Community Health Minor

Community health is an interdisciplinary field of study that seeks to improve the health characteristics of diverse communities through a research-based understanding of social, cultural, and environmental determinants. This interdisciplinary blend of courses will enable students to better understand the underlying social, economic, psychological, and environmental forces that create health and social inequities in a community and to become more effective practitioners of health. 

Coursework is structured to provide students with opportunities to examine determinants of health through the viewpoints offered by:

  • sociology
  • psychology
  • anthropology
  • philosophy
  • biology

Because student experience with and knowledge of medically underserved populations is becoming increasingly important for healthcare providers, all students pursuing health-related professions are encouraged to earn the community health minor. 


Recommendations & Requirements

  • All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment in the following courses
  • Students are encouraged to take ANTH 111, PSYC 101, or SOCI 101 to satisfy the Human Behavior general-education requirement

Required CoursesĀ (15 credit hours)

ANTH 311: Issues in Community and Global Health
3 credit hours

This course introduces community and public health by framing it in a broad global context, and it examines social and cognitive factors contributing to health status and behavior. Topics may include the history and practice of public health; the social, political and economic determinants of health disparities; and distributions of disability, disease, and mortality.

PHIL 305: Ethical Issues in Health Care
3 credit hours

This course explores the ethical dilemmas confronting contemporary medicine. It both inquires into a broad range of topics (abortion, euthanasia, health-care costs, organ transplantation, etc.) and provides a thorough study of ethical theories that may be applied to address the dilemmas of modern medicine.

PSYC 346: Health Psychology
3 credit hours

Study of the interrelationships among biological, psychological and social factors in health and illness. Topics will include health promotion and illness prevention, behavioral medicine and psychoneuroimmunology.

Choose one course from the following:

SOCI 302: Poverty and Inequality
3 credit hours

This course explores the causes and consequences of institutionalized inequality and how life chances, including life, health and death differ by race, socioeconomic status, and gender. Special emphasis will be given to how these social statuses affect health outcomes in the community.

SOCI 347: Medical Sociology
3 credit hours

This course is concerned with the social causes and consequences of health and illness. Major areas of investigation include the social facets of health and disease, the social behavior of healthcare personnel and people who utilize healthcare, and the social functions of health organizations and healthcare delivery systems.

Choose one course from the following:

SOCI 320: Drugs and Society
3 credit hours

This course introduces students to the social realities of drug use and drug users. Drawing from sociological and criminological perspectives, the course focuses on the historical significance and social construction of drug use, users, abuse and addiction; the relationship between drug use and racism/class conflict; medicalization in contemporary societies; and social movements aiming to effect attitude and policy change.

BIOL 325: Epidemiology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  BIOL 181. 
A study of epidemiological theory and practice. The distribution of health related problems in a population and the application of this theory to control health problems will be examined. Areas included in this study will be measures of disease occurrences, causal effects and statistical analysis of these events.