Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate courses for the Global Public Health and the Common Good program are offered through the Schiller Institute for Intergrated Science and Society as well as an extensive list of interdisciplenary courses from schools across Boston College. Please see the complete course offering below.

The Global Public Health Program currently offers the courses listed below.

For a complete list of courses which can be counted towards the major please see the Elective Course List.


Course Number Course Title Description Semester Offered

PCGH 1210


NURS 1210

Fundamentals of Public Health 

This foundation course presents public health as an interdisciplinary science focused on health promotion and disease prevention at the population level. It provides an overview of the history of public health, the global burden of disease, the sub-disciplines of public health, and emphasizes the collaborative nature of the public health field through examples in research and practice. [This course also counts toward the Social Science Core requirement.] 

previously Public Health in a Global Society

Fall 2019 & Spring 2020
NURS 3210 Contemporary Issues in Public Health

This course provides students the opportunity to apply the foundational skills of public health to contemporary public health issues. It integrates data and research to begin a more in-depth examination of the major burdens of disease and emerging areas of public health concern. Principles and concepts learned in NURS 1210: Public Health in a Global Society are reinforced through a focus on specific health conditions, behaviors, and topics.

*Prerequisites: NURS 1210 or NURS 4260

Spring 2020
APSY 405001 Public Health Practice in the Community 

This course puts public health into practice, with an experience of community engagement and public health activity. Students will develop a deeper understanding of applying public health principles and evidence-based practice in a community setting, locally or globally. Themes stressed in the previous two courses will be reinforced, this time in practice, including: the importance of data and evidence, the interdisciplinary approach to solving public health problems, and a focus on at-risk populations and reducing health disparities.

*Prerequisites: NURS 1210 and NURS 3210

Spring 2020






Introduction to Epidemiology Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health and disease in populations, and the application of this knowledge to improve health outcomes. This course will provide an introduction to the basic concepts and methods of epidemiology. Topics will include: measures of disease occurence and association, study design, basic statistics, reading and interpreting published epidemiological studies, and special topics (e.g. chronic disease epidemiology, outbreak investigations), with an emphasis on critical thinking and application. Fall 2019 & Spring 2020

PHCG 3223




Ethics in Global Health Global public health is both an urgent good and a needed right that is integral to a vision of just society. The course studies, first, the ethical issues raised by global public health (from epidemics and pandemics to poverty and underdevelopment); second, the ethical approaches to address them (from rights to the common good); third, concrete solutions and praxes. International examples from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas help to identify the ethical agenda and to implement it. The course's readings, analyses, and proposals engage: health sciences, anthropology, social sciences, philosophical and theological bioethical discourses, and social doctrine by considering, among others, Catholic and Protestant contributions.  Spring 2020
PHCG 2130 Global Health Law This course will examine the critical role of law in creating and implementing social policy and achieving (or at least seeking) social justice. Through the lens of current global threats, it will study the ways in which laws and regulations promote and protect - as well as impede – both individual and public health at the local, national and international levels. Specific topics may include: global differences in the definition of health care as a human right and access to health care; climate change; expanded trade in agricultural products; socioeconomic contributors and legal responses to the opioid crisis, vaping, epidemic causation (HIV, Ebola) and control (including vaccines); anthropogenic organic compounds; child lead poisoning (Flint water crisis) and the integrity of resources of the global commons. This course is designed to instill the policy-makers of tomorrow with the active skill set necessary to grapple with new public health challenges as they arise. There are no prerequisites for this course and no need for prior familiarity with the law, legal method or the legal system.  Fall 2019
BIOL 2320 Case Studies in Epidemiology Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of disease in populations. It is the core discipline of public health and preventive medicine. Students will become familiar with core concepts in epidemiology, including disease rates, incidence, prevalence, relative risk, case-fatality ratios, confounding and bias. Through a graduated series of case studies modeled on the famed introductory course of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) Epidemic Intelligence Service, the course will provide students with the basic tools they need to characterize epidemics by time, place and person; develop testable hypotheses about disease source and mode of transmission; and develop evidence-based interventions. Students will gain proficiency in applying these tools to various subfields of epidemiology (e.g., infectious diseases, reproductive health, and environmental health) and in applying epidemiologic methods to current issues in public health policy. TBD

The list below is comprised of interdisciplenary courses which may count towards the Global Public Health elective requierments. If you find this is not accurate or would like to petition for a course to count towards your coursework please contact publichealth@bc.edu.

For courses offered by the Global Public Health Program please see the Undergraduate Course List.



Carroll School of Management

MGMT2139      Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship
BSLW1113      Climate Change Law & Ethics 


Connell School of Nursing

NURS4260      Population Health Nursing Theory
NURS4261 Population Health Practice in the Community
NURS5350 Global Healthcare
NURS5345 Ecuador: Global Health Perspectives


Lynch School of Education and Human Development

APSY3320      Building Sustainable Communities
APSY4151 Health Psychology
APSY6397 Social Issues and Social Policy
APSY7471 Psychological Responses to Humanitarian Crises


School of Theology and Ministry

TMCE7052      Theological Bioethics: From the Basics to the Future
TMCE7128 Just Sustainability
TMCE8072 Human Genetics and Biotechnologies: Challenges for Science and Religion
TMCE8159 Catholic Healthcare: History, Contexts, Values, and Principles
TMCE8518 Global Health and Theological Ethics


School of Law

LAWS9326      Bioethics and the Law Seminar


Morrisey College of Arts and Science


BIOL1440      Sustaining the Biosphere
BIOL2300 Biostatistics
BIOL5150 Vaccine Development and Public Health



COMM4465      Health Communication


Earth & Environmental Science

EESC1174      Climate Change and Society
EESC2297 Environmental Hydrology
ENVS3315 Sustainable Agriculture
ENVS3345 Environment and Public Health



ECON1151      Statistics
ECON2213 Economics of Health Policy
ECON2242 Public Policy and an Aging Society
ECON2273 Development Economics
ECON2275 Economic Development: The Experience of El Salvador
ECON2277 Environmental Economics and Policy
ECON2278 Environmental Economics
ECON3315 Economics of Immigration
ECON3317 Economics of Inequality
ECON3363 Micro Public Policy Issues
ECON3373 Impact Evaluation in Developing Counties
ECON3374 Development Economics and Policy
ECON3385 Health Economics
ECON3390 Applied Health Economics
ECON3391 Economics of Energy and Development



PHIL4320      Philosophy of Mental Illness



SOCY1002      Introductory Sociology for Health Care Professionals
SOCY1073 States, Markets, and Bodies
SOCY1078 Sociology of Health and Illness
SOCY1096 Aging and Society
SOCY1097 Death and Dying
SOCY3373 Sexuality and Society*



THEO3222      Bioethics and Social Justice
THEO5498 HIV/AIDS and Ethics