Community Health

The greatest need in the field of Community Health is for people connected to diverse communities, rooted in these relationships, with linguistic and cultural skills. Our Community Health Major is designed to emphasize “competencies” in addition to specific knowledge gained from course work. Employers are eager to see what students can do, as they apply basic knowledge.

On the basis of this evolving understanding, we have designed this major to be built on a small core of key courses that provide those specific knowledge needs, combined with a minor in one of many existing areas in the college curriculum. The goal is for students to gain a coherent knowledge through the core, but in the choice of the minor they decide the specific focus of their approach to issues in community health, and thus hone applicable skills. The public health core functions of assessment, policy development and assurance guide the majors in achieving foundational knowledge.

Experiential learning is also crucial in this field. Due to the fact that the students will have different minors (and therefore different focuses), we think it important to create an opportunity for each class to develop a group identity and working dynamic. Students have three significant opportunities to work in teams on community-based projects: The two-semester Research Design and Applied Statistics courses, the Senior Internship and the Senior Capstone Project. Through these course experiences the students accomplish a task as a team project, gaining experience in working as a group, and also building group identity in the major. Based on the specific focus/minor, each student develops an approach to the project, thus contributing a specific, yet integrated piece to the whole effort. In addition, each student’s senior capstone project may emerge from both the focusing area (minor) and an intended internship choice.

We prepare graduates who are able to present themselves to a prospective employer or graduate school with a transcript that indicates core knowledge, and a portfolio of several projects that shows strong evidence of an applicable skill set.

The goal is for CHC graduates to be able to:

  • Communicate effectively, in both​​ written and oral forms, as well as in the use of electronic “new” media
  • Apply critical analysis skills to identify and solve important social and health problems
  • Design, manage and assess community health intervention projects
  • Work collaboratively in teams, drawing on the skills and resources of others, and providing their own leadership
  • Understand the diverse cultural and social landscape of community health, and have the ability to interact effectively in diverse communities
  • Employ a solid knowledge of community health issues and policies, including an understanding of epidemiology and biostatistics.​

Program Faculty


  • Eustache Jean-Louis, MD, MPH


Susan Bear - Professor of Biology
Tel: 617-731-7144

Program Courses

Core Courses

  • CHC 100 Introduction to
    Community Health
  • CHC 200 Healthcare Policy
  • BI 289 Biostatistics
  •     OR
  • MA 205 Statistics
  • BI 360 Epidemiology
  • PY340/PY341: Research Design
    and Applied Statistics

    Community-based research
    Practicum and Applied Statistics
  • CHC 490 Senior Capstone Project
  • CHC 495 Senior Internship

Focusing Areas

Students are required to complete a minor in a discipline that can be integrated into their study of Community Health. Listed below are some of the established minors.  Students are also encouraged to create their own interdisciplinary minors.

Psychology (5 courses)

  • PY 101 Introduction to Psychology
  • 2 PY courses at 200-lvel
  • 2 PY courses at 300-level
  • Suggested courses:
  • PY 221 Counseling and Interviewing
  • PY 234 Cross-cultural Psychology
  • PY 300 Psychology of race, class and gender
  • PY 310 Psychology of the Family
  • PY 206 Social Psychology

Counseling (5 courses)

  • PY 221 Counseling and Interviewing
  • PY 231 Abnormal psychology
  • PY 345 Psychology of the family
  • Plus two of the following:
  • PY 224 Group dynamics
  • PY 234 Cross cultural psychology
  • PY 328 Psychological testing

Sociology (5 courses)

  • SPS 101 Introduction to Social
    and Political Science
  • Suggested courses:
  • AN 220 Culture Health and Healing
  • SO 201 Social Problems
  • SO 250 Nature of Prejudice
    and Discrimination
  • SO 320 Health Medicine and Society
  • SO 310 Sociology of the Family

Management (5 courses)

  • MN 211 Management Principles
  • Four electives. Suggested electives:
  • MN 220 Organizational change,
    strategies and methods
  • MN 270 The nonprofit organization
  • MN 301 Human resource management
  • MN 304 Business leadership
    and organizational behavior
  • IDS 200 Inclusive Leadership
    and Social Responsiblity

Human Health (5 courses)

  • BI/IDS 280 Bioethics
  • BI 225 Nutrition
  • BI 250 HIV/AIDS
  • BI 240 Biology of Women
  • BI 345 Psychopharmacology
  • AN 220 Culture Health and Healing
  • SO 320 Health Medicine and Society

Additional valuable courses that are not formally included in the major: