Public Health


Public Health is an interdisciplinary concentration through which students examine a variety of issues, including population health and disease, health policy, cross-cultural and international aspects of health, the organizational and social structures through which health services are delivered and received, and the public health system. Courses in the concentration allow students to explore the ways in which the social, political, behavioral and biological sciences contribute to the understanding of patterns of population distributions of health and disease. The concentration also provides students with courses in basic research methods and statistics necessary for problem solving and critical thinking in the emerging emphasis on evidence-based health care and public health.

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Identify, assess, understand and apply the current state of public health knowledge to public health concerns
  • Identify the role of cultural, social and behavioral factors, among others, in determining disease expression, disease prevention, health promoting behavior and access to care
  • Develop skills to organize and communicate information pertaining to a public health issue, including policy implications, priorities and recommended course of action
  • Work collaboratively on an original project related to public health through the Senior Seminar Capstone, or for eligible students, an honors thesis.


Public Health concentration requirements for students in the class of 2016 and beyond are listed here.

Honors and Capstones

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Honors candidates must write an Honors Thesis. To be eligible for Honors, students must complete eleven (11) required courses, nine (9) of which are graded, and must earn more A's than B's in those courses. The thesis must be judged to be of superior quality by both faculty advisors, and the student must deliver an oral presentation of the thesis. Students must take PHP1980 for a grade in both senior-year semesters. 

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Expand your reading skills
  • Understand differences among cultures
  • Engage with your community
  • Experience scientific inquiry
  • Work on your speaking and writing
  • Embrace diversity
  • Collaborate fully

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Affiliated Departments


Director of Undergraduate Studies

Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors
201227 27 
201343 43 17 
201453 53 17 
201535 35 12 
201667  23 

Alumni Pathways

The Public Health concentration is relevant for students with career interests in public health, disease prevention and health promotion, health policy and epidemiology, clinical health care delivery, health care administration, international health, and health law.

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

Dept. Undergraduate Group

Student Leaders:

  • Sarah Eltinge
  • Isabel Blalock
  • Elizabeth Waisel

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.