Bachelor of Arts/Master of Public Health

The Bachelor of Arts/Master of Public Health program offered jointly by the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) and the School of Public Health (SPH) is a blend of the undergraduate experience and graduate professional study leading to increased career opportunities in the field of public health. Students complete all degree requirements for the (128-credit) BA and all requirements for the (48-credit) MPH. Up to 16 credits of graduate-level School of Public Health coursework completed in the final two years of undergraduate study may be applied both as elective credit toward the BA and as credit toward fulfillment of requirements for the MPH. Careful planning and full-time enrollment can result in students’ receiving both the BA and MPH after a total of five years of study, rather than the usual minimum of five-and-a-half years. Students may complete the MPH degree on a part-time basis if desired. The BA is awarded at the completion of all BA requirements; the MPH is awarded once students have completed all MPH program requirements.

Public health is a diverse field that draws on expertise from many disciplines, including math, science, law, ethics, psychological and brain sciences, sociology, political science, and communications. Students applying to the BA/MPH program will be expected to demonstrate a commitment to public health as evidenced by their previous coursework, personal statement in the SOPHAS application, and past employment and extracurricular activities. Students in all CAS undergraduate concentrations are eligible to apply for the BA/MPH program, provided that they are not concurrently enrolled in another dual degree program. Students pursuing an undergraduate minor in Public Health must drop that minor if they are accepted and choose to enroll in the BA/MPH program. Students must apply for the program by April 1 of their sophomore year (for fall admission) or by October 15 of their junior year (for spring admission) and may apply prior to taking any courses at the School of Public Health. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.20, and successful applicants will generally have a GPA above 3.50.

Application to the dual degree program will consist of an Application Approval Form signed by the BA/MPH advisor (e.g., the Director of Prehealth Advising) at the Pre-Professional Advising Office, 100 Bay State Road, 4th Floor; a completed SOPHAS application to the School of Public Health; an official Boston University undergraduate transcript; three letters of reference, including two from faculty members at Boston University specifically addressing the student’s capacity to do graduate-level work.

Checklist for BA/MPH Dual Degree Students

  • Meet with BA/MPH advisor in the fall of sophomore year to discuss application to the BA/MPH program.
  • Complete required BA/MPH Application Approval Form at a meeting with the BA/MPH advisor.
  • Submit completed application through SOPHAS by April 1 of sophomore year or October 15 of junior year.
  • Request an official BU transcript be sent to the SPH Admissions office at the end of the semester in which the application is made.
  • If accepted, “undeclare” public health minor (if applicable).
  • If accepted, schedule a meeting with the SPH Director of Undergraduate Education.


Students accepted to the BA/MPH program will be required to meet certain standards and undergo further review prior to entering the SPH for their final year of study. For their undergraduate major in CAS, they must maintain the minimum GPA graduation requirement and fulfill all other requirements. Additionally, they must adhere to the SPH grading policy for all SPH courses. Upon completion of the BA degree, the student’s overall record will undergo a review by the SPH staff who will make a final decision regarding a full transition to the School of Public Health. This review may be referred to the SPH Admissions Committee.

By the time of graduation from CAS and as a condition of entry into SPH, students must have completed the following:

Foundations of Public Health

Effective public health requires expertise from many disciplines, and students need to have a broad foundation of knowledge across these diverse disciplines in order to collaborate effectively with other health professionals.

SPH PH 700 Foundations of Public Health (0 credits) is an online course designed to provide students with foundational knowledge in the profession and science of public health and factors related to public health. SPH PH 700 meets the foundational knowledge criteria (as outlined by CEPH) for all SPH students.

Integrated Core Curriculum

16 credits of coursework:

  • SPH PH 717 A1 Quantitative Methods for Public Health (4 cr)
  • SPH PH 718 A1 Management and Leadership in Public Health (4 cr)
  • SPH PH 719 A1 Health Systems, Law, and Policy (4 cr)
  • SPH PH 720 A1 Individual, Community, and Population Health (4 cr)

BA/MPH students must achieve a minimum grade of B– or better in each of the 4 core courses. They must also complete the MPH requirements of a functional certificate, optional context certificate, practicum, career development program, and integrated learning experience.