, environmental, and political factors that affect health and well-being in low- and middle-income countries. Further, students will learn how to critically evaluate solutions to improve global health.

PUB 220 Social and Behavioral Foundations of Public Health: Principles, Practices, and Policies

3 Credits, Spring Semester

The discipline of public health helps inform decisions that shape the behavior of individuals, communities, and societies. PUB 220 is an exploration of theories, models, and methods of social and behavioral disciplines relevant to the identification, description, and solution of public health problems. The course is designed to engage students’ curiosity and aid them in developing basic literacy as well as critical and creative thinking regarding social and behavioral concepts and processes that influence personal and population health. PUB 220 will also provide students with a firm foundation for developing public health competency in social and behavioral principles and related core themes in health promotion and disease prevention. This course examines social, behavioral, structural, and cultural factors that have an impact on public health in multiple contexts including individual, community, national and global perspectives. 

PUB 230 Stress and Population Health

3 Credits, Fall and Spring Semesters

This course will focus on the physiological, psychological, and behavioral responses to stress and the resulting impact on health. More specifically, we will analyze research investigating the associations of factors such as acute and chronic stress, traumatic stress, with diseases of the cardiovascular system, the metabolic system, and the immune system. During this course students will develop programs and policies designed to control and facilitate positive stress management at the individual, organizational, and community levels.

PUB 310 Health and Disease: Biological, Personal, and Environmental Influences

3 Credits, Fall Semester

This course provides an overview of the biological bases of health and illness as well as an overview of the intersections of biological, personal, and environmental determinants of health and illness. Students will learn about key biological processes and physiological systems relevant to public health issues as well as how biology and the environment interact to lead to health outcomes.

PUB 315 Asking and Answering Scientific Questions in Public Health

4 Credits, Fall Semester

This course provides an overview of scientific methodology and evidence-based practice in public health. Students will learn about the research methods used to collect data and the statistical methods used to evaluate that data in public health research and practice. Students will also gain exposure to how those methods are used to address problems in public health. 

PUB 320 Models and Mechanisms for Understanding Public Health

3 Credits, Fall Semester

This course addresses how we understand and explain the causes of public health problems. Students will gain an understanding of the complex causes of different types of public health problems, including infectious diseases, chronic diseases, and environmental health hazards. A particular focus will be on how the person and the environment interact to influence health and illness.

PUB 325 Interventions to Address Public Health Problems

3 Credits, Spring Semester

This course addresses how public health professionals take action to solve public health problems. Building on the foundation of understanding problems from PUB 320, the course addresses interventions used to prevent and treat infectious diseases, to change health behaviors, and to address environmental health hazards. A particular focus will be on intervention strategies that can be used at the population level to improve health for groups and communities.

PUB 330 Public Health Systems and Policies

3 Credits, Spring Semester

This course addresses how the public health system and the broader health care system function to promote health and treat illness, as well as how governments function to address public health issues. Major topics addressed will include the structure and function of the public health system in the United States, how those functions are provided for by law and financed by governments; the structure of the health care delivery system and how it relates to the public health system; policy design and implementation and the role of government in that design.

PUB 420 Social Determinants of Health

3 Credits, Fall and Spring Semesters

In this course we will examine the social nature of health, illness, and medicine. Over the first half of the semester we will seek to understand how the context of a person's life shapes their likelihood of achieving good health and susceptibility to illness. We will explore the social patterning of health, longevity, and disease in the US today. Who avoids illness and who does not? Who is at increased risk of dying prematurely? We will then turn to understanding the social factors that shape health. How does the context of a person's life (where they live, who they are friends with, if they are married, if they work, their gender and sexual orientation) shape health? Finally, we will examine the role of medical care in contributing to health in the US. What is good health care, who gets it, and why? We will explore these issues through the lens of social science, biology, epidemiology, economics, public policy, and medicine.

PUB 422 Public Health Ethics: An Interdisciplinary Exploration

3 Credits, Spring Semester

Public Health Ethics explores interdisciplinary perspectives using literary, philosophical, and historical examples. Public health ethics has a special concern about functions of the state and organizations in protecting and promoting health. The American Public Health Association Principles of Ethical Practice of Public Health will be employed to assess important moral dilemmas presented in cases, literature, and films. Principles of moral philosophy and moral psychology will also be used.

PUB 430 Pathogens, Prevention & Controversy

3 Credits, Spring Semester

Vaccines have prevented millions of cases of infectious disease in the U.S. and are considered one of public health?s greatest achievements. Despite this, childhood and adolescent vaccine administration have become significant topics of controversy in the U.S. and other developed countries. This controversy and the anti-vaccine movement that has arisen from it threaten the health of communities and populations. PUB 430 is an exploration of various vaccine-preventable illnesses and the vaccines that were developed to protect populations from these devastating diseases. The historical burden, clinical manifestations and epidemiology of these diseases will be explored. The course will take an in-depth look at how vaccines work, how they are developed, how the safety of vaccines are monitored, and current vaccination laws. The course will conclude by delving into the vaccine controversy and the arguments brought forth by competing sides. Students will be prepared to create and deliver public health messaging to dispel vaccine myths with facts, data, and science.

PUB 440 Public Health Nutrition

3 Credits, Fall and Spring Semesters

This course focuses on the intersection of public health and nutrition and enables students to articulate, explain the purpose of, and apply core functions of public health including: assessment of the nutritional needs of the community, assurance and provision of programs that service those needs, and policy development to promote health. Students will develop critical thinking skills to allow evaluation of the scientific evidence supporting public health programs and policies. In addition, the class will expose students to a variety of professional careers in public health in community, clinical, and educational/academic settings.

PUB 494 Capstone – Modern Public Health Problems and Solutions

4 Credits, Spring Semester

This course satisfies the capstone requirement for the major in public health. The course focuses on integrating and synthesizing knowledge gained in the public health major core curriculum and using that knowledge to analyze, explain, and address public health problems. Students will also gain exposure to how knowledge from the core curriculum is applied in public health practice. The course will center around student projects based on case studies of public health problems.

Course Descriptions