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    Russell Sage College & Sage College of Albany
  Aug 12, 2018
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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. Additionally, students complete a track to 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. Tracks (choose one): General, Social Behavior & Community Health, and Policy & Law

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.

Program Requirements:

Core Courses: 50-52 Credits
Complete all of the following:
PBH 201 Health and Society: Survey of Public Health : 3 credits
PBH 210 Overview of Global Health : 3 credits
PBH 305 Survey of Epidemiology : 3 credits
PBH 405 Public Health Capstone: Assessing Needs/Solutions : 3 credits
PBH 427 Internship in Public Health : 3 credits
BIO 101 General Biology I : 3 credits
BIO 101L General Biology I  Lab : 1 credit
BIO 110 Environmental Issues : 3 credits
HSC 306 Culture and Health : 3 credits
MAT 201 Calculus I : 4 credits
POL 314 Health Policy : 3 credits
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology : 3 credits
PSY 326 Health Psychology : 3 credits
SOC/SCL 101 Introduction to Sociology : 3 credits
Complete one Ethics courses: 3 Credits
BUS 316 Ethics and Social Responsibility
HMN 420 Medical Ethics (preferred course)
PHL 206 Ethics
PHL 235 Biomedical Ethics
PHL 341 Values in Life & Work Applied Ethics
Complete one of the following Statistics courses: 3-4 Credits
MAT 220 Applied Statistics (preferred course) : 4 credits
PSY 207 Statistics with Computer Applications : 4 credits
ECO 215 Statistics for Decision Making : 3 credits
Complete one of the following Research courses: 3-4 Credits
SOC 350 Research for the Professions : 3 credits
PSY 233 Research Methods & Design in Psychology : 4 credits
PSY 353 Research Design in Psychology : 3 Credits

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

Complete one of the following:
PSY/PSYC 202 Human Development : 3 credits
PSY 208 Developmental Science : 4 credits

Complete one of the following:
SCL 208 Race and Ethnic Relations : 3 credits
SCL 213 Class, Power, and Privilege : 3 Credits
SOC 213/WST 333 Power and Privilege : 4 credits

Policy and Law Track : 15 credits
Complete 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 : 3 Credits

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

RSC General Education Courses: 20 Credits | RSC Elective Courses: 30-35 Credits
SCA General Education Requirements
Total Credits Required for Degree : 120

Additional Program Information

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).