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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. Coursework examines determinants of health through the viewpoints offered by: 

  • psychology
  • sociology
  • biology
  • philosophy

Upon completion, students will better understand the underlying social, economic, psychological, and environmental forces that create health and social inequities in a community and be more informed health practitioners.

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


The Community Health minor requires a minimum of 18 credit hours.

All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment in the following courses.

PSYC 101: Introduction to Psychology
3 credit hours

This is a survey course providing a study of the behavior of living organisms, particularly human behavior. Typical problems are methods and measurement in psychology, theoretical systems, learning, motivation, perception, personality and psychopathology.

PSYC 346: Health Psychology and Community Intervention
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.

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.

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.

Choose one course from the following (3 hrs.):

PSYC 314: Community Psychology
3 credit hours

Students will be introduced to the field of community psychology, which seeks to understand the relationship between environmental conditions and the health and psychosocial well-being of community members. This course will explore the various theoretical bases of community psychology. Special emphasis will be placed on experiential learning, as students will examine the social issues, social institutions, and other settings that influence their local community. Lastly, students will concentrate on the practice of community psychology, by increasing their awareness of organizations aimed at improving quality of life in their local community.

PSYC 334: Abnormal Psychology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101Following a brief introduction to personality theories, the course focuses on the etiology, classification and treatment of behavior disorders.

Choose one course from the following (3 hrs.):

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 373: Sociology of Health, Illness, and Health Care
3 credit hours

This course examines the social determinants and consequences of health, illness, and health care. Major areas of investigation include the subjective experience of health and illness; the role of political, economic, cultural, and environmental factors in fostering ill health and health disparities; societal forces which shape and constrain healthcare delivery systems, personnel, and an individuals’ responses to illness; and the role of social movements in social changes in health, illness, and health care.