Public Health Programs

Introduction to Public Health

Public health professionals work to protect the health of communities through research, disease control, injury prevention, emergency preparedness, promotion of healthy lifestyles and policy setting. Public health professionals also focus on reducing health disparities, improving health care equity, quality and health care access. Through monitoring and diagnosis of community problems, these professionals are able to address the concerns of communities and mobilize partners to ensure the health of entire populations.

B.S. Public Health  

View the Bachelor of Science in Public Health program sheet 

Bachelor of Science in Public Health 



The Bachelor of Science Degree Program in Public Health is designed to prepare the student with a general liberal education in the science and art of protecting, promoting and preserving the health of individuals, families and communities utilizing the core functions of public health practice.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Science Degree Program will gain knowledge and develop skills to practice in multiple public health-related areas including, public health services, environmental services, epidemiology and social and public policy.

Students who complete bachelor degree requirements should be able to:
• Recognize the core values, concepts and functions of public health in society and across the globe;
• Apply concepts of data collection methods and statistical analysis to inform evidence-based practices as an essential part of public health practice;
• Identify population health challenges and prevention approaches to address community health issues;
• Demonstrate understanding of the science of human health and disease in promoting and protecting health across the life span;
• Assess community dynamics to identify stakeholders and networks for collaborative partnerships for community approaches to community health;
• Construct and evaluate an effective health promotion message using critical thinking skills and creativity;
• Interpret quantitative and qualitative research data using case study analysis;
• Evaluate the cultural context of program design and implementation effectiveness;
• Differentiate between the characteristics of the US health care system and other countries;
• Discuss the importance of health care policy and concepts of legal, ethical and regulatory dimensions of health care, public health laws, and roles of government;
• Demonstrate effective communication skills in verbal and written formats;
• Apply systems thinking approaches to develop effective public health programs.

Proficiency in subject knowledge is assessed through class discussions, examinations, research papers, oral reports, capstone experiences and internships.

Transfer Policy
Students in the Public Health program must complete at least half of the major credits at Rivier University.

General Education Requirements (42 credits)
Major Requirements (69 credits)

Public Health Courses (45 credits)
• PH 101 Introduction to Public Health
• PH 125 Environmental Health
• PH 201 Epidemiology in Public Health
• PH 202 Health Systems and Services
• PH 203 Public Health Seminar
• PH 204 Health Promotion, Marketing and Communications
• PH 302 Health Policy
• PH 304 Food Safety and Hygiene
• PH 330 Public Health Research
• PH 336 Emergency Preparedness
• PH 400 Global Health
• PH 402 Program Planning and Evaluation
• PH 404 Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases
• PH 495 Internship/Capstone (6 cr)

Related Science/Math Courses (18 credits)
• BIO 105 Anatomy and Physiology I (4 cr)
• BIO 106 Anatomy and Physiology II (4 cr)
• BIO 206 Medical Microbiology (4 cr)
• BIO One Elective (3 cr)
• MA 110 Introductory Statistics (3 cr)

Other Related Courses (6 credits)
PSY 101 General Psychology
SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology 

General Electives (12 credits)

Degree Requirements (120 credits)



Minor Requirements (18 credits)
A minimum of six courses, including:
• PH 101 Introduction to Public Health
• PH 201 Epidemiology in Public Health
• PH 330 Public Health Research
• MA 110 Introductory Statistics
• PH - two electives

Transfer Policy
Transfer students must complete at least half of the courses in the minor at Rivier University.


PH 101 - Introduction to Public Health
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the basic principles of public health, using a cross-cutting systematic approach that incorporates a historical and modern day perspective on examining disease causation, social determinants of health, epidemiology and prevention interventions for individual and population-based care. Prerequisites: BIO105, 106 Credits: 3

PH 125 - Environmental Health
This introductory course focuses on the physical, biological and human factors that affect the natural and built environment and the impact these factors have on the health of individuals and communities. This course will review global environmental concerns that address occupational health and safety, air and water quality, food safety, sanitation and environmental justice. Prerequisite: PH101 Credits: 3

PH 201 - Epidemiology in Public Health
This course will examine the historical and current uses of epidemiology and the links between data, epidemiologic analysis, patterns of disease and injury in identifying public health problems, disease patterns and the evaluation of effective interventions. Prerequisite: PH101 Credit: 3

PH 202 - Health Systems & Services
This course will explore the public health professionals’ role in health care and the public health workforce with special emphasis on managed care, organizational health care, public health systems, public health services and access to care at national and international levels. Prerequisite: PH101 Credits: 3

PH 203 - Public Health Seminar
This course offers a forum for presentations and case studies on environmental health, food safety, disease outbreaks and health issues across the lifespan. These significant health issues will be taught by public health officials with expertise in these areas. Discussions will assist students in connecting theory to practice. Prerequisite: PH101 Credits: 3

PH 204 - Health Promotion, Marketing & Social Communications
This interactive course investigates communication theory and techniques, and marketing concepts utilizing mass media strategies to produce effective public health promotion messaging. Prerequisite: PH101 Credit: 3

PH 302 - Health Policy
This course explores public health policies through analysis of legal concepts, decision-making, and ethical reasoning, examining health policies implemented at state and governmental levels. Health policies will be examined and implemented at local, state, national and international levels. Prerequisite: PH101 Credits: 3

PH 330 - Public Health Research
This course will research evidence-based public health interventions for efficacy and effectiveness. Practical strategies will be used to explore the design of qualitative and quantitative research questions and on population-based studies. Prerequisite: PH101 Credit: 3

PH 402 - Program Planning & Evaluation
This course will examine the elements of program development through identifying risk factors, analyzing data sets, reviewing cost effective interventions and program effectiveness using community assessment models for program planning and evaluation. Prerequisite: PH101 Credit: 3

PH 304 - Food Safety & Hygiene
This course will survey food safety practices, foodborne illnesses/outbreaks and the importance of hygiene practice with safe food handling for preserving population health. Prerequisite: PH101 Credit: 3

PHS 336 - Public Health Emergency Preparedness
This course will highlight approaches to national and international threats to health, issues of preparedness, response to natural disasters and innovative approaches to addressing health problems across the globe. Prerequisite: PH101 Credit: 3

PH 400 - Global Health & Health Disparities
The course will address public health issues of national and international proportions. The focus area will include HIV, poverty, and exploring health disparities of vulnerable populations including women, infant and children. Measuring health and socio-economic development (equity and social justice) will be explored in conjunction with examining approaches to reducing morbidity and mortality. Prerequisite: PH101 Credit: 3

PH 404 - Communicable Disease & Non-Communicable Diseases
This course is an exploration of prevention, detection and control of communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases (diabetes, hypertension, cancer, obesity), unintentional injury and violence. Prerequisite: PH101 Credit: 3

PSH 495- Public Health Internship/Capstone
This course offers students the opportunity to explore areas of interest in public health practice in local, state, national or international levels. The capstone project must meet the approval of the Program Director and Dean. Prerequisite: Permission of Program Director required.


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