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2019-2020 Undergraduate Bulletin

Program in Public Health

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy

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Program Director: Dr. Amy Burdette

The Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) is designed to educate and prepare students in the policy, practice, and methods of public health. The pro-gram of study includes training in each of the fundamental areas of public health: epidemiology, environmental health sciences, health policy and management, social and behavioral sciences, and biostatistics. In addition to the core curriculum composed of 21 hours, students will select 12 additional credit hours of public health electives from at least two academic departments. These courses will complement the training provided by core courses by focusing on specific aspects of population health and the healthcare system. The BSPH provides the training required for entry-level public health careers found in non-profit organizations, government agencies, health corporations, and health care facilities.

Computer Skills Competency

All undergraduates at Florida State University must demonstrate basic computer skills competency prior to graduation. As necessary computer competency skills vary from discipline to discipline, each major determines the courses needed to satisfy this requirement. The following courses will fulfill the requirement for the Public Health major: CGS 2060 (3), CGS 2100 (3), or BSC 2010L (1).

State of Florida Common Program Prerequisites

The state of Florida has not identified common program prerequisites for this University degree program; however, the faculty in this program strongly recommends that students pursuing a major in Public Health take a 2000-level Statistics (STA) course as part of their lower-division or general education coursework.

At the time this document was published, some common program prerequisites were being reviewed by the state of Florida and may have been revised. Please visit for a current list of state-approved prerequisites.

Requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Public Health

Major Requirements

The major in Public Health requires 33 hours with a grade of "C" or better in each course; at least 21 credit hours must be taken in upper-level (3000 and 4000) courses.

Elective Courses

Twelve (12) hours of coursework from at least two separate departments must be selected from the approved course list. Elective courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or better. To see a list of approved elective courses, visit the undergraduate program page at

Public Health Course Requirements

All Public Health majors must complete the following seven courses. A grade of "C" or better must be earned in each course.

GIS 4421 GIS and Health (3)

PHC 4030 Introduction to Epidemiology (3)

PHC 4069 Introduction to Biostatistics for Public Health (3)

PHC 4101 Introduction to Public Health (3)

PHC 4157 Health Policy and Society (3)

PHC 4320 Environmental Health Science (3)

PHC 4470 Health Behavior and Health Promotion (3)

Note: Courses in which the student receives a grade below "C" will not be counted toward the major.

Definition of Prefixes

GIS—Geography: Information Science

HSC—Health Sciences

PHC—Public Health Concentration

Undergraduate Courses

GIS 4421. GIS and Health (3). In this course, students use a suite of computer-based tools called geographic information systems to apply geographic theory to public health questions, such as where diseases are located, how places affect our well-being, and what geographic tools can be used to understand global health epidemics. The course is held in a GIS computer lab, where data on health is analyzed and applications in health and medicine are discussed as ongoing challenges in data collection related to issues of surveillance and privacy.

PHC 4030. Introduction to Epidemiology (3). This course is an introduction to epidemiology, i.e., to the study of the description and determinants of disease frequency in human populations. The course focuses on "how we know what we know" about the causes of disease in human populations.

PHC 4069. Introduction to Biostatistics for Public Health (3). Prerequisites: STA 2122, and major status or department permission. This course introduces students to basic concepts of data analysis and statistical inference in medical and health sciences. This course covers key areas of biostatistics, including probability, hypothesis testing, and design and analysis of medical and health studies.

PHC 4101. Introduction to Public Health (3). This course introduces students to key public health concepts, the history of public health, and how the core areas of public health can be integrated to promote health at a population level. The course covers principal areas of public health, including analytic methods, epidemiology, social and behavioral factors, environmental issues, and medical care.

PHC 4157. Health Policy and Society (3). This course introduces students to the major public health concerns currently facing the U.S. population and a variety of policies intended to address them. This course begins with an overview of how the American health care system works and how it compares to other health care systems across the world. Students also examine how issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and age influence the availability, cost and quality of the health care individuals receive.

PHC 4320. Environmental Health Science (3). This course introduces students to environmental health issues, scientific understanding of causes, and possible future approaches to address major environmental health problems. This course covers key areas of environmental health, including environmental epidemiology, risk assessment, pollution, and education.

PHC 4470. Health Behavior and Health Promotion (3). This course introduces students theoretical perspectives regarding health behavior, health promotion and public health, as well as relevant and contemporary health research. Students are challenged to think critically about health behaviors as well as health policies and politics. Students are encouraged to engage in critical thinking, reading, writing, and discussion regarding all facets of health behavior, health promotion, and public health.

PHC 4944. Public Health Internship (3). Prerequisite: PHC 4101. This course provides students with the opportunity to explore their career interests and gain information helpful in the transition from a scholastic environment to the workplace. This internship is conducted under the guidance of an on-site supervisor and internship supervisor, which will provide an opportunity for learning and reflection. Students also develop professional networks useful after graduation and necessary in the job market.

Graduate Courses

HSC 5203. Public Health History, Philosophy and Policy (3).

HSC 5930r. Special Topics in Social Science (1–3).

PHC 5001. Public Health Epidemiology (3).

PHC 5003. Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3).

PHC 5104. Public Health Management (3).

PHC 5300. Environmental Health (3).

PHC 5912r. Public Health Capstone and Research Project (6). (S/U grade only).

PHC 5945. Internship (3). (S/U grade only).

PHC 6002. Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3).

PHC 6110. Comparative Health (3).