About

A banner of four images: a student riding a bike, a busy street, a hand holding a globe reflecting water, and a factory pipe releasing smoke

Global Public Health is the science and art of safeguarding health, preventing disease, extending productive life and improving the well-being of all people in all the countries of the world.

The focus of Global Public Health is on population health. It studies patterns and trends of health and disease in communities, states and countries and analyzes the social, political, economic and environmental conditions responsible for these patterns. It studies disparities in health by race, ethnicity, gender, age and place of residence and conducts research to discover the preventable causes of these disparities. Epidemiology and biostatistics are its core scientific disciplines.

Global Public Health links closely to medicine, nursing, dentistry and veterinary medicine. It incorporates knowledge from fields as disparate as analytical chemistry, anthropology, architecture, business, computer science, economics, education, engineering, exposure science, genetics, law, meteorology, microbiology, physics, political science, psychology and urban planning. Public health education is an essential component of a liberal arts education.

Global Public Health is rooted in a philosophy of social justice. It embodies a preferential option for the poor.

Global Public Health is action-oriented. It engages in science-based advocacy and intervention to protect health and prevent disease. Its tools include epidemic investigations, immunization campaigns, water treatment programs, legislative initiatives, policy changes, emergency response, and education.

Global Public Health is Planetary Health. Global Public Health is deeply involved in slowing the pace of global climate change, the world’s gravest threat to human health. It is working to control pollution of air, water and soil, the cause of 9 million deaths each year.  It is committed ultimately to preserving the health of the planet, our Common Home, for the sake of this generation and of generations yet to come.

The Program in Global Public Health and the Common Good at Boston College was established in 2018. It is rooted in the Jesuit Catholic tradition of rigorous scholarship, education in the liberal arts, and service for others. It prepares our students to create a more just, humane and sustainable world.

 The Boston College Program in Global Public Health and the Common Good encompasses academics, service, advocacy and research: