Public Health - BS

Program Contacts

Program Director

Sara Wilensky

Undergraduate Advisor

Meaghan Wilson

 

Mission

Mission Statement

In the context of a liberal arts and sciences tradition that emphasizes critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis of information, students in the Bachelor of Science in Public Health program will acquire knowledge and skills in the critical component elements of public health.

BSPH Overview

The BS in Public Health, founded in the liberal arts tradition often associated with small, private colleges, is a respected and proven model for teaching students to assume responsibility for their own life-long learning.  Liberal arts education has its foundation in both the arts (trivium, based on three disciplines: language, logic, and rhetoric) and the sciences (quadrivium, based on four disciplines of natural phenomena: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music) as studied in medieval universities.  While contemporary arts and sciences programs have expanded beyond the imagination and expectations of the medieval founders, it is within the context of this liberal arts tradition that the BS in Public Health strives to prepare students for progressive independence, maturity, knowledge of the world, understanding of diverse inhabitants, and respect for their differing points of view.  Because this degree is intended to convey technical detail and analytic skills, but 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.  

Admissions

Milken SPH has two admission cycles for the BS PH, one in the fall and one is the spring. Students who apply but are not accepted during the Fall admission cycle, will be automatically put in the Spring admission pool. Students must have a GPA of at least 3.0 to be considered for admission to the program. 

S​tudents accepted in the fall semester matriculate in the spring semester of their sophomore year​,​​ upon completion of​ ​45 credits. Students accepted in the spring matriculate in the fall semster of their junior year, upon completion of 60 credits. Transfer students must be admitted and matriculated at GW before they will be considered for admission to the BS in Public Health program. Note: Applications for the BS/MPH program will only be accepted in the spring. There is no fall admissions cycle for the BS/MPH program.

If you have questions you can contact the Office of Admissions & Recruitment (GWSPHadmit@gwu.eduor schedule an appointment directly with Meaghan Wilson, Undergraduate Advisor (meaghanwilson@email.gwu.edu) to discuss the program. 

The undergraduate public health major is now accepting applications through October 14th.  Apply here: http://publichealth.gwu.edu/content/bachelor-science-admission-application

The application will require the following

  1. Repond to each of the following questions: (Cannot exceed 250 word essay for each)
  • What public health issues concerns you most and why?
  • What role will the public health major play in your goals to become a lifelong learner?

     2. Your resume 

     3. Your transcript (you may include either an official or unofficial transcript, as long as GPA is included)

The fall application deadline is October 14th and the spring application deadline is March 1st. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Admission to the program is made on a selective and space available basis.  The admissions committee considers applications holistically, considering applicant’s academic strengths, commitment to public health, leadership qualities, and other attributes.   

No student is considered to have declared a public health major until this process is completed and the student has received and returned, signed, the letter of acceptance from the GWSPH Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Thereafter students receive guidance from the Program Advisor.  Students are strongly encouraged to receive academic guidance from the Program Advisor in order to register for all subsequent semesters.

Students follow the prescribed curriculum effective in the year of matriculation into the BS in Public Health program.

Program Requirements

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Program Guide for BS in Public Health 2016-2017

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

General education requirements are listed in the university bulletin (http://bulletin.gwu.edu/).

Requirements in other areas:  
Either BISC 1005- The Biology of Nutrition and Health or  BISC 1111- Introductory Biology: Cells and Molecules or equivalent (with approval from the PUBH 2110- Public Health Biology Instructor) as a prerequisite to PUBH 2110 and PUBH 3133- Global Health & Development.  
One semester of statistics (STAT 1127- Statistics for the Biological Sciences is preferred) as a prerequisite to PUBH 3131- Epidemiology: Measuring Health and Disease  
ECON 1011- Principles of Economics I or equivalent (with approval from the PUBH 3130- Health Services Management and Economics Instructor) as a prerequisite for PUBH 3130- Health Services Management and Economics  
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR:  
Core- 30 credits of public health core courses  
PUBH 1101 Intro to Public Health & Health Services 3 credits    
PUBH 1102 History of Public Health 3 credits
PUBH 2110 Public Health Biology 3 credits
PUBH 2112 Principles of Health Education and Health Promotion 3 credits
PUBH 3130 Health Services Management and Economics 3 credits   
PUBH 3131 Epidemiology: Measuring Health and Disease 3 credits
PUBH 3132 Health and Environment 3 credits
PUBH 3133 Global Health & Development 3 credits
PUBH 3135W Health Policy 3 credits
PUBH 4140W Senior Seminar 3 credits

 

 

Electives-12 credits of approved elective courses.
Notes:  Any non-core PUBH course may be used as an elective.  Students are required to take at least one 3-credit course at GW for their electives. Students may take up to 9-credits from the approved study abroad course list and/or approved non-GW electives list, as long as they comply with all rules regarding courses taken outside of GW.  See the sections on Policies and Transfer Approval Credits below for more information.
HLWL 1106 Drug Awareness 3 credits
HLWL 1109 Human Sexuality 3 credits
HLWL 1110 Issues in Alternative Medicine 3 credits
EXNS 1114 Community Nutrition 3 credits
EXNS 2122 Food Systems & Public Health 3 credits
EXNS 2119 Basic Nutrition 3 credits
HIST 3363 Race, Medicine & Public Health 3 credits
ANTH 3504 Illness, Healing, and Culture 3 credits
ANTH 3513 Anthropology of Human Rights 3 credits
ANTH 6302 Issues in Development 3 credits
BIOC 3560 Diet, Health, and Longevity 3 credits
GEOG 2127 Population Geography 3 credits
GEOG 2137 Environmental Hazards 3 credits
HSCI 2101 Psychosocial Aspects of Health and Illness 3 credits
PUBH 2113 Impact of Culture upon Health 3 credits
PUBH 2114 Environment, Health, and Development 3 credits
PUBH 2115 Health, Human Rights, and Displaced Persons 3 credits
PUBH 2116 Global Delivery of Health Systems 3 credits
PUBH 2117 Service-Learning in Public Health 3 credits
PUBH 3136 Health Law 3 credits
PUBH 3137 Global Public Health Nutrition 3 credits
PUBH 3150 Sustainable Energy & Env Hlth 3 credits
PUBH 3151 Current Issues in Bioethics 3 credits
PUBH 3199 Topics in Public Health- courses vary 1-3 credits    

Careers

The BS in Public Health strives to increase awareness and understanding of public health principles among students who are preparing for professional careers in fields such as:

  • Allied Health
  • Business
  • Health Education
  • Health Services Administration
  • Law
  • Medicine (or another of the health professions)
  • Public Health (both those who plan to pursue graduate degrees in public health or students who intend to pursue entry-level jobs in specific sectors of public health, health services, or public policy for which bachelor's level education is appropriate).

Practice Experience

Many of our students obtain internships in the public health field by taking advantage of the many opportunities in DC.  The SPH jobs database often has internship listings.   Other opportunities are also communicated via our public health listserve.

In addition, Service Learning in Public Health (PubH 2117) allows students to participate in a service/internship experience in the public health field, combined with academic learning in the classroom.  This course is offered in the spring. While the professor is available to assist students in finding a placement, students are responsible for finding a placement before the start of spring semester.  Students who do not start planning for a placement early often find it difficult to secure a placement for the beginning of January, so it is strongly suggested that you begin looking for a service placement as early as possible.

Contact the instructor, Sara Wilensky (wilensky@gwu.edu), if you need placement assistance.

Competencies

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 1101 Intro to Public Health & Health Services  
PUBH 1102 History of Public Health  
PUBH 2112 Principles of Health Education and Health Promotion  
PUBH 3132 Health and Environment  
PUBH 3133 Global Health & Development  
PUBH 3135W Health Policy  
  • Describe the organization, financing, and delivery of health services and public health systems
Relevant courses:  
PUBH 1101 Intro/Pub Health & Health Svcs  
PUBH 3130 Health Services Management and Economics  
PUBH 3133 Global Health & Development  
PUBH 3135W Health Policy  
PUBH 4140W Senior Seminar  
  • Describe the underlying scientific principles relating to public health and health care issues and discuss how these principles inform interventions to improve individual and population health
Relevant courses:  
PUBH 1101 Intro/Pub Health & Health Svcs  
PUBH 2112 Principles of Health Education and Health Promotion  
PUBH 2110 Public Health Biology  
PUBH 3131 Epidemiology: Measuring Health and Disease  
PUBH 3132 Health and Environment  
PUBH 3133 Global Health & Development  
PUBH 4140W Senior 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 3131 Epidemiology: Measuring Health and Disease  
PUBH 3133 Global Health & Development  
PUBH 4140W Senior Seminar  
  • Evaluate policy, behavioral, environmental, and systems options for addressing current public health and health care concerns
Relevant courses:  
PUBH 2112 Principles of Health Education and Health Promotion  
PUBH 3130 Health Services Management and Economics  
PUBH 3132 Health and Environment  
PUBH 3133 Global Health & Development  
PUBH 3135W Health Policy  
PUBH 4140W Senior Seminar  
  • Prepare written and oral communication to convey public health concepts and analysis clearly and persuasively (all courses relevant).
  • Use an interdisciplinary approach to develop and evaluate public-health research interventions based on current evidence
Relevant course:
PUBH 4140W Senior Seminar

 

Policies

  • Follow the admissions process as indicated.
  • Consult with the Undergraduate Advisor, Meaghan Wilson, after admission to the program to review your course of study.  Students are strongly encouraged to continue receiving academic guidance from the Program Advisor for all subsequent semesters. Students must consult with the Program Advisor for any curricular changes, substitutions or withdrawals. 
  • Earn 120 credits within the established course distribution as outlined below:
    • No course may fulfill a requirement in more than one of the seven G-PAC categories (exception: An occasional WID course may fulfill more than one G-PAC category);
    • Students may also fulfill credit requirements in the following ways:
      • transfer credit for equivalent, pre-approved courses from an accredited institution;
      • credit earned by means of AP, IB, or other nationally approved examination programs; or
      • by waiver examinations such as SAT II or ACT subject tests, except in foreign languages.  (See Advanced Standing and Advanced Placement under Admissions in the GW Undergraduate Bulletin); 
    • Two courses that are related in subject matter may not be taken to fulfill a requirement (Consult the GW Bulletin in the Course Instruction section to identify courses that are equivalent);
  • It is the student’s responsibility to understand the degree requirements and follow them for on-time graduation.
  • Students may take up to 3 credits of electives outside of GW, either through the approved Study Abroad course list or the approved non-GW course list.  A list of previously approved and denied courses is found below in the Transfer Approval Credits section. If a course has been approved previously, simply submit a transfer credit approval petition to the Program Director.  If you would like a course to be approved, please submit a complete syllabus along with the transfer credit approval petition to the Program Director.
  • Non-Study Abroad courses taken outside of GW must meet the following requirements to be considered for approval: 1) they must be offered by an accredited school; 2) they must be related to public health as determined by the Program Director; 3) they may not be taught by graduate students; 4) while courses may be taken on-line, they may be open access, on-line courses (e.g., MOOC or Coursera); and 5) the class must be graded. 
  • Comply with policies and procedures as outlined in the GW Bulletin.  Pay particular attention to the SPH requirements to complete:
    • CITI Training requirement: All students are required to complete training regarding human subject protection regulation and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). To fulfill this requirement, you must complete the Collaborative IRB Training Initiative (CITI) Course in The Protection of Human Research Subjects.  
    • Professional Enhancement requirement: Students must participate in 8 hours per degree program of advisor pre-approved Public Health-related lectures, seminars, and symposia, related to your field of study. Professional Enhancement activities supplement the academic curriculum and help prepare students to participate actively in the professional community. Opportunities for professional enhancement are regularly publicized via the Milken Institute SPH Listserv and through your department or advisor. Students must submit documentation of Professional Enhancement activities to the Office of Student Records. The documentation consists of the Professional Enhancement Formhttp://publichealth.gwu.edu/academics/forms (which includes a prior approval signature from the student’s advisor, a description of the program agenda, and proof of attendance. Remember to submit your documentation before you apply to graduate!
    • Integrity Quiz & Plagiarism requirement: All students are required to review the George Washington University Code of Academic Integrity and take the quiz within their first semester of study. The Code of Integrity and step-by-step instructions can be found here:  http://publichealth.gwu.edu/integrity  ​

Transfer Credit Approvals

Approved Abroad and Domestic Courses

These course have been approved for public health elective credit. If you would like to transfer credits for any approved course, please submit the appropriate petition to the Program Director.  If you would like a new course approved, please submit a complete syllabus and appropriate petition to the Program Director. See TRANSFER CREDIT APPROVALS here.  

 

Past Program Guides

This is the current program guide for this program. Students should follow the course requirements from the year in which they entered the program. 

Past Guides:
Guides that are not available online can be acquired from the Academic Affairs Program Coordinator in the Dean's Office.