Public Health - BS






The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Public Health program offers students the chance to acquire knowledge and skills in the critical component elements of public health.  The ASPPH defines public health as a force that "protects and improves the health of individuals, families, communities, and populuations, locally and globally."  In this context, the GW SPH undergraduate program is intended to convey technical detail and analytical thinking, but with a liberal arts philosophical base, to create professionals with the skills and commitment to improve the public's health.

The curriculum prepares students for future practice and study, with courses such as Epidemiology, Principles of Health Education & Promotion, Health Policy, and more. Students develop their abilities in critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis of information, applying them to the historical and current trends in public health and health care delivery.

The BS Public Health program hopes to matriculate students who will take their public health voice into diverse fields of professional practice, bringing an informed and evidence-based viewpoint to public health issues affecting society at large.



TEAM Milken logo

Join T.E.A.M Milken!  T.E.A.M. Milken is open to all GWSPH undergraduate majors. Our goal is to provide individualized support to students so you will thrive at GW and be prepared to launch your public health career.

Effective immediately, the BSPH major will accept all qualified applicants into the major through the internal transfer process.  Students must have a 2.75 GPA or higher to qualify for the major. 

You may access the internal transfer form here.  Internal transfer forms must be submitted by February 15th (for fall transfer) and October 15th (for spring transfer).  

For Spring 2020 only, we will keep the admissions link in place for students who have already submitted an application or miss the internal transfer deadline.

Prospective high school students may apply directly to the public health program via the Common Application. Prospective GW students should review the undergraduate admissions page for details about the process.

University General Education Requirements

The BS in Public Health follows the University General Education Requirements.  

  • Writing University | UW 1020 University Writing or HONR 1015 (4 credits)
  • Humanities | One Course in the Humanities (3 credits)
  • Mathematics or Statistics | One Course in Either Math or Statistics (3 credits)
  • Science | One Natural or Physical Science Course with Laboratory Experience (3-4 credits)
  • Social Science | Two Courses in the Social Sciences (6 credits)

Courses taken to fulfill Gen Ed components may count toward more than one requirement and can be counted toward a major or a minor.

See the University Bulletin for most up-to-date version of Gen Ed requirements and approved courses.


Prerequisite Requirements

Please see prerequisite information for courses in the program guide.

Public Health Core

PUBH 1010 | First-Year Experience in Public Health (1 credit)
PUBH 1101 | Introduction to Public Health and Health Services (3 credits)
PUBH 2110 | Public Health Biology (3 credits)
PUBH 2112 | Principles of Health Education and Health Promotion (3 credits)
PUBH 2142 | Introduction to Biostatics for Public Health (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 and Development (3 credits)
PUBH 3135W | Health Policy (3 credits)
PUBH 4140W | Senior Seminar (3 credits)

Research Methods Selective - 3 credits. Choose 1 course from options below:

PUBH 3199 | Public Health Research Methods (3 credits)
EXNS 3111W | Exercise and Nutrition Science Research Methods (3 credits)


See the BS Public Health Program Guide and the GWSPH Undergraduate Handbook for more information and program policies.


Public Health Electives

12 credits of pre-approved Public Health Elective coursework must be taken to qualify for graduation. No more than 9 elective credits may be taken through approved study abroad programs or non-GW domestic courses.

Students may choose any electives from our existing approved elective list found here.  Students may also petition to have a course approved if it is not on the list of approved electives by sending an email request and syllabus to the Program Director.  The list of approved electives that may be transferred from study abroad programs may be found here.

Approved Abroad and Domestic Courses

Many courses have been approved for public health elective credit and may be found through the CATS system by searching under PUBH 3199. If you would like to transfer credits for any approved course, please submit the appropriate petition as soon as possible to the Program Director for pre-approval. There is no guarantee that a course will be approved.  If you would like a new Study Abroad course approved, please use the CATS System in advance of registration. If you would like a new non-GW domestic course approved, please send an email request and syllabus to the Program Director in advance of registration.  


  • Students should meet with their Undergraduate Advisor to review their program of study.  More information on advising can be found here.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to understand the degree requirements and follow them for on-time graduation. 
Non-Academic Requirements

Professional Enhancement

Students in GWSPH programs must participate in eight hours of Professional Enhancement. These activities may be Public Health-related lectures, seminars, or symposia related to your field of study.

Professional Enhancement activities supplement the rigorous academic curriculum of the SPH degree programs and help prepare students to participate actively in the professional community. You can learn more about opportunities for Professional Enhancement via the Milken Institute School of Public Health Listserv, through departmental communications, or by speaking with your advisor.

Students submit a completed Professional Enhancement Form to the Office of Student Records which is required documentation to be cleared for graduation.

Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Training

All students are required to complete the Basic CITI training module in Social and Behavioral Research.  This online training module for Social and Behavioral Researchers will help new students demonstrate and maintain sufficient knowledge of the ethical principles and regulatory requirements for protecting human subjects - key for any public health research.

Academic Integrity Quiz

All Milken Institute School of Public Health students are required to review the University’s Code of Academic Integrity and complete the GW Academic Integrity Activity.  This activity must be completed within 2 weeks of matriculation. Information on GWSPH Academic Integrity requirements can be found here.

Past Program Guides

Program Guides from prior Academic Years

Students in the BS-PH program should refer to the guide from the year in which they matriculated into the program. For the current program guide, click the "PROGRAM GUIDE" button on the right-hand side of the page.

NOTE: Please reach out to your current advisor for any questions.


 If interested, students may choose to select a pre-medical professional concentration or a pre-health concentration within the public health major.  Additional information can be found in the program guide.

Pre-Medical Professionals

These additional courses may be taken using General Electives to meet the requirements for the Pre-Medical Professionals (PMP) concentration. 

Additional required coursework includes the following*:

BISC 1111  | Introduction to Biology: Cells & Molecules (4 credits)
BISC 1112  | Introduction to Biology: The Biology of Organisms (4 credits)
CHEM 1111 | General Chemistry I (4 credits)
CHEM 1112 | General Chemistry II (4 credits)
CHEM 2151/2153 | Organic Chemistry I & Lab  (4 credits)
CHEM 2152/2154 | Organic Chemistry II & Lab (4 credits)
BISC 3261 | Introduction to Biochemistry OR
   CHEM 3165 | Biochemistry I (3 credits)
MATH 1220, 1221 |  Calculus with Precalculus I OR II OR
    MATH 1231, 1232 | Single-Variable Calculus I OR II (3 credits total)
PHYS 1011/1012 | General  I & II OR 
    PHYS 1021/1022 | University Physics I & II OR
    PHYS 1025/1026 | University Physics with Biological Application I & II (8 credits total)
PSYC 1001 | General Psychology OR
    SOC 1001 | Introduction to Sociology (3 credits)

*Many of these courses may also count as GenEd requirements. Please see the Program Guide.


See the program guide for more information, including additional "recommended" coursework for the PMP concentration. Students following the PMP concentration must also consult with the University Pre-Health advising team ( regarding expectations and procedures.

Pre-Health Concentration

These additional courses may be taken using General Electives to meet the requirements for the Pre-Health concentration. 

Additional required coursework includes the following*:

BISC 1111  | Introduction to Biology: Cells & Molecules (4 credits)
BISC 1112  | Introduction to Biology: The Biology of Organisms (4 credits)
CHEM 1111 | General Chemistry I (4 credits)
CHEM 1112 | General Chemistry II (4 credits)
EXNS 1110 | Anatomy & Physiology I (4 credits)
EXNS 1111 | Anatomy & Physiology II (4 credits)
BISC 2336/2337 | Microbiology and Microbiology Lab (4 credits)
MATH 1220, 1221 |  Calculus with Precalculus I OR II OR
    MATH 1231, 1232 | Single-Variable Calculus I OR II (3 credits total)
PSYC 1001 | General Psychology (3 credits) 

*Many of these courses may also count as GenEd requirements. Please see the Program Guide.


Pre-Health Selectives- 4 additional courses are required based on the specific Pre-Health concentration chosen.  

See Program Guide for the Selective list, and examples for specific concentrations such as Nursing, Physician Assistant, Physical Therapist and Dentistry.

See the program guide for more information. Students following the Pre-Health concentration must also consult with the University Pre-Health advising team ( regarding expectations and procedures.


Faculty Mentors

The BSPH faculty value their connection with our undergraduates and want to enable their success whenever possible. Students can jump-start their connection by choosing a Faculty Mentor. These mentors will provide non-academic advising, such as career strategy, grad school selection, letters of recommendation, etc. To choose a Faculty Mentor, students can follow these steps:

  1. Look through the list below for faculty members' research interests, career experience, etc.
  2. Send the name of your preferred mentor to the Program Director or Undergraduate Advising.
  3. From there you will be introduced to your faculty mentor via email.
  4. The rest of the relationship is up to you!
Faculty List

Doug Anderson

Elizabeth Andrade

Matias Attene Ramos

Matthew Barberio

Zoe Beckerman

Jorge Benavides-Rawson

Lara Cartwright-Smith

Candice Chen

Prof. Nicholas Diamond

Seble Frehywot

Kimberly Gamble-Payne

Melissa Goldstein

Elizabeth Gray

Melinda Hasbrouck

Tamara Henry

Richard Hughes

Peter LaPuma

Leah Masselink

Karen McDonnell

Amanda Northcross

Scott Quinlan

Gillian Rai

Richard Riegelman

Monica Ruiz

Eliot Sorel

Margaret Ulfers

Ron Waldman

Sara Wilensky