Public Health: Human Disease & Epidemiology

Students wearing protective gear work in lab. One student holds up a specimen
Students presenting a poster
Exterior of Pearson Hall
Students listen as a professor lectures in the classroom
Microscope stage
A gloved hand is seen performing streaking tasks
A gloved hand is seen performing gram stain tasks
Gloved hands identify unknowns
Students bend over microscopes to view specimens

Our Bachelor or Arts in Public Health: Human Disease & Epidemiology degree is designed to be flexible, and yet provide disciplinary breadth for pre-professional students and students interested in an entry-level career or graduate studies in public health. Students pursuing the Human Disease & Epidemiology track in Public Health will learn to apply basic concepts in biology to understand the factors that cause illness and to apply that understanding to promote health in human populations. This track explores differences in health across time and population subgroups as well as the reasons for those differences. Students completing this track will complete:

  • a common set of core courses in public health,
  • a track-specific set of courses that address basic cell biology, human diseases, and epidemiology,
  • one or more elective courses that build upon the student’s interest, and
  • a capstone course in advanced epidemiology.

Suggested Schedule for the A.B. Degree in Public Health: Human Disease & Epidemiology

The suggested schedule integrates requirements for the major, the College of Arts and Science (CAS), and the Miami Plan, and provides a structure for completing them over a 4-year period. The required and recommended courses in the major are specifically noted because many of them must be taken in sequence, and some of them may be offered only once a year. To fulfill the Miami Plan and CAS requirements, you will take a certain number of credit hours from several categories of courses. Progress towards fulfillment of the requirements for the major is provided online for each student (and their advisor) through their Degree Audit Report (DAR).

All students in the College of Arts and Science must pass satisfy the CAS A requirement for a foreign language, which is to complete a course at the 202 level or higher. Although we have built in a two-year sequence beginning with 101 in our suggested schedule, you may be able to leverage your previous foreign language study in high school, and bypass some of the introductory foreign language coursework. Alternatively, the schedule will accommodate the study of a new language.

Ask your advisor how certain elective courses may contribute to your particular professional goals. Some students will devote their elective course hours to obtain a second major or co-major, such as Microbiology, Spanish or Premedical Studies; other students may use these hours for additional preparation for professional school standardized tests.

The requirements for graduation represent the faculty’s consolidation of the standards specified by the Council of Education for Public Health (CEPH) and a thorough review of undergraduate public health programs offered by other universities. The program is intentionally broad in focus within the discipline in order to expand the opportunities of the graduate. Our curriculum requires a set of core courses needed by all public health majors, focus course selections and a capstone course that provide more in-depth coverage of disciplines within the field, and elective courses to complement the students’ career objectives and interests.

First year recommended courses by semester
Fall Semester Spring Semester
Community Health Perspectives: MBI 131 or
Introduction to Public Health: KNH 125 (3)
Biological Concepts II: BIO/MBI 116 (4)
General Chemistry: CHM 141, 144† (3,2) General Chemistry: CHM 142, 145† (3,2)
Composition and Literature: ENG 111 (3) Miami Plan/CAS Requirement/ Elective (3)
Foreign Language: 101 (4) Foreign Language: 102 (4)
I Am Miami: UNV 101 or equivalent (1) --

Second year recommended courses by semester
Fall Semester Spring Semester
Microorganisms and Human Disease: MBI 111 (3) Applied Health Behavior Change: KNH 218 (3)
Social Marketing in Public Health: KNH 221 (3) Miami Plan Advanced Writing (3)
Statistics: STA 261 or Applied Statistics: STA 301 (4/3) Miami Plan/CAS Requirements/ Electives (6)
Big Ideas in Aging: GTY 154 is a pre-requisite for GTY 365
Foreign Language: 201 (3) Foreign Language: 202 (3)

Third year recommended courses by semester
Fall Semester Spring Semester
Introduction to Cell Biology: BIO 203 (3) Epidemiology: MBI 361W (3)
CAS Writing in the Major
Environmental Public Health: IES 441 (3) Social Policy and Programs in Gerontology: GTY 365 or
Health Policy and Administration: KNH 321 (3)
Miami Plan/CAS Requirements/ Electives (10) Human Physiology: BIO 305 (4)
Miami Plan/CAS Requirements/ Electives (10) Miami Plan/CAS Requirements/ Electives (6)

Fourth year recommended courses by semester
Fall Semester Spring Semester
Human Disease & Epidemiology Elective*/Elective (3) Human Disease & Epidemiology Elective*/Elective (3)
Miami Plan/CAS Requirements/ Electives (12) Human Disease & Epidemiology: MBI 461 (3)
Miami Plan Capstone
Miami Plan/CAS Requirements/ Electives (12) Miami Plan/CAS Requirements/ Electives (9)

*Human Disease & Epidemiology Elective Courses
Fall Semester Spring Semester
Genetics: BIO 342 (3) Genetics: BIO 342 (3)
Introduction to Statistical Modeling: STA 363 (3) Introduction to Statistical Modeling: STA 363 (3)
Introduction to Medical Anthropology: ATH 348‡ (3) --
Doctors Clinics and Epidemics: ATH 378‡ (3) --
Immunology Principles and Practice: MBI 415‡ (4) or
Immunology Principles: MBI 414 (3)

† General Chemistry: CHM 141, 142, 144, 145 should be taken during the first year by students considering/planning to adopt the Premedical Studies Co-major and/or considering/planning to double major in Public Health and Microbiology. Other students may choose to take the chemistry series during their second year (the series is a pre-requisite of BIO 305).

‡ Typically offered only during the indicated semester.

Course Requirements for the A.B. degree in Public Health: Human Disease & Epidemiology Track (41-42 hours)

Public Health Core Courses, 21-22 hours:

  • Community Health Perspectives or Introduction to Public Health
  • Applied Health Behavior Change
  • Social Marketing in Public Health
  • Statistics or Applied Statistics
  • Epidemiology (W section)
  • Social Policy and Programs in Gerontology or Health Policy and Administration
  • Environmental Public Health

Track-Specific Courses, 20 hours minimum:

  • Required Courses (17 hours)
    • Microorganisms and Human Disease
    • Biological Concepts: Structure, Function, Cellular and Molecular Biology
    • Introduction to Cell Biology
    • Human Physiology
    • Human Disease & Epidemiology (Capstone)
  • Elective Courses (3 hours)
    • Introduction to Medical Anthropology
    • Doctors Clinics and Epidemics
    • Genetics
    • Immunology Principles
      or Immunology Principles and Practice
    • Introduction to Statistical Modeling

Required prerequisite courses, 10 hours

  • General Chemistry with Lab (2 semesters) is a prerequisite for Human Physiology

Thematic Sequence (9 hours)

  • Students may choose from among any of the thematic sequences offered at Miami University.
  • Students must register for the thematic sequence at the department offering the sequence.

Miami Plan Capstone (3 hours)

  • The required Human Disease & Epidemiology course satisfies the Miami Plan Capstone requirement

Please send questions and comments to:
Public Health Departmental Advisor

Advising Handbooks and Worksheets

These are available in the department office (212 Pearson Hall), and by email upon request.

  • Microbiology Programs Handbook (PDF 1.5MB)
  • B.S. in Microbiology
    Student/Advisor Worksheet (PDF 50KB)
  • A.B. in Microbiology
    Student/Advisor Worksheet (PDF 50KB)
  • B.S. in Medical Lab
    Science Student/Advisor Worksheet (PDF 50KB)
  • Minor in Molecular Biology
    Student/Advisor Worksheet (PDF 50KB)