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Minors

Minors are open to all Drexel graduate students in all schools and colleges. The minors are designed to complement student’s training by providing basic knowledge in topics outside their primary discipline. In addition to the list below, additional minors are being developed.

Environmental and Occupational Health

Students who minor in Environmental and Occupational Health will gain skills and knowledge to assess and prevent health impacts from air and drinking water pollutants, climate change, the built environment, and workplace hazards. Students will learn key concepts through structured coursework that will cover toxicology, epidemiology, exposure science, and risk communication. After completing the minor, students will understand the effects of major biological, chemical, and physical agents on human health and safety, and how genetic and socioeconomic factors affect a person’s susceptibility to environmental hazards. The minor will deepen a student’s learning experience and provide them with a distinctive skill set to help address complex, emerging environmental health issues.

Global Health

This minor will provide students insights into ethical and human rights concerns in global health, the global burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, the impact of diseases related to international travel and migration, the causes and control of global epidemics, and the social and environmental determinants of health in developing countries. Examination of health determinants will include consideration of social, political, economic, environmental, and gender-related factors. Students will explore tools to assess health in global settings; health improvement strategies that are cost-effective, efficient, and sustainable; and approaches to working with colleagues from different ethnic, religious, and social backgrounds. Students will gain an appreciation of the complexity of global health governance, including the roles of international organizations, the commercial/corporate sector, and civil society.

Infectious Disease Prevention and Control

The minor in Infectious Disease Prevention and Control provides students with a population-level approach to the prevention and control of infectious diseases. Coursework emphasizes microbial causes of human illness, their diagnosis and treatment; infectious disease epidemiology; and infectious diseases that occur in the health care environment. Students will use case studies as a framework to identify and address important clinical syndromes caused by infectious agents and to understand control measures that are important to interrupt transmission in community and health care settings. Students complete a field-based project in either a public health or health care infectious disease control program. The minor allows students to pursue relevant courses in epidemiology, health communication, management and leadership, and patient safety, providing a bridge to the student’s discipline-specific major and opportunities to acquire skills needed in the workplace. The program is intended to prepare students to work in health care settings, public health agencies, the pharmaceutical sector, and other organizations engaged in work related to the prevention and control of infectious diseases.

Latino/Immigrant Health

Globalization, economic inequalities, civil unrest, terrorism, climate change, and other factors are resulting in ever larger global population movements, with significant public health implications for nations at all stages of migration pathways. The Latino/Immigrant Health minor allows students to explore the unique public health needs of immigrant and migrant communities, with emphasis on, but not limited to, Latino immigrants to the U.S. Coursework will cover priority health issues and health disparities affecting migrant and immigrant populations; the public health implications of international migration; explanatory and intervention theories of immigration and immigrant health; and intervention approaches to improve the health of migrants in communities of origin, transit, and destination. The minor also addresses key methodological and ethical issues related to conducting research and practicing public health among foreign-born and mobile populations. The minor emphasizes the unique health concerns of Latino immigrants in the U.S. and reviews successful strategies to work with Latino communities along the migration continuum. Students also will have the opportunity to connect and intern with organizations that serve immigrants and refugees.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Health

This minor examines methodologic and ethical considerations in studying the health of LGBT populations, with a focus on the intersection of social identity and inequality in shaping health disparities based on ethnicity, sexual orientation, and sex/gender. Students will learn to investigate LGBT health using multiple disciplinary perspectives, conceptual frameworks and methods. They will also gain understanding of how sexual and gender minority populations are socially constructed and the complex relationship between these constructs and health, including how sexual and gender minority identities fit within a larger framework of social identities. They will learn the importance of involving community members in the development of health policy and research. The LGBT Health minor will provide students with basic knowledge about LGBT health as well as the necessary skills and experience to apply this knowledge in practice.

Maternal and Child Health

The Maternal and Child Health minor is designed to prepare students for work to improve the health of women, children, adolescents and families. The minor takes a life-course perspective and focuses on areas such as global health, perinatal epidemiology, children and youth with special health care needs, autism spectrum disorders, family-centered maternal and pediatric care, breast feeding, health communication, program evaluation, health disparities, the role of technology in health care, and maternal and child health policy. Students accepted into this minor program will be assigned a faculty advisor from the school’s Maternal and Child Health Program, a multidisciplinary coalition of faculty, community partners and students with backgrounds in community health and prevention, health management and policy, epidemiology, environmental and occupational health, nursing, rehabilitation sciences, social work, medicine and technology –based on mutual student and faculty interest. Students develop skills in critical thinking, application and analysis of maternal and child health issues to be poised for entry into the maternal and child health work force or related doctoral programs.

Program Monitoring and Evaluation

For people who fund, plan, or implement public health programs, their questions often include: what outcomes do you expect, how will you know if you achieved the desired outcomes, and, for programs that have been implemented, what evidence can you provide that they are having intended effects? The minor in Health Program Monitoring and Evaluation prepares students to develop, improve, and critique public health programs using quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods that can be applied in governmental or non-governmental agencies and in domestic or global contexts. In addition to required courses, students are encouraged to take additional advanced research methods courses and to build practical evaluation experience into their graduate studies by working with faculty on a community-based evaluation project as part of their integrated learning experience.

Public Health Ethics and History

This minor will strengthen students’ critical thinking skills and their knowledge of public health history and ethics, enabling them to more effectively and thoughtfully perform their primary jobs as professionals in public health practice. For students intending to pursue an academic career in public health, the minor will be of additional value because academics in public health, regardless of their specialty, are thought-leaders who should understand and be conversant in the field’s history, current points of ethical controversy, and the many ways in which these are influenced by conceptual assumptions, value judgments, and historical events. For students with a primary interest in the history and ethics of health professions, this minor will be of value because it will provide a foundation for careers in health care ethics (e.g., positions relating to human or animal research protections, legal or professional ethics) or for entrance into doctoral programs in the humanities or other interdisciplinary programs with an emphasis on ethics and policy.

Substance Use and Misuse

The minor in Substance Use and Misuse will focus on key issues relating to the history, epidemiology, and study of drug use. This will include examination of drug policies, public health outcomes linked to substance use/misuse, and characteristics of marginalized individuals/communities who use drugs. Students will gain understanding of the economic, cultural, and health-related contexts of drug use, including consideration of intersects between drug use and homelessness, incarceration, HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, mental health, violence, and health disparities. Coursework will address the use of qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate the public health effects of drug use and about prevention, intervention, and treatment strategies and policies for addressing substance use and misuse. This includes consideration of the use of illegal drugs, such as marijuana, heroin, and cocaine; legal drugs, such as alcohol and tobacco/nicotine; and prescription drugs, such as pharmaceutical opioids, tranquilizers, and stimulants. Morbidity and mortality associated with substance use and misuse is a top public health concern, reflecting the impacts of drug dependence and overdose, drug-use-associated transmission of infectious diseases, and the overuse of prescription opioids in managing chronic pain associated with cancer and other conditions.