Learn from inspiring public health researchers, practitioners, and thought leaders. At SPH, our programs span disciplines and our classrooms touch the world.

    Browse our departments and Explore our Degrees



    SPH has one of the largest research portfolios at Boston University. That means our graduate students learn firsthand from faculty researchers who bring their cutting-edge research into the classroom and teach emerging approaches to solving today’s public health challenges.

    Learn about our policy-changing Faculty Research



    Beyond the School’s practice initiatives and community partnerships, hands-on experience is vital to career preparation and is an integral component of SPH’s curricula. As an MPH or DrPH student doing your practicum, you’ll apply your skills in the field working locally, nationally, or internationally.

    Learn more about practice opportunities and The Practicum



    SPH researchers helped legitimize post-traumatic stress disorder’s invisible wounds as a cause for disability benefits. Now they’re leading the charge to find treatments.

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Anyone can talk about global health problems. But with a graduate degree from Boston University School of Public Health, you can take your place at the forefront of those who help solve them. Launch or advance your career with a master’s or doctoral program in one of eight public health concentrations: biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, global health, health policy & management, maternal & child health, social & behavioral sciences, and health law, bioethics & human rights. You’ll work with acclaimed faculty whose research and practice are building a healthier world, here at home and worldwide.

Recent News

See what our school, our faculty, and our students have been up to.

More News
  • Turning Statistics into Solutions

    SPH researchers can now access the health care data of 149 million Americans. But how to make sense of the numbers? When environmental health professor Jonathan Levy and his colleagues wanted to study the effects of airport-related noise pollution on cardiovascular health, they turned to one of the nation’s largest available health databases, the data set of Medicare billing claims. Using statistical modeling, the scientists assessed thousands of zip codes’ exposure to aircraft noise and cross-referenced their geographical data with cardiovascular hospital admissions in the Medicare database. Working with a sample of more than 6 million patient records from the

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  • What Big Data Won’t Tell You

    A series of small studies in Ghana may spark big changes in that country’s response to HIV The science of global health is propelled by statistics. The larger a research study’s sample size, the more accurately researchers can map trends in health issues from infant mortality to the spread of HIV. But it’s not always about the numbers. That’s what Jennifer Beard, a School of Public Health assistant professor of global health and a principal investigator in the BU Center for Global Health & Development (CGHD), found when she and several University colleagues teamed with leading HIV scientists from Ghana’s

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  • Being Overweight May Be Deadlier Than We Think

    The study was so explosive that an entire Harvard conference was convened to debunk it: research published last year concluding that being mildly obese does not shorten life span, while being slightly overweight actually could lengthen it. Spearheaded by epidemiologist Katherine Flegal of the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the research reviewed 97 weight studies covering almost three million people. It found that overweight people had lower death rates than people whose weight was normal and that mildly obese people didn’t die at greater rates than normal-weight people. Researchers call this counterintuitive conclusion the “obesity paradox.” Skeptics cautioned that the normal-weight

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    Area of Study

    Find the public health focus and degree program that’s right for you.

    Tell me about: Epidemiology
    • With rising concerns about emerging infections, environmental hazards, and global health disparities, the field of epidemiology has grown dramatically in scope and importance. Our graduates are now playing key roles in an unprecedented range of public health issues.

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      Diabetes affects 8.3% of the US population.
    • Poverty, disease, and inequity—the world needs new approaches to these three overriding health problems. Through education, research, service, and community work, you can help improve the health and well-being of underserved populations in low- and middle-income countries.

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      of deaths from malaria occur in just 14 countries

    • Contemporary life exposes us to a wide variety of environmental health risks every day. And in many parts of the world, public health necessities like safe water remain urgent problems. To tackle these issues, you’ll need multidisciplinary training in subjects from toxicology to health law.

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      Cost of asthma in the United States, including early deaths, and lost school and work days.

    • As a biostatistician in public health, you could play a critical role in almost any research with public health and policy implications, from breast cancer risk factors to the safety of a new drug. And your skills would be needed in every phase of the study, design through analysis.

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    • The advent of major health care reform has brought new urgency to complex questions facing our health care system. Today’s search for ways to make high-quality health care more available and affordable has heightened the demand for smart policy makers and managers.

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    • Complex health problems like “lifestyle diseases” and drug abuse can only be understood in the context of social and cultural factors. Learn how such problems can be addressed through communities, choosing your focus in maternal & child health or in social & behavioral sciences.

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      of new HIV infections in the US occur in youth ages 13 to 24 years

    • Complex health-related legal and ethical questions surround many of today’s urgent issues—including health care reform, biotechnology, regulatory challenges around patient safety and pharmaceutical trials, and disability law. Tackle pressing issues as a health law, bioethics & human rights expert working in public policy, advocacy, law, or scholarship—or in hospital administration, biomedical research, or regulatory affairs.

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      30% of poor Americans have been diagnosed with depression

      Student & Alumni Stories

      Hear what SPH insiders say about student life, learning, and research and practice opportunities here.

      Boston is truly a global health care hub. As students, we have access to world-class facilities and researchers, as well as industry experts.

      Catherine Shih,
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