PH Course Descriptions

See departmental listings for non-Public Health course descriptions.

PH 216 - Intro to Public Health (1 Credits)
The field of Public Health integrates knowledge of biology, human behavior, and social constructs with problem-solving strategies to address issues of disease facing distinct populations. This course will provide an introduction to principles of public health and epidemiology, social determinants of health, the biological basis of the most prevalent communicable and non-communicable diseases, as well as an exploration of global public health issues. Students will utilize this knowledge in a final project to identify and characterize a local public health issue, followed by developing an appropriate intervention or prevention plan. Does not count toward the biology major requirements; fulfills the Public Health minor fundamentals course requirement. Fulfills the SS distribution. Core Course, 200 level.
Pre-req: None

PH-226 (previously PH 3009) - Intro to the Health Humanities (1 Credits)
In this class, students will reflect on Health Humanities as a critical humanistic perspective and will decenter the dominant narrative through which we understand health and what it means to be 'healthy' by discussing health and theories of care in the Francophone World. What are the connections between humanities, handicaps, illnesses, and epidemics? This course is designed to help student think critically about those issues by focusing on the representations of handicaps, illnesses, and epidemics through a transdisciplinary lens, from novels, songs and graphic novels to movies, documentaries, and visual art. By interacting with French and Francophone artists, the course proposes some introductory reflections on Health Humanities and the ethics of care. Indeed, many of the world's modern pandemics have had devastating effects in francophone countries, for example cholera in Haiti, Ebola across francophone Africa, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, etc. This class is offered in English (all the material is available in English translation and French). It is useful to anyone who wants to learn more about how disease and illness are constructed on a social and discursive level. The course intents to confront students to other representations of epidemics and illnesses than the ones they are used to through American pop-culture to help them think critically about those issues from a more decentered perspective. Francophone studies majors and minors will have to do the reading and the writing in French. Core Course and Critical Humanistic Perspectives elective, 200 level.
Pre-req: None

PH/ENVS 311 (previously PH 4041) - Issues-Environmental Health ESP (1 Credits)
ENVS Majors and PH Majors/Minors Only. This course explores environmental risk factors and the physical well-being of individuals and vulnerable populations. You will study a range of interactions between humans and the environment that contribute to human and ecological health problems. Topics include risk factors and hazards in food production, waste systems, infrastructure, air and water quality, lifestyle, poverty, and energy production. This course provides an interdisciplinary approach to understanding environmental public health. You will read and discuss personal environmental health stories from books such as: Living Downstream, Child of the Dark, and Swimming to Antarctica. Scientific Perspectives elective, 300 level.  .
Pre-req: ENVS 101 or PH 216

PH 3001 - Basic Principles of Epidemiology (1 Credits)
This course introduces the basic concepts of public health and epidemiology, including the assessment of diseases, and the examination of the causation and association of diseases with environmental and lifestyle risk factors. We will explore the historical and current contributions made through the use of epidemiology in shaping our understanding of disease in populations. The course will introduce areas of specialization within the field of epidemiology including infectious and non-infectious diseases, social epidemiology, and other health issues.  Fulfills SS distribution. Core Course & Scientific Perspectives elective, 200 level.
Pre-req: PH 216 and STAT 113

PH 3013 - Public Health Research Methods (1 Credits)
Public health is about what makes us sick, what keeps us healthy and what we can do at a group level about it.  Thus, public health is working to protect the environment, identifying, and controlling sources of illness, considering the impacts on the health of economic, ethnic and class differences, developing interventions to promote healthy lifestyles and behaviors, and producing health policies and legislation that benefit the public health. The goal of this course is to cover a diverse array of research designs and methods for contemporary public health practice including, but not limited to, experimental designs, public health surveillance designs, and case-control/cohort studies. Students will learn how both quantitative and qualitative research methods are used to better understand how demographic and structural variables contribute to population health outcomes. Core Course. 200 level.
Pre-req: PH-216 

PH 3016 - Experiential Learning w/CBL (1 Credits)
Experiential Learning in Public Health, CBL: This community-based learning (CBL) course provides hands-on experience working with local public health related organizations. Students will explore social, environmental, cultural, and nutritional impacts to public health in the north country and connect local experiences to broader regions and risk factors. Course materials survey the effects of environmental and cultural risk factors on human health and communities while exploring policies and programs designed to edify vulnerable populations. This course requires approximately 2 hours of service/week working with a chosen organization. Transportation and support will be provided by the CBL office. This course includes an experiential learning component known as Community-Based Learning (CBL). The CBL component will require students to participate in a community placement, outside of class time, on a weekly basis throughout the semester. Students can expect to spend two hours per week at their assigned placement site. Please note travel time to and from the site is not included and is moderate for placements beyond the Canton community. Students do not need a vehicle to participate in CBL classes. Critical Humanistic Perspectives elective, 200 level.
Pre-req: PH 216

PH 3017 - The Global HIV Epidemic (1 Credits)
This course covers the biological, social, economic, and political dimensions of the global HIV epidemic. Using inter-disciplinary perspectives, students will learn about the changing nature of the epidemic over time and in different regions of the world. Through readings, brief video presentations, writing assignments, and discussion sessions, students will analyze different steps along the HIV care continuum. Students will learn about and integrate topics such as human rights, gender, sexuality, and other socio-economic issues to understand the epidemic among different populations. Students will also apply health intervention and promotion theories to design HIV prevention interventions. Finally, this course will equip students to apply lessons from the HIV epidemic to other health and social issues.  Global and Cross-Cultural Perspectives elective, 200 level.
Pre-req: None

PH/ENVS 3079 - Our Stressed Seas N/S (1 Credits)
The vast ocean covers over 70% of our planet and is a place of wonder, discovery, history, and human impact. This course will review a variety of environmental topics and protections of the open ocean and urban estuaries. You will explore the effects of urban development over time on coastal ecosystems through the lens of major U.S. cities. You will relate the changing world ocean to global scale environmental problems ranging from over harvesting, contamination, to climate change. With an understanding of ocean processes, you will evaluate potential threats and effective policies intended to protect the ocean environment. Scientific Perspectives elective, 200 level. 
Pre-req: ENVS 101 or PH 216

PH/ENVS 309 (previously PH 4042) - Taming Trash (1 Credits)    
A rapid rise in global consumerism and waste generation (+70% by 2050) is straining air, water, and climate systems. In this class, you will explore policies, technologies, and design approaches to reducing waste's impact. You will visit innovative waste management sites and use predictive tools to assess energy from waste and identify best practices. You will be challenged to consider the best approach to achieving sustainable waste systems, perhaps even zero waste scenarios. This course includes a weekly lab on eight occasions with field trips, gas modelling, and food waste data studies. Scientific Perspectives, 300 level.
Pre-req: ENVS-101 or PH-216.

PH 310 (previously PH 4001) - Social Determinants of Health (1 Credits)
The objective of this course is to examine, in-depth, how some of the critical social determinants of health, such as race, gender, poverty, geography, affect health outcomes. The course is organized around substantive topic areas (e.g., obesity, disability, mental health, youth, and substance abuse, stress and social support, neighborhoods, and environments), with a focus on understanding the role of social factors in shaping health and health inequities. Concepts of community, culture, and social justice will be explored, and students will examine how these concepts can be applied to public health interventions. Fulfills SS distribution. Core Course & Critical Humanistic Perspectives elective, 300 level.
Pre-req: PH 216

Independent Study Courses (available as .5 or 1.0 credits): By Permission Only

  • PH-289, Independent Study (Fall/Spring)
  • PH-390, Independent Study (Fall/Spring)
  • PH-489, SYE: Independent Study (Fall)
  • PH-490, SYE: Independent Study (Spring)
  • PH-498, SYE: Honors Project (Fall)
  • PH-499, SYE: Honors Project (Spring)