Minor in Global Public Health & the Common Good

Boston College offers an undergraduate minor and a range of courses in Global Public Health and the Common Good. Our entry-level courses are open to students from across Boston College and are designed to introduce students in any field of study to core concepts in public health.

Enrollment in the 6-course (18 credit) minor in Global Public Health and the Common Good is by competitive application submitted in the spring of the freshman or sophomore year. Students accepted into the minor have the opportunity to delve deeply into epidemiology, the core science of public health, and to pursue coursework and research in diverse areas of public health such as infectious disease epidemiology, the epidemiology of cancer, children’s environmental health, environmental epidemiology, nutritional epidemiology and refugee health.  A distinctive future of the minor is its strong emphasis on the ethical, moral and legal foundations of global public health.

The minor provides opportunities for academic and experiential learning, reflection and service in the United States and overseas.

The minor in Global Public Health and the Common Good is open to students with career interests in medicine, nursing, environmental studies and public health. It will prepare students for postgraduate studies in public health (MPH and PhD) and enrich the education of students headed to medicine, dentistry and nursing. And because public health is highly interdisciplinary and intersects many fields of human endeavor, the minor is open also to students interested in law, economics, international studies, mathematics, physics, chemistry, the humanities, business, social work and education.

The minor in Global Public Health and the Common Good is composed of 3 required courses and 3 electives.

The required courses are:

  • Public Health in a Global Society (PHCG1210, cross-listed as NURS1210)
  • Introduction to Epidemiology (PHCG2120)
  • Either Global Public Health Law (PHCG2130) or The Ethics of Global Public Health and the Common Good (PHCG3223, cross-listed as THEO3223)

Recognizing that public health is an eclectic field that draws insights and technologies from many disciplines, the approved electives span a wide range of schools and departments across Boston College. Additional courses at Boston College and in other institutions in the United States and overseas may be may be considered as approved electives subject to the approval of the program director and Associate Deans.

The goal of the minor in Global Public Health and the Common Good is to introduce students from a wide range of majors, disciplines and schools across Boston College to key concepts in Global Public Health. Program graduates will gain knowledge of:

  • The theory, history and key issues in Global Public Health
  • Epidemiology, the study of the distribution and determinants of health and disease  in populations – the core  science of public health
  • The social, economic and environmental determinants of health and disease
  • The contributions of public health to the stability and well-being of modern societies
  • The moral, ethical and legal foundations of Global Public Health

The minor is open to students interested in medicine, dentistry, nursing, environmental health and public health. It will prepare students for postgraduate studies in public health and enrich the education of students headed to medicine, dentistry, nursing, law, economics, international studies, mathematics, physics, chemistry, the humanities, business, social work and education. 

Applications are now closed for the 2021-2022 academic year. The best way to stay informed regarding application timing, and all things related to the Global Public Health program, is to subscribe to our newsletter.

Admittance to the minor in Global Public Health and the Common Good is by application.  Students can apply in the Spring semester of either their freshman or sophomore year. Rising seniors will be considered only if they have already fulfilled many of the course requirements for the minor.

We seek a broad range of students from programs and schools across Boston College to apply to the minor.

  • We invite pre-health and nursing students who wish to understand how the health of populations informs the care of individual patients.
  • We invite students from the humanities, business, economics, environmental science, pre-law, political science, international studies and other majors who wish to learn how the health of populations and the social, political, economic and environmental determinants of health and disease influence public policy, drive economic growth, and shape the destiny of nations.

Students who wish to apply to the minor are strongly encouraged to take Public Health in a Global Society (NURS1210 cross-listed as PHCG1210) before applying. This course is open to students in all schools at Boston College.

Please see our Student Ambassadors page to learn more about the program from current students. Our Student Ambassadors are happy to discuss degree requirements, their favorites classes, and anything else that you'd like to discuss regarding the Global Public Health and the Common Good program at Boston College.

Please contact publichealth@bc.edu with any questions regarding the application.