Public Health Studies Major Requirements

(Also see General Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree.)

All courses must be taken for a letter grade and not S/U, unless the course is not offered as a graded course. Students must earn a C- or higher to count courses toward their Public Health Studies Degree. Hyperlinks are included to view all course descriptions and requirements. Major requirements are as follows:

Foundation Courses
AS.110.106Calculus I (Biology and Social Sciences)4
or AS.110.108 Calculus I (Physical Sciences & Engineering)
Natural Science
Select two Biology Lecture Courses of the following: 16-8
General Biology I
General Biology II
Cell Biology
Comparative Physiology
Applications of Biological Concepts in Public Health
Select one Biology Lab Course of the following:1-4
General Biology Laboratory I
General Biology Lab II
Biochemistry Project lab
Cell Biology Lab
Developmental Genetics Lab
Comparative Physiology Lab
Protein Engineering and Biochemistry Lab
Protein Biochemistry and Engineering Laboratory
Social Science
Select two introductory social science courses from Table 1. Other courses may apply with advisor approval. These courses must be from two different departments as distinguished by department course number, not name.6
Public Health Studies Core Courses
AS.280.101Introduction to Public Health (Fall & Spring)3
AS.280.240Research Methods in Public Health (Fall & Spring)4
AS.280.335The Environment and Your Health (Fall & Spring)3
AS.280.340Fundamentals of Health Policy & Management (Spring)3
AS.280.345Public Health Biostatistics (Fall) 24
AS.280.350Fundamentals of Epidemiology (Fall & Spring)4
Intermediate Public Health Courses at Homewood
One course at the 200-400 level focusing on social and behavioral aspects of public health from the list below. Please see your PHS advisor for a list of current courses that will satisfy the requirement (AS.280.341 and AS.280.355 do apply, but your advisor may have additional offerings for you to select from.)3
Three additional Public Health courses at the 200-400 level. 39
Applied Experience
AS.280.500Applied Experience-Public Health 41 - 2
Courses at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) 5
Bloomberg School of Public Health Courses 10
Total Credits61-67

Or Equivalent


Other statistics courses may apply with advisor approval.


All courses must be at least 3 credits. Up to two Gordis Teaching Fellowship (GTF) courses may apply (AS.280.4xx courses).


The Applied Experience (AE) is a required experiential learning component of the Public Health Studies curriculum. The purpose of the AE is to provide students with supervised, hands-on experience in a professional public health setting. The Applied Experience gives students an opportunity to explore an area of interest within the field of public health by actively engaging in and directly contributing to a public health project or program. The AE must be at least 80 hours and 4 weeks long under the supervision of a public health profession.


Courses are taken at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the student's final year. Students take 15 JHSPH credits, which is the equivalent of 10 Homewood credits. Blended and online courses can count for this requirement, Independent Research and Special Studies will not. The courses PH.120.600, PH.120.601, PH.120.610, and PH.120.660 may not apply here. Courses graded P/F do not apply here unless approved by exception by your advisor. Within or in addition to the 15 credits, students must create an 8 credits focus in one particular area, topic, or department.

Sample Program of Study

While there are many paths through the requirements, a typical program might include the following sequence of Public Health Studies requirements. A student's personal sequence of courses may look very different. Students should work with their PHS advisor to ensure they are satisfying all program requirements.

First Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.020.1513Introductory Level Social Science from Table 13
AS.110.106 or 1084 
Introductory Level Social Science from Table 13 
 14 6
Second Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
 7 11
Third Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
Social/Behavioral Aspects of Public Health Course3AS.280.500 (if not taken First Semester)1
 Upper Level Public Health Elective (200-400 level)3
 3 4
Fourth Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
Bloomberg School of Public Health Courses4-6Bloomberg School of Public Health Courses4-6
Upper Level Public Health Elective (200-400 level)3Upper Level Public Health Elective (200-400 level)3
 7-9 7-9
Total Credits 59-63

Table 1

Approved Introductory Level Social Science Courses. Students matriculating after 2017 or later must take these from two different departments:

AS.070.132Invitation to Anthropology3
AS.140.105History of Medicine3
AS.140.106History of Modern Medicine3
AS.150.219Introduction to Bioethics3
AS.180.101Elements of Macroeconomics3
AS.180.102Elements of Microeconomics3
AS.190.220Global Security Politics3
AS.200.101Introduction To Psychology3
AS.200.110Introduction to Cognitive Psychology3
AS.200.132Introduction to Developmental Psychology3
AS.200.133Introduction to Social Psychology3
AS.200.212Abnormal Psychology3
AS.200.222Positive Psychology3
AS.230.101Introduction to Sociology3
AS.230.150Issues in International Development3
AS.271.107Introduction to Sustainability3
AS.360.247Introduction to Social Policy and Inequality: Baltimore and Beyond3
EN.570.108Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Design3
EN.570.110Introduction to Engineering for Sustainable Development3

Honors in Public Health Studies

An honors option is available to Public Health Studies students in their final year with a major GPA of 3.5. Public Health Honors students complete a year-long independent research project under the supervision of a JHU faculty member and the guidance of the Honors seminar instructor. Students must register for both AS.280.495 Honors In Public Health - Seminar in the fall and AS.280.499 Honors in Public Health in the spring. Interested students should discuss their plans with their PHS advisor no later than the spring of their junior year. Students may not count the honors courses towards any other requirement of the major; they are in addition to major requirements.