Public Health | Course Catalogue

2021-2022 Catalogue

Public health promotes and protects the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work, and play. At Wesleyan College, public health is an interdisciplinary major. In addition to coursework in public health history, policy, and practice, you will take courses in data analytics, mathematics, psychology, economics, biology, chemistry, and political science. In doing so, you will learn how to use the theories and knowledge of these disciplines to analyze and understand public health issues that affect local, regional, national, and global communities. This is an ideal major for a wide range of interests. Public health can encompass scientific research, education, community engagement, data analysis, policy-making, and law. Majoring in public health at Wesleyan College will prepare you for graduate programs, including Public Health and Epidemiology, or careers in many different fields, such as first responders, health educators, scientists and researchers, community planners, public health physicians and nurses, occupational health and safety professionals, or public policymakers.

Program Learning Objectives

Students who graduate with a public health major from Wesleyan College shall:

  1. demonstrate critical understanding of historical and contemporary public health trends and approaches;
  2. demonstrate critical understanding of how politics and public policy affect health systems;
  3. acquire methodological and communication skills commensurate with interdisciplinary scholarly research;
  4. analyze public health issues using methodologies from data analytics, statistics, and the social and natural sciences;
  5. apply knowledge, skills, and ethical reasoning to engage actively with issues in public health; and
  6. demonstrate preparedness to enter graduate programs and/or pursue careers in public health and related fields


Requirements for the Major
The major consists of 59 hours of coursework. Currently, all courses with the PBH and ADA prefixes (18 hours) are offered in online format only through the RIZE Consortium.

1. Public Health Care (18 hours)
PBH 101 The History of Public Health 3 hours
BUS/HCA 313 Health Care Policy and Economics 3 hours
PBH 315 Epidemiology 3 hours
PBH 325 Health Services 3 hours
PBH 401 Public Health Studies I 3 hours
PBH 425 Public Health Studies II 3 hours

2. Mathematics Requirements (9 hours)
MAT 140 Precalculus Mathematics 3 hours
MAT 220 Statistical Methods 3 hours
ADA 101 Data Analysis 3 hours

3. Social Science Requirements (24 hours)
POL 250 Introduction to Public Policy 3 hours
Two of the following: POL 115 American Government, POL 230 International Relations, or PSY 235 Nature and Manifestation of Prejudice 6 hours
POL 332 Research Methods 3 hours
PSY 101 General Psychology 3 hours
One of the following: POL 342 International Organizations and Policy or PSY 301 Psychology of Gender 3 hours
ECO 102 Issues in Macroeconomics or ECO 104 Issues in Microeconomics 3 hours
PSY 343 Health Psychology or PSY 365 Community Psychology 3 hours

4. Natural Science Requirements (8 hours)
BIO 110 Principles of Biology 4 hours
CHM 101 General Chemistry 4 hours

Professional Development: Throughout her Wesleyan education each student is given opportunities to explore professional and career choices, and to develop and demonstrate the knowledge and skills essential for professional success. Each student will complete PDE 400 Professional Development Experience and PDE 401 Professional Practice Seminar.

Integrative Experience: Each student will complete the PBH 425 Public Health Studies II. In this capstone course, majors will undertake a significant research-based project in which they make connections among the various parts of their course of study and employ sound methodology.

Important Notes

1. Many of the courses required for the public health major have prerequisites.

  • BIO 110 Principles of Biology I-Biological Processes: Students are required to have either a Math SAT (or ACT equivalent) of at least 500, or placement into MAT 140 (or higher) or sophomore standing for entry into BIO 110.
  • CHM 101 General Chemistry I: MAT 130 or placement at MAT 140 or higher.
  • MAT 140 Precalculus Mathematics: Two years of high school algebra and one year of high school geometry or the equivalent and sufficiently high score on the mathematics placement exam, or permission of the instructor.
  • PBH 315 Epidemiology: PBH 101.
  • PBH 325 Health Services: PBH 101.
  • PBH 401 Public Health Studies I: PBH 1 and ADA 101.
  • PBH 425 Public Health Studies II: PBH 101 and PBH 401 and MAT 220.
  • POL 332 Research Methods in Political Science: Satisfactory completion of College writing proficiency requirement or permission of the instructor.
  • POL 342 International Organizations and Policy: Satisfactory completion of College writing proficiency requirement or permission of the instructor.
  • PSY 301 Psychology of Gender: PSY 101 or WST 200.
  • PSY 343 Health Psychology: PSY 101.
  • PSY 365 Community Psychology: PSY 101.

2. Some of the courses used to fulfill the major’s requirements may also be used to fulfill a student’s general education requirements. Please consult the Wesleyan College Catalogue and speak with your academic advisor regarding “double-dipping” limitations.

  • BIO 110 and CHM 101 fulfill the Natural World requirement.
  • ECO 102 fulfills the Historical Events and Phenomena requirement.
  • ECO 104 fulfills the Individuals and Communities Requirement.
  • MAT 140 and MAT 220 fulfill the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.
  • POL 115 fulfills the Individuals and Community requirement.
  • POL 230 fulfills the Synthesizing, Diverse and Interdependent World requirement.
  • PSY 101 fulfills the Individuals and Communities requirement.
  • PSY 301 fulfills the Synthesizing, Women’s Experience requirement.


Recommended Four-Year Public Health Major Coursework Schedule

Note: The following schedule does not include additional coursework students must take to complete their general education and graduation requirements.

Year One, Fall

Year One, Spring

  • POL 115 (if not taking POL 230 or PSY 235)
  • Foreign Language 101 (if necessary)
  • MAT 140 (if necessary)
  • POL 230 or PSY 235 (if not taking POL 115)
  • PSY 101

Year Two, Fall

Year Two, Spring

  • BIO 110 or CHM 101
  • ECO 102 or ECO 104
  • POL 250
  • MAT 220
  • ECO 102 or ECO 104 (if not taken in the fall)
  • PBH 101

Year Three, Fall

Year Three, Spring

  • BIO 110 or CHM 101
  • ADA 101
  • PBH 315
  • PBH 325
  • POL 332

Year Four, Fall

Year Four Spring

  • PBH 401
  • PBH 425

Majors should take BUS/HCA 313, POL 342 or PSY 301 and PSY 343 or PSY 365 during their third and fourth years, depending on when the courses are offered.

Public Health (PBH) Course Descriptions

PBH 101 History of Public Health
Goal: From the first introduction of government-mandated quarantines to the modern movement towards universal health care, the role of public health and governance has fundamentally shaped human societies. In this course, students will learn the role of the state in ensuring favorable public health outcomes. Students will also learn the importance of public health, understand how it is provided, and learn how it is practiced. 
Content: This course will provide students with the necessary context to pursue further study in public health. By the end of course, students will be able to: 1. Articulate the importance of the field Public Health and the context in which it is used; 2. Explain how healthcare is provided on a national scale; 3. Understand the origins of science of Epidemiology; 4. Detail the functions of the major international health organizations; 5. Understand the importance of data to the field of Public Health, specifically with regards to its use in informing policy; 6. Articulate the Public Health ramifications of diseases such as Covid-19.
Taught: Fall, Spring. (Note: Because this course is offered through the RIZE Consortium, students are encouraged to contact the Registrar’s Office to confirm availability.)
Prerequisite: None
Credit: 3 hours
Special Note: PBH 101 is only available online through the RIZE Consortium. Please contact the Registrar’s Office for additional details and information on enrolling in the course.

PBH 315 Epidemiology
Goal: Epidemiology is the branch of medicine which deals with the incidence, distribution, and control of a disease. In this course, students will learn and apply key concepts of epidemiology to multiple domains of public health. Students will learn how to use epidemiology to better understand, characterize, and promote health at a population level. 
Content: This course is intended to introduce students to the field of epidemiology and provide them with a firm grounding in its key principles. By the end of this course, students will be able to: 1. Explain how epidemiology informs discussion of health issues; 2. Understand and describe a public health problem in terms of person, place, and time; 3. Articulate and use the key terminology of epidemiology; 4. Identify key sources of data for epidemiological purposes and use that data to draw conclusions; 5. Articulate the basic legal and ethical principles that govern epidemiology; 6. Understand the principles and limitations of public health screening programs; 7. Communicate public-health specific information to lay and professional decision-makers, and disseminate it effectively to a broader population.; 8. Perform effective public health data collection.
Taught: TBD (Note: This course is offered through the RIZE Consortium beginning Fall 2022.)
Prerequisite: ADA 101
Credit: 3 hours
Special Note: PBH 315 is only available online through the RIZE Consortium. Please contact the Registrar’s Office for additional details and information on enrolling in the course.

PBH 401 Public Health Studies I
Goal: This course is intended to provide students with a means of evaluating the health impact of political decisions and a broad knowledge base about the practice of Public Health today. Students will explore a range of current topics in public health - including COVID-19, HIV/AIDS, and the obesity epidemic. Students will also look at the impact of US politics on global public health, especially in developing nations. Furthermore, this course will explore key topics such as the WHO’s Millennium Development Goals, the disastrous circumstances that can arise when Public Health Policies fail, and the conflict between data and political will that drives so much of Public Health policy decision making.
Content:This course will provide students with fundamental knowledge in a variety of key topics within the field of Public Health. By the end of this course, students will be able to: 1. Articulate the current state and likely futures of various ongoing issues in public health; 2. Plan a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment; 3. Understand the impact that US health policy has on Public Health around the world; 4. Articulate the importance of Sustainable Development Goals; 5. Understand how the conflict between data and political will shapes Public health policy; 6. Describe the successes and failures of the WHO’s Millennium Development Goals initiative; 7. Articulate the importance of PREPARED in combating HIV/AIDS; 8. Understand the significance of failures in Public Health measures; 9. Describe the likely consequences of failures in Public Health measures.
Taught: TBD (Note: This course is offered through the RIZE Consortium beginning Fall 2023.)
Prerequisite: PBH 101 and ADA 101
Credit: 3 hours
Special Note: PBH 401 is only available online through the RIZE Consortium. Please contact the Registrar’s Office for additional details and information on enrolling in the course.


PBH Public Health Studies II
Goal: his course provides students with a variety of tools for understanding the impact that disease or other Public Health concerns may have on a population. Students will learn how to design effective surveys, analyze geographic data, and use qualitative information with the ultimate goal of gaining a better understanding of how events may affect the health of a particular population. This course will also require students to participate in a mapathon in order to help them build understanding of how geographic data is used in the practice of Public Health.
Content: This course provides students with developed skill in population-based surveys and geospatial mapping, as well as knowledge of demographic methods and other types of public health research. By the end of this course, students will be able to: 1. Articulate the different types of surveys and core principles of survey design; 2. Design effective population-based surveys; 3. Understand the importance of Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Research in the field of public health; 4. Understand how population size and characteristics affect both health and healthcare needs; 5. Demonstrate significant skill in GeoSpatial Mapping with the ArcGIS system.
Taught: TBD (Note: This course is offered through the RIZE Consortium beginning Spring 2024.)
Prerequisite: PBH 401 and MAT 220.
Credit: 3 hours
Special Note: PBH 425 is only available online through the RIZE Consortium. Please contact the Registrar’s Office for additional details and information on enrolling in the course.

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