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 Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Requirements
PH 101 - Introduction to Public Health   3  
ENGL 101 - English Composition   3 Writing/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) placement 3 Quantitative Reasoning
AH 101 - Introduction to the Health Care Professions   3  
SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology   3 Cultural Analysis and Interpretation

Semester 2

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Requirements
ENGL 102 - The Research Paper ENGL 101 3 Writing/Research/Info Lit 2
CIS 103 - Computer Applications & Concepts   3 Technological Competency
BIOL 109 Anatomy and Physiology I   4 Scientific Reasoning
PH 102 - Community Health Education and Promotion PH 101 3  
SOC 105 - Health and Society   3  

Semester 3

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Requirements
MATH 251 - Statistics for Science FNMT 118 with a grade of “C” or better or MATH 150 with a grade of “C” or better 3  
BIOL 110 - Anatomy and Physiology II BIOL 109 4  
SOC 231 - Social Problems or 
SOC 233 - Race, Ethnicity and Social Inequalities
SOC 101 or ANTH 112 3  
ENGL 115 - Public Speaking ENGL 101, which may be taken concurrently 3 Oral Communication/ Creative Expression
AH 204 - Medical Law and Ethics ENGL 101 3  

Semester 4

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Requirements
AH 222 - Health Care Policy and Administration AH 204 with a grade of C or better 3  
AH 224 - Current Issues and Trends in Health Care MATH 150 or MATH 251 with a grade of “C” or better 3  
AH 116 - Interpersonal and Professional Skills in the Health Care Setting   3  
ENGL 118 - Intercultural Communication ENGL 101, which may be taken concurrently 3  
PH 226 - Foundations in Public Health Research PH 101, PH 102, SOC 231 or 233 3  


*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.