Public health major

Bluffton's public health program provides graduates with the skills to serve in this growing field. Like medicine, public health seeks to improve well-being, but with a focus on populations rather than individuals and an emphasis on preventing disease rather than reacting to it. Through careers as sanitarians, health educators, policy advocates, and epidemiologists, public health workers serve at every level from local to international in both the private and public sectors. 

Through its Anabaptist heritage, Bluffton has had strong connections to the ideals and practice of public health, as can be seen through early stances on the equality of people, reformation of mental health institutions in the United States, as well as through ongoing efforts to find alternatives to war and extensive work in sustainable agriculture. Bluffton's public health program will equip a new generation to continue such work. 

Students seeking a major rooted in the liberal arts will feel at home in the public health major. A set of core courses in the social and natural sciences are supplemented by the student's choice of a concentration in pre-epidemiology (natural sciences), public health advocacy (public policy and communication), or public health education (health and nutrition). With the flexibility to emphasize involvement in research or fieldwork, the public health program is designed to prepare students for graduate education or immediate entry into the field upon graduation. 

Public Health Major

(54 hours)
Core Courses                                                  
PHL 110    Introduction to Public Health (3)
PHL 310    Global Health (3)
PHL 320    Epidemiology (3)   
PHL 410    Field Placement (2)
PHL 411    Social Sciences Capstone (3)
ECN 141    Principles of Macroeconomics (3)
REL 274    Christian Ethics (3)
PSY 110    Introduction to Psychology (3)
SOC 152    Introduction to Sociology (3)
SOC/SWK 185 Women In Society (3)
        or  SOC 225  Race and Ethnicity (3)
SOC/PSY 258 Social Psychology (3) 
        or  SOC 162   Anthropology  (3)
PSY/BUS 284 General Statistics (3)
        or MAT 340    Probability and Statistics (3)
PSY/SOC/SWK 360 Basics of Social Research (3)
CEM 121    Inorganic Chemistry (5)
BIO 230     Anatomy & Physiology I (4)
BIO 231     Anatomy & Physiology II  (4)
NTR 225    Fundamentals of Nutrition (3)

In addition, one area of concentration must be completed:
Pre-Epidemiology  (20 hours)
Public Health Advocate (15 hours)
Public Health Educator  (15 hours)


Public Health Minor

(21-22 hours)
Required Courses:  (12 semester hours)
PHL 110    Introduction to Public Health (3)
PHL 310    Global Health (3)
PHL 320    Epidemiology (3)
PSY/BUS 284 General Statistics (3)
       or MAT 340   Probability & Statistics (3) 

Choose three of the following courses: (9-10 semester hours)

Public Health Courses

PHL 110 Introduction to Public Health (3)

This course provides students with an overview of the field of public health and explores key challenges in public health.

PHL 310 Global Health (3)
Students will be introduced to the basic concepts of global health, including: 1) how society and culture shape health, 2) ways of reducing morbidity and mortality, and 3) past and present global efforts to improve health.

PHL 320 Epidemiology (3) 
Students will learn about the history of epidemiological research and how to apply the research designs commonly used by epidemiologists. Students will also learn how to read and evaluate health research articles.
PHL 410 Field Placement (2)
Students will experience the field of public health firsthand through a placement with a public health-related organization or individual. Students will demonstrate their mastery of public health concepts through the completion of a capstone project describing their placement experience or an independent project.
PHL 411 Social Sciences Capstone (3)
This capstone course is cross-listed in Criminal Justice, Public Health and Political Science. Capstone experiences provide students with an opportunity to reflect upon their education experiences and apply the knowledge and skills gained during their course of study. In this class, students will utilize problem-based learning to review key ideas and examine how they embed in the broader context of the social sciences. In parallel with the course content, students will engage in career development activities, including resume building, job searching and interviewing skills, as they prepare to join the workforce or pursue a graduate education. Students without prior field experience will need to complete the relevant placement/internship (at least 2 semester hours/80 on site hours in their relevant field) in conjunction with the course. Topics covered in the course: career development, applied problem-solving, identifying interdisciplinary connections in the social sciences.


August 2013