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Public Health & Society

A Signature Initiative

We are integrating perspectives from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities around one of the defining local, national, and international endeavors of our times—public health.

WashU's institutional strength in public health, enhanced commitment to racial diversity and inclusion, and the array of exceptional academic units within Arts & Sciences are the foundation for this distinctive program that emphasizes the social determinants of health, including the role inequalities play in health outcomes. Students will glean meaningful insight from course connections to environmental science; anthropology; biology; medical humanities; statistics and data science; women, gender and sexuality studies; and more. They will also develop the hallmarks of an Arts & Sciences education: a spirit of creative inquiry, the ability to organize and synthesize information, skills in written and oral expression, and a strong grasp of ethics. 

New Public Health & Society minor enrolling students for Fall 2024!

The new Public Health & Society minor, available beginning in fall 2024, will be a well-integrated interdisciplinary minor, with enriched and amplified connections between public health and foundational and theoretical issues in humanistic, biological, ecological, sociocultural, and historical perspectives on health and society. More information about a proposed undergraduate major, beginning in fall 2025, as well as information about additional course offerings, will be forthcoming. 

Students in this program will learn to read critically, communicate effectively, and think broadly about the complexities of public health and its social contexts in the past, present, and future. The minor emphasizes ethical training in public health science, highlighting the social determinants of health, particularly the development of a foundational understanding of how issues of equity, inclusion, and diversity influence health outcomes.

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Faculty Engagement