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Belmont University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-17

Public Health


To promote and protect the health of populations in the United States and globally through innovative public health practice, teaching, service and scholarship.


To prepare graduates for entry-level careers in public health and related fields or to pursue graduate study in these areas.


  1. Identify and articulate the core functions of public health.
  2. Identify and evaluate the impact of public health policies and resource distribution on the health of populations.
  3. Communicate using effective oral and written skills.
  4. Apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to promote health and prevent disease and injury in designated populations.
  5. Advance community engagement, practice and service in public health.

Major in Public Health (B.S.P.H.) Hours
General Education Core Requirements
(See the BSPH degree requirements under the B.S. Gen Ed listing in the catalog)
Technical Requirement (Hours Counted in Ged Ed Core): 0
ECO 2220, Principles of Microeconomics (3)
Major Requirements 46
BPH 1010, Foundations of Public Health 3
BPH 2010, Social Determinants of Health 3
BPH 2100, Current Issues in Public Health 3
BPH 2200, Health Communication 3
BPH 3010, Global Health 3
BPH 3020, Population Health 3
BPH 3100, Introduction to Epidemiology 3
BPH 3200, Fundamentals of Environmental Health 3
BPH 4015, Capstone Experience 3
BPH 4100, Health Policy 3
BPH 4200, Fundamentals of Health Economics 3
BPH 3210, Scientific Inquiry 4
Major Fieldwork 9
BPH 2000, 3000 or 4000, Fieldwork (1-4) (must complete 9 hours)
Electives 25-27
Total 128

Public Health Courses (BPH)

BPH 1010. Foundations of Public Health (3). This course familiarizes students with the field of public health, including the history and current practices. Major cultural, social, economic, organizational, and environmental factors influencing public health issues and practices at the local, state, national, and international levels will be presented. Public health Core Functions and Essential Services will be explored, and students will gain an understanding of public health as a broad area of work that applies the benefits of current biomedical, environmental, social, and behavioral knowledge to promote the health status of populations. 

BPH 2010. Social Determinants of Health (3). This course explores conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life and their relationship to health. These forces and systems include economic policies and systems, development agendas, social norms, social policies and political systems. Theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of social determinants will be discussed from a social ecological perspective.

BPH 2100. Current Issues in Public Health (1-3). This 1-3 hour, seminar course is designed to introduce and stimulate discussion about existing and emerging public health issues. This course may be taken at any time but may be particularly useful early in the curriculum for students interested in exploring career alternatives in core areas of public health practice and research.

BPH 2200. Health Communications (3). This course explores the interpersonal, group, organizational, and public communication processes that shape beliefs, decisions and behavior regarding health, sickness, and health care. Attitudes and actions of various participants in health communication, including citizens, health professionals, and those engaged in the public debate of health issues will be explored.

BPH 3010. Global Health (3). Students in this course will develop an understanding of key concepts, tools and frameworks for studying global health with a focus on global disease burden, health determinants and disparities, health policy and stakeholders and challenges of global health interventions. The importance of understanding and addressing global health through multidisciplinary frameworks of the natural sciences, social-behavioral sciences, humanities, and policy will be explored. 

BPH 3020. Population Health (3). This course examines the way health care delivery systems, public health agencies, community-based organizations and other elements work together to develop, deliver and evaluate effectiveness of interventions to improve health outcomes at local, national and global levels. Three broad content areas will be explored: infectious disease, chronic disease and environmental health. 

BPH 3100. Introduction to Epidemiology (3). This course introduces the student to principles of epidemiology and their application to disease surveillance, control of infectious and chronic diseases, and health services/health policy. Students will learn about basic research designs and tools used by epidemiologists to explore relationships between cause and effect and effectiveness of interventions to prevent, contain or cure disease. 

BPH 3200. Fundamentals of Environmental Health (3). This course explores the relationship of people and their environment, how it affects physical and mental well-being and what they can do to influence the quality of the environment and to enhance the protection of their health. Environmental factors that influence transmission of communicable diseases and hazards due to exposure to chemical and physical materials in our environment will be examined. 

BPH 3210 Scientific Inquiry (4 hours) This course provides a basic introduction to research including theoretical foundations and fundamental protocols. The course enrolls students majoring in health professions, the social sciences, humanities and natural and physical sciences. Students will explore research methodologies and learn how to write a research proposal including identification of a study topic, generation of a hypothesis, formulation of inquiry questions, organizing a literature review, and selecting a research design. Practical use of the proposal as a plan to facilitate a research project and dissemination of findings will be examined.

BPH 2000/3000/4000. Public Health Fieldwork I - III (1-4). Fieldwork experience connects skills and knowledge acquired in the classroom with public health practice. Fieldwork can enable the student to develop and improve communication skills, develop and practice project management and problem solving skills using public health methods, principles and techniques. Using hands-on public health practice opportunities, students can explore career options and begin creating their own networks with other public health professionals. Fieldwork to equal 9 credit hours. 

BPH 4015. Capstone (3). This course is designed as a culminating experience to allow students to integrate, synthesize and apply knowledge developed throughout the academic program. Options for completing this experience may include a public service internship, working directly with a faculty member to complete an independent research project and paper or an approved study abroad experience in a public health practice setting. 

BPH 4100. Introduction to Health Policy (3). This course provides a framework for understanding the social, political and economic dimensions of health policy and offers the student an opportunity to explore various ways in which the government impacts health and the provision of health care. Issues of accessibility, cost and quality of health care; food, water and environmental safety; and the right to make decisions about our health and health care will be explored. Topical areas may include the Affordable Care Act and policies governing environmental health, pharmaceutical, injury prevention, aging, long term care, etc.

BPH 4200. Fundamentals of Health Economics (3). This course will guide students to understand how economic principles apply to the market for health care. Topics of study will include cost-benefit analysis, the market for insurance, the pharmaceutical industry, the private markets for physicians and hospital services, and the potential roles for government in healthcare. The course will include a brief survey of alternate healthcare delivery systems and models for reform.