Family Medicine and Public Health

[ graduate program | courses ]

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

The Department of Family Medicine and Public Health’s mission is to improve health through both clinical care and research. Studies undertaken by departmental members focus on behavioral and clinical research, clinical care, education, and epidemiology. The department has a significant education mission and hosts both an undergraduate degree and a doctoral degree in public health, as well as a doctoral degree program in biostatistics. It has a major role in teaching in the School of Medicine curriculum and hosts four separate medical residencies in Family Medicine, Family Medicine-Psychiatry, and Preventive Medicine. In addition, the department hosts the self-funding master of advanced studies (MAS) in Leadership of Healthcare Organizations.

The Undergraduate Program in Public Health

The Student Affairs Office of the Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) Program is located in University Center 202, suite 400. The entrance is on the south side of the building, adjacent to Gilman Drive. You can find us on the UC San Diego campus map.

The BSPH Program website is http://bsph.ucsd.edu/.

Introduction

Public health seeks to improve human health through the development and application of scientific knowledge that helps prevent disease, protects the public from exposure to potential harm, and promotes health throughout communities at the local, national, and global levels.

The Department of Family Medicine and Public Health offers a bachelor of science in public health (BSPH) with courses in epidemiology, biostatistics, social and behavioral sciences, environmental and occupational health sciences, and health policy. The epidemiology and biostatistics areas offer courses on the determinants and distribution of disease at the population level with a focus on analyzing and interpreting public health data using statistical methods. The social and behavioral sciences area offers courses for students interested in how behaviors influence disease. The environmental and occupational health sciences area offers courses on the study of environmental and occupational factors, including biological, physical, and chemical factors that affect the health of a workforce and the community. The health policy area emphasizes the structure, process, and outcomes of health services and policies that are commonly used to motivate people to healthier lifestyles.

Entry to the Major

Public health is a capped major. To prepare students for success in upper-division courses, the faculty of the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health have determined that students who want to declare a major in public health must first meet the criterion outlined below:

Students must use the Major/Minor tool on TritonLink to request entrance to the major in public health. Students will receive approval to declare the major only after the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health has completed the review process to ensure the above criterion has been met. All students who earn a B or higher in FMPH 40 will be accepted into the major.

For additional details about entrance to the major in public health, see the program’s website.

Lower-Division Requirements (32 or 33 units)

Public Health Sciences (two courses, eight units)

Biology (three courses, twelve units)

Option 1 is recommended for students going into traditional health professions (medical school, physician assistant school, nursing), epidemiology, or other fields that value a hard science background.

Quantitative Methods (one course, four or five units)

Option 1 is recommended for students going into epidemiology, biostatistics, or other fields that value statistics and data analysis.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Electives (two courses, eight units)

Upper-Division Requirements (fifty-two units)

Core Disciplines (six courses, twenty-four units)

Upper-Division Electives (five courses, twenty units)

A minimum of one course from the following: 

Four additional courses from either those listed above or those listed below:

Capstone Experience (two courses, eight units)

Note: Students may petition to use FMPH 199, AIP 197, UCDC/UCCS, or a study abroad experience in place of FMPH 193 (must be an upper-division four-unit course, taken in the junior or senior year, and have been preapproved by the department).

Students accepted into the Advanced Practicum may use FMPH 180A as one upper-division public health elective, and FMPH 180B and FMPH 180C to satisfy the entire capstone experience area requirement (in place of FMPH 193 and FMPH 194).

Students accepted into the Public Health Honors Program may use FMPH 196A as one upper-division public health elective, and FMPH 196B and FMPH 196C to satisfy the entire capstone experience area requirement (in place of FMPH 193 and FMPH 194).

Additional Requirements

Sample Four-Year Plan

(Option 1 Biology—Premed Track)

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

Year 1

 

SBE

SBE

MATH 11

BILD 3

BILD 1

CHEM 6C

CHEM 6A*

CHEM 6B*

CHEM 7L*

MATH 10A*

MATH 19B*

MATH 10C*

Year 2

 

FMPH 40

FMPH 50

BILD 2

PHYS 1A*

PHYS 1B*

PHYS 1C*

PHYS 1AL*

PHYS 1BL*

PHYS 1CL*

CHEM 140A*

CHEM 140B*

CHEM 140C*

Year 3

 

FMPH 101

FMPH 102

FMPH 120

BILD 4*

FMPH 110

UDE

CHEM 143A*

BIBC 100 or 102*

UD BIOLOGY LAB*

Year 4

 

FMPH 130

FMPH 193

FMPH 194

UDE

USP 143

UDE

UDE

UDE

 

Note:

(Please check with Career Services premed advisers for more information regarding requirements.)

(Option 2 Biology)

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

Year 1

 

SBE

SBE

COGS 14B/PSYC 60

 

BILD 3

BILD

Year 2

 

FMPH 40

FMPH 50

BILD

Year 3

 

FMPH 101

FMPH 102

FMPH 120

UDE

FMPH 110

UDE

Year 4

 

FMPH 130

FMPH 193

FMPH 194

UDE

USP 143

UDE

UDE

 

 

Note:

Public Health Honors Program

Students are encouraged to participate in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Honors Program. The Public Health Honors Program includes a three-quarter course sequence that students complete in their senior year (FMPH 196A, FMPH 196B, FMPH 196C). Admission is granted by application at the end of the winter quarter of the student’s junior year. To be considered, all applicants must have completed FMPH 40, FMPH 50, FMPH 101 or FMPH 102, and FMPH 110 prior to the start of the program.

The BSPH Honors Program provides students with a yearlong, intensive, applied public health culminating experience. Through a mix of course work and experiential learning opportunities, students will work to apply public health principles to real-world settings. Students will work closely with faculty, other BSPH students, and Honors practicum sites in the planning, implementing, evaluation, and/or dissemination of public health programs and research on pressing public health topics.

Students will have opportunities to integrate, synthesize, and apply knowledge through cumulative and experiential activities. All students will complete a cumulative, integrative, and scholarly or applied experience or inquiry project that serves as a capstone to their undergraduate educational experience. In addition, students gain exposure to local-level public health professionals and/or agencies that engage in public health practice.

Through the BSPH Honors Program, students will learn professionalism in the workplace; how to conduct program planning and evaluation; how to develop proposals regarding research, program planning, or evaluation; critical thinking skills; and how to communicate effectively to diverse audiences.

Successful completion of the Public Health Honors Program requires a minimum grade of B in FMPH 196A, FMPH 196B, and FMPH 196C, and a minimum GPA of 3.25 in the upper-division courses taken for the major to earn Distinction in the Major. Students who earn a grade of B or higher in FMPH 196A, FMPH 196B, and FMPH 196C, and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the upper-division courses taken for the major will earn High Distinction in the Major. Students who earn a grade of B or higher in FMPH 196A, FMPH 196B, and FMPH 196C, and a minimum GPA of 3.75 in the upper-division courses taken for the major will earn Highest Distinction in the Major.

Student Learning Outcomes

On completion of the BSPH Honors Program, students should be able to

  1. Conduct literature reviews and critically assess evidence.
  2. Develop sound research or evaluation questions using qualitative and/or quantitative research methods, including the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data.
  3. Identify the magnitude and determinants of health problems and possible facilitators and barriers to their solution.
  4. Describe the key steps in designing and implementing a new public health intervention or in evaluating an existing program or intervention.
  5. Propose interventions that acknowledge and address the determinants of health, are based upon empirical evidence, and accommodate scientific and practical considerations.
  6. Evaluate ethical issues in public health and apply public health values and standards to public health applications.
  7. Develop communication strategies and demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills for professional and general audiences.
  8. Demonstrate ability to work effectively with others, including in research teams, at practicum sites, and in community-diverse contexts.

Description of Upper-Division Areas

The upper-division areas listed below are intended to guide students to course options that align with their goals and interests. Students can take courses from any of the areas below to fulfill the major’s upper-division elective requirement.

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Overview

Epidemiology is the core discipline of public health and is the study of the distribution and determinants of disease, disabilities, and death in human populations; the characteristics and dynamics of human populations; and the natural history of disease and the biologic basis of health. Closely linked to epidemiology is biostatistics, which is the development and application of statistical reasoning and methods in addressing, analyzing, and solving problems in public health, health care, and biomedical, clinical, and population-based research. Upon graduation, a student with a BSPH should be able to

  1. Explain the importance of epidemiology for informing scientific, ethical, economic, and political discussion of health issues.
  2. Define the basic concepts and terminology used in epidemiology.
  3. Calculate basic epidemiology measures.
  4. Describe the leading causes of mortality, morbidity, and health disparities among local, regional, and global populations.
  5. Describe the risk factors and modes of transmission for infectious and chronic diseases and explain how these diseases affect both personal and population health.
  6. Apply epidemiology measures to evaluate strategies to safeguard the population’s health

Biostatistics is the development and application of statistical reasoning and methods in addressing, analyzing, and solving problems in public health; health care; and biomedical, clinical, and population-based research. Upon graduation, a student with a BSPH should be able to

  1. Describe the basic concepts of probability, random variation, and commonly used statistical probability distributions.
  2. Explain common descriptive techniques used to summarize public-health data.
  3. Analyze basic public-health data using common statistical methods for inference.
  4. Interpret results of statistical analyses found in public-health studies.
Core Discipline Courses

Note: All six upper-division core courses still required.

Electives

Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health

Overview           

The social and behavioral sciences in public health address the behavioral, social, and cultural factors related to individual and population health and health disparities over the life course. Research and practice in this area contribute to the development, administration, and evaluation of programs and policies in public health and health services to promote and sustain healthy environments and healthy lives for individuals and populations. Upon graduation, a student with a BSPH should be able to

  1. Describe the multiple determinants of health and the interconnectedness of the physical, social, and environmental levels of influence.
  2. Identify the basic theories, concepts, and models from a range of social and behavioral disciplines that are used in public health research and practice.
  3. Identify the causes of, and disparities in, social and behavioral factors that affect the health of individuals and populations.
  4. Apply evidence-based approaches in the development and evaluation of social and behavioral science interventions to improve public health.
Core Discipline Course

Note: All six upper-division core courses are still required.

Electives

Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Overview

Environmental and occupational health sciences represents the study of environmental and occupational factors, including biological, physical, and chemical factors that affect the health of a workforce and the community. Upon graduation, a student with a BSPH should be able to

  1. Describe the direct and indirect human, ecological, and safety effects of major environmental and occupational agents.
  2. Describe federal and state regulatory programs, guidelines, and authorities that control environmental and occupational risk assessment methods.
  3. Specify current methods of environmental and occupational risk assessment.
  4. Evaluate different approaches for assessing and controlling environmental hazards that affect occupational and community health.
Core Discipline Course

Note: All six upper-division core courses are still required.

Electives

Health Policy

Overview

Health policy is a multidisciplinary field of inquiry and practice concerned with the delivery, quality, and costs of health care for individuals and populations as well as laws and regulations aimed at influencing health-related behavior. Upon graduation, a student with a BSPH should be able to

  1. Define public health and the related roles and responsibilities of government, non-government agencies, and private organizations.
  2. Recognize the impact of policies, laws, and regulations on both individual behaviors and population health.
  3. Apply the principles of policy analysis to the evaluation in policy interventions.
  4. Undertake analyses of legislation, administrative regulations, and interpretations of judicial opinions and agency rulings.
Core Discipline Courses

Note: All six upper-division core courses are still required.

Electives