Intro to Public Health

HLTH 54, Introduction to Public Health is offered both on campus and online, to accommodate a range of student preferences.


This course is designed for students pursuing work or study in the health or social service fields. Students will be introduced to the basic concepts of public health and analyze the social determinants of health. Students will discuss contemporary public health challenges, focusing on the elimination of health disparities.

This course transfers to UC and CSUs.  HLTH 54 meets Area G1 and Area D for CCSF graduation requirement.


Sample Assignments

This course uses readings, video, class discussion and other activities to explore many themes and core principles of public health.

Writing assignments are usually linked across the semester on a single topic of a student's choosing, so that he or she gains more depth of knowledge about that topic.  We call this a "Community Health Project."

Examples of possible assignments include:

  • Research what causes a disease or injury, or what factors make it more likely to happen (even if they don't cause it), and explain how those causes and risk factors operate for individuals, families, communities and the society at large.
  • Conduct a mini-survey to learn more about your communities attitudes or experiences with your health topic.
  • Critique existing public health strategies to address the health topic that concerns you - and propose new strategies of your own, arguing for why they would work better.


Quotes from Students

"Really enjoyed the material and found myself talking about the topics and information with my friends and family and was able to use the information in conversations outside of class!"

"Thanks for an excellent course. You've really opening my eyes to the field of public health. I've noticed myself paying much closer attention to TV, internet, and newspapers when they are reporting anything to do with public health. I've also learned how innovative San Francisco is in its approach to public health."


Current Faculty Teaching HLTH 54

Gayle Reznikov

Gayle Reznikov