Public Health


Public health focuses on vulnerable populations and uses a proactive, preventive, and group approach to address the health needs of communities (regions, countries, or even the world) that are experiencing health disparities. Public health methods coordinate the work of individuals, organizations, as well as private, government, and public entities. These public health methods are unique from those of other health professions that focus on individuals.

Responding to public health crises is always a concern for large urban centers such as Philadelphia. These public health crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid crisis, affect other areas related to public health, such as the homicide rate and homelessness, and increase the need for public health professionals to focus on the specific needs of city residents. 

The AA in Public Health is multi-disciplinary program designed for transfer, with an emphasis on communication (oral and written) and sociology in the context of health and health care. Students will develop a theoretical understanding of group dynamics, learn population-based approaches to health, and analyze the historical and structural factors that create health and health care disparities and impact health. The AA in Public Health also prepares students to advocate for issues they care about within their own communities.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Examine the philosophy of public health in order to implement its core functions of assessment, communication, program planning, and policy development.
  • Recognize surveillance and other research methods used to identify diseases and health problems in affected populations, i.e., communities, regions, countries and or the world.
  • Distinguish among the disciplines that comprise public health: epidemiology, biostatistics, policy development/health management, social and behavioral science, and environmental health.
  • Analyze the structural and systemic factors (such as racism, classism, and sexism) that cause health care inequalities in affected communities in the United States.
  • Advocate for resources and communicate with various stakeholders in public health about public health initiatives within communities, nationally, and globally.


Program Entry Requirements:

Students are required to satisfy placement at the time of admission. Students identified as needing developmental course work must satisfactorily complete the appropriate English and mathematics courses as a part of the degree program.

Program of Study and Graduation Requirements:

To qualify for the A.A. Degree in Public Health, students must complete a minimum of 62 credit hours as prescribed and attain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and complete all course and credit requirements with no grade below a “C” in any course.

Course Sequence:

Semester 1

Course Number and NamePrerequisites and CorequisitesCreditsGen Ed Requirements
PH 101 - Introduction to Public Health 3 credits 
ENGL 101 - English Composition I or
ENGL 101H - English Composition I (Honors)
 3 creditsWriting/Research/Info Lit 1
FNMT 118 - Intermediate Algebra or 
MATH 150 - Introductory Data Analysis
FNMT 017 or FNMT 019 completed or FNMT 118 (or higher) placement3 creditsQuantitative Reasoning
AH 101 - Introduction to the Health Care Professions 3 credits 
SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology or
SOC 101H - Introduction to Sociology (Honors)
 3 creditsCultural Analysis and Interpretation

Semester 2

Course Number and NamePrerequisites and CorequisitesCreditsGen Ed Requirements
ENGL 102 - The Research Paper or
ENGL 102H - The Research Paper (Honors)
ENGL 1013 creditsWriting/Research/Info Lit 2
CIS 103 - Introduction to Information Technology 3 creditsTechnological Competency
BIOL 109 Anatomy and Physiology I 4 creditsScientific Reasoning
PH 102 - Community Health Education and PromotionPH 1013 credits 
SOC 105 - Health and Society 3 credits 

Semester 3

Course Number and NamePrerequisites and CorequisitesCreditsGen Ed Requirements
MATH 251 - Statistics for ScienceFNMT 118 with a grade of "C" or better or MATH 150 with a grade of "C" or better3 credits 
BIOL 110 - Anatomy and Physiology IIBIOL 1094 credits 
SOC 231 - Social Problems or 
SOC 233 - Race, Ethnicity and Social Inequalities
SOC 101 or ANTH 1123 credits 
ENGL 115 - Public SpeakingENGL 101, which may be taken concurrently3 creditsOral Communication/ Creative Expression
AH 204 - Medical Law and EthicsENGL 1013 credits 

Semester 4

Course Number and NamePrerequisites and CorequisitesCreditsGen Ed Requirements
PH 222 - Health Care Policy and AdministrationAH 204 with a grade of "C" or better3 credits 
AH 224 - Current Issues and Trends in Health CareMATH 150 or MATH 251 with a grade of "C" or better3 credits 
AH 116 - Interpersonal and Professional Skills in the Health Care Setting 3 credits 
ENGL 118 - Intercultural CommunicationENGL 101, which may be taken concurrently3 credits 
PH 226 - Foundations in Public Health ResearchPH 102, SOC 231 or SOC 233, and FNMT 118 or MATH 2513 credits 


*Students should consult an advisor or program faculty before choosing their Quantitative Reasoning course.

Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate:


General Education Requirements:

All general education requirements necessary for graduation are met through the courses in the program as indicated above. Students who wish to take courses that differ from the general education courses indicated above must complete a course substitution request form. To access the form, login to the MyCCP portal, and in the Student tab, under Electronic Forms, click on the Records and Registration Forms link, then choose Request for Course Substitution of Graduation Requirement link. A more detailed explanation of the College's general education requirements is also available.

For More Information, Contact:

The Division of Math, Science, and Health Careers, Room W1-1, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Telephone (215) 751-8430 or the College Information Center (215) 751-8010.