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.

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 sub-specialties. 

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

1. Communicate public health information in both oral and written forms and through a variety of media to diverse audiences.

2. Locate, use, evaluate, and synthesize public health information.

3. Analyze relationships among behavioral, environmental, and other factors that influence health.

4. Collect and analyze primary health data using appropriate statistical methods and interpret and share findings.

5. Develop a comprehensive plan to implement and evaluate a public health program.

PUBH 1101 Public Health and Social Justice    3 Credits

Attributes: DEIE Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Elective, PAPH Public Administration Public Health

This course introduces students to the history, core functions, and essential services of public health and serves as a foundation for further study in the discipline. During this course, students will gain an understanding of the social, ecological, and environmental determinants of health; recognize the roles of public policy and cultural values in maintaining health inequities in the U.S. and globally; and develop the ability to advocate for solutions to public health problems using a social justice approach. Previously PB 0101.

PUBH 1105 Biological Foundations of Public Health    3 Credits

In this course, students will learn the basic biological concepts of human health and disease, with particular emphasis on diseases that are of most public health relevance. Students will gain a foundational understanding of infectious, non-communicable, and genetic diseases and their prevention and treatment strategies.

PUBH 2201 Public Health, Disease, and Injury    3 Credits

Attributes: PADE Public Administration Disaster and Emergency Management, PAPH Public Administration Public Health

Prerequisite: PUBH 1101.

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 human health with an emphasis on leading global causes of morbidity and mortality, key risk factors, and broader social determinants of health, specifically highlighting the influence of race, ethnicity, gender and class as it relates to health outcomes. The student will gain an understanding of principles of endemic disease and injury control and will establish the foundation for more advanced courses in the major. Students will also have the opportunity to integrate their experience in a local community context with relevant social determinants of health, to analyze one’s social identity, cultural values and privilege in the context of health inequity. I invite you to participate with me in this important work as a collective group working towards anti-racism and equitable public health policies, practices, and community norms.

PUBH 2205 Fundamentals of Nutrition    3 Credits

This course will introduce students to the fundamental concepts of human nutrition. Students will develop an understanding of the digestion, absorption, and function of nutrients in the body and the relationship between diet and health. Course topics will also include macronutrients, micronutrients, metabolism, weight management, and fitness.

PUBH 2216 Introductory Principles of Epidemiology    3 Credits

Prerequisite: MATH 1016 or higher, PUBH 1101.

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 of study design and data interpretation. Previously PB 0216.

PUBH 2217 Biostatistics for Health Research    3 Credits

Attributes: HSST Health Studies: Science and Technology

Prerequisites: MATH 1017 or higher; PUBH 2216.

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. Previously PB 0217.

PUBH 2240 Introduction to Global Public Health    3 Credits

Attributes: HACA Humanitarian Action Minor Context Course, HSTE Health Studies: Traditions, Delivery, and Ethics, LCEL LACS Minor: Elective, PADE Public Administration Disaster and Emergency Management, PAPH Public Administration Public Health

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. Previously PB 0240.

PUBH 2250 Community Nutrition    3 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. Previously PB 0250.

PUBH 3303 Public Health Program Planning and Evaluation    3 Credits

Attributes: PAPH Public Administration Public Health

Prerequisites: PUBH 2201, PUBH 2216, PUBH 2217.

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). Previously PB 0303.

PUBH 3980 Public Health Internship    1-5 Credits

Prerequisites: Senior Standing.

This public health internship may be completed with a regional public health partner. 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. Students will work to connect field experiences to future public health career goals. Previously PB 0315.

PUBH 3990 Independent Study    1-6 Credits

Through individually designed projects or activities, students work with a faculty member to study a specific area in depth. Enrollment by permission only.

PUBH 4301 Leadership for Interdisciplinary Health Professionals    3 Credits

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Standing.

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. Previously PB 0301.

PUBH 4305 Public Health Seminar    3 Credits

Prerequisite: Senior Standing.

This course allows students to think strategically about their career in public health. The course comprehensively covers the responsibilities, obligations, roles, and professional activities of various public health roles in the community. Students will prepare for their senior internship experience, including resume development and interview practice, and for their capstone experience through research critiques and citation review. Various forms for professional communications will be practiced and critiqued. Previously PB 0305.

PUBH 4999 Public Health Capstone    3 Credits

Prerequisite: Senior Standing.

This capstone course provides an opportunity for students to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills they've gained throughout the program by completing an independent scholarly or applied project. With guidance from a faculty member, students will develop and evaluate a public health intervention or design and carry out an original research project. The capstone will culminate with a written paper, poster, and oral presentation. Previously PB 0310.

Associate Professors


Assistant Professors

Doughty, Director