BA in Health Policy

This major has 13 required courses and one pre-requisite course. The health policy major leads to a bachelor of arts degree and satisfies the social sciences requirement of the Rochester Curriculum.

Key goals for this major:

  • Understand health policy as it relates to the organization, financing, and provision of health care in the US, including its history and law
  • Demonstrate how the principles of statistics, economics, and political science apply to health policy
  • Understand the current situation relating to population health (including environmental health), private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care, and mental health at the federal, state, and local levels, both public and private
  • Understand how to apply the principles of health policy analysis to population health (including environmental health), private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care, and mental health at the federal, state, and local levels, both public and private

***Beginning in spring 2024 and moving forward, PHLT 102 ‘Introduction to Public Health II' will no longer be a required course for public health majors. Moving forward, PHLT 102 will no longer be offered. Students who are already declared as a health policy (HLP) major will continue to follow their programs as they originally declared. If a student completed PHLT 102 with the intention of using it for their intended HLP major, the undergraduate public health program will work with that student to incorporate it as part of their HLP major.

Major Requirements

Some of these courses require prerequisites. These prerequisites are not counted toward the major.

Pre-Requisite Courses (One Course)

ECON 108: Principles of Economics

Public Health General Core (Four Courses)

PHLT 101: Introduction to Public Health I
PHLT 103: Concepts of Epidemiology
STAT 212: Appl. Stat. I
PHIL 228 (PHIL 228W): Public Health Ethics or PHIL 225: Ethical Decisions in Medicine

Specific Core Requirements (Four Courses)

ECON 207: Intermediate Microeconomics
HIST 373W (H): US Health Policy and Politics or HIST 374W (H): Pandemics, Politics, and Policies in the US
PHLT 116: Introduction to the U.S. Health System
PHLT 230: Public Health Law & Policy

Electives (Five Courses, from at least three different themes, two courses must be from the Economics and Policy theme)

I. Economics and Policy

  • ECON 230: Economics Statistics
  • ECON 236: Health Economics
  • HIST 203/HIST 203W: Childhood, Health, and the Formation of U.S. Social Policy
  • HIST 242W: Unequal, Unjust: 100 Years of Racism in American Public Health
  • PHLT 234W:  Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health
  • PSCI 105: Introduction to American Politics
  • PSCI 202W: Argument in Political Science
  • PSCI 205: Data Analysis II
  • PSCI 215: American Elections
  • PSCI 226: Act Locally? Local Governments in the U.S.
  • PSCI 227: Designing American Democracy
  • PSCI 228: Race, Ethnicity, and American Politics
  • PSCI 235: The Policital Economy of U.S. Food Policy
  • PSCI 248: Discrimination
  • RELC 183 /PSCI 224: Incarceration Nation
  • PM 421U: Introduction to U.S. Health Care System
  • PM 445U: Introduction to Health Services Research
  • PM 448U (H): Health Policy Analysis
  • PM 493: Health Policy Lab

II. Environment

  • PHIL 230(W): Environmental Justice*
  • PHLT 232: Environmental Health Policy
  • PHLT 238: Environmental Health and Justice in the Rochester Community
  • PSCI 243: Environmental Politics 
  • PSCI 246: Environmental Law and Policy 
  • PSCI 247: Green Markets: Environmental Opportunities and Pitfalls

III. Social Studies, Humanities, and Law

  • ANTH 216: Medical Anthropology
  • HIST 359W: Birth in the Nation: A History of Reproduction
  • HIST 383W: Disease and Society
  • PHIL 226(W): Philosophy of Law
  • PHIL 230(W): Environmental Justice*
  • PHLT 236: Health Care and Law
  • PHLT 265W: Global Health

IV. Community engagement/internships

  • PHLT 394C: Washington Semester Internship**
  • PHLT 394F: Health Policy Internship**
  • PHLT 397W: Community Engagement Internship****

*PHIL 230 may count for either theme 2 or theme 3 but may not count for both theme 2 and theme 3
**Permission of the health policy faculty advisor required
***Open to juniors, seniors, Take 5, and e5 public health majors; permission of the health policy faculty advisor required
****Open to juniors, seniors, Take 5, and e5 public health majors

Students may use up to to 2 PHLT internship courses towards their public health major.

Upper-Level Writing Requirement

Students are required to register for two upper-level writing courses.

Overlapping Major Courses

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the public health-related programs, no more than two courses may overlap between a public health major and another major.

The pre-requisite course (ECON 108) and the introductory STAT course (STAT 212) are not included in the course overlap.

Transfer Credit

Students are permitted (with the approval of their public health faculty advisor) to use up to two transfer courses towards their public health program.

Note: Students may choose to major, or to minor, or to complete a cluster within the Public Health-Related program, but they cannot do more than one.