Global Public Health

Global Public Health

Consistent with the University’s core values of helping students to think critically about key local and global challenges and helping students to become engaged and informed citizens, this track examines social, cultural, behavioral, structural, and environmental determinants of health in the United States and globally.


Who should apply?

The honors track in global public health will provide an intensive and interdisciplinary option to students who have an interest in the health of human populations and are majoring in any discipline. For students majoring in fields other than public health, it will provide them with an opportunity to connect what they are learning in their majors to the overarching issue of human health and its determinants. For public health majors, it will provide an opportunity for deeper, more intensive study with public health faculty. Students who complete the track will be well prepared for graduate study in social sciences, physical sciences or various professional programs such as nursing, medicine, public health, law, civil engineering, among others.


Required Courses:

  1. PBHL 3800: Social, Cultural and Behavioral Determinants of Health
  2. PBHL 3820: Structural Determinants of Health
  3. PBHL 3840: Environmental Determinants of Health
  4. PBHL 4800: Public Health Capstone I
  5. PBHL 4850: Public Health Capstone II


PBHL 3800: Social, Cultural and Behavioral Determinants of Health 

This Honors UCC Area 4 course covers the many ways in which the social and cultural environment and human behavior influence population health and interact to produce health status disparities. The course will consider key social factors such as race, class, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, income, education, disability, and immigration status, as well as cultural norms and beliefs, and behaviors as important determinants of human health. The ways in which public health intervenes to address social, cultural and behavioral factors in order to improve the health of groups will also be considered.


PBHL 3820: Structural Determinants of Health 

This Honors UCC Area 5 course explores macro-level societal structures as fundamental determinants of health. Emphasis will be placed on how political and economic institutions as well as systems of power and ideology shape social life, population health, health behaviors, and health disparities. 


PBHL 3840: Environmental Determinants of Health 

This Honors UCC Area 6 course looks globally at the interdependence of humans on natural systems, how human societies shape and alter natural systems, and how this in turn shapes and determines the health of human populations. The course will consider the role of the environment in human health problems across the life course including infectious and chronic diseases, reproductive problems and developmental disorders. Key issues which will be considered in a global context include human health effects of climate change, children’s environmental health, air and water pollution, sanitation and waste, and toxics, among others. The course will explore inequities between, among and within countries in environmental health and how addressing such inequities can improve health outcomes.  Students must be enrolled in the Global Public Health Honors track to register for this course. Prerequisite(s): MATH 1300 or MATH 2300 


PBHL 4800: Public Health Capstone I 

This thesis course addresses the main research methods used in public health. The course covers the role of research in understanding public health problems, research design and methods (quantitative and qualitative), and ethics. Students develop a research proposal for the senior honors thesis, write a literature review and a detailed plan for the senior thesis research project.


PBHL 4850: Public Health Capstone II 

In this second thesis course, students conduct research for and write their senior honors thesis. A written thesis and public presentation of results will be required. Students will use computer software for analyzing data. Pre-requisite: PBHL 4000 Epidemiology


How do I enroll? 

To enroll in the Global Public Health Track, contact the Director, Dr. Marianne Sullivan, at (973) 720-3481, You also must complete the online track application and submit it to the Honors College. 


About the Track Director:

Dr. Marianne Sullivan is Professor of Public Health. She is the author of Tainted Earth: Smelters, Public Health and the Environment, Rutgers University Press, 2014. Her recent articles concern environmental justice, childhood lead exposure, community research partnerships, and environmental data and governance.

Get to know Dr. Sullivan by clicking here