Department Courses


PHS 101 - Foundations of Public Health (3)

This course provides an overview of the goals, functions, and methods of public health. After an introduction to the core concepts and tools used in public health research and practice, applications of these methodologies are considered in the context of five current controversies/problems in public health. Students work together to develop strategies for prevention and control that take into consideration different points of view, outside research, and impacts on individuals and communities.

Prerequisites: GSR 102 or the equivalent and GSR 103 or the equivalent

PHS 200 - Foundations of Healthcare Systems and Policy (3)

This course provides a survey of health policy and management, a multi-disciplinary field of inquiry and practice concerned with the delivery, quality and costs of health care for individuals and populations. The course is designed to give students a basic understanding of American health care organization, financing and policy.

Prerequisite: PHS 101

PHS 201 - Foundations of Epidemiology (3)

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health and illness in human populations and the application of methods that seek to describe and, ultimately, improve health outcomes. Consequently, epidemiology is often considered the basic science of public health. This course is designed to introduce students to the history, basic principles, and methods of epidemiology. Topics covered in this course are history and background of epidemiology, measures of disease frequency, measures of association, epidemiologic study designs, screening, outbreak investigations, and assessment of causality. Examples from domestic and international settings are included. In addition, students will develop skills to critically read, interpret, and evaluate health information from published epidemiological studies and mass media sources.

Prerequisites: PHS 101 and GSR 104 or MAT 130

PHS 202 - Foundations of Environmental Health (3)

This course is intended to serve as an introduction to the major issues of environmental health science with a focus on the United States, although global health issues are considered as well. We will examine what those issues are, what determines them, and how they can be altered. As a survey of the many facets of environmental health, the course provides a broad overview for students wishing introduction to the field, as well as good grounding for students who wish to pursue additional coursework in environmental health.

Prerequisite: PHS 101

PHS 203 - Introduction to Personal and Community Health (3)

This course provides an overview of health-related challenges facing individuals in today’s connected and globalized world. Health issues will be approached from both individual and community perspectives with a focus on concepts of wellness and prevention. Emphasis will be placed on individual decision-making and understanding of biological, social, environmental, and other factors affecting health and wellness. We will also study the role of health behaviors and how they contribute to healthier lives.

Prerequisite: PHS 101

PHS 295 - Special Topics (1-5)

Special topics in the discipline, designed primarily for sophomores. Students may enroll in 295 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

PHS 301 - Behavioral Health Interventions: Planning and Evaluation (3)

This course introduces students to the theory and application of community-based health promotion program planning and evaluation. Concepts in community assessment, organization, and mobilization for the purposes of addressing identified public health concerns serve as the foundation for the planning process. Techniques of community partnership building, planning strategies, data collection, data analysis, and evidence-based decision-making will also be introduced.

Prerequisite: PHS 200

PHS 302 - Introduction to Public Health Informatics, Health Communication and Consumer Informatics (3)

This course provides an overview of the field of public health informatics and how technology, information science, and computer/Internet applications can support public health research and practice. Students will understand the technological competency needs of public health professionals and become familiar with some of the resources and tools available. The course will familiarize students with informatics systems deployed at the national, state, and local levels, including strategies to address new and emerging threats. Students will also be introduced to the field of consumer health informatics, including aspects related to the design and evaluation of consumer health applications.

Prerequisites: PHS 101 and MAT 142 or PHS 201

PHS 395 - Special Topics (1-5)

Special topics in the discipline, designed primarily for juniors. Students may enroll in 395 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

PHS 402 - Internship Seminar (1)

This course will prepare the student for the public health internship experience. Topics covered include general issues in fieldwork in public health, agency systems and policies, diversity issues in public health settings, ethical and legal issues, interpersonal and professional relationships in public health work settings, career options in public health, and the appropriate use of interpreters in internship settings. Emphasis will be placed on students’ understanding of their personal, social, and cultural identity in the context of health and well-being and the impact on their future work in health care settings.

Prerequisites: Public Health major with junior or senior status and permission of the instructor.

PHS 403 - Internship in Public Health (3)

The purpose of the internship is to enable students to gain practical experience under conditions conducive to educational and professional development. The internship is a time-limited, supervised period of community health/public health activities, carried out in a related professional organization or agency. Each intern will report to a site supervisor at the host organization who will oversee the student’s experience and provide structure and mentorship throughout the internship. The course instructor must approve the internship before registration for this course.

Prerequisite: PHS 402 and permission of the instructor

PHS 495 - Special Topics (1-5)

Special topics in the discipline, designed primarily for seniors who are majors or minors. Students may enroll in 495 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

PHS 499 - Independent Study (1-3)

Under supervision of a faculty member, a student will prepare a paper on a special topic or conduct a research project involving the collection of data and preparation of a report.

Prerequisites: Senior standing and permission of the instructor

STM 403 - Senior Capstone (3)

This course is for STM majors who are in their last year of the program. Students will produce two major products: (1) a grant proposal to a national or private agency and (2) interdisciplinary group project. In addition, students will discuss future career plans, examine contributions of different deaf scientists to science, and engage in discussions on science ethics and science literacy.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor and senior standing