Public health can be defined as an approach to promote health, prevent disease, prolong life and improve quality of life through organized efforts of society. Focusing on the health and wellbeing of populations, public health complements medicine’s concern for individuals with diseases. Through activities ranging from basic research, to frontline efforts such as vaccination programs, promotion of healthy lifestyles and environments, disease control, and leadership on health policy formation, public health issues and outcomes touch the lives of people throughout the world. Public health is an interdisciplinary field drawing on the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities. One of the most important themes in public health is the disparities in health observed in different groups, for example related to economic resources and race/ethnicity, which is a focus in this curriculum.
The minor degree in Public Health provides students with basic training and expertise in core areas of the field. It is an ideal supplement for students majoring in other fields who seek to broaden their knowledge and experience with population-level challenges to health and well-being.