Academic Catalog

Public Health

Department Chair: Patricia Wren
Undergraduate Academic Advisors: Lauren Orr (A-J; AGRADE), Margaret MacKeverican (K-Z; AGRADE), Monika Saladiak (Special Projects and Populations)
https://clas.wayne.edu/public-health

Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities. This work is achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, detecting patterns of risk and poor outcomes in populations, and engaging in research and interventions to eliminate health disparities and increase the duration and quality of life. Public health professionals are also involved in promoting health care equity, improving health care quality, and increasing access and accessibility. 

The Department of Public Health offers evidence-based professional training across the traditional public health disciplines.  Undergraduate students are well-prepared to apply to graduate programs in public health, medicine, pharmacy, social work, physician assistant studies, law, and a host of other professional fields.  Our alumni are trained for meaningful public health careers in government agencies, hospitals and health care organizations, community-based organizations, foundations and philanthropies, policymaking and research councils, and corporations.   Students will learn to ask questions, challenge assumptions, and utilize data to preserve, protect, and promote the health and well-being of vulnerable populations locally, nationally, and globally. In particular, students will learn how to be a catalyst for change in Detroit and beyond and facilitate health equity for years to come. Core courses in the public health major and minor allow students to gain knowledge, develop professional skills, and master core competencies in the following areas: 

  • Social determinants of health
  • Health disparities and health equity
  • Environmental health
  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Research methods and applied methodological approaches
  • Public health intervention and practice

Students wishing to pursue the major or minor in Public Health should meet with an Undergraduate Academic Advisor in Public Health.

BAKER, SUZANNE: Ph.D., M.A., Boston University; M.P.H., Wayne State University; B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison; Assistant Professor (Teaching)

KESSELL, ERIC: Ph.D., M.P.H., University of California-Berkeley; B.A., University of Michigan; Assistant Professor (Teaching)

MIRANDA-HARTSUFF, TRICIA: Ph.D., M.P.H., University of Michigan; B.A., Trinity University; Associate Professor

SURBER, SARAH: Ph.D., J.D., West Virginia University; M.S., B.A., Marshall University; Assistant Professor

WREN, PATRICIA A.: Ph.D., M.P.H., University of Michigan; M.S., B.A., DePaul University; Professor and Chair

ZHOU, SASHA: Ph.D., M.P.H., M.H.S.A., B.A., University of Michigan; Assistant Professor

PH 2100 Introduction to Public Health Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Life Sciences, Natural Scientific Inquiry

Provides both an overview of the principles and practice of public health and basic information needed to understand and analyze a variety of individual-level and population-level health problems. This course is intended for students with no previous course work in public health. Offered Every Term.

PH 2500 Race and Ethnic Disparities in Public Health Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Diversity Equity Incl Inquiry

That racial and ethnic minorities have poorer health, worse socioeconomic status, and shorter life expectancies is well-documented in the public health literature. This course will examine the personal, community, social, and institutional structures that increase morbidity and mortality risk in these populations. Considerable attention is paid to the historical, political, social, and economic underpinnings of these inequalities. Rather than just continuing to document disparities, the class will emphasize the role health care providers, public health professionals, health policy, and community-based interventions can play in achieving health equity in racial and ethnic minorities. Offered Yearly.

PH 3050 Mental Health and Crime Cr. 3

Provides a comprehensive overview of the issues and challenges located at the intersection of mental health/illness and the criminal justice system. Attention will be focused on a range of topics, including, but not limited to, the definition of mental illness, deinstitutionalization and criminalization of the mentally ill, the impact of mental illness on criminal proceedings, treatment/intervention effectiveness, and the reentry/reintegration of mentally ill individuals. Offered Fall.

Equivalent: CRJ 3050

PH 3100 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Social Inquiry, Social Sciences

Examines the social and behavioral aspects of health, illness, and health care, and help students develop a basic understanding of the societal factors that influence health status and public health interventions. Offered Every Term.

PH 3200 Introduction to Biostatistics Cr. 4

Provides an introduction to statistical methods used in biological and medical research and covers elementary probability theory, basic concepts of statistical inference, sampling theory, regression and correlation methods, analysis of variance, and study design. In addition, the course will examine statistical applications in biomedicine, epidemiology, public health and the life sciences. Offered Every Term.

Prerequisites: PH 2100 with a minimum grade of C- and (MAT Permit to Reg ACT/SAT with a test score minimum of 4, Math Permit to Reg - (L1-L4) with a test score minimum of 4, STA 1020 with a minimum grade of C-, MAT 1800 with a minimum grade of C-, MAT 2010 with a minimum grade of C-, MAT 2020 with a minimum grade of C-, or STA 2210 with a minimum grade of C-)

PH 3300 Epidemiology Cr. 4

Introduces the basic concepts of epidemiology as applied to public health problems. Emphasis is placed on the principles and methods of epidemilogic investigation, including the appropriate summaries, displays, and analysis of data, and the use of classical statistical and other methodological approaches to describe the health of populations. Offered Every Term.

Prerequisites: PH 2100 with a minimum grade of C- and (MAT Permit to Reg ACT/SAT with a test score minimum of 4, Math Permit to Reg - (L1-L4) with a test score minimum of 4, STA 1020 with a minimum grade of C-, MAT 1800 with a minimum grade of C-, MAT 2010 with a minimum grade of C-, MAT 2020 with a minimum grade of C-, or STA 2210 with a minimum grade of C-)

PH 3410 Global Health Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Global Learning Inquiry, Social Inquiry, Social Sciences

Introduces students to problems of disease and disorder worldwide and looks at various efforts to define and address these problems through a social science perspective. Offered Every Term.

Equivalent: ANT 3410, GLS 3410

PH 3500 Environmental Health Cr. 3

Using a public health perspective, the course will provide students with an overview of the key areas of environmental health, and it will cover factors associated with the development of environmental health problems. Students will gain a system-level understanding of the interaction of individuals and communities with the environment, the potential impact of environmental agents on population, and specific applications of public health concepts to environmental health. Offered Every Term.

PH 3550 Public Health and the City Cr. 3

Introduces the field of medical geography, or the study of geographic aspects of health and disease. Students will also be introduced to the impact that city life has on health and healthcare in the US and internationally. They will gain an understanding of how geography as a discipline contributes to an understanding health and health care in urban environments, and how social and economic contexts impact urban health. Mapping techniques will be utilized to examine the spatial patterns of disease and risk factors that may contribute to disease. Offered Yearly.

Equivalent: US 3550

PH 3600 Special Topics in Public Health Cr. 3

Topics may include but are not limited to an examination of health in families, health in the workplace, health across the life course, health of urban communities, community health interventions, access to health care, and health services administration. Offered Intermittently.

Repeatable for 6 Credits

PH 3750 Reproductive Health Cr. 3

This course explores the subject of reproductive health using an interdisciplinary approach, including social, political, and biomedical perspectives. It covers gender differences in patterns of illness, delivery of health care, paying special attention to inequalities and disparities related to race, ethnicity, sexuality, and social class. That is, it will have a strong reproductive justice focus. We will also examine common intervention strategies in public health when dealing with reproductive health in local communities. Offered Intermittently.

PH 3800 Law and Public Health Cr. 3

This course will introduce students to the role of law as an important determinant of health outcomes. This course is organized using the CDC’s Public Health Law Program competency-based approach. Through constitutional and legal foundations, case studies and real-world examples, students will learn how the law is used as a public health tool. Special attention is paid to contemporary applications in public health law and the implications for bringing about health equity in vulnerable populations. Offered Yearly.

PH 3900 LGBTQ Health Cr. 3

Centers on LGBTQ voices and takes an intersectional socioecological approach to exploring social determinants of health, and a range of health outcomes and challenges in LGBTQ communities; and the implications for public health research, policy, and practice to improve LGBTQ health. Introduces students to key conceptual frameworks for understanding LGBTQ health across the lifespan and promoting health equity. Offered Yearly.

Prerequisites: PH 2100 with a minimum grade of C-, PH 3100 with a minimum grade of C-, GSW 2500 with a minimum grade of C-, GSW 2600 with a minimum grade of C-, SOC 1020 with a minimum grade of C-, SOC 2202 with a minimum grade of C-, or SOC 2300 with a minimum grade of C-

Equivalent: SOC 3900

PH 4050 Crime and Public Health Cr. 3

Introduces students to the interface between public health and criminal justice in the United States, focusing on different aspects of the relationship. It will first describe the newly emerged epidemiological criminology, and then analyze a variety of topics on crime and public health, including, but not limited to, the health of incarcerated populations, the health of criminal justice professionals, health consequences of crime and risk behaviors, public health and law, gangs and gang violence, mental health and substance abuse, environmental justice, and public health interventions with criminal justice populations. Offered Winter.

Equivalent: CRJ 4050

PH 4100 Public Health Principles and Practice Cr. 2

This required course examines practice-based approaches to improve public health. The focus will be on learning methods for community health improvement, from assessment to finding and implementing evidence-based public health interventions. Offered Every Term.

Prerequisites: PH 2100 with a minimum grade of C-, PH 3100 with a minimum grade of C-, PH 3200 with a minimum grade of C-, PH 3300 with a minimum grade of C-, and PH 3500 with a minimum grade of C-

Corequisite: PH 4150

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students with a class of Senior; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Public Health or Public Health Honors.

PH 4150 Public Health Practicum Cr. 2

This required course is a practice-based experience that provides a hands-on, diverse approach to learning about public health practice. Students will complete a 90-hour practicum experience in a local community organization or other public health setting. Offered Every Term.

Prerequisites: PH 2100 with a minimum grade of C-, PH 3100 with a minimum grade of C-, PH 3200 with a minimum grade of C-, PH 3300 with a minimum grade of C-, and PH 3500 with a minimum grade of C-

Corequisite: PH 4100

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students with a class of Senior; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Public Health or Public Health Honors.

PH 4250 Interprofessional Education and Public Health Cr. 4

More than 20 years ago, public health, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and dentistry professionals formed a collaborative to ensure that future professionals would be prepared to engage in a team-based approach to patient care. Today, more than 20 professional member associations have joined this effort. In this class, students will explore the unique and intertwined roles and responsibilities of health care providers; learn effective interprofessional communication strategies, ethics, and values; and learn how to establish high functioning multidisciplinary health care teams to improve patient outcomes. Offered Every Term.

Prerequisites: PH 2100 with a minimum grade of C-, PH 3100 with a minimum grade of C-, PH 3200 with a minimum grade of C-, PH 3300 with a minimum grade of C-, and PH 3500 with a minimum grade of C-

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students with a class of Senior; enrollment is limited to students with a major in Public Health or Public Health Honors.

PH 4400 Methodological Approaches in Public Health Cr. 4

This course provides students with a review of methodological approaches in public health. Students will analyze the benefits and costs of each methodological approach, and how to best apply each method in real-world settings. Students will also critically assess scientific literature in core areas of public health. The content and assignments for this course are designed to prepare students for the Capstone Course (PH 5100). Offered Every Term.

Prerequisites: PH 2100 with a minimum grade of C-, PH 3100 with a minimum grade of C-, PH 3200 with a minimum grade of C-, PH 3300 with a minimum grade of C-, and PH 3500 with a minimum grade of C-

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Public Health or Public Health Honors.

PH 4600 Special Topics in Health Disparities Cr. 3

Topics may include but are not limited to an examination of health disparities by race or ethnicity, gender, income, age, nationality, or residential location. Offered Intermittently.

Repeatable for 6 Credits

PH 4900 Directed Study in Public Health Cr. 1-3

Course requirements include directed readings and participation in public health research, under the direct supervision of a faculty member affiliated with the Department of Public Health in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Offered Every Term.

Repeatable for 3 Credits

PH 5100 Capstone Course in Public Health Cr. 4

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Writing Intensive Competency

This capstone course provides the culminating curricular experience for students enrolled in Wayne State's Public Health major. A significant part of the final course grade is based on the student's completion of an individualized capstone project. Offered Every Term.

Prerequisites: (PH 4100 with a minimum grade of C- and PH 4150 with a minimum grade of C-) or (PH 4250 with a minimum grade of C- and PH 4400 with a minimum grade of C-)

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