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 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 Behavioral and Social Influences on Health

3 Credits, Fall and 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 Semester

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 340 Introduction to Epidemiology

3 Credits, Fall and Spring Semester

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution of health outcomes and their determinants in populations and its application to prevent and control disease. This course introduces principles and methods of epidemiologic investigation and epidemiology's role in public health. Differences between experimental studies and observational studies in free-living human populations will be examined, followed by explanations of descriptive epidemiology, methods for measuring occurrence of risk factors and health outcomes, epidemiologic study designs, and analyzing and interpreting epidemiologic data. A variety of exposures and health outcomes will be used as examples to demonstrate the broad application of epidemiology in assessing and addressing public health problems.

PUB 420 Social Determinants of Health

3 Credits, Fall and Spring Semester

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 Semester

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.

STA 427 Introduction to Medical Statistics

4 Credits, Fall Semester (LEC/REC)

Topics include descriptive statistics, probability concepts (such as independence and conditional probability), probability distributions of random variables, sampling distributions, estimation, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance procedures, linear regression, and nonparametric methods. Computers and statistical packages are used throughout the course. Requires no extensive computer experience.