2024-2025 Catalog 
    Jun 15, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog

Public Health Major

Professors DiLillo, Fink, Quaye
Associate Professors Dailey, Hildebrand, Nix


The field of public health is an important part of the empowerment of individuals, communities, and governments to improve health and manage disease. The focus of public health is on the prevention of ill-health in the future as well as understanding the spread and incidence of disease across populations. People trained in the field of public health are critical to keeping communities healthy, preventing and managing pandemics, working toward social justice, managing disaster relief, and increasing access to health care for all. The OWU Public Health major will train students to understand and work in the promotion of health and the prevention of disease. The field of public health draws from many disciplines to inform research, develop action plans, and evaluate intervention programs. A degree in public health will give students a foundation in the profession in a range of public health settings, and transferable skills for careers in public policy, health professions, social science, law, private industry, non-profit institutions, education, and government.

Goals & Objectives

Objectives Threaded Throughout the Program

  • Students will view health “less as an abstract state and more as a means to an end which can be expressed in functional terms as a resource which permits people to lead an individually, socially, and economically productive life, not an object of living.” (WHO, 1986)
  • Students will develop a social ecological perspective on individual and collective health and well-being.
  • Students will adopt a Global Health perspective throughout the program, focusing on health determinants, definitions, precursors, and challenges around the world.
  • Students will develop competency in diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts and practices as they relate to public health challenges and opportunities and will be able to serve as a resource for their community, workplace, and society as a whole.
  • Students will gain exposure to the history of public health, landmark studies in the field, and the ethics of public health practice.

Course-Related Learning Objectives

  • Students will learn how to identify and address health inequities.
  • Students will have the opportunity to explore a range of perspectives in:
    • Structural and systemic influences of health, including the influence of regulatory bodies and policies on public health outcomes.
    • Social determinants of health.
    • How to conduct needs assessment and assess community capacities to promote health with a particular focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
    • The physiology of human disease and opportunities for addressing risks throughout the lifespan.
  • Students will be able to discuss and describe how to use epidemiological methods to explore major public health concerns, disparities, and underlying causes.
  • Students will learn to leverage resources/collaboration to solve health-related problems.
  • Students will gain experience in the field with mentoring and collaborative, reflective work.

Number of required units: 12

Major Requirements

Core (7 units)*

Community Health & Health Behavior (2 units)

Supporting Coursework (1 unit)

One additional unit of supporting coursework** aligned with the student’s interests, and approved by the director of the Public Health program.


* No more than 5.25 units of credit from this major can overlap with any other major.

**If this course is taken as a core “Perspectives” course, it cannot count as a Supporting Course elective.