Public Health is an interdisciplinary major offered by the Biology and Government departments. Students in our courses study the health of communities and how it can be affected by community-based action. We study the burden of disease, the principles and history of public health and how to measure health, health in the context of human rights, how to measure and improve health systems, the influence of culture on health, and the organizational actors in local, national, and global public health. We draw on the science underlying health in human communities and examine the use of such knowledge in a political arena that is central to getting things done.
The mission of the Public Health major is to educate F&M students in public health from the perspective of the liberal arts, with particular attention to the analysis of public health problems from multiple perspectives and with tools from multiple disciplines and with emphasis on theory and history. Public health is linked to the formulation and implementation of public policy, thus connecting science and government at its core. Public health incorporates an international perspective. We encourage and guide students to ask broad questions of meaning, to challenge assumptions and structures, to ponder ethical questions, to evaluate the effectiveness of solutions to problems, and to develop a deep moral intelligence surrounding public health.
The program offers two tracks:
Biology Track Core: PBH 251, PBH 351, BIO 110, BIO 210 (or GOV 250), BIO 220, BIO 230, BIO 305, BIO 322, CHM 111, CHM 112, GOV 100, GOV 120, GOV 200, GOV 388, GOV 410 or PBH 470. Choose one elective from: ANT 234, BIO 310, BIO 323, BIO 336, BIO 338, ENV 315, GOV 130, GOV 208, GOV 305, GOV 309, PHI 223, PHI 337, PSY 309, STS 311, SOC 330, BIO 490.
Government Track Core: PBH 251, PBH 351, BIO 110, BIO 220, GOV 100, GOV 120, GOV 200, GOV 208 or GOV 309, GOV 250 (or BIO 210), GOV 305, GOV 388, GOV 410 or PBH 470, STS 311. Choose three electives from: ANT 234, BIO 310, BIO 336, ENV 315, GOV 130, PHI 223, PHI 337, PSY 309, SOC 330, PBH 303, GOV 490.