Bachelor of Science with a Major in Public Health

Program Director  S. Wilensky

The bachelor of science with a major in public health degree program is intended to convey to students technical detail and analytic skills with a liberal arts philosophical base. It has the educational objectives of nurturing critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis of information, and recognizing the historical and societal associations of current trends in public health and health care delivery. While nurturing students’ capacity to think analytically and creatively, the program strives to deepen students' commitment to improving the public’s health.

Students who began their academic career at GW become eligible to apply to the public health major in the fall semester of their sophomore year.  Applicants must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.0.

Visit the program website for additional information.

The following requirements must be fulfilled:  120 credits, including 19 credits in University General Education requirements, 30 credits in core public health courses; 3 credits in public health research methods courses, 12 credits in approved public health elective courses, and 56 credits in additional electives.

One of the following prerequisites to PUBH 2110:
BISC 1005The Biology of Nutrition and Health
BISC 1006The Ecology and Evolution of Organisms
BISC 1007Food, Nutrition, and Service
BISC 1008Understanding Organisms through Service Learning
BISC 1111Introductory Biology: Cells and Molecules
or BISC 1115
BISC 1125
Introductory Biology: Cells and Molecules
and Introduction to Cells and Molecules Laboratory
BISC 1112Introductory Biology: The Biology of Organisms
or BISC 1116
BISC 1126
Introductory Biology: The Biology of Organisms
and Introduction to Organisms Laboratory
HONR 1033Honors Seminar: Scientific Reasoning and Discovery (Biology Only)
As a prerequisite to PUBH 2112 and PUBH 3135W:
PUBH 1101Introduction to Public Health and Health Services
As a prerequisite to PUBH 3130:
ECON 1011Principles of Economics I
As a prerequisite to PUBH 3131, one semester of statistics (STAT 1127 preferred):
STAT 1051Introduction to Business and Economic Statistics
STAT 1053Introduction to Statistics in Social Science
STAT 1111Business and Economic Statistics I
STAT 1127Statistics for the Biological Sciences
As a prerequisite to PUBH 4140W or PUBH 4141, must have taken the research methods selective and the following courses:
PUBH 3130Health Services Management and Economics
PUBH 3135WHealth Policy
Required for the major
Public health core (30 credits)
PUBH 1101Introduction to Public Health and Health Services
PUBH 1102History of Public Health
PUBH 2110Public Health Biology
PUBH 2112Principles of Health Education and Health Promotion
PUBH 3130Health Services Management and Economics
PUBH 3131Epidemiology: Measuring Health and Disease
PUBH 3132Health and Environment
PUBH 3133Global Health and Development
PUBH 3135WHealth Policy
PUBH 4140WSenior Seminar
or PUBH 4141 Senior Seminar Community Needs Assessment
3-credits in a research methods selective from the following:
PUBH 3152Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health
EXNS 3111Nutrition Science Research Methods
ANTH 3531Methods in Sociocultural Anthropology
EHS 2107Theory and Practice of Research in a Clinical Setting
PSC 2101Scope and Methods of Political Science
PSYC 2101Research Methods in Psychology
SOC 2101Social Research Methods
12 credits in approved elective courses from the following:
(No more than 9 credits may be taken through study abroad programs and/or domestic non-GW courses.)
AMST 3950Special Topics (Narrative Medicine in American History only)
ANTH 3504Illness, Healing, and Culture
ANTH 3513Anthropology of Human Rights
ANTH 6302Issues in Development
BADM 4101Business Ethics and the Legal Environment
BIOC 3560Diet, Health, and Longevity
BISC 3450Evolutionary Medicine
or BISC 3450W Evolutionary Medicine
EHS 2107Theory and Practice of Research in a Clinical Setting
EXNS 1114Community Nutrition
EXNS 2119Introduction to Nutrition Science
EXNS 2122Food Systems in Public Health
EXNS 2123Nutrition and Chronic Disease
GEOG 1003Society and Environment
GEOG 2104Introduction to Cartography and GIS
GEOG 2127Population Geography
GEOG 2137Environmental Hazards
HIST 3363Race, Medicine, and Public Health
HLWL 1106Drug Awareness
HLWL 1109Human Sexuality
HONR 2047Self and Society Seminar (Medicine and Society only)
HONR 2047Self and Society Seminar (Gender, Race, and Science only)
HSCI 2101Psychosocial Aspects of Health and Illness (Residential delivery only)
HSCI 2105Current Issues in Bioethics (Residential delivery only)
IAFF 2190WSpecial Topics (Science, Policy, and Technology only)
PHIL 2124Philosophies of Disability
PHIL 2281Philosophy of the Environment
PSYC 3128Health Psychology
PSYC 3199Current Topics in Psychology (Substance Abuse and Addictions only)
PSYC 4202WResearch Lab in Applied Social Psychology (Discrimination and Health only)
PUBH 2113Impact of Culture upon Health
PUBH 2114Environment, Health, and Development
PUBH 2117Service Learning in Public Health
PUBH 3115Global Health and Human Rights
PUBH 3116Global Health Systems Performance
PUBH 3136Health Law
PUBH 3137Global Public Health Nutrition
PUBH 3150Sustainable Energy and Environmental Health
PUBH 3151Current Issues in Bioethics
or PUBH 3151W Current Issues in Bioethics
PUBH 3199Topics in Public Health
PUBH 3201Introduction to Bioinformatics
PUBH 4201Practical Computing
PUBH 4202Bioinformatics Algorithms and Data Structures
STAT 2118Regression Analysis
STAT 2183Intermediate Statistics Lab/Packages
or STAT 2183W Intermediate Statistical Laboratory: Statistical Computing Packages

Students must take all required courses at GW unless an exception is granted by the GWSPH Dean of Undergraduate Programs. Permission is granted only if there are strong extenuating circumstances that call for such an exception.

Students must comply with policies and procedures as outlined in University and SPH regulations. Students should pay particular attention to SPH requirements for completing human research training, completing 8 hours of professional enhancement activities, and passing the academic integrity quiz.

Coursework for the university general education requirement in the bachelor of science in public health is distributed as follows:

  • Communication—one approved course in university writing and two approved writing-in-the-disciplines (WID) courses; 
  • Critical Analysis in the Humanities—one approved course in humanities that involves critical thinking skills;
  • Quantitative Reasoning—one approved course in either mathematics or statistics;
  • Scientific Reasoning—one approved laboratory course that employs the process of scientific inquiry; and,
  • Critical Analysis in the Social Sciences—two approved courses in the social sciences 

Please visit the university general education requirement page for a list of qualifying courses.