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Public Health

Patrick Sullivan


Maintaining and improving public health is one of the great mandates of our time, both in the US and abroad. Aging populations, global pandemics, increasing environmental degradation, and a rise in childhood obesity are just some of the many challenges to which the field directly responds. The Public Health Program shows American University's commitment to developing and strengthening public health education, research, and practice. Degrees offered are a bachelor of arts in public health, a bachelor of science in public health, plus a minor in public health — and an accelerated 3-year Public Health Scholars program.

Public health is a highly interdisciplinary field and the public health degrees include courses from all schools and colleges at AU. More than 70 faculty members across campus currently conduct research and/or teach courses related to health.  

At the heart of the public health BA, BS, and minor are sets of core courses that ensure that students gain both foundational knowledge and practical skills in the field of public health. Through their electives, students then learn about health issues from the perspective of several disciplines. The electives are set up into four clusters:

  • Global Health
  • Health Science
  • Social and Community Health
  • Policy, Program Planning, and Evaluation 

The electives allow students to focus on a specific area of interest. 

AU's Washington, DC, location gives unparalleled access to internships at numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations involved in public health at the local, national, and international levels. Learning will occur both inside and outside the classroom, thanks to student placements in high quality internships and study abroad experiences. 

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