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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Department of Public Health offers minor beginning summer 2015

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Courtesy

This summer is the start of the new public health minor 

Beginning this summer, the Department of Public Health Studies offers a minor in public health.
After the implementation of the public health major last fall, University President Michael Young approved the minor as a means for students to compliment their degree. Assistant Department Head Donald J. Curtis, Ph.D., said the new minor was officially signed off by Young about a month ago.
“Everything is happening really fast for us right now — getting the courses open and getting the students into those classes,” Curtis said. “This is sort of a test run for us.”
Curtis said public health covers a wide array of topics affecting the health of a community, ranging from issues such as the recent outbreak of the Ebola virus to the attainment of clean drinking water.
“[Public health] is as easy as convincing someone to use sunscreen before going out in the sun, or people who are going and testing water quality in cities,” Curtis said.
Courses for the minor include social context, epidemiology, environment of public health and one elective.
Public Health Department head and professor Gilbert Ramirez, who also aided in overseeing the minor’s creation, said courses in the public health minor will help individuals in any career contribute to the improvement of the community.
“Public health is important because the healthcare industry by itself cannot achieve good health for all,” Ramirez said. “It requires the involvement of all sectors of society — private, business, government, etc.”
Companies focus more on public health in society today.
“You see all types of industry all talking about good health,” Ramirez said. “Everyone is realizing it is something we all have to work towards. Say a student who wants to major in business, architecture or whatever they want to major in, if they also get a public health minor, it gives them a competitive edge for getting that job because they also know about health.”
Jay Maddock, Dean of the School of Public Health, said even though the department can’t anticipate the number of students who will switch to the minor, he predicts it will be well received.
“I’m expecting it to be very popular, so if we’re not over 100 in the first years I’d be very surprised,” Maddock said. “I think it could grow into an advancement of 1,000 minors.”
Public health summer classes are open to any student with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and above.

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