Milken Institute School of Public Health

Dean L.R. Goldman
Senior Associate Dean G. Paulson (Interim)
Associate Deans J. DeLoia, K. Horn, P. Vigilance
Assistant Dean H. Klepac 

Established in July 1997 as the School of Public Health and Health Services, the school brought together three longstanding university programs in the schools of medicine, business, and education. In 2014, the school was renamed Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH)  after receiving three gifts totaling $80 million from the Milken Institute, the Sumner M. Redstone Charitable Foundation, and the Milken Family Foundation, the largest ever received by The George Washington University. The only school of public health in the nation's capital, Milken Institute SPH enrolls more than 1,700 students, who come from nearly every U.S. state and more than 39 nations to pursue undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral-level degrees in public health. The student body is one of the most ethnically diverse among the nation's private schools of public health. Six departments form the school: Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Global Health, Health Policy and Management, and Prevention and Community Health.

Degrees Programs

The Milken Institute School of Public Health offers the following degree programs:

  • Bachelor of Science with majors in exercise science and public health
  • Master of Public Health in the fields of biostatistics; community oriented primary care; environmental health science and policy; epidemiology; global environmental health; global health; global health program design, monitoring, and evaluation; global health policy; global health epidemiology; health policy; health promotion; maternal and child health; physical activity in public health; public health communication and marketing; and public health nutrition
  • Master of Public Health: MPH@GW (online)
  • Master of Science in the fields of biostatistics; epidemiology; exercise science with a concentration in strength and conditioning; health policy; and public health microbiology and emerging infectious diseases
  • Master of Health Administration; Master of Health Administration: online/executive program
  • Health Services Administration Specialist
  • Special Programs: Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health; Juris Doctor/Master of Laws in the field of law and Master of Public Health; Master of Arts in the field of international affairs and Master of Public Health; Master of Health Administration with a certificate in healthcare corporate compliance; Master of Public Health in the field of health policy with certificate in healthcare corporate compliance; Master of Science in Health Policy with a certificate in healthcare corporate compliance; Master of Science in Health Sciences in the field of physicians assistant and Master of Public Health; Peace Corp Master's International Program and Master of Public Health
  • Doctor of Public Health in the fields of environmental and occupational health; global health; health behavior; health policy; biostatistics; and epidemiology. Columbian College confers the Doctor of Philosophy in biostatistics and public policy  and public policy and administration (health policy track)
     

Mission

The Milken Institute School of Public Health is committed to excellence in scholarship that contributes to the betterment of local, national, and global community health. The School is dedicated to providing the highest quality public health educational experience that incorporates the core values of scholarship and leadership, scientific rigor and policy analysis, and training. Through its efforts, the School fosters the next generation of thought leaders, practitioners, policy makers, and scientists who will transform public health worldwide, especially for underserved and poor populations.
 

Vision

As complex global health challenges continue to threaten the world population's health and future, the Milken Institute School of Public Health will be preeminent in training leaders who will contribute to improving the public's health, conducting translational research and convening the world's top public health leaders and thinkers.
 

Accreditation

The public health programs of the Milken Institute SPH are fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. In 2008, Milken Institute SPH was awarded a seven-year accreditation through 2015. The program in health administration is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education. Milken Institute SPH is a member of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. 

Undergraduate Regulations

Graduation Requirements

Depending on the Milken Institute SPH degree program, students must complete 120 to 124 credits. Students in the B.S. in exercise science degree programs must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in courses in the major; those in the B.S. in public health program must have  a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 2.5.  The University General Education Requirement and major and other curriculum requirements are listed under each program’s regulations tab in this Bulletin.

While degrees are awarded at the end of each semester, formal commencement ceremonies occur only in May. Students are eligible to graduate only after they have completed all degree requirements and have no financial obligations to the University. Students may include degree designations (B.S., M.S., M.P.H., M.H.A., Dr.PH., or Ph.D.) after their name only when they have completed all degree requirements.

Enrollment Status

Once entered in an undergraduate degree program, students are expected to be registered continuously for at least 1 credit during all fall and spring semesters and to be engaged actively in fulfilling the requirements for their degree.

  • In the fall and spring semesters, students must register for 1 or more credits to maintain enrollment status.
  • During the summer session, students do not have to be enrolled unless they are graduating during the summer; in this case, they should register for Continuous Enrollment.
  • Some additional activities, such as study abroad programs, qualify as continuous enrollment.

Degree students who need to interrupt active pursuit of the degree may petition to take a leave of absence for a period of no more than one calendar year during their program. Students who discontinue active enrollment in degree studies without being granted a leave of absence, or students who are granted a leave but do not return to active study at the close of the period of approved absence, are no longer in status and must apply for readmission and be subject to the regulations and program requirements then in effect. Readmission to any program is a competitive process and not guaranteed.

Advising

Students are responsible for building a support system to help ensure their own academic success. Each student is assigned a faculty advisor who may assist not only with academic counseling, but also in areas ranging from understanding University requirements to finding campus resources to help individual students connect with the GW the community. Other members of the faculty, professional advisors, tutors, and/or counselors also should be part of the support system. The University Career Center and The Writing Center offer walk-in and by-appointment assistance. Personal counseling is available through the office of the Dean of Student Affairs, Mental Health Services, Disability Support Services, Multicultural Student Services Center, and International Services Office.

Timely Progress Toward the Degree

Students who fail to make adequate and timely progress toward the degree, through repeated leaves of absence or repeated failure to complete an appropriate number of credits per semester, may be dismissed from the University (see Right to Dismiss Students under University Regulations). Students dismissed on these grounds may apply for readmission after supplying sufficient evidence of academic promise. Additionally, students must attain grades no lower than C– in required major field courses. If a student receives a grade of D+, D, or D– in a course specifically required for the major, the student will be required to repeat the course until a satisfactory grade (C– or better) is earned. Once the student has completed the course with a satisfactory grade, credits earned the first time the course was taken will count toward the minimum number of credits required for the major. Credits earned toward the repetition do not count toward the degree.

Incompletes

Conditions under which the symbol I, Incomplete, may be assigned are described under University Regulations. In the Milken Institute SPH, the conditions for granting a notation of I are documented with a written contract between the faculty member and the student.

The Incomplete work must be completed as specified in the contract but no later than one calendar year from the end of the semester in which the course was taken. In cases of well-documented extenuating circumstances, an instructor and a student may jointly petition the dean for additional time in which to complete the work of the course. Such petitions should be submitted within one year of the assignment of the symbol I.

Pass/No Pass Option

Junior or senior students in good standing may, with the approval of the instructor and program director, take one course each semester for a grade of P, Pass, or NP, No Pass. No student will be allowed to take more than a total of four courses on a P/NP basis under this regulation. Students may, however, also receive grades of P/NP in courses that are graded only on that basis. Courses required for the University General Education Requirement or in the student’s major or minor field (including those courses required for the major that are offered by other departments) may not be taken on the P/NP basis. A transfer student may not choose this option until the second semester of enrollment in the University. Under no circumstances may a student change from P/NP status to graded status, or vice versa, after the end of the eighth week of class. The Milken Institute SPH does not allow LSPA courses to be counted toward the degree.

Academic Workload

To encourage academic performance of high quality, the Milken Institute SPH places limits on the number of credits a student may take. After freshman year, a full-time student who is not on probation may take a course load of up to 19 credits. The 18th and all subsequent credits require additional tuition charges. A full-time student who, during the immediately preceding semester, has received no grades below B− and has earned grades of A or A− in three courses totaling at least 9 credits may take up to 21 credits. Students may not register for more than 21 credits without the approval of the dean.

Applying for Readmission to a Program

Students Who Have Taken Classes Within the Past Year:

Milken Institute SPH graduate degree or certificate students who were previously registered in the university but did not register during the immediate preceding semester/module (excluding summer sessions) are out of status and must apply for readmission by completing an admissions petition.

Students Who Have Not Taken Classes in More Than a Year:

Students who have not taken any courses at GW in more than one year must apply for readmission using SOPHAS Express.

Students Who Have Been Suspended:

Students who were suspended from the Milken Institute SPH must apply for readmission through SOPHAS Express.  Students may only apply for readmission after at least one academic year has passed.  Students should consult with the advisor concerning readmission requirements.

International Students---Less than Full-Time Status

International students on an F-1 or J-1 Visa are responsible for enrolling as a full-time student (minimum 12 credits for undergraduate students) for spring and fall semesters according to U.S. Immigration and Naturalization rules governing registration requirements. In certain circumstances, a reduced course load may be allowed; students should contact the International Services Office to request approval for this exception.

Special Honors

In addition to meeting the general requirements stated under University Regulations, a candidate for graduation with Special Honors in exercise science must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in required courses in the major and a minimum overall GPA of 3.25. The candidate must submit an honors paper; the student will be recommended for graduation with special honors only if a committee of at least two faculty members approves the paper.

Independent Study Course Requirements

Independent study is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to gain or enhance public health knowledge and to explore an area of interest related to public health research or the delivery and/or administration of health services. Forms and instructions for registration are available online. Independent study projects may not be used as a substitute for an available required or elective course and may not cover substantially the same subject matter that is available in a required or elective course.

Preparation for Medical School

A student who plans to apply to medical school fulfills the general requirements of their program. The health professions advisors in the Columbian College Office of Undergraduate Studies provide advice about academic preparation for medical school. For admission to most medical schools, the student must earn a bachelor’s degree that includes the following course work: Biology—8 credits of introductory biology, including laboratory. Students who receive credit for AP biology must complete 8 credits of upper-level biology course work, including laboratory; chemistry—8 credits of general inorganic chemistry, including laboratory; organic Chemistry—8 credits, including laboratory; biochemistry—3 credits; physics—8 credits, including laboratory; and English—6 credits in introductory English composition courses (fulfilled by the University Writing Program). Many medical schools have additional entrance requirements, which may include courses in biochemistry, genetics, and mathematics; even when such courses are not required, they are strongly recommended. With the exception of the specified requirements, applicants are urged to follow their personal interests in developing their course of study.

Preparation for Law School

A broad liberal arts education is the best undergraduate preparation for law school. Students are encouraged to use elective credit to increase the breadth of their program of study. Advice about academic preparation for law school is provided by the pre-law advisor in the Columbian College Office of Undergraduate Studies.

Other Regulations

Other regulations applicable to undergraduate students of the University can be found under University Regulations.


Graduate Regulations

The Milken Institute SPH provides an online Graduate Student Handbook, which contains additional updated information on policies, regulations, and other matters of concern to enrolled or admitted students. It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of the information contained in both this Bulletin and the Handbook. Students should also consult departmental handbooks and guidelines. 

Enrollment Status

Once entered in a graduate degree program, students are expected to be registered continuously for at least one credit during all fall and spring semesters and engaged actively in fulfilling the requirements for the degree.

  • In the fall and spring semester, students must register for 1 or more credits to maintain enrollment status.
  • During the summer session, students do not have to be enrolled unless they are graduating during the summer; in this case, they should register for Continuous Enrollment.
  • Some additional activities, such as Master’s International, qualify as continuous enrollment.

Degree students who need to interrupt active pursuit of the degree may petition to take a Leave of Absence for a period of no more than one calendar year during the their program. Students who discontinue active enrollment in degree studies without being granted a leave of absence, or students who granted a leave but does not return to active study at the close of the period of approved absence, are no longer in status and must apply for readmission and be subject to the regulations and program requirements then in effect. Readmission to any program is a competitive process and not guaranteed. 

Advising

Students are responsible for building a support system to help ensure their own academic success. Each student is assigned a faculty advisor who may assist not only with academic counseling, but also in areas ranging from understanding University requirements to finding campus resources to help individual students connect with the GW the community. Other members of the faculty, professional advisors, tutors, and/or counselors also should be part of the support system. The University Career Center and Writing Center offer walk-in and by-appointment assistance. Personal counseling is available through the office of the Dean of Student AffairsMental Health ServicesDisability Support Services, the Multicultural Student Services Center, and the International Services Office.

Academic Standing

Graduate students who are not suspended, on academic probation, or under extended provisional admission status are considered to be in good standing. Maintenance of a minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for the degree. All courses taken for graduate credit after matriculation as a degree candidate—including those the Milken Institute SPH transferred in from non-degree status, but excluding those audited or taken for the grade of CR/NC—will be used to calculate the GPA. 

Provisional Admission

Graduate program applicants with credentials that are weaker than expected for graduate study, but who nonetheless show promise of successful graduate work, occasionally are granted provisional admission by the Milken Institute SPH Admissions Committee. While on provisional admission status, students are required to see their advisors each semester prior to registration. Provisionally admitted graduate students must demonstrate their ability to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the first 9 credits of coursework attempted, and during this time are not allowed to receive an Incomplete or a grade lower than a 3.0; provisionally admitted students who meet these requirements are granted good standing. Provisionally admitted students who do not meet these requirements are subject to suspension. 

Semester Warning

Graduate students whose cumulative GPA is below 3.0 after attempting a minimum of 1 credit and a maximum of 8 credits will be issued a warning at the end of the semester and will be required to take corrective measures, such as meeting with their academic advisor to outline steps to raise the GPA. 

Probation

Graduate students whose GPA falls below 3.0 at any point after completing 9 credits will be placed on probation. This probation extends through the period in which the student next attempts up to 12 credits of work, including prescribed courses. A student’s program may be restricted by the program director if deemed necessary. During this period, the student’s performance will be monitored to determine suitability for continued study. A student who fails to raise the cumulative GPA to 3.0 or above during the period of probation is subject to suspension. Incompletes and grades of B- or below are not permitted during the probationary period and are grounds for automatic suspension. A student who is subject to probation for a second time at any point during their degree program may be suspended automatically. 

Grade of F

Graduate student who receive a grade of F are subject to suspension. If such students wish to remain enrolled, they must present cause, for consideration by the dean and the director of his/her degree program, as to why continued study should be permitted. Once a grade of F is earned in a core, required, or elective course, it remains a part of the student’s permanent record and is calculated into the GPA. A graduate student who receives the grade of F in a core or other required course and is permitted to continue in graduate studies must repeat the course and achieve a minimum grade of 3.0. The repetition does now, however, expunge the grade of F, which remains part of the student’s record. If the student receives a grade below 3.0 in the repeated course, he or she will be suspended from the degree program. 

Suspension

Graduate student who receive an F or do not meet the conditions of probation are subject to suspension. Suspended students may not register for or complete any courses at The George Washington Dean’s Office, in consultation with the student’s academic advisor, may continue a student on probation (in lieu of suspension) if satisfactory progress is demonstrated during the probationary period, and sufficient evidence of academic promise, by way of a statement of appeal, is offered by the student. A student who is suspended or withdraws under these conditions may apply for readmission after one semester. To be readmitted, the student must submit evidence that suggests the probability of academic success. A student who is readmitted will continue on academic probation and must achieve a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the next 12 credits of graduate study. Should the student fail to achieve this GPA, he or she will be suspended and will not be readmitted. 

Timely Progress Toward the Degree

A graduate student who fails to make adequate and timely progress toward the degree, through repeated leaves of absence or repeated failure to complete an appropriate number of credits per semester, may be suspended. Students suspended on these grounds may apply for readmission after supplying sufficient evidence of academic promise. 

Summary of Academic Standing Policies for Graduate Students

  • Provisional Admission—A student who receives a grade of I or of B- or lower while on provisional admission status is subject to suspension.
  • Semester Warning—A student with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 (with fewer than 9 credits completed) must take corrective action.
  • Academic Probation—A student with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 (with 9 or more credits completed) is placed on academic probation. A student on academic probation who receives an unacceptable grade (B-, C, F, I, Z) or fails to raise the cumulative GPA to 3.0 within the next 12 credits taken is subject to suspension.
  • Grade of F—A student who receives a grade of F is subject to suspension. If a student wishes to remain enrolled he or she must present cause as to why continued study should be permitted. If permitted to continue in graduate studies, the student must repeat the course (if core or required) and achieve at least the grade of B.
  • Suspension—A student who is suspended may not register for or complete any courses at GW. A student who is suspended or withdraws under these conditions may apply for readmission after one semester. 

Incompletes

Conditions under which the symbol I, Incomplete, may be assigned are described under University Regulations. In the Milken Institute SPH, the conditions for granting a notation of I are documented with a written contract between the faculty member and the student. 

Changing an Incomplete (I)

Conditions under which the symbol I, Incomplete, may be changed to a letter grade are described under University Regulations. In the Milken Institute SPH, incomplete work must be completed as specified in the contract but no later than six months from the end of the semester in which the course was taken. In cases of well-documented extenuating circumstances, an instructor and a student may jointly petition the dean for additional time in which to complete the work of the course. Such petitions should be submitted within six months of the assignment of the symbol I

In Progress (IP)

The notation In Progress (IPG) is assigned for all thesis, residency, advanced reading, independent study, culminating experience, practicum, and dissertation research courses until the coursework is completed. Upon the satisfactory completion, the grade replaces the notation IPG on the transcript. An IPG may not be assigned to regular, semester-length courses. 

Applying for Readmission to a Program

Milken Institute SPH graduate degree or certificate students who previously were registered in the University but who did not register during the immediately preceding semester (summer sessions excluded) are out of status and must apply for readmission by completing an admissions petition. Filing the petition does not guarantee that the student will be readmitted. Milken Institute SPH departments are responsible for readmitting students and can do so only if the student is not in violation of other Milken Institute SPH or University policies. Students who have attended one or more academic institutions while absent from this University must have complete official transcripts from each institution sent directly to the Milken Institute SPH Office of Admissions. Applicants for readmission are considered on the basis of policies and program requirements currently in effect and if readmitted, will be subject to the policies and program requirements then in effect. 

International Students---Less than Full-Time Status

International students on an F-1 or J-1 Visa are responsible for enrolling as full-time student (minimum 9 credits for graduate students) for the spring and fall semesters according to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization rules governing registration requirements. Under certain circumstances, a reduced course load may be allowed. To request approval for a course reduction, students should submit the F-1/J-1 Request for Reduced Course Load Form. More information is available by calling the ISO at (202) 994-4477. 

Independent Study Course Requirements

Independent study is designed to provide students with an opportunity to gain or enhance public health knowledge and to explore an area of interest related to public health research or the delivery and/or administration of health services. Instructions and forms required for registration are available Independent study projects may not be used as a substitute for an available required or elective course and may not cover substantially the same subject matter that is available in a required or elective course. 

Graduation

While degrees are awarded at the end of each semester, formal commencement ceremonies occur only in May. Students are eligible to graduate only after they have completed all degree requirements and have no financial obligations to the University. Students may include degree designation (B.S., M.S., M.P.H., M.H.A., Dr.PH., or Ph.D.) after their name only when they have completed all degree requirements. 

Master of Public Health

Master of Science

Master of Health Administration

Specialist program

Joint/Dual programs

Doctoral programs

Explanation of Course Numbers

  • Courses in the 1000s are primarily introductory undergraduate courses
  • Those in the 2000–4000s are upper-division undergraduate courses that can also be taken for graduate credit with permission and additional work
  • Those in the 6000s and 8000s are for master’s, doctoral, and professional-level students
  • The 6000s are open to advanced undergraduate students with approval of the instructor and the dean or advising office

The letters and and range of numbers below indicate the department in which the course is offered.

PUBH 6000 - 6099: MPH Core & MPH@GW Program-Specific Courses
PUBH 6100 - 6199: Environmental and Occupational Health Courses
PUBH 6200 - 6299: Epidemiology and Biostatistics Courses
PUBH 6300 - 6399: Health Policy Courses
PUBH 6400 - 6499: Global Health Courses
PUBH 6500 - 6599: Prevention and Community Health Courses
PUBH 6600 - 6699: Public Health Nutrition and Miscellaneous Courses
PUBH 8000 - 9000: Doctoral Level Courses
EXSC 6000 - 7000: Exercise Science Courses
HSML 6200 - 6300: Health Services Management and Leadership Courses