Public health is the science and art of protecting the health of populations. Its mission is to enhance health, prevent disease, reduce disparities, extend longevity for all people, and safeguard the health of cities, states, and nations.
In this program, you will gain a deep understanding of the theory and practice of public health and prepare for graduate study in medicine, nursing, public health, health policy, law, and international relations or for a career in business, social work and public health practice.
You will receive a rigorous education that places public health education in a highly interdisciplinary, liberal arts context. This will enable you to explore public health’s connections to history, sociology, literature, engineering, art, economics, and political science.
This major, which draws on Boston College’s Jesuit, Catholic tradition and Pope Francis’ teaching in Laudato Si’, will strongly emphasize the ethical and moral foundations of public health and the intersection between public health, social justice, and care for our Common Home.
You will be prepared to serve the public health needs on a global capacity, in addition to local, regional, and national communities.
This program is a collaboration between the Connell School of Nursing and the Schiller Institute for Science and Society.
Coursework in the major will be grounded in epidemiology and biostatistics, the core disciplines of public health. You will gain intellectual and experiential understanding of the social determinants of health—the complex web of social, economic, environmental, political, and historical factors that influence health and drive the spread of disease.
The major will consist of 36 academic credits, equivalent to 12 full-semester courses.
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Public Health in a Global Society
An overview of the history of public health, global burden of disease, sub-disciplines of public health, maternal/child health, and nutrition, and the collaborative nature of the field through examples in research and practice, focusing on at-risk populations, reducing health disparities, and improving health equity at the population level.
Introduction to Epidemiology
This course introduces basic principles and methods of epidemiology and biostatistics. Measures of disease frequency, association and causation, the design and analysis of studies, and the potential issues that may arise in these studies are addressed.
Biostatistics, Data Analytics and Quantitative Methods in Public Health
This course covers descriptive and inferential statistics used in biomedical and public health studies, with emphasis on practice and implementation. Descriptive statistics, probability, basic hypothesis testing, ANOVA, and linear and logistic regression will be covered.
Ethics of Global Public Health and the Common Good
A new course that will explore the social, economic, historical and political determinants of health.
Health Inequities: Origins and Remedies
Disease is not distributed evenly or randomly within societies, but instead is concentrated among people of color, the poor and the marginalized. This course will examine the social, economic, political and historical factors that drive disparities in health and explore strategies to overcome these structural injustices.
Global Public 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.
Global Health: Theory to Practice
In this course, students will learn how to apply the theories and practices learned in other global health courses by working through practical case studies involving real-life global health problems.
Public Health Planning, Practice, and Evaluation
A new course which will include didactic material and case studies on leadership, advocacy, project implementation and evaluation, and community partnerships. Classroom teaching will be complemented with community engagement.
Courses for Required Capstone Project
PHCG4975 and PHCG4976: You will complete a 2-semester, 6-credit, interdisciplinary Capstone Experience in your senior year. The equivalent of two courses, this Capstone will be the culmination of your undergraduate experience and will allow you to apply your knowledge in a real-world setting. A faculty mentor will provide guidance as you work with a community-based organization identified by CSON’s Office of Clinical Placements and Community Partnerships. Individually or paired with another student, you will work in and with a community to:
The resulting project—a scholarly report, video, or other academic output—will describe the project, your approach to it, and its outcome. This final product will be of a quality suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed biomedical journal or for regional or national presentation.
You will choose two electives from an extensive list of courses.
As a graduate from this program, you will be prepared for:
You will learn how the health of populations affects economic growth and alters the destiny of nations. You will acquire knowledge of key elements of public health: disease prevention; health promotion; survey design; community assessment; data collection, management, and analysis; policy development; outbreak investigation and control; infection dynamics; project implementation; grant writing, public health communication; and leadership.
Because of their merit and passion for public health, GPHCG Student Ambassadors have been selected to represent the program at BC and beyond. It is their job to lead the next generation of public health professionals and help create meaningful impact in their communities.
student-run organizations dedicated to key issues in Global Public Health
Students are invited to learn about our research and to become involved in projects of significant importance to modern societies.
Areas of major research interest within the program are:
“Developing this major at Boston College is aligned with our mission to use our education and knowledge in service to others – in this case, to serve people and communities through global public health.”