Santa Clara University

Public Health Science

Course Descriptions

LOWER-DIVISION COURSES

1.    Human Health and Disease
Examination of human health and disease. Topics include common infectious and chronic diseases, how diseases arise in individuals and populations, how diseases are studied, and how health is promoted at the individual and community levels. (4 units)

2.     The American Health System
This course examines the fundamental aspects of the U.S. health system, including organization, delivery, financing, cost, access, and quality. The focus will be on the current system, but significant attention will be given to its historical roots, and to alternative approaches implemented in other developed countries. Potential policy reforms, and the interface of the health care system with public health, will also be discussed. (4 units)

11.  Women’s Health
This course examines how women’s health over the life course is influenced by biological, psychological, social, and cultural experiences. Topics include menarche and pubertal development, reproductive health and rights, menopausal transition, mental health, and violence.  Current, historical, and cross-cultural examples are discussed (4 units).

21.   Health and Aging
Analysis of the human aging process, and the biological, medical, social, and ethical issues associated with aging. Topics include theories of aging, diseases and various health care issues associated with aging, and end-of-life issues. (4 units)

28.   Human Sexuality
Integrates the biological foundations of human sexuality with psychological and social aspects of sexuality. Topics include the anatomy, physiology, and neurobiology of sex, gender and sexual orientation, sexually transmitted diseases, conception and pregnancy, contraception and abortion, and sexual dysfunctions. Also listed as WGST 33. (4 units)

31.   Community Health
This course examines key health indicators and patterns seen in individuals, families, neighborhoods, schools, and communities. Students will explore social, environmental, political, cultural, and behavioral factors that contribute to health disparities linked to racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic differences. The course will also examine the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and behavioral interventions and health policies to improve community health. (4 units)

 


UPPER-DIVISION COURSES

100.    Epidemiology
Introduction to epidemiology, including measurement of population health status, analysis of disease occurrence and transmission at the population level, and development and assessment of public health interventions aimed at improving the health of communities and populations. Prerequisite: BIOL 24. Also listed as BIOL 117. (5 units)

101.    Nutrition
This course focuses both on how the body processes food and on how the resulting nutrients affect human physiology. In addition to exploring topics of particular interest to college students including eating disorders, ideal body weight, nutritional supplements, and the influence of nutrition on athletic performance, this course also considers the global impacts of poor nutrition on public health. Prerequisite: BIOL 24. Also listed as BIOL 123. (5 units)

111.     Health Education and Promotion
This course examines fundamentals concepts of health education and promotion in a variety of public health contexts. Major theoretical approaches and models related to behavior change, social influence, communication strategies, and community-based change are discussed, as well as multifactorial determinants of health and health-related behaviors. An overview of different research methodologies for health program design, implementation, and evaluation is provided. (5 units)

124.    Health Consequences of a Western Lifestyle
This course explores the impact of living in a developed country on human health. Topics such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, hypertension, and cancer will be discussed at the molecular, cellular, physiological, and population levels. Also listed as BIOL 106. Prerequisite: BIOL 25. (5 units)

135.     Human Development and Sexuality
Examination of evolutionary, biocultural aspects of human growth, development, and sexuality throughout the life cycle. Special emphasis on how various cultural, economic, and political factorrs influence norms of sexual behavior in different societies. NC: Fulfills Science, Technology and Society requirement.  Pathway: Fulfills Values in Science Technology and Global Health. (5 units)

139.     Experiential Learning in Public Health
This seminar, discussion, and reflection course must be completed to fulfill the internship requirement for the PHS major. Enrollment by permission of instructor limited to students who have recently, or are concurrently, engaged in health-related internship activities. (2 units)

142.     Environment and Health  
This course will help students gain a better understanding of environmental factors that affect human health. Topics covered include population growth and urbanization, human ecology, pesticides and environmental toxins, air and water pollution, waste generation and management, and climate change. Particular emphasis will be placed on how these issues affect the global poor. (5 units)

150.     Evidence-based Public Health
This course will focus on application of scientific reasoning and epidemiological analysis to public health research and program planning. On the research side, strategies for formulating appropriate research questions, designing studies, collecting and analyzing data, and interpreting and communicating results will be emphasized. Approaches for converting evidence into action will also be covered, including needs assessments, program development and implementation, and evaluation strategies. Students will gain hands-on experience in collecting, analyzing and interpreting, and acting upon empirical evidence in public health. An overview of major theoretical approaches and models related to behavior change, social influence, communication strategies, and community-based change will also be covered.  (5 units)

170.   Public Health in El Salvador
This course focuses on health care and public health in El Salvador, and provides students with an opportunity to integrate academic study and direct immersion with people living in poor communities, where the clinics that will serve as praxis sites are located.  The course will examine major health problems in El Salvador, why these health issues exist, and how they are being handled (or not) by medical and public health approaches.

190.    Public Health Science Capstone
Integrative course organized around a different public health theme each year. Includes lectures, readings, guest speakers, and discussion, culminating in student research projects and presentations. The course is intentionally interdisciplinary, demanding that students address public health issues from diverse scientific and cultural perspectives, and employ a variety of analytical tools. Prerequisite: PHSC 1. Pre- or co-requisite: PHSC 100 or permission of instructor. (5 units)

196.    Peer Health Education
Provides students with current information on a variety of health topics, including general wellness, alcohol and substance abuse, nutrition, eating disorders, stress, mental health, sexual health, and sexual assault. Basic listening, counseling, group facilitation, public speaking, and presentation skills are developed and nurtured. Students are challenged to grow as leaders, peer counselors, and educators. Upon completion of this course, students are eligible to become a member of the Peer Health Education (PHE) Program. Enrollment by permission of instructor. (2 units)

198.    Peer Health Educator Practicum
For students who have already completed training as peer health educators through PHSC 196 and who will be actively involved in the Peer Health Education Program during the enrolled quarter. Enrollment by permission of instructor. (1 unit)