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 also 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 may apply to enter the 120-credit public health major during the semester prior to completing 60 credits. Applicants should have a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

Visit the program website for additional information.

The following competencies are designed to be achieved by all public health majors through the indicated courses:

Upon completion of the bachelor of science with a major in public health, students will be able to:

Assess the impact of historical, cultural, political, environmental, behavioral, and socioeconomic factors on population/community health and health status

Relevant courses:
PUBH 1101Introduction to Public Health & Health Svcs
PUBH 1102History of Public Health
PUBH 2110Public Health Biology
PUBH 2112Principles of Health Education and Health Promotion
PUBH 3132Health and Environment
PUBH 3133Global Health and Development
PUBH 3135WHealth Policy
PUBH 4140WSenior Seminar

Describe the organization, financing, and delivery of health services and public health systems

Relevant courses:
PUBH 1101Introduction to Public Health & Health Svcs
PUBH 3130Health Services Management and Economics
PUBH 3133Global Health and Development
PUBH 3135WHealth Policy

Describe the underlying biological factors relating to prominent public health and health care issues and discuss how these factors inform interventions to improve individual and population health

Relevant courses:
PUBH 1101Introduction to Public Health & Health Svcs
PUBH 2112Principles of Health Education and Health Promotion
PUBH 2110Public Health Biology
PUBH 3131Epidemiology: Measuring Health and Disease
PUBH 3132Health and Environment
PUBH 3133Global Health and Development
PUBH 4140WSenior Seminar

Critically review multiple types of research, develop an understanding of data and research, and develop and evaluate public health interventions based on available evidence

Relevant courses:
PUBH 1101Introduction to Public Health & Health Svcs
PUBH 2110Public Health Biology
PUBH 3131Epidemiology: Measuring Health and Disease
PUBH 3132Health and Environment
PUBH 3133Global Health and Development
PUBH 4140WSenior Seminar

Evaluate policy, behavioral, environmental, and systems options for addressing current public health and health care concerns

Relevant courses:
PUBH 1101Introduction to Public Health & Health Svcs
PUBH 2110Public Health Biology
PUBH 2112Principles of Health Education and Health Promotion
PUBH 3130Health Services Management and Economics
PUBH 3132Health and Environment
PUBH 3133Global Health and Development
PUBH 3135WHealth Policy
PUBH 4140WSenior Seminar

Communicate public health concepts and analysis clearly and persuasively. (all courses relevant).

Use an interdisciplinary integrative approach to address public-health research issues

Relevant courses:
PUBH 1101Introduction to Public Health & Health Svcs
PUBH 2110Public Health Biology
PUBH 3131Epidemiology: Measuring Health and Disease
PUBH 3132Health and Environment
PUBH 3133Global Health and Development
PUBH 3135WHealth Policy
PUBH 4140WSenior Seminar

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

Prerequisites
One of the following as a prerequisite to PUBH 2110:
BISC 1005The Biology of Nutrition and Health
BISC 1111Introductory Biology: Cells and Molecules
or equivalent course with approval from the PUBH 2110 instructor
As a prerequisite to PUBH 3131:
One semester of statistics (STAT 1127 preferred)
As a prerequisite to PUBH 3130:
ECON 1011Principles of Economics I
or equivalent course with approval from the PUBH 3130 instructor.
Required for the major
30 credits in public health core courses
PUBH 1101Introduction to Public Health & Health Svcs
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 & Development
PUBH 3135WHealth Policy
PUBH 4140WSenior Seminar
12 credits in approved elective courses from the following. No more than 9 credits may be taken through study abroad programs and/or non-GW domestic courses.
HLWL 1106Drug Awareness
HLWL 1109Human Sexuality
HLWL 1110Issues in Alternative Medicine
EXNS 1114Community Nutrition
EXNS 2119Introduction to Nutrition Science
EXNS 2122Food Systems in Public Health
ANTH 3504Illness, Healing, and Culture
HIST 3363Race, Medicine & Public Health
ANTH 3513Anthropology of Human Rights
ANTH 6302Issues in Development
BIOC 3560Diet, Health, and Longevity
GEOG 2127Population Geography
GEOG 2137Environmental Hazards
HSCI 2101Psychosocial Aspects of Health and Illness
PUBH 2113Impact of Culture upon Health
PUBH 2114Environment, Health, and Development
PUBH 2115Health, Human Rights, and Displaced Persons
PUBH 2116Global Delivery of Health Systems
PUBH 2117Service Learning in Public Health
PUBH 3136Health Law
PUBH 3137Global Public Health Nutrition
PUBH 3150Sustainable Energy & Env Hlth
PUBH 3151Current Issues in Bioethics
PUBH 3199Topics in Public Health

Students must take all required courses at GW unless an exception is granted by the SPH Director of Undergraduate Programs. Permission will be 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.