After going through the COVID-19 pandemic, a major historical event, it seems impossible to ignore the importance of public health on our lives, in the past, present, and the future. Students who are interested in going into public health practice, policy, community health and non-profit work, or who want to pursue clinical practice that is informed by a deep understanding of the social determinants of health are invited to explore this concentration. At Penn, students who are interested in a career in public health have a unique opportunity to submatriculate into the MPH program in Perelman Medical School where you can fast-track your master's by earning credits towards your graduate degree while you are still finishing your BA. Students interested in this process should reachout to Moriah Hall for more information. 

The following list of pre-approved courses is intended to inspire, not to require.  This list suggests some of the courses which have been used in the past for the concentration and which can  individualize the concentration around a student's interests and goals.

Concentration Rules

  • Core courses may not be replaced by a petitioned course
  • Relevant courses may be petitioned
  • Up to three non-College courses* are permitted 
  • Courses not used for the core course may be used as topical electives where suitable

Core Course (1 cu required)

HSOC 1401: The People's Health
HSOC 1411: American Health Policy
HSOC 2511: Foundations of Public Health
PUBH 5000: Public Health*
PUBH 5040: Public Health Theories and Frameworks*
URBS 2010: Urban Health Systems

Topical Elective Courses (5 cu)

ANTH 2730: Global Health: Anthropological Perspectives (HSOC 2382)
ANTH 2332: Medicine and the Language of Pain
ANTH 2590: Nutritional Anthropology
BIOE 5750: Healthcare Reform and the Future of American Healthcare System (HCMG 2500)*
HCMG 1010: Health Care Systems*
HCMG 2040: Comparative Heathcare Systems*
HSOC 1330: Bioethics
HSOC 2202: Health of Populations (SOCI 2220)
HSOC 2433: Sustainability and Public Health
HSOC 2537: Gender and Health
HSOC 2303: Fundamentals of Epidemiology
HSOC 2304: Insect Epidemiology: Pests, Pollinators, and Disease and Vectors (STSC 2304)
HSOC 2526: Complementary and Alternative Medicine
HSOC 2401: Social Determinants of Health
HSOC 2514: Environments and Public Health
HSOC 3210: Health in Philly, Past and Present
HSOC 3313: Reproductive Medicine
HSOC 3488: Current Issues in Global Health
HSOC 3524: Medical Mestizaje: Health and Development in Contemporary Latin America (LALS 3524)
HSOC 3528: Public Health and Violence
HSOC 3803: Bodies and Borders: Health, Place and Displacement
NURS 3130: Obesity and Society*
NURS 3240: U.S. Child Health 1800-2000*
NURS 3330: Theoretical Foundations of Healthcare Ethics 
PSCI 1173: Comparative Health Politics
PSCI 4170: Comparative Politics of the Welfare State
SOCI 0002: Social inequality and health
SOCI 1040: Population and Society
SOCI 1111: Mental Illness (HSOC 1312)
SOCI 2420: Social Problems and Public Policy
SOCI 2450: Poverty, Race and Health (URBS 2450)
SOCI 2460: Social Inequality and Health 
SOCI 2917: Bioethics
STSC 1880: Environment and Society
URBS 2850: Health on the Urban Margins: The Experience of Health in American Cities
URBS 2900: Metropolitan Nature

Two of these courses may be used for the concentration

ENVS 1615: Urb Env: Lead In W Phila
ENVS 1625: Comm Based Envir Health         
ENVS 1635: Prevention Of Tobacco
ENVS 1645: Urban Asthma Epidemic

One of these may be used as an elective

BIOL 2510: Statistics for Biologists
STAT 1110: Intro Stat 

*Non-College Course

Updated 06/08/2023