Public Health

A focus on prevention, rather than treatment of disease distinguishes public health from clinical practice.  This distinction can also help guide your selection of "pre-public health" coursework.

There is no one degree or set of coursework for pre-public health.  If you want to go on to an MPH program, you should select the degree that best matches your interests (while accommodating as much as possible of the pre-public health relevant coursework below).  Your undergraduate courses should be chosen to achieve: 1)a grounding in public health's core content areas; 2) preparation for rigorous graduate level coursework in research methods and data analysis; and 3)effective written communication skills.

Graduate programs in public health generally require coursework across five core content areas: Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Health Services/Policy, and Social/Behavioral Sciences.  Many have additional specializations- for example, Global Health is a growing public health specialty. Binghamton University offers undergraduate courses that correspond directly with these content areas (list B), courses with content that intersects with multiple public health areas (list C), research methods and data analysis courses relevant to public health (list A), and general coursework in health and disease (list D).  Students who plan to pursue the MPH or PhD in a field of public health should consider taking multiple courses from each list, and should seek out research opportunities with faculty affiliated with the Binghamton University MPH  program.

Additional Advice for pre-public health students can be found at APHA, SOPHAS, and ASPPH

Public Health Courses

*Please note that some of these courses listed below have pre-requisites which will need to be completed before enrolling in the course.


Rigorous quantitative research methods and data analysis courses (is it STRONGLY recommended that you take at least 2 of these courses).

Quantitative Methods in Anthropology ANTH 200
Census Geography and GIS GEOG 460

Differential and Integral Calculus (Calculus I)

MATH 224 & 225

Elementary Statistics MATH 147
Probability with Statistical Methods MATH 327
Social Research Methods SOC 305
Statistical Analysis and Design PSYC 243


Courses corresponding to public health core content areas (it is STRONGLY recommended that you take at least 3 of these courses).

Introduction to Community and Public Health AFST 380T (Also cross-listed as ANTH 380E)
Global Health AFST 450
Introduction to Epidemiology ANTH 249
Case Studies in Global Health ANTH 427
International Health ANTH 480O
Environmental Health: Race and Place GEOG 336
Biostatistics BIOL 437
Biostatistics with R BIOL 447


Courses with public health content (it is recommended that you take 2 of these courses).

 Immigrant and Refugee Health  AFST 387A
 Diversity and Health  AFST 480F
 Medical Anthropology for Pre-Health  ANTH 240
 Biology, Culture and Lifestyle  ANTH 242
 Medical Anthropology: Human Biology and Health  ANTH 243
 Plagues, Culture and History  ANTH 244
 Humans & Physical Environment  ENVI 201
 Environmental Planning/Policy  GEOG 239


Courses to build a broad foundation in the study of health and disease (it is recommended that you take 2 of these courses).

Nutritional Anthropology

Darwinian Medicine ANTH 248
Human Genetics ANTH 333
Comparative Aspects of Human Growth ANTH 334
Human Skeleton ANTH 336
Human Biological Variation ANTH 337
Human Anatomy and Physiology I BIOL 251
Human Anatomy and Physiology II BIOL 347
Pre-Health Microbiology BIOL 319
Pre-Health Microbiology Lab BIOL 329
Genetics BIOL 332
Molecular Genetics BIOL 401
Immunology BIOL 402
History of Modern Medicine HIST 230
Medical Ethics PHIL 148
Behavior Disorders PSYC 223