Public Health Minor

The public health minor is offered to Auburn University undergraduate students through the College of Veterinary Medicine to prepare students for success in a variety of health-related fields. Public Health is the science of prevention of disease and health problems in populations through research, health policy, educational programs, provision of health services to communities and detection of and response to disease outbreaks. Courses in the public health minor are taught from a One Health perspective which emphasizes the interconnectedness and mutual interdependency of the health of humans, domestic and wild animal populations and the ecosystems we all share. Knowledge gained through this holistic approach to disease and health engenders motivation and know-how to proactively devise and implement solutions to pressing world health issues.

Undergraduate students in any major at Auburn University are eligible to apply to the public health minor. To complete the minor, 15 total hours are required — 12 hours consist of the four required courses listed below and 3 hours of an appropriate elective.

Students completing the public health minor will:

  1. understand and be able to communicate the scope and relevance of public health and One Health in everyday life and
  2. be better prepared to enter public health fields and related advanced degree programs.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected change in job placement opportunities over the next decade is expected to grow faster than average in many public health fields such as epidemiologists (30%), health education specialists and community health workers (17%), medical and health services managers (32%), medical scientists (17%), veterinarians (17%), animal care and service workers (33%), technical writers (12%), environmental scientists and specialists (8%), environmental science and protection technicians (11%) and agricultural and food science technicians (8%) (Bureau of Labor and Statistics). 

Apply to the Public Health Minor

Required Courses

VBMS 2100 Introduction to Public Health (3 Hours)

In this survey course, guest lecturers with expertise in their respective fields will present on a variety of public health and One Health topics such as health disparities, public health policy, environmental health, global health security, behavioral health, disease ecology, access to health care, maternal/child health, animal health and more.

VBMS 3010 Introduction to Epidemiology (3 hours)

Basic principles of epidemiology and population medicine will be presented in this course.  Emphasis will be placed on the rich history of the discipline in addressing diseases of both humans and animals. Both historic and contemporary examples will be used to illustrate the power of epidemiologic strategies and statistical techniques used for disease detection, prevention and control.

VBMS 4830 Global and Comparative Health Systems (3 hours)

Different national approaches to providing health care for the population will be compared to the US system. 

VBMS 4910 Observing Needs in Public Health (3 hours)

Through 50 hours of service to a local organization or public health agency, students will develop an understanding of the importance of volunteers and local organizations to support public health needs.  Class discussions will center on underserved populations and needs relating to both human and animal health. The volunteer service organization must be approved by the course instructor.

Elective Course (3 hours)

Because of the breadth of public health, many courses can serve as electives. Among them are courses in sociology, nutrition, health administration, microbiology, virology and kinesiology.

Approved Electives for Public Health Minor

Some of the electives have prerequisites.

  • ANSC 3000 Herd Health Management
  • ANTH 3600 Medical Anthropology
  • BIOL 4970 Microbiology of Epidemics
  • COMM 4480 Health Promotion Message and Design
  • COMM 4490 Health Media and Communication
  • COMM 5470 Health Communication
  • ECON 5950 Health Economics
  • ENVI 5100 Climate Change Impacts
  • HADM 2100 Medical Terminology
  • HADM 3000 Gateway to Health Care Administration
  • HADM 3700 Health Law
  • HDFS 4980 Advanced Undergraduate Research (if related to public health)
  • HDFS 4950 Health Disparities Research
  • HDFS 5930 Society and Health
  • HDFS 5950 Seminar on Health Ecology and Equity
  • HUSC 2000 Hunger: Causes, Consequences, and Responses
  • KINE 4450 Physical Activity and Public Health
  • NTRI 2000 Nutrition and Health
  • NURS 2120 Contemporary Topics in Women’s Health
  • NURS 5420 Population Health Outcomes
  • POUL 5160 Principles of Food Safety
  • RSOC 3190 Sociology of Food, Agriculture, and Society
  • RSOC Environment, Society, and Justice
  • RSOC 5610 Rural Sociology
  • SOCY 3300 Sociology of the Family
  • SOCY 3500 Social Inequalities
  • SOCY 4200 Health and Society
  • STAT 2510 Statistics for Biological and Health Sciences
  • VBMS 4987 Honors Research (if related to public health)
  • WILD 5200 Disease Ecology

If an alternative elective beyond those listed above is desired, please check with Amelia Pendleton (see contact information below).

An elective may not be counted for more than one program (thus if taken for the major, an elective may not count toward the minor). 

Some electives have prerequisites.

Honors versions of electives listed may be substituted.

Contact

Dr. Kelley Steury
Department of Pathobiology
kbsteury@auburn.edu

Amelia Pendleton
Office of Research and Graduate Studies
(334) 844-3700
hangame@auburn.edu