Major Requirements

The public health major consists of 14 units, including six core public health courses, six from cross-listed electives addressing global and cross-cultural, critical humanistic, and scientific perspectives on health, STAT 113, and one unit of public health-related courses.

Core Courses (6 units): The core courses provide students with foundational knowledge of public health.

  • 1 unit PH 216 - Introduction to Public Health
  • 1 unit Introduction to Global and Cross-Cultural Health
    • ANTH 3072 - Medicines and Meanings or
    • GS 264 - Global Public Health: Critical Perspectives
    • PH 3017 - The Global HIV Epidemic
  • 1 unit PH 3001 - Basic Principles of Epidemiology (pre-req: STAT 113 & PH 216)
  • 1 unit PH 3009 - Health Humanities
  • 1 unit PH 3013 - Public Health Research Methods (pre-req: PH 216)
  • 1 unit PH 4001 - Social Determinants of Health (pre-req: PH 216).

Cross-Listed Electives: 6 units, at least one from each of the following 3 areas, drawn from at least 3 departments. See APR2 for list of courses.

  • Global and Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Health - These courses require students to take a cross-cultural perspective on health and public health interventions, examining relations of power and structures of inequality operating at local and global scales.
  • Critical Humanistic Perspectives on Health - These courses draw from the humanities, arts, and humanistic social sciences, requiring students to uncover and analyze diverse conceptions of health, illness, and the body and situate them in their social, cultural, and historical contexts. 
  • Scientific Perspectives on Health - These courses explore the scientific basis of illness, health, and well-being at the intersection of the mind, body, and environment.

Additional Requirements

  • 1 unit STAT 113 - Applied Statistics
  • 1 additional unit of public health-related courses (e.g., another Global/Humanistic/Scientific Elective, GEOL 233 - Geographic Info Systems, independent study, SYE)

Experiential Learning Component (ELC)

The ELC will provide students with an opportunity to gain public health experience that complements their coursework. Unless the experience is pre-approved, students should receive approval in advance by the Public Health Coordinator.  Majors must complete at least one of the following experiential learning options:

  • Take a Community Based Learning (CBL) course with a public health-related placement.  Pre-approved courses include:
    • ANTH 3072CBL - Medicine and Meaning w/CBL
    • PH 3016 - Experiential Learning in Public Health w/CBL
    • PHIL 354 - Bioethics w/CBL
    • PSYC 413 – SEM: Community Psychology w/CBL
    • SOC 246 - Aging and Society w/CBL
  • Carry out public health-related research (summer or semester).
  • Complete an internship relevant to public health.
  • Complete an internship, research, or community-based component relevant to public health as part of an off-campus program.

No additional credit is necessary to fulfill the ELC requirement. It can be fulfilled with opportunities listed above or with an alternative public health-related experience. Alternatives must be approved in advance by the Public Health Program Coordinator. Alternative experiences should typically involve a minimum of 50 cumulative hours and be at least six weeks in duration. 

Students are required to write an ELC Reflection Statement (400-500 words) on how the ELC relates to at least two PH Learning Goals (on the website) after completion of the experience. Students who fulfill the ELC with a pre-approved CBL course (listed above) do not have to submit an ELC Reflection Statement. 


  1. A maximum of two courses at the 100-level can be counted toward the major.
  2. No more than two approved courses from other institutions or University-approved study abroad/off-campus programs may transfer into your major. Permission from a Public Health Program Coordinator is required for transfer.
  3. All courses, except STAT 113, taken from other institutions or off-campus programs can only count as electives for the major.