Public Health

The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies offers a major and minor in public health. These programs aim to prepare students to address health inequity through graduating "change agents" who can lead and advocate for improved health conditions worldwide. The foundational course for the program provides a glimpse into critical local, national, and global health system structures, disease and injury prevention, and the public health roles of assessment, policy development, and assurance that will be discussed in more detail in subsequent courses. In collaboration with the nursing and social work programs, the major features a unique inter-professional and social justice-oriented framework.


Public Health Program Outcomes

Graduates of the Fairfield University Public Health major will have a comprehensive foundation in the theory and practice of Public Health with a strong emphasis on inter-professional collaboration, social justice, health equity, evidence-based problem solving and policy. 

The learning outcomes reflect the accreditation requirements of the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH).  In addition the didactic and field preparation will prepare graduates to sit for the Certification in Public Health exam and to be competitive for diverse entry-level positions in domestic and global public health or to pursue graduate programs in Public Health or related subspecialties. 

Program Outcomes: Upon completion of the Bachelor of Science in Public Health, graduates will be able to:

  1. Synthesize knowledge of the history, essential principles, and philosophy of public health to improve care of diverse populations across the lifespan with attention to social justice and ethical practices.
  2. Apply the principles of assessment, planning, intervention, implementation and evaluation to identify and address public health needs of communities and populations.
  3. Implement the use of evidence-based data collection and analytic skills (methods, quantitative and qualitative techniques) to influence health policy and impact population health outcomes.
  4. Translate knowledge of the fundamental concepts of the biological, environmental, behavioral, and social determinants of health and mental health, inequities and access to care, in line with a social ecological approach, to impact health outcomes for groups of people.Analyze how diverse national and global governance mechanisms influence the organization and operations of health care systems with a focus on economic, legal, ethical and regulatory policy dimensions.
  5. Analyze how diverse national and global governance mechanisms influence the organization and operations of health care systems with a focus on economic, legal, ethical and regulatory policy dimensions.     
  6. Demonstrate effective and innovative communication and collaboration methods to enhance public health through community empowerment and mobilization of partnerships.
  7. Demonstrate leadership to inform and advocate for health promotion and disease and injury prevention for diverse populations.

PB 0101 Public Health and Social Justice3 Credits

Health is broadly considered a human right and universal access to care is a core function of public health. Improving health often requires population-level interventions. Addressing inequity is a significant public health challenge. This course illuminates the social justice dimension of public health practice. Students will become familiar with public health action to address health disparities and learn to effectively advance public health through not only public health practice, but also the intersection of education, policy, medicine, and ethics.

PB 0201 Public Health, Disease, and Injury3 Credits

Prerequisite: PB 0101.

Public health requires familiarity with the epidemiology, pathology, prevention, and treatment of a wide range of infectious, non-communicable, mental, reproductive, and nutritional conditions, as well as violence and unintentional injuries. This course offers a population-focused survey of abnormal human health with an emphasis on leading global causes of morbidity and mortality, key personal risk factors, and broader social determinants of health. The student will gain an understanding of principles for endemic disease and injury control and establishes the foundation for courses that follow.

PB 0216 Introductory Principles of Epidemiology3 Credits

Prerequisite: MA 0016 or higher.

Epidemiology is the foundation for public health research, with applications in several other disciplines. This course is designed to introduce students to the core principles of epidemiology and familiarize students with the applications of biostatistics in health research. During the course, students will learn about the historical origins of the field of epidemiology, as well as concepts for study design and data interpretation.

PB 0217 Biostatistics for Health Research3 Credits

Attributes: HSST Health Studies: Science and Technology

Prerequisites: MA 0017 or higher; PB 0216.

Biostatistics is the foundation for many forms of health research with applications in several other disciplines. This course is designed to introduce students to the core principles of statistical practices used in the Public Health research setting and familiarize students with the applications of biostatistics in health research. During the course, students will practice applied biostatistics by using SPSS to complete data analysis of a public health dataset.

PB 0240 Introduction to Global Public Health3 Credits

Attributes: HACA Humanitarian Action Minor Context Course, HSTE Health Studies: Traditions, Delivery, and Ethics, LCEL LACS Minor: Elective

This course examines the social, economic, and cultural factors impacting the health of societies worldwide and identifies key global health conditions. Principles of disease prevention, risk reduction, and health promotion are applied to diverse populations. Students will analyze current and emerging global health priorities, including emerging communicable and non-communicable diseases, poverty, inequities, and conflicts and crises. Global issues related to the impact of social policies on healthcare equity and needs of vulnerable populations are also examined.

PB 0250 Community Nutrition3 Credits

This course will introduce students to the fundamental applications of nutrition in a public health setting. Students will learn the theory behind health behavior change, community assessment, intervention planning, and program management. Students will also have an opportunity to practice the skills necessary to carry out these activities through assignments. During the course, students will create a nutrition brochure and produce a video Public Service Announcement. By the end of this course, students will have a deeper understanding of how public health professionals identify nutritional risk in the community, and design programs to prevent the development of disease.

PB 0301 Leadership for Interdisciplinary Health Professionals3 Credits

This course is designed to expose students in the fields of public health and social work to conceptual frameworks through which to view leadership. Students will explore the key values and personal attributes that guide the leadership process. Students will engage in dynamic exercises and collaborative work to better understand leadership principles and work to apply these concepts to communities in their fields of study. Students will have the opportunity to reflect on leadership qualities relevant to their profession as well as personal leadership qualities that guide the relationship with vulnerable populations.

PB 0303 Public Health Program Planning and Evaluation3 Credits

Prerequisites: PB 0201, PB 0216, PB 0217.

This course provides the foundation for developing culturally competent community-based health interventions. Students learn the process of public health programming, including assessment, design, planning, implementation, and evaluation. This course integrates theory to examine interventions at various levels (individual, community, policy).

PB 0305 Public Health Seminar3 Credits

Prerequisites: PB 0201, PB 0216, PB 0217, PB 0303.

This seminar assists students to apply evidence-based skills achieved throughout the program in order to better understand public health readings and reports. Through weekly readings, discussions, and debate, students will mobilize public health knowledge and examine implications for health policy while modeling the discourse that occurs in professional public health settings.

PB 0310 Public Health Capstone3 Credits

Prerequisites: PB 0201, PB 0216, PB 0217, PB 0303.

This capstone course is designed to provide a platform for the development of strategic plans to address current public health problems in defined populations. Within the course, students develop a culminating project incorporating skills in needs assessment, statistics and epidemiology, program planning and evaluation, policy development, and advocacy.

PB 0315 Public Health Internship6 Credits

Prerequisites: BI 0108 or BI 0171; CH 0084, PB 0201, PB 0216, PB 0217, PB 0303.

The public health internship may be completed in a local public health agency or overseas with the permission of the program director. The internship experience exposes students to the elements of the core functions of public health and the application of these core functions in public health settings. While not all internships will allow for extensive exposure to all of the essential services, students are expected to discuss how the agency addresses those services.

Distinguished Fellow

Kelley, P.

Assistant Professor

List (Visiting)