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Public Health Program

Academic Programs

The Public Health Science (PHS) major is an interdisciplinary degree focused on the health of human populations and individuals. Students will gain a solid foundation in biology and chemistry to understand the functioning of the human body in health and disease. The major further explores the influences of environmental and social factors on human health through required and elective public health courses, as well as relevant courses in the social sciences and humanities. Through the senior capstone and mandatory internship, PHS majors engage in health-focused service and research projects that apply their education to real-world public health problems and integrate learning across disciplines. Students are encouraged to study abroad to gain a perspective on global health issues.  The Public Health program also offers a minor in Public Health for those pursuing another major who are interested in this important and growing field of study.

Public Health Science majors will be well-prepared for careers, graduate education, or professional training in public health or health-related professions, including medicine and nursing. There are many career options in the field of public health, including healthcare administration, planning, and public policy; epidemiology and disease surveillance; clinical research and clinical trials management; health-related education and social work; health and science communication; and basic research.

Students intending to pursue a medical degree, or post-graduate training in other health-related professions, should contact the University pre-health advisor to discuss prerequisites for admission to such programs. Many require a full year of physics coursework (e.g., PHYS 11–13 or 31–33) and completion of two years of chemistry (Chem 11, 12, 31, 32, 33, 50), in addition to the requirements for the Public Health Science major.

Starting in Fall 2020, the Public Health Program will offer two emphases within the major—Health Science and Health and Society. Both emphases have a strong foundation in the social and structural determinants of health, and students will take a combination of public health, natural science, and social science courses. The Health Sciences emphasis prepares students for graduate school and career opportunities in health services (e.g. medicine, nursing), infectious disease prevention and control, and epidemiology. The Health and Society emphasis prepares students for opportunities in community health, health education, health policy, and healthcare administration. Look below for the similarities and differences!

Health Science

  • PHSC 1, PHSC 2, PHSC 3 and PHSC 50 (or other approved stats course)
  • 3 Intro Biology Courses
    5 Intro Chemistry Courses
  • 2 Social Science elctrives (LD)
    Math 35, 36
  • PHSC 100 Epidemiology, PHSC 150 Evidence Based Public Health Plus One Pulic Health Elective
  • 2 Upper Division
    Social Science Electives
  • 2 Upper Division
    Natural Science Electives
  • PHSC 139 Experiential Learning in Public Health
    PHSC 197 Public Health Internship
    PHSC 190 Senior Capstone

Health and Society

  • PHSC 1, PHSC 2, PHSC 3 and PHSC 50 (or other approved stats course)
  • 6 Approved Courses from
    2 Social Science Departments
  • BIO 2 (or BIO 1A)
    Math 35
  • PHSC 100 Epidemiology, PHSC 150 Evidence Based Public Health Plus One Pulic Health Elective
  • 3 Upper Division
    Social Science Electives
  • PHSC 125 Race, Class, Gender in PH
    PHSC 175 Research Methods
  • PHSC 139 Experiential Learning in Public Health
    PHSC 197 Public Health Internship
    PHSC 190 Senior Capstone

Public Health Science Major-Health Science Emphasis

Public Health Science Major-Health and Society Emphasis

Public Health Science Minor

To declare a major or minor, fill out the SCU Registrar's Program Petition form.

Valeriote Goldman Symposium: Public Health & Social Justice