8000 School of Public Health

Graduate programs in the School of Public Health are described in detail in this chapter. See subsections for specific program information as well as policies and procedures.

About the School of Public Health

The School of Public Health (SPH) is a multi-disciplinary, research-based unit, drawing upon partnerships with community members and organizations, dedicated to advancing the health of the public through leadership, scholarship, research and service to better the human condition and promote the common good, especially for urban communities and for global populations. The School of Public Health achieves this mission by applying existing scholarship within Georgia State University to priority public health problems, particularly those that are aimed at reducing health disparities in urban settings. Training and research programs focus on both building the science base that underlies public health practice, as well as applying effective interventions that have been demonstrated to improve the public health. Academic and training efforts emphasize the basic prevention sciences (e.g., emerging infectious diseases, immunology, virology, bioinformatics, genomics, and geographic sciences), as well as applied public health efforts (e.g., chronic disease prevention, health promotion, environmental health, program evaluation, health policy, public health ethics and law, health communications, community-based participatory research, and global health).

Office of the Dean
848 Urban Life Building

Michael P. Eriksen, Dean
Rodney Lyn, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
John Lutzker, Interim Associate Dean for Faculty Development
Laura Salazar, Interim Associate Dean for Research
Shannon Self-Brown, Interim Doctoral Program Director
Ike Okosun, Interim Director, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Christine Stauber, Interim Director, Division of Environmental Health
Terry Pechacek, Interim Director, Division of Health Management and Policy
Daniel Whitaker, Interim Director, Division of Health Promotion and Behavior


Beamer-Crawford, Casanova, Chaffin, Chowell-Puente, Crimmins, Dai (joint faculty), Dube, Edwards-Gaura, Eriksen, Fuller, Graybill, Greenwald, Hayat, Huddleston, Il’Yasova, Lai, Luo, Lutzker, Lyn, Magee, Majestic, Masyn, Mobley, Okosun, Owen-Smith, Parker,  Pratt, Ramsey-White, Roach (joint faculty),  Roblin, Rothenberg, Salazar, Self-Brown, Shanley-Chatham, Smith, Stauber, Sterling, Steward, Strasser, Swahn, Weaver, Whitaker, Wright (joint faculty), and Zubler.

8000.10 Accreditation

The School of Public Health’s (SPH) Master of Public Health program was re-accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) in 2012 for a seven year period (2012-2019). In 2013, CEPH accepted Georgia State University’s application for the program to transition to a School of Public Health. The SPH is currently engaged in the review process to finalize its change in category of accreditation. The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and public health programs outside schools of public health.

8000.20 Mission, Philosophy, Values and Goals

The School of Public Health has the mission of advancing health through leadership, scholarship, research, and service to better the human condition and promote the common good, especially for urban communities and for global populations.

The School’s mission is strengthened by the objective of the University System of Georgia, through its Strategic Plan for Public Health Education, Research and Service, “to ensure that the System becomes one of the national leaders in public health education, research and service.”

Six values were determined in a School-wide strategic planning process. All values were developed with input from the administration, faculty, staff and students and are reaffirmed or revised during each subsequent strategic planning process. The values are succinct and specific in nature and are reflected in faculty, staff and students’ instruction, service and learning activities. The values are:

  1. Scholarship and inquiry
  2. Human rights and social justice
  3. Diversity in multicultural and multiethnic environments
  4. Integrity, accountability and transparency
  5. Leadership, innovation and transformation
  6. Healthy, sustainable social environments

The goals of the School of Public Health are to:

  1. Prepare students to use multi-disciplinary skills to address contemporary public health problems.
  2. Advance public health sciences and our understanding of the causes and prevention of disease.
  3. Promote service activities and initiatives by implementing community-based projects, educating professional and lay audiences, and collaborating with the public health workforce to advance health promotion and disease prevention.

Note: At Catalog press time, the SPH was currently undergoing strategic planning revision and development. Strategic planning may result in revised mission statement, values, and goals adopted by the SPH. The most recent mission, vision and goals may always be found on the SPH website, located here: http://publichealth.gsu.edu/about/glance/

8000.30 Degrees and Certificates Offered

The School of Public Health offers the following graduate programs:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health
  • Master of Public Health
  • Graduate Certificate in Public Health

8000.40 Research Centers and Initiatives

Center for Healthy Development
14 Marietta Street NW, 2nd Floor

The Center for Healthy Development (CHD) was established in August 2008 to house the National SafeCare® Training and Research Center (NSTRC) and the Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD), a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).  In 2011 CHD welcomed Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, a state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, which will provide a statewide direction to promote healthy children and develop strong families through community resources, public awareness, prevention programs, research, and advocacy activities.

The NSTRC is funded by a number of private and public service and research grants and contracts.  It was created in 2007 with a center grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.  The CLD is primarily funded by a center grant from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) of the Administration on Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS).  PCA Georgia is funded by a grant from the Governor’s Office for Children and Families, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, and other sources. The general mission of the CHD is to promote the health, safety, well-being, and quality of life of children, adults, and families with and without disabilities through research, service, advocacy, and to prevent child maltreatment.

Center for Excellence on Health Disparities Research
848 Urban Life Building

The Center for Excellence on Health Disparities Research (CoEx) is funded through the NIH’s National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities and includes major research topics, as well as outreach programs.  It is based in the School of Public Health and includes researchers and faculty from public health, social work, criminal justice, African-American studies, sociology, psychology and the Center for Healthy Development.  The three major research areas include: investigating variations in health among disadvantaged neighborhoods, especially in the wake of Atlanta’s relocation of residents from traditional public housing; examining the role of religion and churches in reducing drug use and the transmission of HIV and testing a method (the SafeCare® Model) of reducing child maltreatment by using computers.

The Community Research Center (CRC)
75 Piedmont Ave, Suites 904-906

The Community Research Center is a focus for expertise in working with citizens and organizations within disadvantaged communities.  It currently manages a number of research projects and interventions on HIV/AIDS and related issues.  The Center has established a strong presence in the community, and builds partnerships with community organizations for training, conducting community-based participatory research, and local capacity building.

Partnership for Urban Health Research
848 Urban Life Building

The Partnership for Urban Health Research (PUHR) was established to understand how the urban environment affects the health and well-being of people who reside and work in the metropolitan Atlanta area. The focus of its efforts is on populations that bear a disproportionate burden of illness and disease using an interdisciplinary approach to research. In partnership with surrounding communities, PUHR creates and disseminates knowledge that is both meaningful and beneficial to the communities that participate in the process.

Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science
847 Urban Life Building

Georgia State University’s School of Public Health has been named one of 14 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS) by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Along with major partners – the University of Illinois, Chicago and RTI International, the Georgia State University TCORS focuses on both the human and economic factors that contribute to decision making related to tobacco products. Funded through a five-year, $19 million grant, the Georgia State University project is titled “The Science of Decision Making: Connecting People and Policy.”

The Policy Leadership for Active Youth (PLAY)
848 Urban Life Building

Policy Leadership for Active Youth (PLAY) is a policy research initiative of the Georgia State University School of Public Health in partnership with the Georgia Center for Obesity and Related Disorders (GCORD) of the University of Georgia and Medical College of Georgia focused on engaging multiple sectors. Supported by Healthcare Georgia Foundation, the major focus of PLAY is connecting emerging evidence around childhood overweight and obesity to prevention and reduction activities occurring throughout Georgia.

8000.50 Academic Resources and Services

Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services

1 Park Place, Suite 640


Inta “Maggie Tolan, Director
Lynette Reid, Admissions Coordinator
Jessica Pratt, Practicum and Career Coordinator
Gina Sample, Graduate Advisor
Denise Gouveia, Administrative Specialist
Esther Singh, Administrative Assistant

The Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services (OAA) provides School of Public Health (SPH) current and prospective students with comprehensive student support services to ensure academic and career success.

Advising and Academic Assistance


For students in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program, academic advisement is provided using a two -pronged approach.  The Graduate Advisor in OAA provides guidance on administrative matters such as program of study advisement, degree petition process, thesis/capstone registration, graduation, and referral to other student support services on campus.  The School of Public Health faculty serve as faculty mentors, and students are encouraged to talk to their mentors about how to select a concentration, determining which course electives make sense for future career goals, exploring research interests and opportunities, developing professional networks, and serving on thesis or capstone committees.  MPH and GCPH students are not assigned a faculty advisor but are instead encouraged to develop multiple mentoring relationships with SPH faculty.

Doctoral students are assigned a Faculty Advisor and build a Doctoral Advisory Committee; however, they are also encouraged to develop multiple mentoring relationships with other SPH faculty, the Doctoral Program Director, and even the OAA Graduate Advisor as they navigate doctoral program administrative matters.

Career Services


The School of Public Health provides career support and leadership development services to all current SPH students and alumni.  Students are invited to attend our career events and workshops as well as meet with our SPH Career Coordinator to discuss individual career questions.  Career Services can help students with resume writing, interviewing, job searching, internship development, and networking.

Public Health Student Life

The Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services (OAA) also supports all SPH student clubs and organizations – students are encouraged to read about the various groups within the college, and join one while being enrolled in the SPH:  http://publichealth.gsu.edu/student-life.

Biostatistics Student Lab

Location: Room 18B, 25 Park Place

The purpose of the Biostatistics Computer Lab is to provide GSU SPH students with computer access and statistical software needed for class and research activities. All computers are equipped with standard statistical software, including SAS, STATA, SPSS and Mplus, as well as Microsoft Office tools and internet access. The computer lab is supervised by a Graduate Assistant (GA) Monday thru Friday, 9am-5pm. The GRA is available to assist students with questions related to PH7017 Fundamentals of Biostatistics I, PH 7027 Fundamentals of Biostatistics II, and PH7525 Statistical Computing, as well as basic computer assistance and questions related to the use of SAS.

8000.60 Student Organizations

Association for Chronic Disease Awareness (ACDA)

As a campus director’s organization of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), the Association for Chronic Disease Awareness strives to promote chronic disease awareness and prevention efforts within the GSU community and the Atlanta area. The organization shall promote the professional development of its members and advance the initiatives of NACDD through service projects and networking.  For more information: publichealth.gsu.edu/students/association-for-chronic-disease-awareness/

Public Health Student Association (PHSA)

The Public Health Student Association (PHSA) is the student organization of the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. PHSA seeks to develop well-rounded public health professionals and promote meaningful interactions between students, faculty and staff, and public health professionals. Throughout the school year, PHSA organizes social events, professional development opportunities, and public service events for students, faculty, and staff. For more information: http://publichealth.gsu.edu/students/student-association-phisa/.

8000.70 Study Abroad


Contact: SPHstudyabroad@gsu.edu

Study abroad is one of the ways the School provides a learning environment that prepares students with broad skills regarding diversity and cultural competence. Opportunities to earn graduate degree and certificate applicable credits abroad are available in most years, and opportunities increase as student interest increases. Previously planned study abroad opportunity cities include: Salvador, Brazil and Shanghai, China. Students should check the above-linked study abroad website for future opportunities.