Public Health


Public Health focuses on improving and protecting the health of populations (e.g., families, communities, regions, nations, and globally) through research and the development of tailored interventions and programs. The Public Health major prepares students for a wide range of professional positions and offers a solid foundation to pursue an advanced degree. Students will be grounded in a multidisciplinary approach to public health practice, health policy, health economics, health administration, education, and advocacy. The program provides a framework for students to conduct research, analyze data, apply classroom learning, and develop and implement interventions to improve overall health and disease prevention for diverse populations.

Program Goals

The Public Health degree at University of Michigan-Dearborn is designed to educate students with regard to population- and health-based principles of public health. The goals of the undergraduate program in public health are to provide knowledge and skills needed to preserve, protect, and promote health.

Learning Outcomes

Public health professionals work to prevent disease, improve health outcomes, and eliminate health disparities between groups and populations.  A wide range of professional competencies and skills are required in this field including:  

  • Problem solving: Identify and respond quickly to public health challenges.

  • Components of the health system: Understand how policy, behavior, the environment, and other influences converge to affect public health.

  • Leadership: Learn outreach and advocacy skills.

  • Management and teamwork: Gain organizational and team-building skills that facilitate cross-sector collaboration and change management.

  • Global health: Become aware of the “cultural and geopolitical sensitivities” and global power dynamics.

  • Policy: Understand the policy process so that professionals can advocate for change.

  • Analytic methods: Know scientific and quantitative approaches so that students can analyze and integrate data from multiple sources.

  • Technology and information: Use information technology effectively.

  • Budgeting and finance: Learn basic skills for making decisions that involve budgetary and financial concerns.

  • Communications – Write and speak effectively to reach multiple audiences.

The Public Health major includes 42 credit hours of core courses, 46 credit hours in major courses, 12 elective credits chosen from a select group of courses, plus 20 credit hours more broadly selected.  Students should also refer to the Dearborn Discovery Core requirements to ensure that those are met.

A minor in Public Health may be obtained by taking 18 credit hours from core and elective offerings.  Please see the minor tab for more information.

Dearborn Discovery Core Requirement

The minimum passing grade for a Dearborn Discovery Core (DDC) course is 2.0. The minimum GPA for the program is 2.0. In addition, the DDC permits any approved course to satisfy up to three credit hours within three different categories. Please see the General Education Program: The Dearborn Discovery Core section for additional information.

Foundational Studies

Written and Oral Communication (GEWO) – 6 Credits

Upper Level Writing Intensive (GEWI) – 3 Credits

Quantitative Thinking and Problem Solving (GEQT) – 3 Credits

Critical and Creative Thinking (GECC) – 3 Credits

Areas of Inquiry

Natural Science (GENS) – 7 Credits

  • Lecture/Lab Science Course

  • Additional Science Course

Social and Behavioral Analysis (GESB) – 9 Credits

Humanities and the Arts (GEHA) – 6 Credits

Intersections (GEIN) – 6 Credits


Capstone (GECE) – 3 Credits

Public Health Core Courses

BIOL 103Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIOL 105Anatomy and Physiology IIA4
CHE 101Intro to Health Education3
CHE 201Medical Terminology3
COMP 105Writing & Rhetoric I3
COMP 106Writing & Rhetoric II3
ECON 201Prin: Macroeconomics3
HHS 200Introduction to Public Health3
MATH 104College Algebra4
PHIL 200The Human Condition3
Critical Thinking
PSYC 101Introduction to Psychology3
SOC 200Understanding Society3
Contemporary Social Problems
SWK 200Intro to Social Work3
Total Credit Hours42

Public Health Major Courses

ANTH 415Nutrition and Health3
ANTH 430Medical Anthropology3
HHS 202Mental Health Terminology3
HHS 250Intro to Environmental Health3
HHS 350Comm Organizing for Health3
HHS 370Medicine and Addiction I3
HHS 402Public Health Internship3
HHS 405Population Health3
HHS 406Program Evaluation3
HPS 410Quantitative Research4
HPS 412Principles of Epidemiology3
HPS 430Health Behavior & Health Educ3
HPS 442Medical Ethics3
PSYC 446Human Sexual Behavior3
STAT 301Biostatistics I3
Total Credit Hours46

Group A Elective Courses (Choose 12 credit hours)

CHE 401CHE Methods3
EDC 439Child Maltreatment and Trauma3
EDF 450Hlth, Nutr, & PE/Clsrm Tchrs2
EDN 420Intro to Emotional Impairments3
ENST 300Urban Geography3
HHS 371Medicine and Addiction II3
HHS 480Arab American Health3
HPS 440Medical Sociology3
PSYC 440Abnormal Psychology3
PSYC 455Health Psychology3
SOC 350Poverty and Inequality3
SOC 403Minority Groups3
SWK 300Theories and Practices3
SWK 302Family Preservation3
SWK 305Case Management for Change3
SWK 310Social Services in Detroit3
Total Credit Hours12


Group B Elective Courses (Choose 20 credit hours)

Students also choose 20 elective credits to build breadth and depth of expertise within their own special interests.  Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisors to select these courses. Individualized tracks have emphasized courses in medical social work, public health, urban planning, and organizational behavior, among others.


A minor in public health is a highly valued complement to degrees in the natural sciences (e.g., biology and chemistry), behavioral sciences (e.g., psychology and sociology), and for students interested in multidisciplinary approaches to solving contemporary problems (e.g., urban planning, environmental justice, law and criminal justice, women and gender studies).  Students must complete at least 18-credits of core and elective courses to receive the minor in public health.

Public Health Minor Core Courses (6 credit hours)

All students must complete HS 200.  Students must select three additional credits from the list of core courses below.

HHS 200Introduction to Public Health3
CHE 101Intro to Health Education3
SOC 200Understanding Society3
ECON 202Prin: Microeconomics3
ANTH 101Introduction to Anthropology3
PSYC 101Introduction to Psychology3
Total Credit Hours6

Public Health Minor Elective Courses (12 credit hours)

HPS 401Health Pol Studies Internship3-6
Internship CHE
HPS 410Quantitative Research4
Prin of Stat and Exper Design
HPS 412Principles of Epidemiology3
HPS 430Health Behavior & Health Educ3
HPS 440Medical Sociology3
Medical Sociology
SOC 304Studies in Det.Hist. & Culture3
HHS 350Comm Organizing for Health3
ANTH 409Human Body, Growth & Health3
ANTH 415Nutrition and Health3
ANTH 430Medical Anthropology3
EDF 450Hlth, Nutr, & PE/Clsrm Tchrs2
PSYC 455Health Psychology3
ENST 300Urban Geography3
ENST 326Anth of Health and Environment3
HPS 442Medical Ethics3
Medical Ethics
Total Credit Hours12