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Minor in Public Health

School of Science, Technology and Health


Public Health is an interdisciplinary applied science that has intersections with various academic disciplines. Biola's minor in Public Health allows students with an interest in public health-related careers, healthcare, and preventative medicine to have a foundation of public health concepts and practice of population-based preventative health.

A Public Health Minor is offered with the completion of 18 credits, 9 of which must be upper-division. A minimum of 9 credits must also be unique to the minor (not counted toward any other requirements, including minors in the same department as the major).


Below are the course requirements for this academic program. In addition to these program-specific requirements, all majors include Biola's traditional undergraduate core curriculum. For more program details, including a sample course sequence, visit Biola's academic catalog.

Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program's academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising.

Program Courses and Electives

Students must choose from the following options. View the academic catalog for specific details on requirements.

An introduction to the structure and the function of the systems of the human body. Integration and interaction of these systems in maintaining homeostasis will be a point of focus. Laboratories will provide students the opportunity to observe and interact with human anatomical structures as well as perform relevant physiological experiments. Notes: Approved for Core Curriculum Science credit. Grade Mode: A, N.
Environmental analysis and natural resources analysis in relation to society and developmental issues. Focus on ecological sustainability and sustainable society in the context of various factors that are bringing environmental degradation and impoverishment of people and cultures. Topics include tropical agriculture, hunger, poverty, international debt, appropriate technology, relief programs, missionary earthkeeping, conservation of wild nature, land tenure and land stewardship. Employs a discussion format grappling with difficult practical and ethical problems and issues that require deep and personal thought. Notes: Biola or Au Sable offering. Grade Mode: A.
Investigation of contemporary problems in environmental stewardship including the use of renewable and nonrenewable natural resources, pollution, appropriate land use and development, third world concerns, and preservation of wild nature. In addition to developing a Christian environmental ethic from a stewardship perspective, the course considers such movements and issues as deep ecology and ecofeminism, animal rights, wilderness ethics, wildlife management, biodiversity, and agro-ecology. Emphasis on considering concrete, current ethical debate. Notes: Biola or Au Sable offering. Grade Mode: A.
Introduction to the fundamentals of environmental health, with an introduction to environmental epidemiology and environmental medicine. Environmental pollutants and their sources, effects of environmental pollution on the environment and public health, environmental control agencies, methods of pollution control, environmental law and policy, environmental and public health research agencies, environmental epidemiology, environmental medicine, and environmental stewardship are included. Field trips and lab assignments complement the materials covered in lectures. Notes: Au Sable offering. Grade Mode: A.

Chemical bonding, structure, properties and reactivity applied to organic and biochemical compounds. Includes basic metabolic processes with application to medicine and health. Lecture/Lab Hours: Three hours lecture; one hour recitation; three hours laboratory, weekly. Notes: Meets the Nursing requirement in Chemistry. This course is also required for some Kinesiology and Physical Education programs. Approved for Core Curriculum Science credit. Grade Mode: A, N.

Structures and properties of biomolecular components of cells, including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleotides, nucleic acids, vitamins and coenzymes, kinetics and mechanism and regulation of enzyme action in biological systems. Notes: BIOS 111 and 113 are recommended. Grade Mode: A.

Principles of metabolic processes; mathematical treatment of bioenergetics emphasizing major concepts and problem solving. Lecture/Lab Hours: Three hours lecture. Notes: BIOS 111 and 113 are recommended. Grade Mode: A.

Key theories, models and macro concerns in development, and historic overview of the practice of relief and development. Exploration of topics such as poverty, gender, human rights, debt, nationalism and economic development, globalization, and transformational/holistic development. Provides a broad survey of development concepts, trends, and challenges.

Global Health Perspectives: Theories and skills related to health teaching, physical assessment, preparation and utilization of indigenous health care.
Exposure to various models for engagement in development projects and practice, assessment of participatory learning and action approaches, examination of the role of expatriates in community development, analysis of the complexities of community participation, exploration of the role of transformational development practitioners in sustainable economic development and community organizing. Grade Mode: A.

Overview of historically fundamental and currently relevant topics/concepts that have influenced how public health is addressed on a large scale and at the community level. Topics will be presented as addressed in a contemporary manner by public health practitioners.

This course introduces the student to the discipline of health education and health promotion. Health education comprises consciously constructed opportunities for learning involving some form of communication designed to improve health literacy, including improving knowledge, and developing life skills which are conducive to individual and community health. Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over and to improve their health. Students will examine the concepts of health and wellness, determinants of health behavior, and elements in the assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation in population-based health care.

This is an introductory course in public health and allied health fields to provide a foundation in key epidemiologic concepts. Principles and methods used to investigate the distribution, determinants, and prevention strategies for disease in human populations. The approaches of epidemiology in estimating the burden of disease; in making inferences about cause of disease; and in evaluating primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention strategies are presented.

This course describes the need for assessment and program planning in community and global health with specific emphasis on strategies/methods used. Strategies for conducting community assessments using community-based participatory approaches to identify factors affecting the health and well-being of population and community health are studied. Students examine health systems across and within countries, including the social, economic, cultural, and political forces and their influence on health outcomes. Organizations, programs, and practices are considered across health issues in a global setting.

This course examines theoretical constructs that underlie explanations for health-positive or health-destructive behaviors and programs to address these. Behavioral theory related to health education, promotion, planning, and assessment in various communities. Health disparities, current health practices, and relevant health-related research and current topics will be covered. Students will learn theory-based approaches to public health and health promotion. Critical analysis of existing models and future needs of the field is encouraged.

This course surveys the environmental factors that affect the health and safety of a human community. Topics include causal links between chemical, physical, and biological hazards in the environment and their impact on health, and the genetic, physiologic, and psycho-social factors that influence environmentally compromised health outcomes. The course integrates public health strategies with concepts of sustainability and mitigation of environmental risks.

This course focuses on building character for global health leadership and understanding the value of cultural humility. Students will learn how to be a strong leader, assess organizational dynamics in the US and other countries, and create a culture of honor for international partnerships. This course helps students integrate leadership and administration in public health within the framework of current health policy.

This course focuses on ethical theory and current ethical issues in public health and health policy, including resource allocation, the use of summary measures of health, the right to health care, and conflicts between autonomy and health promotion efforts. Student will participate in small group discussions evaluating ethical principles in current health care issues and public health policy.

This course is a survey of the delivery of health care in the United States with relevant comparisons to systems internationally. This course will discuss the historical growth and development of the U.S. health care system. Grounded in an understanding of factors determining health, a framework for understanding and assessing the health care delivery system will be reviewed including evolving challenges to the current system. Review of the American health care system will also include the roles of state and federal governments, the role of health care providers, and the potential impact of health care reform on the future of the American health care system.

This course explores qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods in public health research. Students will learn how to apply appropriate research methods in different career paths within public health. Research projects will allow students to focus on their methodological approach within an area of interest, such as a career as a public health specialist, surveillance coordinator, outbreak investigator, health education specialist, program designer, field epidemiologist, and more. Research methods and theory are brought to life as students apply their knowledge and gain the experience needed to prepare them for successful careers in public health.

This course discusses current public health issues and research topics relating to 21st-century challenges and threats, lessons learned, and best practices to strengthen public health systems and enhance public health readiness and preparedness.

This course highlights the complex interactions between global health, law and human rights, emphasizing the use of human rights in public health thinking and practice

This course addresses global communicable infectious diseases and their biology, epidemiology, environmental risk factors and control efforts. The course emphasizes the detection, spread, control, and prevention of infectious disease in tropical and developing countries. This is essential training for practitioners of global public health. Using the framework of the Millennium Development Goals, and their successors, the Sustainable Development Goals, the class will explore the prevalence, burden and prevention of HIV, TB and malaria. The course will also cover successful, completed, and ongoing infectious disease eradication campaigns, and discuss why these are necessary to promote and ensure global health equity.

This course focuses on current health issues that are affecting various populations and demographics in the United States and around the world. More specifically, students will examine the public health issues of the past, present, and future and observe how these issues have shaped the practice of epidemiology. Students will also use an ethical decision making model to critic epidemiological studies involving human participants.

This course explores the impact of these measures on the design, conduct, and analysis of epidemiologic studies by examining applications of molecular tools. Students learn theoretical concepts in molecular epidemiology and the use of biomarkers in epidemiologic studies. Class topics include basics of molecular epidemiology, potential uses and limitations of biomarkers, sample collection and storage, issues in epidemiologic study design and analysis, and discussion of specific research examples involving molecular markers. We also discuss the ethical issues arising from the use of advanced molecular tools in medicine and epidemiology.

This course reviews the epidemiology and available methods of prevention for a series of prominent noninfectious diseases. In the first part of the course, chronic disease such as coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension and a general discussion of cancer are discussed. Students present material on a variety of other diseases of their choosing in subsequent sessions.

This course is an intensive introduction to public health emergency preparedness and response and covers a number of topics, including the role of public health in disasters; intentional mass threats; emergency operations planning and exercises; and infectious disease emergency readiness.

This course is an introduction to cancer epidemiology, highlighting current statistics (in incidence, mortality, and survival) and cancer risk factors (including host and environmental factors). Strategies for cancer prevention and control in the general population and within disproportionately affected populations will also be presented. Additionally, this course will encourage critical thinking about these concepts, covering the use of biomarkers and some controversies on cancer epidemiology research. Students will increase their knowledge of cancer epidemiology and obtain skills needed to interpret and critique research studies in the field of cancer epidemiology.

This course covers an analysis of the government institutions and processes that affect health policy in the American context. The course has two primary goals: (1) to explore how the institutional arrangements of American government work with respect to the development of health policy; and (2) to review several health-policy case studies and identify lessons from them. The course explores fundamental challenges that face all health policymakers—whatever country or its level of economic development—and the array of policy instruments that can be deployed to address them.

Study of topics related to kinesiology in areas such as exercise science and allied health care. Notes: May be taken more than once with a different topic.

Supervised, professional fieldwork in a community-based health context. Areas covered may include medicine, clinical, bench, or applied research, health care, health promotion, health education, health administration, global health, health policy, health advocacy, health research, epidemiology, community and environmental health, pharmacology, toxicology, governmental or non-governmental agency work, pastoral, missionary and/or church health, or similar areas. Grade Mode: C.

Prepares the student for biostatistical application essential to practice in evidence-based professions. Content includes: descriptive statistics; probability theory and rules; discrete and continuous probability distributions; sampling distributions; confidence intervals; hypothesis testing; experimental design; ANOVA; linear and multiple regression; contingency table analysis; non-parametrics; survival analysis; discussion of the use of statistics in journal articles. Notes: Approved for Core Curriculum Math credit. Credit given for only one of 210 and 318. Grade Mode: A.
Integration of nursing knowledge, reasoning and skill in community-based promotion of population well-being. Grade Mode: A.
Clinical application of NURS 461 theory, reasoning and skill in various community settings. Notes: Must earn at least a "C" (2.0) for credit. Grade Mode: C, N.
Total Program Credits
Every program at Biola University features rigorous academics, biblically integrated curriculum and vocational preparation.
Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Additional accreditations may apply to specific programs.

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