The field of community health relies on public health science as well as strategies to engage and work with communities to promote the health of all community members. It is multi-disciplinary and is rooted in the natural and social sciences, including such fields as epidemiology, statistics, biology, education, and the behavioral sciences. The program in community health science aims to produce future graduates who can integrate knowledge from a variety of these disciplines as they relate to health and who will continue to be life long learners in the health sciences. This program is geared toward students interested in health science careers or graduate studies outside the clinical realm, including community health education as well as other public health disciplines.
In addition to preparatory courses in biology, chemistry, physiology, microbiology, nutrition, statistics, psychology and sociology, the curriculum includes foundational courses in epidemiology, health behavior, environmental health, community health education and health promotion and risk reduction. These courses will give students a solid background in risk assessment, health behavior theory, strategies for changing health-related behaviors, origins of health disparities and the development of programs to combat these disparities. During the final year of study, students will have the opportunity to develop and evaluate health-related programs in research methodology and senior seminar courses, as well as gain valuable experience in the health science internship. Throughout their studies, communication skills will be emphasized so that graduates of the program will be prepared to serve as liaisons to their communities and effectively promote public health.
Job opportunities in community health include (but are not necessarily limited to) health outreach worker, health educator, program planner, health writer, and administrative roles in community health organizations. These jobs may exist in hospitals, public health departments, or at non-governmental community health organizations.
Prerequisites and Entry into the Program in Community Health Science
Academic advisors confer with each entering student to determine an appropriate course of study based on the student’s preparation and objectives. Students intending to major in Community Health Science declare as “Preparatory Health Science” students. Upon successful completion of the prerequisite classes (including BIOL 1A, CHEM 7, MATH 60 and HSCI 1), students are formally accepted into the major.
- Identify biological, environmental, behavioral, socio-economical and/or
cultural factors that influence health outcomes and contribute to health
- Integrate knowledge from a variety of disciplines, including epidemiology,
life sciences, social sciences and education, to solve problems related to
human health and disease.
- Evaluate the merits of primary scientific research and the potential impact
on health for a given community or population.
- Create and implement a health promotion program based on the needs of
the community, and design assessments to test the effectiveness of such
- Employ appropriate ethics in interactions with community clients,
colleagues and the general public, as well as research conduct.
- Communicate with diverse audiences (both oral and written) in the service
of promoting public health.