Boston College curently offers an undergraduate minor and several undergraduate courses in Global Public Health and the Common Good. This program provide opportunities for academic and experiential learning, community service and reflection in the United States and abroad.

For questions about the minor or academic advising please contact

Minor in Global Public Health and the Common Good

The Undergraduate Minor in Global Public Health and the Common Good at the Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society at Boston College provides opportunities for community service, reflection and experiential learning in the United States and abroad. This 6-course minor introduces students from a broad range of backgrounds to key concepts in Global Public Health.


The goal of the 6-course 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 foundational 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 and ethical foundations of Global Public Health

The Global Public Health and the Common Good minor consists of 3 required core courses and a selection of 3 elective courses.

Core Requirements

  • PHCG1210: Public Health in a Global Society Cross-listed as NURS1210
  • PHCG2120: Introduction to Epidemiology
  • ONE of the following:

PHCG2130: Global Public Health Law

- OR -

PHCG3223: The Ethics of Global Public Health and the Common Good     Cross-listed as THEO3223

Elective Requirement

In addition to the 3 required courses students are also expected to select 3 elective courses from the list below. PLEASE NOTE: Additional electives may be considered subject to the approval of the program director and Associate Deans.

  • Two Elective Courses from List A
  • One Elective Course from List B
Please see the Elective Course Lists tab for a complete list of apporoved courses.

CSON students only must take the following two courses, which will count towards the 3 elective course requirement

  • Population Health Nursing Theory (NURS4260)
  • Population Health Practice in the Community (NURS4261)


Applications for the 2020-2021 academic year are now closed.

Students who have applied to be admitted to the minor will be contacted with results early next week.

Application Timeline

February 1 |

Applications Opened

February 21 |

Applications Due

February 24- March 20 |

Applications in Review by Faculty Committee

Week of March 23 |

Applications Notified of Admission Results

April 2 |

Fall Registration Begins

About the Minor in Global Public Health and the Common Good

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. (Please see question 4 on the application form)

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 contact with any questions regarding the application.

Flyer announcing the applications for the Global Public Health Minor


Frequently Asked Questions

Many students have inquired about these questions via email and the info session. We hope this information will be helpful to all students. Please contact us if you have additional questions.

What are the main components of the application that you will be focusing on?

The review committee will be assessing the student's fit for the program and their plans for how to utilize the course content after graduation. GPA, though important is not a central component of the application. The review committee is interested in admitting students who have a demonstrated interest in Public Health and represent a balance of the student population, across schools and majors.

How can we retroactively use courses we have already taken which have a public health focus/component to count towards our minor?

While core course requirements cannot be substituted, our academic advisor is happy to work with students on submitting coursework they have taken in the past to be reviewed by the program and count as one of their electives.

What overlap is allowed for CSON students?

Due to the rigorous expectations of the Nursing program we advise students majoring in Nursing to contact their major advisor in regards to their course plan to assure they can minor in GPHCG.

How many students are you accepting?

Similarly to last year, around 50 students will be admitted to the minor. This is largely based on limited class size and faculty teaching capacity.

What are your suggestions on essay length and format?

The 3 short essay questions (300 words max) are not intended to be a metric of the student's writing skills. Rather we encourage students to use this space to draw attention to their experience, intent and future professional plans and allow the review committee to get to know them better.

Can I still apply if I have not taken any PHCG courses?

Yes. There three short essay questions allow you to express your interest in public health and to describe relevant experiences that demonstrate why you are a strong candidate.