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Minor in Public Health

Public health can be defined as an approach to promote health, prevent disease, prolong life and improve quality of life through organized efforts of society.

Focusing on the health and wellbeing of populations, public health complements medicine’s concern for individuals with diseases.

Through activities ranging from basic research, to frontline efforts such as vaccination programs, promotion of healthy lifestyles and environments, and disease control, and leadership on health policy formation, public health issues and outcomes touch the lives of people throughout the world.

Public health is an interdisciplinary field drawing on the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities. One of the most important themes in public health is the disparities in health observed in different groups, for example related to economic resources and race/ethnicity, which is a focus in this curriculum.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the minor in Interdisciplinary Public health will demonstrate:

  1. Disciplinary Content: Knowledge of the key substantive content regarding epidemiology, major health conditions, and health disparities.
  2. Self and Society: Knowledge about key influences on health and disease related to differential status experienced by some population groups.
  3. Scientific Literacy: Ability to access, understand and synthesize empirical studies from the scientific literature on public health and disparities.
  4. Decision-making: Ability to conduct and interpret findings from basic analysis of data on health or disparity issues.
  5. Communication: Ability to communicate orally and in writing about concepts in epidemiology and health disparities.
  • To complete this minor, students must complete a minimum of six courses, at least four of which must be upper division.
  • All courses must be taken for a letter grade.
  • A minimum overall grade point average of 2.0 (C) in upper division courses is required.
  • At least four of the six required courses must be taken at UC Merced.
  • Only one course may be used simultaneously to satisfy requirements for two minors.
  • Only one course may be used to satisfy both a minor and a major requirement.
  • Students must consult the UC Merced General Catalog for prerequisites to required courses.

Minimum Requirements

  1. PH 100: Introduction to Epidemiology* [4 units]
  2. PSY 124: Health Disparities* [4 units]
  3. One course providing an overview of mechanisms underlying human health and disease, from the following [4 units]:
      • BIO 003: To Know Ourselves: Molecular Basis of Health and Disease*
      • BIO 161: Human Physiology
  4. One course addressing statistics, from the following [4 units]:
      • BIO 175: Biostatistics
      • ECON 010: Statistical Inference
      • MATH 018: Statistics for Scientific Data Analysis
      • POLI 010: Analysis of Political Data
      • PSY 010: Analysis of Psychological Data
      • SOC 010: Statistics for Sociology
  5. Two courses that address topics in health, disease, and disparities, from among the following [6-8 units]:
      • ANTH 005: Introduction to Biological Anthropology
      • ANTH 120: Introduction to Medical Anthropology
      • ANTH 121: Ethnomedicine
      • ANTH 150: Race and Human Variation
      • ANTH 142: Archaeology of Colonialism
      • ANTH 155: Paleodemography
      • BIO 001: Contemporary Biology
      • BIO 010: Genetics, Stem Cells and Development
      • BIO 050: Human Development
      • BIO 051: Cancer and Aging
      • BIO 060: Nutrition
      • BIO 125: Public Health Threats
      • BIO 140: Genetics
      • BIO 185: Biomedical Ethics
      • COGS 130: Cognitive Neuroscience
      • COGS 153: Judgment and Decision Making
      • ECON 142: The Economics of Gender and Poverty
      • ECON 145: Health Economics
      • ES 040: Air Quality, Air Resources and Environmental Health
      • HIST 119: Topics in the History of Migration and Immigration
      • MGMT 153: Judgment and Decision Making
      • POLI 127: Race, Gender, and Politics
      • POLI 106: Urban Politics
      • PSY 123: Alcohol, Drugs, and Behavior
      • PSY 140: Clinical Psychology
      • PSY 142: Abnormal Psychology
      • PSY 143: Abnormal Child Psychology
      • PSY 145: Human Sexuality
      • PSY 147: Health Psychology
      • PSY 150: Psychological Perspective on Culture, Racial, and Ethnic Diversity
      • PSY 151: The Psychology of Stereotyping and Prejudice
      • PSY 181: Clinical Neuropsychology
      • SOC 030: Social Inequality
      • SOC 130: Advanced Social Stratification
      • SOC 131: Urban Inequality
      • SOC 160: Sociology of Gender
      • SOC 161: Sociology of Sexuality
      • SOC 180: Advanced Issues in Race and Ethnicity

More course options may be added to this list over time. Please check with the SSHA Advising Office for updates.  Substitutions and waivers are subject to approval.

Courses marked with a * may not be substituted.