Major in Public Health

The field of public health is focused on promoting and protecting health and well-being across the individual, community and societal levels. Public health professionals work to understand and improve a range of health issues, including chronic and infectious disease prevention, environmental health, behavioral health, nutrition, injury prevention and mental health. Public health professionals track health conditions, study causal factors, address health disparities, and design and evaluate programs and policies to improve health.

The Public Health Program at Towson University prepares students to work in a variety of public health settings by developing knowledge and skills across key public health domains. The domains include foundations of health and disease, health communication, public health program planning and implementation, evaluation, health policy, and evidence-based advocacy. The Public Health Program also provides real-world work experience through a culminating internship experience.

The Program is an excellent option for students planning to launch a career as a public health professional after graduation, pursue graduate education, or to use knowledge of public health to pursue a clinical career (e.g., medicine, dentistry, nursing). For students with a particular interest in health education and promotion, the Public Health Program provides the knowledge and skills needed to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC).

Students in the Public Health major must complete University Core Requirements, 81 units of required courses (including an internship), and electives in any discipline to meet the requirement of 120 units for graduation.

Internship

The Public Health Internship is a supervised, integrative experience in a public health setting. All degree requirements must be successfully completed prior to the internship semester. Interns work full-time (approximately 40-hour work week) for a 15-week semester and earn 12 units. Internships take place in a university-approved placement and are supervised by a site Preceptor and a Public Health Program faculty supervisor. Placements are determined based on an interview process.

Public Health majors must complete 81 units of required courses (21 units of prerequisites, 48 units of professional courses and electives, and a 12-unit internship).

Introductory Courses/Prerequisites
BIOL 191
191L
INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONS [LECTURE]
and INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONS [LAB]
4
CHEM 121
121L
ALLIED HEALTH CHEMISTRY I LECTURE
and ALLIED HEALTH CHEMISTRY I LABORATORY
4
BIOL 220ESSENTIALS OF HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY 14
PSYC 101INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY3
COMM 131PUBLIC SPEAKING3
PSYC 203HUMAN DEVELOPMENT3
or PSYC 201 EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
or SCED 305 ADOLESCENT LEARNING, DEVELOPMENT, AND DIVERSITY
Professional Courses
HLTH 101WELLNESS FOR A DIVERSE SOCIETY3
HLTH 207HEALTH CARE IN THE U.S.3
HLTH 222FOUNDATIONS OF HEALTH EDUCATION AND HEALTH BEHAVIOR3
HLTH 310INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC HEALTH3
HLTH 311CHRONIC AND COMMUNICABLE DISEASE3
HLTH 315CURRICULUM AND PLANNING3
HLTH 335PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY3
HLTH 339HEALTH BEHAVIOR THEORY3
HLTH 402HEALTH COMMUNICATION3
HLTH 425INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS IN HEALTH EDUCATION3
HLTH 430ORGANIZATION, IMPLEMENTATION AND MANAGEMENT OF HEALTH EDUCATION PROGRAMS3
HLTH 432MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION IN HEALTH EDUCATION3
HLTH 435INTRODUCTION TO EPIDEMIOLOGY3
HLTH 451INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH3
Electives
Select minimum of two courses from the list below:6
EMC, FIRST AID AND SAFETY
INTERNATIONAL HEALTH
NUTRITION AND WEIGHT CONTROL FOR THE CONSUMER
MENTAL HEALTH, STRESS MANAGEMENT, AND CRISIS INTERVENTION
WOMEN'S HEALTH
SEXUALITY IN A DIVERSE SOCIETY
WEIGHT CONTROL: THEORY AND PRACTICE
NUTRITION FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
FOOD SAFETY SCIENCE
URBAN FOOD SYSTEMS
TEACHING ABOUT DRUGS AND SEX
DRUGS IN OUR CULTURE
VIOLENCE PREVENTION FOR HEALTH EDUCATORS
Internship
HLTH 422FIELD WORK IN COMMUNITY HEALTH12
Total Units81
1

The requirement of BIOL 220 may also be satisfied with successful completion of the following courses: BIOL 221, BIOL 221LBIOL 222 and BIOL 222L (8 units total). The BIOL 221/L and BIOL 222/L sequence is recommended for students planning for a clinical career path. 

Suggested Four-Year Plan

Based on course availability and student needs and preferences, the selected sequences will probably vary from those presented below. Students should consult with their adviser to make the most appropriate elective choices.

Freshman
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
BIOL 191
191L (Core 7)
4CHEM 121
121L (Core 8)
4
HLTH 101 (Core 11)3COMM 131 (Core 5)3
PSYC 101 (Core 6)3HLTH 2073
Core 1 (or Core 2)3HLTH 2223
Core 3 (recommend MATH 231)3Core 2 (or Core 1)3
 16 16
Sophomore
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
BIOL 2204HLTH 3393
HLTH 3103PSYC 201, 203, or SCED 3053
HLTH 3113Core 43
Core 13 (recommended HLTH 220)3Core 123
Required Health Elective3Required Health Elective3
 16 15
Junior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
HLTH 315 (Core 9)3HLTH 4023
HLTH 3353HLTH 4253
HLTH 4513Elective3
Core 103Elective3
Core 143Elective3
 15 15
Senior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
HLTH 4303HLTH 42212
HLTH 4323 
HLTH 4353 
Elective3 
Elective3 
 15 12
Total Units 120

Upon completion of the Public Health Program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Explain the core values, concepts, and functions of public health, as well as the field’s history and philosophy.
  2. Describe the methods and tools of public health data collection, use, and analysis.
  3. Identify the basic processes, approaches, and interventions that identify and address major health-related needs.
  4. Discuss the underlying science of human health and disease, including chronic and infectious disease.
  5. Identify socio-economic, behavioral, biological, environmental, and other factors that impact human health and contribute to health disparities.
  6. Apply the principles of project planning, implementation, and evaluation.
  7. Explain the major characteristics and organizational structures of the U.S. health system.
  8. Discuss public health policy, and the roles and responsibilities of the branches of government and health-related agencies.
  9. Develop public health-specific communications for various audiences, including technical and professional writing, and demonstrate use of a variety of communication technologies.
  10. Propose a strategy to advocate for protection of public health and discuss the importance of public health advocacy at all levels of society.

The Public Health Program learning outcomes are based on recommendations from the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health.