Milken Institute School of Public Health

Dean L.R. Goldman
Senior Associate Dean J.J. Reum
Associate Dean J. DeLoia, K. Horn, P. Vigilance

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 in recognition of an 80 million dollar gift to the school -- the largest gift ever received by The George Washington University. The only school of public health in the nation's capital, where more than 1,200 students from nearly every US state and more than 38  nations pursue undergraduate, graduate and doctoral-level degrees in public health. Our student body is one of the most ethnically diverse among the nation's private schools of public health. Seven departments form the school: Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, Global Health, Health Policy, Health Services Management and Leadership, and Prevention and Community Health.

Degree programs offered by Milken Institute School of Public Health include the Bachelor of Science with majors in exercise science and public health; the Master of Public Health; the Master of Health Administration; the Master of Science in the fields of epidemiology, exercise science, health policy, and public health microbiology and emerging infectious diseases; the Doctor of Public Health; and the Doctor of Philosophy in the field of epidemiology. The Milken Institute SPH offers a Bachelor of Science/Master of Public Health dual degree program and cooperates with several other schools within GW in offering combined degree programs. Secondary fields for undergraduates in schools other than SPH and graduate certificate programs are offered as well.

Mission

The Milken Institute School of Public Health is committed to excellence in scholarship to advance the health of the populations of our local, national, and global communities; Our mission is to provide the best public health educational experience incorporating our core values of scholarship and leadership, scientific rigor and policy analysis, and training to foster the next generation of thought leaders, practitioners, poloicy makers and scientists who will transform public health worldwide especially for underserved and poor populations.

Vision

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

Accreditation

The public health programs of the Milken Institute School of Public Health have full accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health. In 2008, SPH was awarded a seven-year accreditation through 2015. The program in health services administration is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education. The Athletic Training Education Program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. Milken Institute School of Public Health is a member of the Association of Schools of Public Health. 

Undergraduate Regulations

The Milken Institute School of Public Health offers undergraduate programs leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and in Public Health. 

Depending on the degree program, 120-124 credits of academic course work must be passed with a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.0 to complete the degree. General education, major, and other requirements are described in the course curriculum.

Enrollment Status

The University’s continuous enrollment policy is very important.  Once entered in an undergraduate degree program, students are expected to be continuously registered for at least one credit during all fall and spring semesters and actively engaged in fulfilling the requirements for your degree.

  • For fall and spring semester, students must register for one or more credit hours to maintain enrollment status.

  • During the summer session, students do not have to be enrolled unless the student is graduating during the summer; in this case, the student should register for Continuous Enrollment ($35).

  • Some additional activities, such as study abroad programs, qualify as continuous enrollment.

Degree seeking student who find it necessary to interrupt active pursuit of your degree may petition to take a Leave of Absence for a specific period of time, limited to a total of one calendar year during the student’s program.  If the student discontinue active enrollment in degree studies without being granted a leave of absence, or if the student is granted a leave but does not return to active study at the close of the period of approved absence, the student is no longer in status and must apply for readmission and be subject to the regulations and program requirements then in effect.  Please note: readmission to any program is a competitive process and not guaranteed.

Advising

 Students partner with advisors to successfully navigate their academic careers through conversations that range from understanding University requirements to exploring relevent interests to finding appropriate campus resources that connect students to a community in which they feel comfortable. Students are thereby empowered to take ownership of, and responsibility for, their educational experiences.

Students need to build a support system that ensures academic success. Professors, faculty advisors, professional advisors, tutors, and/or counselors should be part of that support system. The University Career Center and The Writing Center offer walk-in by-appointment assistance. Personal counseling is available through the office of the Dean of Student Affairs, the Counseling CenterDisability Support Services, the Multicultural Student Services Center, and the International Services Office.

Academic Standing

A student who is not on semester warning, probation, or suspension is considered to be in good standing.  At the undergraduate level, a minimum gradepoint average of 2.0 (C)must be maintained and is required to be awarded a degree.  All courses taken for credit after matriculation as a degree candidate (including those GWSPH courses transferred in from non-degree status, but excluding those audited or taken for the grade of CR or P/NP) will be used to calculate the grade-point average.

The following rules governing semester warning, probation, and suspension are applicable to students enrolled for a full-time program (12 credit hours or more) during the fall or spring semester. Students enrolled for fewer than 12 credits during the fall or spring semester and students enrolled during the summer sessions are subject to probation or suspension on the basis of their cumulative record, with a “semester” considered to be the time interval in which at least 12 credits have accrued.

Semester Warning

A first-semester student whose cumulative grade-point average is less than 2.0 will be issued a warning notice at the end of the semester and will be required to take corrective measures (e.g., limitations of course load to no more than 13 credit hours).

Probation

A student whose cumulative grade-point average is below 2.0 but above 1.0 after attempting a minimum of 24 credit hours is placed on probation. The course load of a student on probation may be no more than 13 credit hours. A student returns to good standing if, after a first or second semester on probation, the cumulative grade-point average is raised to 2.0 or more.

Suspension

The following circumstances constitute grounds for suspension:

  1. a cumulative grade-point average below 1.0 after attempting a minimum of 24 credit hours;

  2. failure to attain a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 or more after two successive full-time semesters (or 24 additional credit hours attempted) on probation. Suspension will take effect at the end of the second consecutive semester under 2.0 immediately following two semesters on probation.

Once suspended, students may not register for or complete any courses in any division at The George Washington University. Suspended students may apply for readmission following completion of the term of suspension.  A suspended student seeking readmission cannot apply for readmission until he or she has been away from the University for at least one semester. To be considered for readmission, a student suspended for academic reason must complete at least 12 credit hours of course work in one semester at a four year degree granting institution and maintain at least a 3.0 grade-point average. A student suspended twice for poor scholarship will not be readmitted.

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, credit hours earned the first time the course was taken will count toward the minimum number of credit hours required for the major. Credit hours 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 GWSPH, the conditions for granting a notation of should be documented by a written contract between the faculty member and the student.

Changing an Incomplete

Incomplete work must be completed as specified in the contract but no later than one calendar year from the last day of the examination period of the semester or summer session in which the symbol I was assigned. 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 a year of the assignment of the symbol I. When work for the course is completed, the grade earned will be indicated in the form of I, followed by the grade. The indication of I cannot be removed from the transcript. An Incomplete that is not changed within this period automatically becomes an IF. The symbol I cannot be changed by reregistering for the course at the University or by taking its equivalent elsewhere.

Pass/No Pass Option

A junior or senior student in GWSPH who is in good standing may, with the approval of the instructor and the dean, take one course a semester for a grade of P, Pass, or NP, No Pass. No student will be allowed to take more than four pass/no pass courses under this regulation. The student may, however, also receive grades of P/NP in courses that are graded P/NP only. Courses required for the general education requirements 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 pass/no pass 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 pass/no pass status to graded status, or vice versa, after the end of the eighth week of class.

GWSPH allows 3 credits toward the degree from lifestyle, sport, and physical activity courses. No more than 45 credit hours of courses completed by a student while in nondegree status may be applied toward a degree in Columbian College. 

Academic Work Load

To encourage academic performance of high quality, the College limits the student’s work load. After the freshman year, a full-time student who is not on probation may take a course load of up to 19 credit hours. The 18th and all subsequent hours 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 credit hours may take up to 21 credits. Students may not register for more than 21 credits without approval of the dean.

Applying for Readmission to a Program

GWSPH undergraduate students who were previously 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 a GWSPH undergraduate admissions petition. Completing and submitting (to the GWSPH Office of Admissions) the petition does not guarantee that the student will be readmitted.  The respective program director is responsible for the readmission decision and can only readmit a student if there is no violation of other GWSPH 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 attended sent directly to the GWSPH 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. The Admissions Petition can be found here at: http://publichealth.gwu.edu/academics/forms

International Students---Less than Full-Time Status

If you are an international student on an F-1 or J-1 Visa, it is your responsibility to enroll as a full time student (minimum 12 credit hours for undergraduate students) for spring and fall semesters according to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization rules governing registration requirements for international students with F-1/J-1 visa status.  In certain situations, a reduced course load may be allowed.  To request approval for this, complete the F-1/J-1 Request for Reduced Course Load Form (download form at http://gwired.gwu.edu/iso/CurrentStudents/formscopy/) and submit it to the International Services Office (ISO).  You can obtain more information from the ISO at (202) 994-4477.

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 grade-point average of at least 3.5 in required courses in the major and at least a 3.25 average overall. The candidate must submit an honors paper in EXSC 4110 Current Issues in Exercise Science that is approved by at least two full-time faculty members.

Other GWSPH regulations governing undergraduate regulations are analogous to those of Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. See the section headed Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

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.  For instructions on registration and forms needs go to: http://publichealth.gwu.edu/academics/forms

Please note: 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 thier program. Advice about academic preparation for medical school is provided by the health professions advisors in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. For admission to most medical schools, the student must earn a bachelor’s degree that includes the following course work:

  • Biology—8 credit hours of introductory biology, including laboratory. Students who receive credit for AP biology must complete 8 credit hours of upper-level biology course work, including laboratory.
  • Chemistry—8 credit hours of general inorganic chemistry, including laboratory.
  • Organic Chemistry—8 credit hours, including laboratory.
  • Biochemistry—3 credit hours.
  • Physics—8 credit hours, including laboratory.
  • English—6 credit hours in the usual introductory English composition courses or their equivalents (fulfilled by the University Writing Program at GW).

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

Because a liberal education is the best undergraduate preparation for law school, students are encouraged to use elective credit to broaded thier curriculum.  Advice about academic preparation for law school is provided by the pre-law advisor in the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

Graduation Requirements

While degrees are awarded at the end of each semester, formal commencement ceremonies occur only in May. You are eligible to graduate only after you have completed all degree requirements (see your advisor or Student Records) and have no financial obligations to the University.  The degree designation (BS, MS, MPH, MHA, or DrPH, PhD) may be used after your name only when you have completed all of your degree requirements.


Graduate Regulations

Milken Institute School of Public Health  provides an on-line Graduate Student Handbook that 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

The University’s continuous enrollment policy is very important.  Once entered in a degree program, you are expected to be continuously registered for at least one credit during all fall and spring semesters and actively engaged in fulfilling the requirements for your degree.

  • For fall and spring semester, you must register for one or more credit hours to maintain enrollment status.

  • During the summer session, you do not have to be enrolled unless you are graduating during the summer; in this case, register for Continuous Enrollment ($35).

  • Some additional activities, such as Master's International qualify as continuous enrollment.

If you are a degree seeking student and find it necessary to interrupt active pursuit of your degree, you may petition to take a Leave of Absence for a specific period of time, limited to a total of one calendar year during the student’s program.  If you discontinue active enrollment in degree studies without being granted a leave of absence, or if you are granted a leave but do not return to active study at the close of the period of approved absence, you are no longer in status and you must apply for readmission and be subject to the regulations and program requirements then in effect.  Please note: readmission to any program is a competitive process and not guaranteed.

Advising

Students partner with faculty advisors to successfully navigate their academic careers through conversations that range from exploring career interests to finding appropriate campus resources that connect students to a community in which they feel comfortable. Students are thereby empowered to take ownership of, and responsibility for, their educational experiences.

Students need to build a support system that ensures academic success. Professors, faculty advisors, professional advisors, tutors, and/or counselors should be part of that support system. GWSPH Career Center and  The Writing Center offers walk-in by-appointment assistance. Personal counseling is available through the office of the Dean of Student Affairs, the Counseling CenterDisability Support Services, the Multicultural Student Services Center, and the International Services Office.

Academic Standing

A graduate student who is not suspended or on academic probation or on extended provisional admission status is considered to be in good standing.  At the graduate level, a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 (B) must be maintained and is required to be awarded a graduate degree. All courses taken for graduate credit after matriculation as a degree candidate (including those GWSPH courses transferred in from non-degree status, but excluding those audited or taken for the grade of CR or P/NP) will be used to calculate the grade-point average.

Provisional Admission

Graduate program applicants with credentials that are weaker than expected for graduate study, but who nonetheless show promise of successful graduate work, are occasionally granted provisional admission by the GWSPH 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 GPA of at least 3.0 in the first nine credit hours of coursework attempted, and during this time are not allowed to receive a grade of I or a grade lower than a B.  Provisionally admitted students who meet these requirements are granted good standing.  Provisionally admitted students who do not meet these requirements are subject to suspension (see below).

Semester Warning

A graduate student whose cumulative grade-point average is less than 3.0 after attempting a minimum of one credit hour and a maximum of eight credit hours will be issued a warning notice at the end of the semester and will be required to take corrective measures (e.g., meet with academic advisor to outline steps to raise GPA).

Probation

A graduate student whose grade-point average falls below 3.0 at any point after completing nine credit hours will be placed on probation. This probation extends through the period in which the student next attempts up to 12 credit hours 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 grade-point average to 3.0 or better during the period of probation is subject to suspension. Incomplete grades and grades of B- or lower are not allowed during the probation period and are grounds for automatic suspension. A student who is subject to probation for a second time at any point during the program may be automatically suspended.

Grade of F

A graduate degree candidate who receives a grade of F is subject to suspension. If the student wishes to remain enrolled, s/he 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 grade-point average. A graduate student given the grade of F in a core or other required course, and permitted to continue in graduate studies, must repeat the course and achieve at least the grade of B; such a repeat does not expunge the grade of F, which remains part of the student’s record. Should this level of performance not be obtained, the student will be suspended from the degree program.

Suspension

A graduate student who receives an F or does not meet the conditions of probation (see above) is subject to suspension. Suspended students may not register for or complete any courses at The George Washington University.  An outstanding Incomplete grade at the time of suspension will become an F. 

The GWSPH 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 grade-point average of 3.5 in the next 12 credit hours of graduate study.  Should the student fail to achieve this grade-point average, the student will again 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 or repeated failure to complete an appropriate number of credit hours 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 grade of B- or lower while on provisional admission status is subject to suspension.
  • Semester Warning---(< 9 credits completed) A student with a cumulative GPA less than 3.0 (with less than 9 credits completed) must take corrective action.

  • Academic Probation---A student with cumulative GPA less than 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 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 student wishes to remain enrolled s/he must present cause as to why continued study should be permitted. If permitted to continue in graduate studies, 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 and Changing an Incomplete (I)

Conditions under which an Incomplete (I) may be assigned and changed are described under University Regulations, Grades in both Bulletins.  You must make an agreement in writing with your Instructor outlining how and when you will make up your incomplete. An Incomplete must be changed by a date agreed upon by you and your instructor, but no more than one calendar year from the end of the semester in which you took the course. The grade earned will be indicated in the form of I, followed by the grade. An Incomplete that is not changed within this period will convert to an I/F (Incomplete/Failure) and your grade point average and academic standing recalculated. In cases of well-documented extenuating circumstances, you and your instructor may file a joint petition to the director of your degree program and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for additional time in which to complete the course work.  An “I” designation next to the final grade cannot be changed by reregistering for the course at GW or by taking its equivalent elsewhere and remains on your permanent record even after the course has been successfully or unsuccessfully completed. 

In Progress (IP)

The grade In Progress (IPG) is given 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 is entered and IPG no longer remains on the transcript.   Grades of In Progress may not be given for regular, semester-length courses.

Applying for Readmission to a Program

GWSPH graduate degree or certificate students who were previously 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. Completing and submitting (to the GWSPH Admissions Office) the petition does not guarantee that the student will be readmitted.  GWSPH departments are responsible for readmitting students and can only do so if the student is not in violation of other GWSPH 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 attended sent directly to the GWSPH 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. The Admissions Petition can be found here at: http://publichealth.gwu.edu/academics/forms

International Students---Less than Full-Time Status

If you are an international student on an F-1 or J-1 Visa, it is your responsibility to enroll as a full time student (minimum 9 credit hours for graduate students) for spring and fall semesters according to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization rules governing registration requirements for international students with F-1/J-1 visa status.  In certain situations, a reduced course load may be allowed.  To request approval for this, complete the F-1/J-1 Request for Reduced Course Load Form (download form at http://gwired.gwu.edu/iso/CurrentStudents/formscopy/) and submit it to the International Services Office (ISO).  You can obtain more information from the ISO at (202) 994-4477.

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.  For instructions on registration and forms needs go to: http://publichealth.gwu.edu/academics/forms

Please note: 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 Requirements

While degrees are awarded at the end of each semester, formal commencement ceremonies occur only in May. You are eligible to graduate only after you have completed all degree requirements (see your advisor or Student Records) and have no financial obligations to the University.  The degree designation (BS, MS, MPH, MHA, or DrPH, PhD) may be used after your name only when you have completed all of your 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