From vaccines to climate change, explore local and global health issues through science, social science, economics, the arts and more.

The Pathway in Public Health is designed to educate students to explore current local and global health issues, exploring the broad areas of public health. Public health focuses on health promotion and on protecting and improving the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations. Our academic courses, experiential learning, study-abroad programs, and career-oriented internships offer a global perspective and allow broad applications to diverse intellectual interests. In the sciences, one might consider biological, chemical and epidemiological studies of medicine and health. In the social sciences, one may study the economic, social, demographic or behavioral factors influencing health outcomes and policies at local, state, federal and/or international levels. Offerings in literature and the arts could include narrative medicine, representations of illness in theater, and/or the study of kinesiology through dance. An important focus of the Pathway is inequality in access to both quality health care and health-related outcomes. Our Pathway enables students to make connections across disciplines, to work collaboratively, to hone communication skills, and to gain experience and knowledge in public health issues.

While students will construct their own animating questions, some possible examples might be:

  • How is climate change affecting local and global communities?
  • Why is it important to vaccinate the population against disease?
  • Should children have a say in health-related decisions (e.g., treatments for chronic disease, abortion, birth control, end-of-life)?
  • How do pharmaceutical companies decide how much to charge for a prescription drug and should the government be allowed to regulate this?

Thematic Inquiry

Students will gain broad understandings of the fields of Public Health and Global Health through readings, videos, and discussion. Seminars from visiting faculty, Connecticut College faculty and alumni will introduce students to broad themes in public health. Through in-class workshops, students will learn about opportunities for experiential learning at both local and global levels. The two-credit seminar course will work in tandem with Public Health four-credit entry courses, offered in a variety of disciplines. Students will begin to plan out their Pathway, which will culminate with the Senior Reflection and All-College Symposium.

Global/Local Engagement

Each Pathway requires students to pursue purposeful engagement in a local or international context, such as study away, an internship, or community-based learning.

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