New Minor in Public Health

After years of anticipation from faculty and students alike, UT Dallas has added a Minor in Public Health to its academic offerings.

According to Sociology Professor Dr. Richard Scotch, students have shown considerable interest in the program. "I think there's a lot of interest especially because one of the core classes in the minor is about global health," Dr. Scotch said. "We have a very international student body, so it makes sense that they'd gravitate toward that sort of class."

Dr. Scotch also says that there has been greater interest in healthcare-related minors in particular since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

The creation of the Public Health Minor owes much to the efforts of UT Dallas students themselves. One student in particular researched Public Health programs throughout the United States and emerged with plenty of suggestions for a similar program at the university.

Since then, the Public Health minor has been supported by multiple faculty members in the Sociology department. Dr. Scotch and Public Affairs and Social Policy Department Head Dr. Sheryl Skaggs have both committed themselves to the success of the new program.

As the Public Health Minor becomes established at UT Dallas, Dr. Scotch hopes to build a more permanent group of faculty to teach the program's core classes.

"By next year, we hope to offer the core classes on a regular basis," he said. "We want full-time professors with research interests in the field as well as part-time adjuncts with practical experience. Once we have that, we can really give students a robust education in public health."

For more information about the Public Health minor, visit www.utdallas.edu/epps/sociology/minor-in-public-health.html or contact Dr. Scotch at scotch@utdallas.edu.