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School of Public Health

School Overview

Interim Dean
Joel Kaufman

F350 Health Sciences

The UW School of Public Health prepares innovative and diverse public health leaders and scientists; provides research to advance public health science and policies; and offers service to promote health and well-being.

The School has five departments: Biostatistics, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Global Health, and Health Services -- plus interdisciplinary programs that include health services administration, maternal and child health, nutritional sciences, pathobiology, and public health genetics.

The School offers the following degrees: Master of Public Health (MPH); Master of Science (MS); Master of Health Administration (MHA); Doctor of Philosophy (PhD); and bachelor's degrees in public health, environmental health (also a minor), and health informatics and health information management (HIHIM).

Concurrent degree programs with Anthropology, Dentistry, Foster School of Business, International Studies, Law, Medicine, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Nursing, Public Administration, and Social Work are also available.

Graduate certificate programs are offered in basic or advanced clinical research methods (Epidemiology), emergency preparedness and response (Health Services), global health (Global Health), health management (Health Services), health policy (Health Services), HIV and STIs (Global Health), maternal and child health (Health Services), public health practice (Health Services Executive MPH program), public health genetics (Public Health Genetics), and statistical genetics (Biostatistics).

For more information, see the school's academic catalog at sph.washington.edu/publications/catalog.asp or visit the homepage at sph.washington.edu.

Undergraduate Program

Adviser
F-332 Health Sciences, Box 357230
(206) 221-4561
phmajor@uw.edu

The School of Public Health offers a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts with a major in public health.

The Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences offers a minor and a Bachelor of Science with a major in environmental health. The Department of Health Services offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics and Health Information Management degree, as well as a baccalaureate certificate, through the UW Evening Degree Program. A minor in global health is offered by the Department of Global Health. A minor in nutritional sciences is offered by the Nutritional Sciences Program.

General Education

The School of Public Health general education requirements, which apply to all degree programs mentioned above, are as follows:

Basic Skills

  1. English Composition (C) – 5 credits
  2. Additional Writing (W) – 10 credits
  3. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QSR) – One course (minimum 4 credits)

Areas of Knowledge

  1. Visual, Literary, & Performing Arts (VLPA) – 10 credits*
  2. Individuals & Societies (I&S) – 10 credits
  3. Natural World (NW) – 20 credits
  4. Additional Areas of Knowledge – 25 credits

*Although School of Public Health students are not required to study a foreign language, they are encouraged to do so by substituting first-year language courses for the VLPA requirement. Completion through the third quarter is required for VLPA credit.

Suggested First- and Second-Year Courses:anthropology, political science, psychology, sociology; distribution of general education and Areas of Knowledge courses as well as coursework that develops critical and analytical thinking, communication skills, and an understanding of public health.

Admission Requirements

  1. Admission is capacity-constrained. Completing the prerequisites and submitting an application guarantees consideration but not admission.
  2. Admission is twice a year, for autumn and winter quarters. Applications, due the first Friday of spring for autumn admission and the third Friday of autumn for winter admission, are available from the public health major website at sph.washington.edu/uph. Transfer students must also apply for admission to the UW. For the admission process, see admit.washington.edu.
  3. Evaluation of applications is based on overall academic record, grades in major relevant coursework, selection of and preparation for appropriate BA or BS path, ability to make satisfactory progress toward the degree, and understanding of and potential fit with the major as demonstrated in the personal statement.
  4. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an information session before submitting an application.
  5. Transfer students may use any transferable equivalent course(s) for prerequisite coursework. Consult the UW Equivalency Guide or a UW adviser to verify transferability of coursework.

Early Admission

Students apply to the early admission option during spring of their first year for entry in autumn of their second year or during autumn of their second year for entry in winter of their second year.

Applicants must complete the following by the application deadline:

  1. Minimum 30 college credits
  2. Minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA
  3. Minimum 2.0 in English composition (5 credits)
  4. Minimum 3.0 grade in one introductory public health course from the following: ENV H 111, ENV H 205, EPI 201, EPI 220, G H 101, HSERV 100, NUTR 200, PHG 200 (HSERV 100 required for BA Education and Promotion Option; NUTR 200 required for BS Nutritional Sciences Option)
  5. Minimum 3.0 grade in one introductory science from the following: BIOL 118, BIOL 180, CHEM 120, CHEM 142, CHEM 145, or MICROM 301/MICROM 302

Upper Division Admission

Upper division admission is typical for most students either at the UW or transferring from other institutions.

Applicants must complete the following by the application deadline:

  1. Minimum 60 college credits
  2. Minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA
  3. Minimum 2.0 in English composition (5 credits)
  4. Minimum 2.5 grade in one introductory public health course from the following: ENV H 111, ENV H 205, EPI 201, EPI 220, G H 101, HSERV 100, NUTR 200, PHG 200, or one 5-credit course from anthropology (ANTH only), geography (GEOG), political science (POL S), psychology (PSYCH), or sociology (SOC)
  5. For BA path students, minimum 2.5 grade in one introductory science from the following: BIOL 118, BIOL 180, CHEM 120, CHEM 142, CHEM 145, or MICROM 301/MICROM 302
  6. For BS path students, minimum 2.5 grades in at least two courses of a year-long sequence in introductory science, with laboratories, or mathematics, chosen from biology (BIOL 180, BIOL 200, BIOL 220); chemistry (CHEM 142, CHEM 152, CHEM 162); organic chemistry (CHEM 237, CHEM 238, CHEM 239; CHEM 241, CHEM 242); physics (PHYS 114/PHYS 117, PHYS 115/PHYS 118, PHYS 116/PHYS 119, or PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123); or mathematics (MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126)

Bachelor of Arts Major Requirements

109-110 credits

  1. Integrated Core (20 credits): minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA with no grade below 1.7 in SPH 380, SPH 381, SPH 480, SPH 481
  2. Public Health Foundation (8-9 credits):statistics (4-5 credits) from BIOST 310 (preferred), Q METH 201, STAT 220, STAT 221, STAT 311, or Q SCI 381; epidemiology (4 credits), EPI 320
  3. Diversity Seminar (1 credit): SPH 489
  4. Social and Behavioral Sciences Breadth (25 credits): one 5-credit course from each of the following departments: Anthropology (ANTH only), Geography (GEOG), Political Science (POL S), Psychology (PSYCH), and Sociology (SOC); minimum 20 credits at the 200 level or above
  5. Natural Science (10 credits): 5 credits from BIOL 118, BIOL 180, MICROM 301/MICROM 302; 5 credits from CHEM 120, CHEM 142, CHEM 145
  6. Bachelor of Arts (BA) Selectives (20 credits): Courses identified to address competency areas in advocacy, community dynamics, communication, economics, education, ethics, health promotion, law, policy, social justice, and writing. See website or adviser for approved list. Any course not on the list must be approved by the public health adviser.
  7. Public Health Electives (20 credits): 300- and 400-level courses to build competency areas in public health. See website or adviser for approved list. Any course not on the list must be approved by the public health adviser.
  8. Public Health Capstone (5 credits): minimum 2.0 grade in each of SPH 491 and SPH 492 (minimum 2.0 grade)
  9. Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA for courses applied to the major

In addition to the major requirements shown above, students must complete the general education requirements for the School of Public Health.

Bachelor of Arts Major Requirements (Education and Promotion Option)

109-110 credits

  1. HSERV 100 – Required for admission. (Counts toward the 20-credit selectives requirement shown in 7, below.)
  2. Integrated Core (20 credits): minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA with no grade below 1.7 in SPH 380, SPH 381, SPH 480, SPH 481
  3. Public Health Foundation (8-9 credits): statistics (4-5 credits) from BIOST 310 (preferred), Q METH 201, STAT 220, STAT 221, STAT 311, or Q SCI 381; epidemiology (4 credits), EPI 320
  4. Diversity Seminar (1 credit): SPH 489
  5. Social and Behavioral Sciences Breadth (25 credits): one 5-credit course from each of the following departments: Anthropology (ANTH only), Geography (GEOG), Political Science (POL S), Psychology (PSYCH), and Sociology (SOC); minimum 20 credits at the 200 level or above
  6. Natural Science (10 credits): 5 credits from BIOL 118, BIOL 180, MICROM 301/MICROM 302; 5 credits from CHEM 120, CHEM 142, CHEM 145
  7. Bachelor of Arts (BA) Selectives (20 credits): Courses identified to address competency areas in advocacy, community dynamics, communication, economics, education, ethics, health promotion, law, policy, social justice, and writing, including HSERV 100, HSERV 204. See website or adviser for approved list. Any course not on the list must be approved by the public health adviser.
  8. Public Health Electives (20 credits): 300- and 400-level courses to build competency areas in public health, including HSERV 344, HSERV 345, HSERV 346, and SPH 495 PH internship. See website or adviser for approved list. Any course not on the list must be approved by the public health adviser.
  9. Public Health Capstone (5 credits): minimum 2.0 grade in each of SPH 491 and SPH 492
  10. Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA for courses applied to the major.

In addition to the major requirements shown above, students must complete the general education requirements for the School of Public Health.

Bachelor of Science Major Requirements

119-130 credits

  1. Integrated Core (20 credits): minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA with no grade below 1.7 in SPH 380, SPH 381, SPH 480, SPH 481
  2. Public Health Foundation (8-9 credits): statistics (4-5 credits) from BIOST 310 (preferred), Q METH 201, STAT 220, STAT 221, STAT 311, or Q SCI 381; epidemiology (4 credits), EPI 320
  3. Diversity Seminar (1 credit): SPH 489
  4. Social and Behavioral Sciences Breadth (25 credits): one 5-credit course from each of the following departments: Anthropology (ANTH only), Geography (GEOG), Political Science (POL S), Psychology (PSYCH), and Sociology (SOC); minimum 20 credits at the 200 level or above
  5. Natural Science (10 credits):5 credits from BIOL 118, BIOL 180, MICROM 301/MICROM 302; 5 credits from CHEM 120, CHEM 142, CHEM 145
  6. Bachelor of Science (BS) Selectives (40 credits): Students taking BIOL 180 and CHEM 142 may count these two courses toward both the Natural Science and the BS Selectives: Two year-long sequences of introductory science, with laboratories: biology (BIOL 180, BIOL 200, BIOL 220); chemistry (CHEM 142, CHEM 152, CHEM 162); remaining credits chosen from biochemistry (BIOC 405, BIOC 406), organic chemistry (CHEM 237, CHEM 238, CHEM 239, CHEM 241 CHEM 242, or CHEM 223, CHEM 224); physics (PHYS 114/PHYS 117, PHYS 115/PHYS 118, PHYS 116/PHYS 119, or PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123); or mathematics (MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126)
  7. Public Health Electives (20 credits): 300- and 400-level courses to build competency areas in public health. See website or adviser for approved list. Any course not on the list must be approved by the public health adviser.
  8. Public Health Capstone (5 credits): Minimum 2.0 grade in SPH 491 and SPH 492
  9. Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA for courses applied to the major

In addition to the major requirements shown above, students must complete the general education requirements for the school of Public Health.

Bachelor of Science Major Requirements (Nutritional Sciences Option)

119-130 credits

  1. NUTR 200: Required for admission, but not counted toward the minimum 119-130 major credits required
  2. Integrated Core (20 credits): minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA with no grade below 1.7 in SPH 380, SPH 381, SPH 480, SPH 481
  3. Public Health Foundation (8-9 credits): statistics (4-5 credits) from BIOST 310 (preferred), Q METH 201, STAT 220, STAT 221, STAT 311, or Q SCI 381; epidemiology (4 credits), EPI 320
  4. Diversity Seminar (1 credit): SPH 489
  5. Social and Behavioral Sciences Breadth (25 credits): one 5-credit course from each of the following departments: Anthropology (ANTH only), Geography (GEOG), Political Science (POL S), Psychology (PSYCH), and Sociology (SOC); minimum 20 credits at the 200 level or above
  6. Natural Science (10 credits): 5 credits from BIOL 118, BIOL 180, MICROM 301/MICROM 302; 5 credits from CHEM 120, CHEM 142, CHEM 145
  7. Bachelor of Science (BS) Selectives (40 credits): Students taking BIOL 180 and CHEM 142 may count these two courses toward both the Natural Science and the BS Selectives: Two year-long sequences of introductory science with laboratories: biology (BIOL 180, BIOL 200, BIOL 220 and chemistry (CHEM 142, CHEM 152, CHEM 162). Remaining credits chosen from biochemistry (BIOC 405, BIOC 406); organic chemistry (CHEM 237, CHEM 238, CHEM 239, CHEM 241, CHEM 242, or CHEM 223, CHEM 224
  8. Public Health Electives (20 credits): At least 9 credits from NUTR 310, NUTR 405, NUTR 406, NUTR 411, NUTR 420 or NUTR 446; balance of 15 credits from NUTR 302, NUTR 303, NUTR 400 (max. 2), NUTR 412 or NUTR 465; and remaining 5 credits, if necessary, of 300- and 400-level courses from approved list
  9. Public Health Capstone (5 credits): Minimum 2.0 grade in SPH 491 and SPH 492
  10. Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA for courses applied to the major

In addition to the major requirements shown above, students must complete the general education requirements for the School of Public Health.

Continuation Policy

All students must make satisfactory academic progress in the major. Failure to do so results in probation, which can lead to dismissal from the major. For the complete continuation policy, contact the departmental adviser or refer to the department website.

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: Public Health is a school-wide liberal arts major, leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, which uses public health questions, concepts, and tools to teach critical thinking skills. Students learn to ask questions, challenge assumptions, and explore answers to promote the health and well-being of communities, locally, nationally, and globally. By integrating the diverse areas of public health, students are introduced to the determinants of health, emerging diseases, access to health care and modes of health-care delivery, the geography of health, and the effects of environment on health and disease. The major provides undergraduates with competencies in health, ethics and social justice, social science, natural science, policy and politics, and environment with particular emphasis on collaboration, communication, and critical thinking across these domains. An undergraduate degree in public health provides a grounding in science, values, passion, and commitment which is valuable for a range of career and educational options across multiple disciplines.
  • Instructional and Research Facilities: The School of Public Health has five departments -- Biostatistics, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Global Health, and Health Services -- as well as interdisciplinary programs such as the Public Health major, Maternal and Child Health, Nutritional Sciences, Pathobiology, and Public Health Genetics. The School has over 30 research centers, including Institute for Public Health Genetics, Northwest Center for Public Health Practice, Center for Public Health Nutrition, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, and the Health Promotion Research Center. Administration and teaching are primarily in the Magnuson Health Sciences Center.
  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors); With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: Majors are encouraged to engage in experiential learning. See adviser for details.
  • Department Scholarships: See adviser for details.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: Undergraduate Student Public Health Association (USPHA). Public Health Dawgs (PhDs).

Graduate Program

The School of Public Health (SPH) offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Health Administration (MHA), Master of Science (MS), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Admission requirements are described in the sections for each department.

Master of Public Health Degree: The MPH provides broad training in public health and is offered in all SPH departments. Students choose from areas including biostatistics; community-oriented public health practice; environmental and occupational health; epidemiology; Executive MPH program; health metrics and evaluation; health services; health systems and policy; global health (in Epidemiology or Global Health); leadership, policy, and management; maternal and child health (in Epidemiology or Health Services); nutritional sciences (with optional dietetics training); occupational and environmental medicine; public health genetics; or Peace Corps Master’s International. The Executive MPH, a three-year, part-time program, allows mid-career public health professionals to pursue the degree in community practice, environmental health, global health, health education, or maternal and child health while continuing their employment.

Master of Health Administration Degree: The MHA is offered either as a full-time, in-residence program or a part-time executive program that prepares students for careers in management, planning, and policy analysis. The curriculum integrates the knowledge, skills, and experience that encompass health services management, planning, and policy analysis. Students develop skills that enable them to better understand and manage change; analyze information and make decisions; and manage organizations and the people in them. The Executive MHA program, is a part-time program for mid-career health services professionals (including physicians and other experienced clinicians), who wish to continue their employment while pursuing the degree.

Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees: The MS and PhD programs in the departments of Biostatistics, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Epidemiology, and Health Services prepare students for academic or research careers. The MS and PhD in the Nutritional Sciences and the Pathobiology programs, and the PhD program in the Institute for Public Health Genetics are administered in the School of Public Health.

The MS programs in biostatistics, environmental health (general, occupational and environmental exposure sciences, and toxicology tracks), epidemiology (general, global, or clinical research tracks), health services (healthcare and population health), nutrition (with optional dietetics training), pathobiology, and genetic epidemiology offer focused research training in specific disciplines. Graduates often assume positions as senior technical staff in laboratories or other organizations and as research project coordinators, or pursue further graduate training. In the PhD program more courses emphasize the concepts underlying methodological approaches rather than the ability to independently design a major research program.

The PhD programs in biostatistics (general or statistical genetics tracks), environmental and occupational health sciences (environmental and occupational hygiene and toxicology tracks), epidemiology, health services, nutritional sciences (with optional dietetics training), pathobiology, and public health genetics, train future academicians as highly qualified independent investigators and teachers, and as well-trained practitioners.

Concurrent Degree Programs: Enrollment in a concurrent degree program permits a student to proceed towards sequential completion of both degrees in a shortened period of time. Some options available are not formal concurrent programs, but the degrees listed can be pursued in parallel with the Global Health MPH. Most concurrent degrees begin with successful application to the other school, followed by an application to the MPH during the first year.

The SPH has concurrent degree programs with the Foster School of Business (MHA/MBA) and the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs (MHA/MPA, MPH/MPA, MS/MPA). The School also offers concurrent degree programs with the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies (MPH/MAIS), the Law School (MHA/JD, MPH/JD), Molecular and Cellular Biology (PhD/MS), and Anthropology (MPH/PhD). Concurrent degrees with other health sciences schools include Dentistry (MPH/MSD), Medicine (MHA/MD, MPH/MD, PhD/MD), Nursing (MPH/MN), and Social Work (MPH/MSW).

Residency Programs: SPH offers a residency in occupational and environmental medicine (MPH). Physicians may apply to any of the school's other graduate programs.

Certificate and Graduate Certificate Programs: Programs include basic or advanced clinical research methods (Epidemiology); emergency preparedness and response (Health Services); global health (Global Health); global health of women, adolescents, and children (Global Health); global injury and violence prevention (Global Health); health economics and outcomes research (with the School of Pharmacy); health management (Health Services); health policy (Health Services); HIV and STIs (Global Health); maternal and child health (Health Services); public health practice (Health Services Executive MPH program); public health genetics (Public Health Genetics) and statistical genetics (Biostatistics).