Declaring & Advising

An academic concentration is the focal point for a student's undergraduate educational experience at Brown. It is an in-depth study centering on a discipline or disciplines, a problem or a theme, or a broad question. All students must formally request, in writing, admission to a concentration.

In order to declare Public Health as a concentration, students must meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Patti Risica ([email protected]).

Students interested in the Public Health concentration should take the following steps:

  1. Refer to the Public Health concentration requirements. 
  2. Complete the Public Health Concentrator's Worksheet below. Include courses you have taken and those you would like to take to fulfill the concentration requirements. This form will be the basis for your conversation with the Director, so please bring it with you to your meeting. If you are considering the 5-year UG/MPH Degree (formerly AB/MPH), please contact and schedule a meeting with Elizabeth Jackvony. You may find UG/MPH requirements here.
  3. Meet with the Director to learn about the concentration requirements and declaring in the ASK (Advising Sidekick) portal, and to discuss your course plan and get answers to your questions.  
  4. After the meeting, she will process an override in ASK which will allow you to declare the concentration. 4th-semester students should schedule this meeting early, preferably by the first week of March. Remember, April 1 is the University deadline for all 4th-semester students to file a concentration. Any student who does not have an approved concentration on file will be blocked from pre-registering for Fall courses.
  5. Declare your concentration using the online declaration process. Go to ASK (Advising Sidekick), log in and then click on the "Declarations" tab. This will give you access to the necessary information. NOTE: If you have not obtained an override code, you will not be able to begin the declaration process in ASK.
  6. You will be assigned a concentration advisor upon submitting your declaration. Meet with your Concentration Advisor after you declare to begin your advising and mentoring relationship, obtain answers to any remaining questions, and finalize the concentration plan.  
  7. Your Concentration Advisor will use the ASK system to comment on, request revisions to, and ultimately approve your course plan. This process can be repeated as many times as is necessary as your plans evolve over the years in the concentration.

Planning Worksheet: Classes of 2021 & 2022 (DOC)

Requirements: Classes of 2021 & 2022 (PDF)

Planning Worksheet: Classes of 2023 & beyond (DOC)

Requirements: Classes of 2023 & beyond (PDF)

The Concentration in Public Health is administered by the Concentration Advisor/Honors Advisor and the Program Coordinator for Student Engagement (see People for more information). Students should feel free to contact the appropriate or pre-assigned advisor with questions.

What can you do with a Concentration in Public Health?
"Public Health" is a broad theme, and our graduates pursue many paths. Eventually, almost all of our graduates go on to an advanced degree, even if they take a year or two off. Medical school is a common next step (both PLME and non-PLME), though not for a majority of our concentrators. Applications to Schools of Public Health have become increasingly common. Other students take positions with non-governmental organizations (NGO's), both domestically and abroad. Some graduates become managers of health promotion programs funded by research grants and/or through departments of health. We have had graduates go to degree programs in social work and in midwifery; others go to entry-level positions in health care consulting companies.

Are there any concentration courses that have to be taken at a particular time?

  • PHP0310 (Health Care in the US) and PHP0320 (Intro to Public Health) should be taken as early as possible, preferably by the end of the sophomore year since they serve as prerequisites for other courses.​
  • PHP1501 (Statistics) should be taken in the students sophomore or junior year. There are no pre-req’s. In some cases, students take this course in the fall of their senior year.​
  • PHP0850 (Epidemiology): PHP0320 is a pre-req. Students typically take this course in their sophomore or junior year. In some cases, students take this course in the fall of their senior year.​
  • PHP1910 (Senior Seminar), a requirement for non-honors students only, must be taken in the fall semester of the senior year.

I want to double concentrate in Public Health and ______. Can I double count courses?
Up to two courses may count for credit in both concentrations.

Can I count classes taken abroad toward the concentration?
Courses taken abroad that are pertinent to the concentration may be counted with approval. Students generally bring back 1-2 courses per semester abroad for the concentration.

Nora Kahn Piore Award

  • Amount: up to $3,000
  • Deadline: February/March of each year
  • Money can be spent on: research expenses, airfare and other travel expenses, conference registration, etc. for a proposed project
  • Application: consists of a project proposal (abstract, objectives, methods, analysis and dissemination plan) and letter of support from a faculty mentor. The faculty support letter is critical to the application. Applicants should be sure to follow all application instructions.
  • Available for: undergraduate, graduate, and medical students undertaking research in health services, with a focus on health status and access to health care by poor and underserved people
  • More information

Framework in Global Health/Global Health Scholarship

  • Amount: $3,500
  • Deadline: See website
  • Money can be spent on: global health research, service, and advocacy activities directly linked to Brown University faculty scholarly projects
  • Application: consists of a five-page project proposal, letter of support from a faculty mentor, letter of support from host advisor, and CV/resume
  • Available for: undergraduate students, graduate students, medical students, and residents/fellows interested in global health
  • More information

Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Program

    • Amount: varies depending on site, but includes a living stipend, housing, round-trip airfare and other travel expenses
    • Deadline: January of each year
    • Money can be spent on: support for participation in a 10-12 week mentored summer research experience in Bangladesh, Brazil, Ghana, India, the Philippines, Mexico, or Ukraine
    • Application: consists of transcripts, resume, two letters of recommendation, and a 3-page personal statement
    • Available for: undergraduates entering junior or senior year who are from a racial/ethnic group historically underrepresented in the sciences, a low-income background, and/or a rural background
    • More information

    Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award (UTRA)

      • Amount: $1,000 (semester) to $3,500 (summer)
      • Deadline: February (summer), May (fall), and November (spring)
      • Money can be spent on: student living expenses while conducting research with a Brown faculty member
      • Application: consists of a project proposal by both the student and faculty mentor
      • Available for: all undergraduates; most applicants are sophomore or juniors
      • More information

      Linking Internships and Knowledge Award (LINK)

        • Amount: varies depending on internship location and cost of living, typically $3,500 for internships in Providence
        • Deadline: March (domestic and international internships) and April (domestic internships only)
        • Money can be spent on: student living expenses while participating in an unpaid or underpaid (less than $1,000) summer internship
        • Application: consists of a resume/CV, personal statement, and letter of support from internship mentor
        • Available for: rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors
        • More information