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    Russell Sage College
  Mar 18, 2019
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Public Health (B.S.)

Reflecting an interdisciplinary approach, students take courses covering material from the various public health core disciplines (epidemiology; social behavior and community health; health policy; biological and environmental science; and statistics) supplemented by multiple options from related disciplines.

The public health major will include instruction in the following domains (, last accessed 10/13/2015): 
• the history and philosophy of public health as well as its core values, concepts and functions across the globe and in society; 
• the basic concepts, methods and tools of public health data collection, use and analysis and why evidence-based approaches are an essential part of public health practice; 
• the concepts of population health, and the basic processes, approaches and interventions that identify and address the major health-related needs and concerns of populations; 
• the underlying science of human health and disease including opportunities for promoting and protecting health across the life course; 
• the socioeconomic, behavioral, biological, environmental and other factors that impact human health and contribute to health disparities; 
• the fundamental concepts and features of project implementation, including planning, assessment and evaluation; 
• the fundamental characteristics and organizational structures of the US health system as well as the differences in systems in other countries; 
• basic concepts of legal, ethical, economic and regulatory dimensions of health care and public health policy and the roles, influences and responsibilities of the different agencies and branches of government; and 
• basic concepts of public health-specific communication, including technical and professional writing and the use of mass media and electronic technology.  

In addition to the knowledge gained, student who successfully complete the program will have gained several valuable skills that will transfer to future academic endeavors or the workforce. Students who have completed the public health major will have practiced and developed:  
• effective oral and written communication skills; 
• the ability to locate, use, evaluate, and synthesized information and data; 
• evidence-based decision making skills; 
• basic epidemiological analyses skills; 
• a holistic view of health and the factors impacting health;  
• the ability to conduct a needs assessment; and 
• experience developing  a health promotion program or plan to address identified need(s). 

Student Learning Outcomes 
Students who choose a major in public health will gain an understanding of the foundations of public health. Upon completion of a major in public health, students will be able to: 

1. describe the history of public health; 
2. explain the organization, financing, and delivery of health care services in the United States; 
3. describe the public health system and provide examples of the essential services of public health; 
4. describe the methodologies employed by public health practitioners; 
5. identify and describe the factors impacting health and disease of a population using a socioecological model; 
6. discuss the impact of culture and policy on health and disease; 
7. perform evidence informed decision making: 
    a. identify appropriate sources of information and data; 
    b. collect information and data; 
    c. assess information and data for accuracy and relevance; and 
    d. used information and data to inform decision making; 
8. utilize basic methods for measurement and quantification of disease to describe the extent of public health issues; and 
9. communicate to a variety of audiences using written and oral communication techniques. 

Additionally, students in each track will develop proficiencies related to their selected discipline.  Tracks cover the primary disciplines of public health and have been developed to allow student to be better prepared to pursue an MPH degree. 

Social Behavior and Community Health 
Students will be able to: 
 explain the interrelationship between individuals and communities; 
 discuss how culture impacts health;   develop behavior change interventions; and 
 outline strategies for changing health behaviors. 

Policy and Law  
Students will be able to: 
 describe how public health is influenced by policy and law; 
 develop policy recommendations for health promotion;  
 describe how health care data can be used to improve population health; 
 describe how political and organizational structures, cultures, and norms influence health care delivery and health policy; and 
 recognize the broad scope of medical, complementary, and alternative care providers.

Degree Requirements:

Core Courses: 50-52 Credits

Public Health Tracks : 15-18 Credits

Complete one of the following tracks.

Social Behavior and Community Health Track : 15-17 Credits

  • HSC 215 Health & Wellness Across the Lifespan : 3 credits
  • HSC 405 Community Health Education : 3 credits
  • PSY/PSYC 301 Social Psychology : 3 credits
  • One Lifespan Development Course in Psychology
    • PSY/PSYC 202 Human Development : 3 credits
    • PSY 208 Developmental Science : 4 credits
  • One Sociology course
    • SCL 208 Race and Ethnic Relations : 3 credits
    • SCL 213 Class, Power, and Privilege
    • SOC 213/WST 333 Power and Privilege : 4 credits

Policy and Law Track : 15 credits

Select five courses from the following.

  • ECO 125 Economics of Social Problems : 3 credits
  • HST 238 History of Medicine and Health Care : 3 credits
  • LAW 301 Health Law
  • POL 420 Environmental Law and Policy : 3 credits
  • PSC 208 Community History and Politics : 3 credits
  • POL/PSC 229 Civil Rights and Civil Liberties : 3 credits
  • POL/PSC 218 Introduction to Public Policy Making : 3 credits
  • SCL 102 Social Problems

Open or General Track : 15-18 Credits

Courses are selected in consultation with a student’s academic advisor and approved by the Public Health Program Director.

Total credits required in major: 65-70

General Education Requirements not satisfied by Major

Russell Sage College Core Courses: 11 Credits

  • WLD 101 - Reading Women’s Voices/Developing Our Own : 4 Credits
  • WLD 201 - Researching Women’s Lives : 4 Credits
  • WLD 401 - Women Changing the World : 3 Credits

General Education Breadth Requirement: 9 Credits

  • Humanities - Fine & Performing Arts : 3 Credits
  • Humanities - History : 3 Credits
  • Humanities - Literature & Languages : 3 Credits

Elective Courses: 30-35 Credits

Total Credits Required for Degree : 120