Public Health

College of Health and Social Sciences

Dean: Dr. Alvin Alvarez

Department of Public Health

HSS 326
Phone: (415) 338-1413
Fax: (415) 338-0570
Email: hed@sfsu.edu                                                                                    
MPH Program Email: hedmph@sfsu.edu
Website: https://publichealth.sfsu.edu/

Chair: Marty Martinson, DrPH, MPH, MEd
Undergraduate Program Coordinator: Atina Delfino, MEd
Graduate Program Coordinator: Vincent Lam, MPH

Program Scope

Mission

The mission of the Department of Public Health at San Francisco State University is to promote health and health equity at the individual, community, and structural levels through transformative education, research, scholarship, and service, all of which value diversity, engage communities and are grounded in cultural humility.

Our Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Health Education and Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Community Health Education provide foundational and professional preparation in the growing field of public health. These programs prepare students for entry and master’s level positions in a range of professions to influence and support the health of communities and broader populations through health advocacy, public health research, community health or health care programs. Students engage with a curriculum grounded in public health competencies of social determinants of health, epidemiology, health policy, community organizing, health and power inequities, public health programming and practice in the field. The department engages students through exposure to applied scholarship, active engagement in participatory learning, and the critical integration of theory, research, and practice.

Career Outlook

Students graduating from the Bachelor of Science program use their public health training in a variety of career pursuits. Results from a recent survey of our program graduates indicate that they hold positions as health educators, program planners, public health researchers, assistant administrators, assistant personnel directors, in-service education coordinators, community outreach workers, health counselors, health writers, environmental health advocates, and pharmaceutical-medical detail professionals. Employers include hospitals, community organizations, government agencies, school districts, private industries, and some individuals are self-employed.

Graduates of the B.S. in Health Education program also select careers outside the health field. The professional skills and critical thinking developed in the degree programs have numerous applications in non-health employment settings. Additionally, many health education graduates continue graduate studies in public health, administration, social services, dentistry, medicine, and law.

Graduates of the Master of Public Health program in Community Health Education are prepared for advanced level public health professional positions in diverse settings, such as a variety of community-based organizations, government agencies including public health departments, academic and research institutions, health maintenance organizations, hospitals, and medical centers, and private consulting firms. The critical importance of prevention and population-based health with an eye on creating greater health equity makes the professional skills of community health education and public health a societal priority.  

Professor

John P. Elia (1987), Professor in Public Health. Ph.D. University of California, Davis.

Michele J. Eliason (2007), Professor in Public Health. Ph.D. University of Iowa.

Mary Elizabeth Love (1987), Professor in Public Health. Ph.D. University of Massachusetts.

Laura Mamo (2010), Professor in Public Health. Ph.D. University of California, San Francisco.

Emma V. Sanchez-Vaznaugh (2006), Professor in Public Health. Sc.D. Harvard University, School of Public Health.

Associate Professor

Vivian Chávez (2000), Associate Professor in Public Health. Dr.P.H. University of California, Berkeley.

Marty Martinson (2012), Associate Professor in Public Health. Dr.P.H. University of California, Berkeley.

Lisa Dorothy Moore (1995), Associate Professor in Public Health. Dr.P.H. University of California, Berkeley.

Juliana Van Olphen (2002), Associate Professor in Public Health. Ph.D. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Assistant Professor

Supriya Misra (2021), Assistant Professor in Public Health. Sc.D. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

R. David Rebanal (2016), Assistant Professor in Public Health. Dr.P.H. University of California, Berkeley.

PH 100 Public Health Biology (Units: 3)

Introduction to public health biology-the biological and molecular context of public health-and its incorporation into public health practice. Exploration of principles of population biology, ecology, and molecular biology in relation to public health problems. (Plus-minus letter grade only.) [Formerly H ED 100]

Course Attributes:

  • Environmental Sustainability

PH 200 Global Health (Units: 3)

Health around the world, including economic, political, and sociocultural factors that influence community health and health care. Linkages between health, human rights, the environment, and a colonial legacy. [Formerly H ED 200]

Course Attributes:

  • Social Justice
  • Global Perspectives
  • D1: Social Sciences
  • E1 LLD Pre-Fall 2019

PH 205 Introduction to Public Health (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to Public Health majors or permission of an advisor.

Introduction of major concepts and terminology in public health. History, core functions, and theories of public health. Overview of employment opportunities in health education and public health. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly PH 405 and H ED 405]

PH 210 Personal and Social Determinants of Health (Units: 3)

Personal and social determinants of health through the examination of the role individuals play in their own health and wellbeing, along with the impact of social, structural factors that play a role both in individual and community health. [Formerly H ED 210]

Course Attributes:

  • Social Justice
  • E1 LLD Pre-Fall 2019
  • D1: Social Sciences

PH 221 Health and Social Justice - Burning Issues, Taking Action (Units: 3)

Social and economic injustices as root causes of the uneven distribution of disease. Current health issues, the process for influencing policy, and the skills to effectively advocate for health and social justice.
(This course is offered as PH 221 [Formerly H ED 221] and ETHS 221 [Formerly A U 221]. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • Social Justice
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • D1: Social Sciences

PH 241 Health and Social Movements in the United States in the 20th Century (Units: 3)

Examination of history during the 20th century with a special emphasis on health and social justice issues. Focus on the main historical periods and events, with a lens of the "people's history narrative" that brings out voices historically silenced.
(This course is offered as PH 241 [Formerly H ED 241] and ETHS 241 [Formerly A U 241]. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • Social Justice
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • D2: Social Sciences: US Hist.
  • U.S. History

PH 280 Empowering Poor Families to Graduate Out of Poverty (Units: 3)

College success course (self-directed). Consciousness and critical thinking skills. Participation in fieldwork addressing social justice related to wealth/poverty-health-human relation constructs/leadership in areas of education and community health. May be repeated for a total of 6 units. [CSL may be available]
(This course is offered as PH 280 [Formerly H ED 280] and COUN 280. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

PH 290 Promoting Positive Health (Units: 3)

Embodied learning to promote physical, mental, spiritual, and community health through yoga, dance, drawing, writing, collage, poetry, and photography. Multicultural experience, active, creative participation and intellectual pursuit as tools to improve flexibility and understanding, and to unlearn and heal oppression. [Formerly H ED 290]

Course Attributes:

  • C1: Arts
  • Global Perspectives
  • E1 LLD Pre-Fall 2019

PH 303 Health Disparities and Sexual and Gender Minority Communities: LGBTQI Health (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: GE Areas A1*, A2*, A3*, and B4* all with grades of C- or better or permission of the instructor.

Examine health disparities in sexual and gender minority communities, focusing on the impact of stigma faced by LGBTQI individuals, families, and communities. Explore various aspects of health and well-being. [Formerly H ED 303]

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences

PH 305 Critical History of Public Health in the United States (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or consent of the instructor.

Major issues, events, and historical figures in public health in the United States from the colonial period to the present. Emphasis on socio-cultural and political aspects of infectious and chronic diseases, epidemics, health disparities, and public health reforms and advances. [Formerly H ED 305]

Course Attributes:

  • U.S. History
  • Social Justice

PH 315 Drugs and Society (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: GE Areas A1*, A2*, A3*, and B4* all with grades of C- or better or permission of the instructor.

Physical, psychological, and sociological aspects of drug use and misuse in contemporary society, including examinations of the drug war, the prison industrial complex, community prevention and control. [Formerly H ED 315]

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities

PH 320 Contemporary Sexuality (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: GE Areas A1*, A2*, A3*, and B4* all with grades of C- or better or permission of the instructor.

Information about sexuality; its impact on interpersonal relationships. Anatomy and physiology; psycho-sexual development, sex roles, pregnancy, childbirth, parenting, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual behavior, myths, misconceptions. Sexual value systems and communication skills. [Formerly H ED 320]

Course Attributes:

  • Social Justice
  • UD-B: Physical Life Science
  • E1 LLD Pre-Fall 2019

PH 400GW Determinants of Health - GWAR (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper-division Public Health majors; GE Area A2*.

Foundations of public health, including the interactions between biological/genetic, individual, social, systems, and policy-level determinants of health. Rigorous, discipline-specific, professional writing practice along with a high level of writing support. (ABC/NC grading only) [Formerly H ED 400GW]

Course Attributes:

  • Graduation Writing Assessment

PH 410 Public Health Systems (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to upper-division Public Health majors or minors or permission of the instructor.

Identification and function of public health systems, including, health care systems and delivery, government public health agencies and departments, research institutions, and community organizations. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 410]

PH 414 Women's Health (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper-division standing; GE Areas A1*, A2*, A3*, and B4* all with grades of C- or better; or permission of the instructor.

Examine women's health from a sociopolitical perspective. Explore issues such as violence against women, reproductive health and rights, mental health, sexuality, body acceptance, aging, empowerment, and agency. An intersectional approach to how class oppression, racism, and sexism, and other factors impact women's health. [Formerly H ED 414]

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

PH 415 Health Aspects of Aging (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper-division standing; GE Areas A1*, A2*, A3*, and B4* all with grades of C- or better; or permission of the instructor.

Physical, social, and psychological aspects of aging. Health concerns of the elderly: medical care, long-term care, nutrition, death and dying, crime and elder abuse, Medicare-Medicaid. Visitations and communications with older adults. [Formerly H ED 415]

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Social Justice
  • E1 LLD Pre-Fall 2019

PH 420 Epidemiology (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to upper-division Public Health majors.

Disease patterns in the human population, how diseases are distributed, and what factors are associated with them. Etiology, recognition, transmission, prevention, and control of health disorders and communicable and chronic diseases. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 420]

PH 425 Public Health Research (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper-division Public Health majors; one of the following: ETHS 116*, ETHS 117*, ISED 160*, MATH 124*, or PSY 171*.

Introduction to quantitative and qualitative research, evaluation procedures, and basic statistical methods, with an emphasis on critical thinking skills for reading and understanding research articles and reports. A grade of C or better is required for Public Health majors. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 425]

PH 430 Community Health Education Theory (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted to Public Health majors; PH 400GW* with a grade of C or better.

Theoretical frameworks, concepts, and methods that form the basis for community health education; communication and group process; social, educational, behavioral, and attitudinal change. A grade of C or better required for Health Education majors. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 430]

PH 431 Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted to Public Health majors; PH 400GW* and PH 425* with grades of C or better.

Senior course and professional preparation in health education program planning, implementation, and evaluation. A grade of C or better required for Health Education majors. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 431]

PH 434 Geographies of Health and Health Care (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or permission of the instructor.

Geographies of health; the role place plays in determining the quality of health status, and in shaping access to and use of health care.
(This course is offered as GEOG 434 and PH 434 [Formerly H ED 434]. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

PH 450 Public Health Policy (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to upper-division Public Health majors and minors.

Selected local, state, national, and international health policy issues. Methods of education and socio-political intervention. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 450]

PH 455 Community Organizing and Community Building for Health (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted upper-division standing; GE Areas A1*, A2*, A3*, and B4* all with grades of C- or better; or permission of the instructor.

Dialogue, action, and reflection on community building, non-violence, cultural humility, and social engagement. Focus on skills in leadership development, empowerment, and experiential learning. Passion for social justice and human rights. Photovoice and media literacy and advocacy taught as tools for organizing. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [CSL may be available] [Formerly H ED 455]

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • E1 LLD Pre-Fall 2019
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Social Justice
  • Global Perspectives

PH 480 Fieldwork and Reflective Seminar (Units: 9)

Prerequisites: Restricted to Public Health majors; PH 400GW*, PH 425*, and PH 431* with grades of C or better.

Directed experiences in public health and community health education through 15-20 hours per week of fieldwork in health departments, voluntary health agencies, and other community health services. A grade of C or better is required for Health Education majors. Seminar, 3 units; supervision, 6 units. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 480]

PH 520 Structural Oppression and Social Foundations of Health (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper-division Public Health majors; PH 400GW* with a grade of C or better.

Examine how the state has systematically limited access to power and resources to "minoritized" communities in the United States, resulting in the oppression of African Americans, Latinas/os, Asian Americans, Native Americans, LGBTQ+ communities, and immigrants. Discussion of how these systems of oppression create health inequities and exploration of strategies for shifting systems of power to work toward greater health equity. (Plus-minus letter only) [Formerly H ED 520]

Course Attributes:

  • Social Justice

PH 600 Public Health Media, Technology, and Communications (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper-division Public Health and Masters of Public Health majors; or consent of the instructor.

Examination of how technology and media are used for public health messaging, for communication of information and misinformation, and for influencing changes in conditions and behaviors that affect public health outcomes. Critical review of potential harms and stigmatizing frames in public health messaging. Identification of theoretical frameworks and models helpful in building public health communications strategies focused on particular public health issues and intended audiences to improve public health. (Plus-minus letter grade only)

PH 640 Structural Inequities and Public Health (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted to upper-division standing; GE Areas A1*, A2*, A3*, and B4* all with grades of C- or better; or permission of the instructor.

Broaden understanding of wealth distribution, social status, and political power as determinants of health. Analysis of research demonstrating the relationships between health, education, and socioeconomic status. [Formerly H ED 640]

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Social Justice
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities

PH 655 Environmental Health (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to upper-division standing.

Environmental factors impacting health, including the consequences of natural and human-made hazards. Scientific models and socio-political frameworks that analyze these topics. Assessment of contemporary health issues. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 655]

PH 665 Community Based Participatory Research in Public Health (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or consent of the instructor.

Theories, principles, and strategies of Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR). Case studies presented. [Formerly H ED 665]

PH 670 Principles of Peer Health Education (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

Concepts of positive health promotion and prevention; training in helping, and behavior change skills. Students volunteer 3 hours weekly in Student Health Center plus class meetings. [Formerly H ED 670]

PH 671 Practice of Peer Health Education (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: PH 670.

Experience providing health risk assessment, consulting with clients, staffing resource center, and conducting workshops. Serve four 4 hours per week in the Student Health Center and attend a supervision seminar. Activity. May be repeated for a total of 6 units. [CSL may be available] [Formerly H ED 671]

PH 685 Projects in the Teaching of Public Health (Units: 1-4)

Prerequisites: Advanced undergraduate standing in Public Health and approval of the supervising instructor and department/program; grade of B or better in course in which student will be an instructional aide.

Teaching experiences in the public health discipline through assigned instructional projects in a classroom and under the guidance of a member of the faculty. Training in pedagogical principles including supervised classroom teaching activities. (Students may earn a maximum of 4 units toward the baccalaureate degree for any course(s) numbered 685 regardless of discipline.) (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 685]

PH 688 Racial Capitalism, Neoliberalism, and Public Health (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted to graduate students and upper-division undergraduate students or consent of the instructor.

Evaluation, interpretation, and understanding of how economic policies shape the social and physical ecology of individuals. Plan durable and sustainable interventions that can transform the health of populations. Examination of social inequities, health disparities, and approaches to social justice. Examination of the relationship of neoliberalism to climate change-related health outcomes, emerging infectious disease epidemics, mental health, food insecurity, and other pressing health and human issues. [Formerly H ED 688]

PH 699 Independent Study (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisites: Senior standing and consent of the instructor.

Study of a particular problem under the direction of a member of the department. May be repeated for a total of 9 units. [Formerly H ED 699]

PH 785 Graduate Teaching Assistantship in Health Education (Units: 1-4)

Prerequisites: Graduate student in good academic standing; subject matter mastery in course for which student will serve as a teaching assistant; consent of the instructor.

Supervised teaching practicum experience with Health Education faculty member. Theoretical and practical aspects of college teaching; curricular design/delivery, group discussion and ctivities facilitation, meaningful student feedback/assessment practices. May be repeated without limit for transcript credit. MPH students may only apply 3 units toward the MPH degree requirements. [Formerly H ED 785]

PH 810 Public Health and Principles of Community Organizing (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to Master of Public Health students.

Theoretical overview and practical application of community-based public health. Non-violent social action, community diagnosis, social networks, primary prevention, media advocacy/literacy. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 810]

PH 811 Community Health Education Skills ePortfolio (Unit: 1)

Prerequisite: PH 830.

Development of a community health education electronic portfolio chronicling the products produced during the MPH program with the skills required for master-trained community health education professionals. (CR/NC or RP only) [Formerly H ED 811]

PH 815 Theories of Social Behavioral Change in Community Health Education (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of the instructor.

Theories relevant to health education practice. Critical analysis of theories and their development, contextualization, and practice. Utilization of these theories in practical applications. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 815]

PH 820 Community Health Assessment (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: PH 810*, PH 815*, and PH 884*, with grades of B or better.

Assessment process using applied research methods which empower communities to create programs that respond to their health challenges, concerns, and strengths. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 820]

PH 821 Public Health Profession Practice (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: PH 810*, PH 815*, and PH 884*, with grades of B or better.; concurrent enrollment in PH 820.

Application of public health professional skills. Build a solid understanding of how to develop and implement community assessments including qualitative research methods. Skill-building in working in teams, managing public health projects, delivering professional presentations, and collaborating with community organizations. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [CSL may be available] [Formerly H ED 821]

PH 822 Advanced Public Health Profession Practice (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: PH 820 and PH 821.

Theory and practice in the implementation of a community health assessment. Continue to build a solid understanding of working in teams to implement a community health assessment. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [CSL may be available] [Formerly H ED 822]

PH 825 Epidemiology (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: PH 828 and PH 829 with grades of B or higher.

An introductory and comprehensive survey of epidemiological principles and methods. A history and overview of the field, including contemporary case studies, along with an examination of the methods used to study disease distributions in diverse human populations. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 825]

PH 828 Biostatistics Lab (Unit: 1)

Prerequisites: Restricted to Master of Public Health students.; an inferential statistics course; concurrent enrollment in PH 829.

Review and apply bio-statistical concepts and procedures typically employed in public health research. Activity. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 828]

PH 829 Biostatistics and Public Health (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted to Master of Public Health students; concurrent enrollment in PH 828.

Introduction to basic statistical techniques, concepts, and tests commonly used in public health. Understanding of data types and data distribution. Critical understanding of the use of statistics in journal articles. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 829]

PH 830 Public Health Planning, Management, and Administration for Community Change (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted to Master of Public Health students; PH 821* or PH 822*.

Skill acquisition in public health planning, management, and administration. Application of change theories, problem definition, program design, development of goals and objectives, logic models, timelines, securing fiscal resources, personnel, budgeting, organizational leadership, strategic planning, and partner/stakeholder relationships. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 830]

PH 835 Public Health Policy (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to Master of Public Health students.

Better understand the political environment in which public health operates and how to work within it. Including discussions on media advocacy and ethics as applied to public health and politics. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 835]

PH 840 Program Evaluation Design and Research (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: PH 830.

Concepts and methods of program evaluation. Development of the skills necessary to assess published evaluation research and to apply technical evaluation skills in professional practice. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 840]

PH 845 Educational Processes, Training, and Curricula in Public Health (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Restricted to Master of Public Health students.

Examination of adult learning theories. Emphasis on comprehensive curricular design, delivery, and evaluation of health education programs. Particular focus on differentials of power, critical pedagogy, the use of technology, and relationship building. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 845]

PH 855 Environmental Health (Unit: 1)

Prerequisite: Master of Public Health students or consent of the instructor.

Environmental health issues: current, past, domestic, international, chemical, infectious. Environmental factors impacting health; natural and human-made hazards. Tools to understand, quantify, minimize risks. U.S. regulatory laws/policies. Principles of environmental justice. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 855]

PH 884 Public Health Inquiry (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Restricted to Master of Public Health students; concurrent enrollment in PH 810 and PH 815.

Provides a broad overview of the ways public health-and related fields-think about knowledge and conduct social research, with a focus on learning the perspectives, approaches, and tools of qualitative research. Informs future public health work in community assessment, mixed-method research designs, evaluation research, and critical public health, a catch-all term to describe a focus on issues that challenge the status quo. (Plus-minus letter grade only) [Formerly H ED 884]

PH 890 Master of Public Health Culminating Experience Seminar (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Graduate student in the Master of Public Health program; minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA; approved ATC and CE proposal forms; previous or concurrent completion of any remaining coursework required for Master of Public Health degree.

Examination of critical issues in the field of public health. Application and integration of MPH competencies into professional products appropriate for use in the field. Demonstration of MPH field-specific professional writing and oral presentation skills. (Plus-minus letter grade, CR/NC, RP) [Formerly H ED 890]

PH 895 Applied Research Project in Community Health Education (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: PH 825 and PH 830; 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA; consent of the instructor and approval of Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) and Culminating Experience (CE) forms by Graduate Studies. Previous or concurrent completion of any remaining required Master of Public Health coursework.

Faculty-supervised completion of a culminating experience research paper and oral presentation. (Plus-minus letter or RP grading only) [Formerly H ED 895]

PH 899 Independent Study (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisite: Permission of a Public Health graduate adviser.

Study is planned, developed, and completed under the direction of a member of the department. Open only to graduate students of demonstrated ability to do independent work. Enrollment by petition. May be repeated for a total of 12 units. [Formerly H ED 899]