Emphasis Area FAQs

Q: Are GH concentrators required to have an emphasis area?

A: Emphasis areas have been developed to assist students to focus their course of study; however, they are free to put together a course of study that meets their needs.  We strongly encourage students to get the critical mass of courses in an emphasis area by the time they finish in order to increase their ability to network and obtain employment.  Selecting an emphasis area does not limit their ability to take other IH courses, have contact with GH faculty or attend generally available events. In fact, they are a way to make a student’s time in the Department of Global Health a more enriching and focused experience.

Q: I cannot decide on an emphasis area, what do I do?

 A: You are encouraged to discuss your interests with your advisor to help you decide on a possible emphasis area.  Also, by attending the generally available DGH/CGHD events, you will be exposed to different emphasis areas, helping you to focus your course of study.

Q: Is there a place where the event schedules will be posted publicly so that I can take part in the other emphasis’ events?

Generally available emphasis area events (guest speakers, etc.) will be open to all GH concentrators and published in the GH Weekly Blast.  However there will be some events that assume a certain amount of background/commitment in the emphasis area (Journal club, career advice, etc.) and be limited to the appropriate emphasis area list. All events are open to all students unless otherwise noted.

Q: If I declare myself undecided, will I have access to all the events?

Generally available emphasis area events (guest speakers, etc.) will be open to all GH concentrators and published in the GH Weekly Blast.  However there will be some events that assume a certain amount of background/commitment in the emphasis area (Journal club, career advice, etc.) and be limited to the appropriate emphasis area list.  By attending the generally available events, you may gain a better understanding of where your interests lie and you are encouraged to attend.

Q: I am interested in two emphasis areas and plan on taking courses in both areas.  Is it possible to be a part of both lists?

A: Graduate school can be time consuming, and we encourage you to choose an emphasis area that best fits your interests and future career goals.  That being said, yes, you can choose two.

Q: I am a returning GH concentrator and emphasis areas are new to me – do I need to select one?

A: Emphasis areas are not a requirement of the concentration, but once again, we strongly encourage you to get the critical mass of courses in an emphasis area.  There are also opportunities within the emphasis areas that you may profit from, such as networking and future employment positions.   While we encourage you to select an emphasis area, there is no requirement to do so.  There is no pending proposal that all students be required to declare an emphasis area.

Q: I am a DrPH student, do I need to choose an emphasis area?

A: The emphasis areas were designed to focus the studies and professional development of MPH candidates in the IH Department.  There is no expectation that Doctoral students join an emphasis area, but you may do so if you wish.

Q: Does “Sex, Sexuality, Gender and Health” also encompass child health or will there be another emphasis on maternal and child health issues in GH?

A: “Sex, Sexuality, Gender and Health” does also encompass child and maternal health issues.

Q: I am leaving for the Peace Corp., do I need to choose an emphasis area?

A: We encourage continuing Master’s International students to select an emphasis area and benefit from the opportunities and information the areas have to offer, however, there is no obligation to choose an emphasis area.

Q: I’m in the Pharmaceuticals Program. Do I still need to choose an emphasis area?

A: The Pharmaceuticals Program is effectively an additional emphasis area, with courses and electives outlined for you to help guide you through the program.  In general Pharmaceuticals students would not select one of the five listed emphasis areas.

If you have any more questions, please contact Carey Howard, the Academic Program Coordinator, at careyeh@bu.edu.