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BC Adds New Major in Global Public Health and the Common Good

Boston College will offer a new major in global public health and the common good administered by the Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society and the Connell School of Nursing, according to a University release.

“The excitement level is off the charts,” Philip Landrigan, the director of BC’s global public health program, said in the release. “As far as I’m concerned, this is a dream come true.” 

One hundred students currently participate in BC’s global public health program, which offers both a minor and an independent minor. According to the release, students will have to apply to the new major, and the University will enroll approximately 45 applicants.

The release states that the major’s curriculum will include 12 courses for 36 credits. Classes will cover topics such as epidemiology, biostatistics, ethics, law, data analysis, and health inequities, and seniors will either complete a thesis or a service project as part of their capstone project.

“Like every other good public health program, we work very hard to teach our students the technical aspects of public health: epidemiology, biostatistics, and similar courses,” Landrigan said.

Laura Steinberg, the Schiller Institute Seidner Family Executive Director and professor of earth and environmental sciences, said she anticipates the new major will integrate well with the Schiller Institute’s current course offerings.

“The Schiller Institute was conceived as a home for interdisciplinary curricular programs at BC, especially those related to health, climate change, and data science,” Steinberg said in the release. “We see a great deal of synergy between the institute’s current work and the focus of Global Public Health and the Common Good major.”

Katherine Gregory, the dean of CSON, added that she is thrilled to welcome the major to the Connell School and collaborate with the Schiller Institute. Gregory also said that she believes the new program will complement the service-learning aspect of CSON.

“We are confident that this program will be successful as a result of the strengths of our faculty, not only in the Connell School where we have many faculty who have long taught in the program and are passionate about public health, but also from across the University,” Gregory said in the release.

Since the development of BC’s first three-course sequence in public health, students have demonstrated a large interest in the subject, according to the release.

“What sets us apart is our very explicit focus on the social dimension of public health, our emphasis on the preferential option for the poor, and our students’ strong commitment to public service,” Landrigan said. 

December 1, 2022