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Public Health Sciences

Public Health | Courses | Faculty

106 Arnold House

Phone: (413) 545-2526
Website: www.umass.edu/sphhs/public_health/index.html

Chair of Department: Professor Edward Stanek. Professors Buchanan, Calabrese, Kostecki, Stamps, Stanek, Sturgeon; Associate Professors Begay, Bertone-Johnson, Chasan-Taber, Foulkes; Assistant Professors Balasubramanian, Bartosch, Bulzacchelli, Gerber, Gillum, Gubrium, Lin, Reeves, Rodriguez-Monguio, Rogers, Wexler, Whitcomb; Extension Assistant Professor Mietlicki; Research Associate Professors Bigelow, Puleo; Research Assistant Professors Lemard, Pekow.

Public Health has been defined as what a society does collectively to ensure the conditions for people to be healthy. The Public Health Sciences major prepares students for entry-level positions within the public health field, teaching health in the public school system or graduate studies. The interdisciplinary curriculum has been designed to be flexible enough to prepare students for the many diverse opportunities present in the health and medical fields, and because of the diversity of these occupational possibilities in public health, the courses taken depend upon the type of career the student desires.

Among the public health services performed by public health personnel are:
Monitoring health status to identify community health problems.
Diagnosing and investigating health problems and health hazards in the community.
Informing, educating, and empowering people about health issues.
Mobilizing community partnerships to identify and solve health problems.
Developing policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
Enforcing laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
Linking people with needed personal health services and ensuring the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable.
Ensuring a competent public health and personal health care workforce.
Evaluating effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.

Many positions in the field of public health utilize the skills needed to perform these services.

Two tracks are available within the Public Health Sciences major: Social Science and Science. The Social Science track is designed for students preparing for entry-level public health positions in fields such as school health education, community education, management and policy, or continuing in a health science graduate level program in these fields. The Science track is designed for students interested in pre-med, pre-nursing, research-based work, or continuing in a health science graduate-level program. Each track consists of four components:
1. Mathematics and statistics courses
2. Foundation courses
3. Public Health courses
4. Collateral fields related to Public Health.
The science courses in the Social Science track are limited to those useful to entry-level public health professionals while still providing the scientific base appropriate to a bachelor of science degree. Both tracks require an additional nine credits in Public Health electives. Students are offered opportunities for internships. The five required public health courses in each track are designed to introduce students to the five recognized public health core competencies: Community Health Education, Health Policy and Management, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics.

Requirements for the Social Sciences Track

1. Mathematics and Statistics courses: MATH 121 or higher and one of the following statistics courses—PSYCH 240, RES-ECON 211 or 212, SOCIOL 212, STATISTC 111.

2. Foundation courses: at least 15 credits (with at least 9 at the 200 level or above).
Of these Foundation credits, at least six must be from the following or their equivalents:
BIOCHEM 100 My DNA
BIOLOGY 102 Introductory Animal Biology for Non-Biological Science Majors
BIOLOGY 106 Human Biology
CHEM 101 General Chemistry for Nonscience Majors
KIN 100 Introduction to Kinesiology
KIN 110 Human Performance and Nutrition
MICROBIO 310 General Microbiology
NUTRITN 130 Nutrition for a Healthy Lifestyle
PLSOILIN 126 Insects and Human Society
PLSOILIN 185 Sustainable Living
PLSOILIN 326 Insect Biology
PLSOILIN 342 Pesticides, Public Policy and the Environment

At least nine Foundation credits must be from the following or equivalent courses, selected with the approval of the academic adviser:
ANTHRO 104 Culture, Society, and People
ECON 103 Introduction to Microeconomics
ECON 104 Introduction to Macroeconomics
ECON 105 Introduction to Political Economy
PHIL 161 Problems in Social Thought
POLISCI 181 Controversies in Public Policy
POLISCI 220 Public Administration
POLISCI 252 Globalization, Governance, and World Order
POLISCI 253 International Environmental Politics and Policies
PSYCH 100 Introductory Psychology
PSYCH 110 Psychology as a Biological Science
PSYCH 305 Educational Psychology
PSYCH 350 Child Psychology
PSYCH 360 Social Psychology
PSYCH 380 Abnormal Psychology
SOCIOL 103 Social Problems
SOCIOL 106 Race, Sex and Social Class

3. Public Health Courses
129 Health Care for All: Myths and Realities
160 My Body, My Health
320 Introduction to Public Health
324 Introduction to Bioepidemiology
490B Capstone Course
396 Independent Study and 398 Internships are available. No more than 9 credits can be taken as an independent study or internship.

4. Collateral Fields related to Public Health Courses
At least 18 credits are required, with 12 or more credits at the 300 level or above, chosen from courses offered by such departments as Afro-American Studies, Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Education, History, Psychology, and Sociology, or the Journalism program, or the School of Education or the Isenberg School of Management or any other area approved by a student’s academic adviser.

Electives
An additional 9 credits in Public Health are required at the 300-500 level, including one 500-level course, chosen with the help of the student’s academic adviser, from remaining course offerings in the department.

Requirements for the Science Track

1. Mathematics and Statistics courses: MATH 127 and 128, MATH 131 and 132 and one of the following statistics courses—PSYCH 240, RES-ECON 211 or 212, SOCIOL 212, STATISTC 111.

2. Foundation courses: at least 15 credits are required.
Students choose two of the following three course sequences or equivalents with the approval of their academic adviser:
CHEM 111, 112 General Chemistry for Science and Engineering Majors
KIN 171, 172 Anatomy and Physiology I, II with labs
PHYSICS 131, 132 Introductory Physics I, II with labs

3. Public Health Courses
260 Environment and Human Health
320 Introduction to Public Health
324 Introduction to Bioepidemiology
391B Introduction to Biostatistics
490B Capstone Course
565 Environmental Health

4. Collateral Fields related to Public Health Courses
At least 18 credits are required, with 12 or more at the 300 level or above, chosen from courses offered by such departments or programs as Biology, Communication Disorders, Environmental Sciences, Geosciences, Kinesiology, Microbiology, Nutrition, and Sociology, or any other area approved by a student’s academic adviser.

Electives
An additional 9 credits in Public Health are required at the 300-500 level, including one 500-level course, chosen with the help of the student’s academic adviser, from remaining course offerings in the department.

For more information about the B.S. in Public Health Sciences contact the Program Director: Assistant Professor Dan Gerber, (gerber@schoolph.umass.edu), 308 Arnold House or Lynn Koerbel, Undergraduate Adviser, (lkoerbel@schoolph.umass.edu), 302 Arnold House.

Public Health | Courses | Faculty