Public Health
Offered by the Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology departments.

The majors and minor in public health enables students to be effective change agents in our world by preparing them with the methodological and disciplinary focus that they will need to understand the social experience of disease and effect changes in population health. Both the major and minor prepare students professional graduate study in the fields of Public Health, Health focused Public Policy, Medical Anthropology and Sociology, Medical Humanities and related fields.

The Public Health Major draws from courses that provide students a background in qualitative and quantitative data analysis, emphasize the structural vulnerabilities to disease of domestic and global marginalized communities, and engage students in the application of knowledge in real-world contexts through research, internships and practicums.

As a liberal arts program, the Public Health Major engages students in developing a broad interdisciplinary palate that is grounded in the specific disciplinary traditions of three social sciences: Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology.

The health of the people is really the foundation upon which all their happiness and all their powers as a state depend. — Benjamin Disraeli

Public Health Major students across the three departments (Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology) take a core set of courses in common:

1. Introduction to Public Health,
2. a Public Health elective course,
3. Introductory Statistics (MATH 141/PSY 141/ SOC 141),
4. Medical Ethics,
5. a Biology course (BIO 105/BIO 111/BIO 112/BIO 201/BIO 211/BIO 221/BIO 244),
6. a Practicum course (PSY 334 or SOC 345)

AND receive the key disciplinary courses in their home discipline (Anthropology, Psychology or Sociology):

7. a discipline specific introductory course,
8. a discipline specific methods course,
9. a discipline specific theory course,
10. a discipline specific capstone course, and
11. – 13. three discipline specific electives defined as appropriate in each major.

Anthropology and Public Health Major

Anthropology and Public Health Major Worksheet

Required Courses

ANTH 102 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

PH 101 Introduction to Public Health

ANTH 301 Seminar in Anthropological Theory
This course must be taken prior to senior year, and is offered in the Spring of each year. There are very few study abroad courses that serve as an equivalent. If you plan to be abroad during the Spring semester of your Junior year, you must take this course in the Spring of your Sophomore year unless your study abroad program offers an approved equivalent.

ANTH 302 Research Methods
This course must be taken prior to senior year, and is offered in the Fall of each year. Some study abroad programs may offer a course that would fulfill this requirement, though it is highly desirable that you take this course at Wheaton. Consult your advisor if you plan to be abroad during your junior year in the Fall semester.

ANTH 401 Senior Seminar

ANTH 265 Medical Anthropology

One specific world culture area course in anthropology from the following list:
ANTH 225 Peoples and Cultures of Africa
ANTH 235 Peoples and Cultures of Latin America
ANTH 245 Indigenous Movements of Latin America
ANTH 255 Women in Africa
ANTH 275 Peoples and Cultures of the Himalaya
ANTH 295 Peoples and Cultures of South Asia
Or an approved course in a study abroad program.

One of the following courses
PHIL 111 Ethics
PHIL 242 Medical Ethics (preferred)

One of the following courses
MATH 141 Introductory Statistics
PSY 141 Statistics for Social Sciences
SOC 141 Statistics for Social Sciences
SOC 272 Analyzing Social Trends

PSY334 Practicum in Human Services & Public Health

One of the following courses
BIO 105 Nutrition
BIO 111 Evolution and Ecology
BIO 112 Cells and Genes
BIO 201 Environmental Science
BIO 211 Genetics
BIO 221 Microbiology
BIO 244 Physiology

One of the following courses
ANTH 270 Psychological Anthropology
ECON 112 Microeconomics with BioPharma Applications
ECON 262 Health Economics
MGMT111 Fundamental of Business
MGMT 298 Applied Health Science
PSY 203 Child Development (Developmental Psychology)
PSY 225 Brain, Mind and Behavior
PSY 227 Drugs and Behavior
PSY 235 Human Sexuality
PSY 265 Health Psychology
PSY 369 Clinical Psychology
SOC 225 Health and Medicine
SOC/ANTH/WGS 311 Violence against Women

One other anthropology course at the 300-level in addition to ANTH 301 and ANTH 302: This course cannot be used towards other major requirements.

For more information about the Anthropology and Public Health major contact Professor Bruce Owens.

Psychology and Public Health Major

Psychology and Public Health major worksheet

Required Courses

PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology1

PH 101 Introduction to Public Health

PSY 202 Quantitative Research Methods

PSY 265 Health Psychology

One of the following courses
ANTH 265 Medical Anthropology
ECON 262 Health Economics
SOC 225 Health and Medicine

One of the following courses
MATH 141 Introductory Statistics
PSY 141 Statistics for Social Sciences
SOC 141 Statistics for Social Sciences

One of the following courses
PHIL 111 Ethics
PHIL 242 Medical Ethics (preferred)

One of the following courses
BIO 105 Nutrition
BIO 111 Evolution and Ecology
BIO 112 Cells and Genes
BIO 201 Environmental Science
BIO 211 Genetics
BIO 221 Microbiology
BIO 244 Physiology

One of the following courses
PSY 232 Social Psychology
PSY 251 Multicultural Psychology
PSY 290 Psychology of Women

One of the following courses
ANTH 265 Medical Anthropology2
ANTH 270 Psychological Anthropology
ECON 112 Microeconomics with BioPharma Applications
ECON 262 Health Economics2
MGMT111 Fundamental of Business
MGMT 298 Applied Health Science
PSY 203 Child Development (Developmental Psychology)
PSY 225 Brain, Mind and Behavior
PSY 227 Drugs and Behavior
PSY 235 Human Sexuality
PSY 369 Clinical Psychology
SOC 225 Health and Medicine2
SOC/ANTH/WGS 311 Violence against Women

PSY334 Practicum in Human Services & Public Health

One of the following courses
PSY 340 Laboratory in Social Psychology
PSY 341 Laboratory in Behavioral Neuroscience
PSY 343 Laboratory in Cognitive Psychology
PSY 344 Laboratory in Qualitative Psychology
PSY 345 Laboratory in Child Development
PSY348 Laboratory in Animal Communication & Cognition

PSY 400 Senior Seminar
Fall semester, senior year; substitutions may be considered on a case by case basis.

(1) Or a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Psychology Exam.
(2) Course may only be used if not previously taken to fulfill requirement #4.

For more information about the Psychology and Public Health major contact Professor Michael Berg.

Sociology and Public Health Major

Sociology ad Public Health major worksheet

Required Courses

One of the following courses
SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
SOC 190 Self and Society

PH 101 Introduction to Public Health

SOC 201 Sociological Theory

SOC 202 Research Methods in Sociology

One of the following courses
MATH 141 Introductory Statistics
PSY 141 Statistics for Social Sciences
SOC 141 Statistics for Social Sciences
SOC 272 Analyzing Social Trends

SOC 402/403 Senior Capstone Seminar

SOC 225 Sociology of Health and Medicine

One of the following courses
ANTH 265 Medical Anthropology
ECON 262 Health Economics
PSY 265 Health Psychology

One of the following courses
PHIL 111 Ethics
PHIL 242 Medical Ethics (preferred)

One of the following courses
BIO 105 Nutrition
BIO 111 Evolution and Ecology
BIO 112 Cells and Genes
BIO 201 Environmental Science
BIO 211 Genetics
BIO 221 Microbiology
BIO 244 Physiology

One of the following courses
PSY 334 Practicum in Human Services and Public Health
SOC 345 How Organizations

One additional 200-level Sociology course

One additional 300-level Sociology course

For more information about the Sociology and Public Health major contact Professor Karen McCormack.

The public health minor prepares students to pursue careers or graduate study in public health through a solid grounding in the liberal arts, combined with experiential learning.

Public health students select a major in a field of their interest and then build a series of courses that address the key aspects of public health. Throughout, students consult with the public health coordinator in order to gain both broad perspectives and information-gathering skills.

Public Health Minor Requirements

Public Health minor worksheet

The minor in public health consists of minimum six courses.

One of the following courses
ANTH 265 Medical Anthropology
ECON 262 Health Economics
PH 101 Introduction to Public Health
PSY 265 Health Psychology
SOC 225 Health and Medicine

One of the following courses
PHIL 111 Ethics
PHIL 242 Medical Ethics

Three of the following courses
ANTH 102 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 210 Feast or Famine: The Ecology and Politics of Food
ANTH 215 Tanzania: Education and Development
*ANTH 265 Medical Anthropology
ANTH 270 Psychological Anthropology
ANTH 311 Violence against Women
BIO 101 An Introduction to Biology
BIO 105 Nutrition
or BIO 112 Cells and Genes
ECON 112 Microeconomics with BioPharma Applications
*ECON 262 Health Economics
MGMT 298 Applied Health Science
*PH 101 Introduction to Public Health
PSY 203 Child Development
PSY 225 Brain, Mind and Behavior
PSY 227 Drugs and Behavior
PSY 235 Human Sexuality
*PSY 265 Health Psychology
PSY 369 Clinical Psychology
*SOC 225 Health and Medicine
SOC 311 Violence against Women

*If course is not used above.

Appropriate substitutions will be considered.

One of the following courses with practicum position related to public health which must be approved by a minor advisor.
PSY 334 Practicum in Human Services and Public Health
SOC 345 How Organizations Work: Internship

Note: A public health-related internship, independent research experience, or other experiential learning opportunity can substitute for PSY 334 or SOC 345 if the experience is taken for 300-level credit or at least one of the six courses applied to the minor was taken at the 300-level.

Public Health Science Minor Requirements

Public Health Science minor worksheet

The minor in public health science consists of minimum six courses.

One of the following courses
ANTH 265 Medical Anthropology
ECON 262 Health Economics
PH 101 Introduction to Public Health
PSY 265 Health Psychology
SOC 225 Health and Medicine

One of the following courses
PHIL 111 Ethics
PHIL 242 Medical Ethics (highly recommended)

One of the following courses
BIO 101 An Introduction to Biology
BIO 112 Cells and Genes

Two of the following courses
BIO 105 Nutrition
BIO 201 Environmental Science
BIO 211 Genetics
BIO 221 Microbiology
BIO 252 Parasitology and Symbiosis
MGMT 298 Applied Health Science

One 300-level public health science-based practicum in consultation with a minor advisor.

  • Public Health

    PH 101 – Introduction to Public Health

    This introductory course will explore some of the many aspects of the US and world public health systems and their role in our society. Contemporary issues will then be discussed (e.g., Obesity, Smoking, Socioeconomic Disparities, Insurance, Mental Health, Gun Violence) using specific examples from current events. Students will be expected to evaluate these issues through a public health lens, including potential interventions to address the issue, and their political, social, and economic implications.

  • Public Health

    PH 198 – Experimental Course

    From time to time, departments design a new course to be offered either on a one-time basis or an experimental basis before deciding whether to make it a regular part of the curriculum. Refer to the course schedule for current listings.

  • Public Health

    PH 199 – Independent Study

    An opportunity to do independent work in a particular area not included in the regular courses.

  • Public Health

    PH 298 – Experimental Course

    From time to time, departments design a new course to be offered either on a one-time basis or an experimental basis before deciding whether to make it a regular part of the curriculum. Refer to the course schedule for current listings.

  • Public Health

    PH 299 – Independent Study

    An opportunity to do independent work in a particular area not included in the regular courses.

  • Public Health

    PH 398 – Experimental Course

    From time to time, departments design a new course to be offered either on a one-time basis or an experimental basis before deciding whether to make it a regular part of the curriculum. Refer to the course schedule for current listings.

  • Public Health

    PH 399 – Independent Study

    An opportunity to do independent work in a particular area not included in the regular courses.

  • Public Health

    PH 500 – Individual Research

    Selected majors are invited by the department to pursue individual research in preparation for writing an Honors Thesis.

Michael Berg

Professor of Psychology; Chair, Psychology Department; Co-Coordinator, Public Health Program

M. Teresa Celada

Associate Professor of Philosophy

Phoebe Chan

Associate Professor of Economics

Donna O. Kerner

Professor of Anthropology; William Isaac Cole Professor of Anthropology

Katherine Mason

Assistant Professor of Sociology/Women and Gender Studies

Robert L. Morris

Professor of Biology; William & Elsie Prentice Professorship (2015-2020)

M. Gabriela Torres

Professor and Chair of Anthropology; Co-Coordinator, Public Health Program