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Public Health

For additional information on Public Health at UC Merced please visit the Public Health website.


Public health can be defined as an approach to promote health, prevent disease, prolong life and improve quality of life through organized efforts of society. Focusing on the health and well-being of populations, public health complements medicine's concern for individuals with diseases.

Through activities ranging from basic research and frontline efforts such as vaccination programs to promotion of healthy lifestyles and environments, disease control, and leadership on health policy formation, public health issues and outcomes, public health graduates touch the lives of people throughout the world. Public health is an interdisciplinary field drawing on the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities.

One of the most important themes in public health is the disparities in health observed in different groups, for example related to economic resources and race/ethnicity, which is a focus in this curriculum.

  1. To complete this minor, students must complete a minimum of six courses, at least four of which must be upper division.
  2. All courses must be taken for a letter grade.
  3. A minimum overall grade-point average of 2.0 (C) in upper division courses is required.
  4. At least four of the six required courses must be taken at UC Merced.
  5. Only one course may be used simultaneously to satisfy requirements for two minors.
  6. Only one course may be used to satisfy both a minor and a major requirement.
  7. Students must consult the UC Merced General Catalog for prerequisites to required courses.


Medical Education in the San Joaquin Valley

The University of California, Merced, has partnered with the UC Davis School of Medicine to create the UC Merced San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (PRIME). This program focuses on training the best and brightest students for rewarding careers in medicine in our ethnically diverse and underserved Valley.


Program Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the minor in Public Health will demonstrate:

  1. Define public health and describe the roles and responsibilities of government, non-governmental organizations, and private citizens in maintaining public health;
  2. Use the theories and principles of public health to explain a public health problem;
  3. Apply public health research methods to conduct rigorous research on public health issues;
  4. Describe causes and risk factors in the major areas of focus in public health, including but not limited to determinants of mortality and morbidity; leading causes of health disparities among regional, national, and global populations; and transmission for infectious and chronic diseases;
  5. Identify and analyze scientific data and other information to assess complex public health challenges, with special consideration of strategies for health promotion at the individual, community and policy levels, as appropriate; and
  6. Communicate effectively and persuasively, orally and in writing, particularly to convey complex concepts and information in a clear and concise manner.

Refer to the Curriculum Map to see the coherency between the Program Learning Outcomes and our course offerings. 

Updated 2021