8000 School of Public Health

Undergraduate 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 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 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, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and
Interim Director, Division of Health Management and Policy
Richard Rothenberg, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development
Frederic (Fred) Grant, Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration
Kim Ramsey-White, Director of Undergraduate Programs
Shannon Self-Brown, Doctoral Program Director
Ike Okosun, Interim Director, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
(Vacant), Interim Director, Division of Environmental Health
Daniel Whitaker, Interim Director, Division of Health Promotion and Behavior

Core Faculty

Baggett, Barger, Casanova, Chowell, Crimmins, Dai (joint faculty), Dube, Eriksen, Fang, Fuller, Graybill, Greenwald, Hayat, Huang, Huddleston, Il’Yasova, Lai, Luo, Lutzker, Lyn, Magee, Masyn, Mobley, Okosun, Owen-Smith, Parker, Pechacek, Popova, Pratt, Ramsey-White, Roach (joint faculty), Roblin, Rothenberg, Salazar, Self-Brown, Shanley-Chatham, Smith, Spears, Stauber, Sterling, Steward, Strasser, Swahn, Watson-Wright, Weaver, Whitaker, and Wilkin (joint faculty).

8000.10 Accreditation

In June 2016, The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) Board of Councilors accredited the SPH at Georgia State University. The school received a ‘met’ finding, the highest possible, on all criteria evaluated and the school’s initial school-level accreditation is for a five-year term, extending through July 1, 2021.
The SPH Master of Public Health (MPH) program has been accredited by CEPH since 2007, and was re-accredited in 2012 for a seven year period (2012-2019). The School began the rigorous process to transition from its MPH program-level only accreditation to its new full school-level accreditation in 2013. This recent CEPH decision to accredit Georgia State University at the school-level is the culmination of that three-year process that involved the efforts of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners. 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, Vision, 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 review process. All values were developed with input from the administration, faculty, staff and students and are reaffirmed or revised during each subsequent review 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.

Measurable objectives related to each goal may be found on the SPH website or in student handbooks.

Note: At Catalog press-time, the SPH was revising its mission, vision, values and goals. The most recent information can be found on the SPH website.

8000.30 Degrees and Certificates Offered

The School of Public Health offers the following programs:

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

8000.40 Research Centers and Initiatives

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

The Mark Chaffin 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 center was designated a university-level research center in 2015, and its name honors and memorializes Dr. Mark Chaffin (1952 – 2015), a pre-eminent scholar in child maltreatment, parenting, implementation science and services for disadvantaged people and populations with disabilities.

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.

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


Denise Gouveia, Director
Vanessa Thomas-Meikle, Assistant Director
Lynette Reid, Admissions Coordinator
Jessica Pratt, Practicum and Career Coordinator
Gina Sample, Graduate Advisor
(Vacant), Undergraduate Advisor
Esther Singh, Administrative Assistant

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

Advising and Academic Assistance


The Office of Academic Assistance (OAA) supports the school’s commitment to quality education in the field of public health by advising undergraduate seniors and coordinating the recruitment, admission and advising of graduate students. Through the advisement process, students learn to identify and use university resources effectively to: satisfy degree requirements; plan programs of study; discover how interests, skills and goals connect to fields of study and careers. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. Walk-in advisement without an appointment is scheduled on Mondays and Thursdays from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m..

Career Services

University Career Services (UCS) within Enrollment Services is a comprehensive career center dedicated to the success of all Georgia State University students, including public health students.  UCS

  • helps students and alumni explore academic majors, find internships and jobs, launch careers, explore graduate and professional school options and pursue their professional goals.
  • helps employment recruiters from big corporations to small agencies discover, recruit and hire Georgia State University students and alumni. UCS is like an extension of a recruiting organization’s human resources wing, seeking collegiate talent. They help with both internship hiring and entry-level career position hiring.
  • manages Panther Career Net, Georgia State University’s online job board for students, alumni and employers. There is no student or employer fee to use Panther Career Net.
  • helps professional and graduate school recruiters connect with students and alumni seeking advanced educational opportunities locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

UCS provides primary career support to undergraduate public health students, while the School of Public Health Career Services office supplements UCS offerings as appropriate. To contact UCS, please call 404-413-1820 or visit them in Student Center West, Room 270, located at 66 Courtland St. SE, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, or visit their website at: http://career.gsu.edu/

8000.60 Student Organizations

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:  publichealth.gsu.edu/student-life.

8000.70 Study Abroad

SPH Study Abroad Website: publichealth.gsu.edu/academic/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 Signature Experience and undergraduate elective course credits abroad are available in most years, and opportunities increase as student interest increases. Previously planned study abroad opportunity cities include: Salvador, Brazil; Kampala, Uganda; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; and Shanghai, China. Students should check the above-linked study abroad website for future opportunities.

8010 Undergraduate Admission and Program Requirements

8010.10 Undergraduate Admission into the Full Public Health Major

Students are required to meet all University and College Bachelor degree admission requirements. The undergraduate program in the School of Public Health has more stringent admission requirements than those of Georgia State University. When all the college admission requirements listed below are satisfied, students are no longer pre-public health majors; instead, they automatically admit into the full public health major at the School of Public Health and are permitted to continue completing public health major courses.

Requirements for Transitioning from the Pre-public Health Major Status and Admitting into the Full Public Health Major:

  • Admission into Georgia State University’s bachelor degree.
  • Successful completion of each Area A course with a grade of “C” (2.0) or higher.
  • Successful completion of the first course of the two-course science sequence in Area D1.
  • Successful completion of each Area F course with an overall Area F GPA of 2.8 or higher, including:
  • Successful completion of the following Area F courses with a grade of “C” (2.0) or higher on the first attempt:
    • PH 2000 Introduction to Public Health,
    • PH 2010 Public Health Careers and Profession,
    • BIOL 2300 Microbiology and Public Health, and
    • SCOM 1500 Public Speaking.
      Transfer students who transfer these Area F courses into Georgia State University may use their grades from their first attempted transfer courses or they may attempt the courses at Georgia State. A WF counts as an attempt.
  • Successful completion of the additional mathematics, science and/or social sciences courses satisfying Area F with a grade of “C” (2.0) or higher.
  • An overall GPA of 2.5 or higher.

8010.20 Program Degree Requirements for the Public Health Major

Program Degree Requirements:

Requirements for Areas A through D of the undergraduate core curriculum are listed in the “Core Curriculum Requirements” in the Georgia State University undergraduate catalog. School of Public Health academic regulations are noted below each area here:

Area A: GSU General Education – Essential Skills (9 credit hours)

  • Students must successfully complete each of their Area A courses with a grade of “C” (2.0) or higher.
  • It is strongly recommended that public health majors select MATH 1111 or higher

Area B: GSU General Education – Institutional Options (4 credit hours)

Area C: GSU General Education – Humanities and Fine Arts (6 credit hours)

  • The School of Public Health recommends students select Group 3: Foreign Language.

Area D: GSU General Education – Math, Technology and Science (11 credit hours)

Public Health majors must complete

Group D1 (8): Select one two-course sequence from the following:

  • BIOL 1103K Introductory Biology I (4) and BIOL 1104K Introductory Biology II (4)
  • CHEM 1151K Survey of Chemistry I (4) and CHEM 1152K Survey of Chemistry II (4)

Group D2 (3): MATH 1070 Elementary Statistics (3)

Area E: GSU General Education – Social Science (12 credit hours)

Area F: Courses Appropriate to the Public Health Major (18 credit hours)

Students must also complete each of the following Area F courses with a grade of “C” (2.0) or higher in their first attempt.  Transfer students who transfer these Area F courses into Georgia State University may use their grades from their first attempted transfer courses or they may attempt the courses at Georgia State. A WF counts as an attempt. Due to the merger, attempts made at Perimeter College campus in fall 2016 semester or after are considered a first attempt at Georgia State.

  • PH 2000 Introduction to Public Health (3)
  • PH 2010 Public Health Careers and Profession (3)
  • BIOL 2300 Microbiology and Public Health (3)
  • SCOM 1500 Public Speaking (3)

Students must also complete an Additional Mathematics course (0-3) from list below with a grade of “C” (2.0) or higher. If Area A2 is satisfied with MATH 1111 College Algebra or higher, students may complete an additional Mathematics, Science or Social Sciences Course from the Area F list below with a grade of “C” (2.0) or higher, instead. If Area A2 is not satisfied with MATH 1111 or higher, students must select one Mathematics course from the following list:

Additional Science or Social Sciences Course(s) from list below (not taken for Area D or Area E) (3-6). Select course(s) from the following list:

  • AAS 1140/HIST 1140 African and African-American History (3)
  • AAS 2010 Introduction to African-American Studies (3)
  • ANTH 1102 Introduction to Anthropology (3)
  • BIOL 1103K Introductory Biology I (4)
  • BIOL 1104K Introductory Biology II (4)
  • BIOL 2110K Human Anatomy and Physiology I (4)
  • BIOL 2120K Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4)
  • BIOL 2107K Principles of Biology I (4)
    • Cannot be counted here if BIOL 1103K already taken for another area
  • BIOL 2108K Principles of Biology II (4)
  • CHEM 1101K Introductory Chemistry I (4)
    • Cannot be counted here if CHEM 1151K or 1211K already taken for another area
  • CHEM 1102K Introductory Chemistry II (4)
  • CHEM 1151K Survey of Chemistry I (4)
    • Cannot be counted here if CHEM 1101K or 1211K already taken for another area
  • CHEM 1152K Survey of Chemistry II (4)
  • CHEM 1211K Principles of Chemistry I (4)
    • Cannot be counted here if CHEM 1101K or 1151K already taken for another area
  • CHEM 1212K Principles of Chemistry II (4)
  • CRJU 2200 Social Science and the American Crime Problem (3)
  • ECON 2105 Principles of Macroeconomics (3)
  • ECON 2106 Principles of Microeconomics (3)
  • GEOG 1101 Introduction to Human Geography (3)
  • GEOG 1112K Introduction to Weather and Climate (4)
  • GEOG 1113K Introduction to Landforms (4)
  • GERO 2000 Introduction to Gerontology (3)
  • PSYC 1101 Introduction to General Psychology (3)
  • SOCI 1101 Introductory Sociology (3)
  • SOCI 1160 Introduction to Social Problems (3)
  • WGSS 2010 Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (3)

Area G: Public Health Major Curriculum (33 credit hours)

  • PH 3001 Fundamentals of Epidemiology (3)*
  • PH 3010 Introduction to Research Methods in Public Health (CTW) (3)
  • PH 3020 Statistical Reasoning in Public Health (3)
  • PH 3030 Fundamentals of Environmental Health (3)*
  • PH 4010 Fundamentals of Health Policy (3)*
  • PH 4020 Introduction to Public Health Program Implementation and Evaluation (3)
  • PH 4030 Social and Behavioral Dimensions of Public Health (3)*
  • PH 4040 Public Health Communication (3)
  • PH 4050 Health Equity and Disparities: Urban and Global Health Challenges (3)*
  • PH 4060 Introduction to Public Health Informatics (3)*
  • PH 4070 Introduction to Chronic and Infectious Diseases (3)*

Area H: Public Health Signature Experience(s) (6 credit hours)

Completion of PH 2000, PH 2010, PH 3001, PH 3010, PH 3020, PH 3030, PH 4010, PH 4020, and PH 4030 with a grade of “C” (2.0) or higher in each course is prerequisite to this Area H.

A grade of “C” (2.0) or higher is required for each course in Area H.

Complete 6 credit hours of any of the following (repeatable):

  • PH 4991 Public Health Signature Experience: City (1-6)
  • PH 4992 Public Health Signature Experience: Global (1-6)
  • PH 4993 Public Health Signature Experience: Professional (1-6)
  • PH 4994 Public Health Signature Experience: Research (1-6)
  • PH 4995 Public Health Signature Experience: Service Learning (1-6)

Area I: Approved Public Health Related Electives (15 credit hours)

Select five courses from the following:

  • PH 3004 Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3)
  • PH 3035 Introduction to Maternal and Child Health (3)
  • PH 4130 Introduction to Public Mental Health (3)
  • PH 4135 Introduction to Disability and Public Health (3)
  • PH 4230 Global Perspectives on Injury and Violence Prevention (3)
  • PH 4250 Introduction to Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (3)
  • PH 4300 Introduction to Controversies in Public Health (3)
  • PH 4350 Introduction to Workplace Safety and Health (3)
  • PH 4400 Introduction to Health Management and Administration (3)
  • PH 4880 Public Health Study Abroad (3)
  • BIOL 3021 Infectious Disease and Society (3)
  • ECON 4210 Health Economics (3)
  • ECON 4350 Economics of Poverty & Public Policy (3)
  • GEOG 4538 Urban Health Geographic Information Systems (4)
  • GERO 4110 Aging Policy and Services (3)
  • GERO 4119 Global Aging and Families (3)
  • GERO 4122 Death, Dying and Loss (3)
  • GERO 4200 Health and the Older Adult (3)
  • JOUR 4460 Health Communication (3)
  • NUTR 3800 International Nutrition (3)
  • NUTR 4000 Food and Culture (3)
  • NUTR 4955 Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Wellness (3)
  • PMAP 3210 Introduction to Nonprofits (3)
  • SOCI 4050 Global Perspectives on Violence Against Women (3)
  • SW 4440 Global Social Work Practice (3)
  • SW 4450 Child Maltreatment Practice Policy and Research (3)
  • other appropriate course(s) approved by advisor (1-15)

Area J – Advanced Electives (6 credit hours)

Select any 1000-, 2000-, 3000-, or 4000-level courses (6 credit hours)

Total Semester Hours for Degree: 120

8020 Academic Regulations

8020.05 Grades of C in Major and Signature Experience

Grades in the public health major area and signature experience area requirements, where applicable, require a grade of C (2.0) or higher. The School of Public Health does not accept grades of C- to count toward its major and signature experience coursework.

8020.10 Transient Status at Other Institutions

Students enrolled in the Georgia State University School of Public Health who wish to take course work in transient status at another institution, whether as a full-time or part-time student, must have prior written approval from the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services if they wish to apply the credit to a Georgia State degree program. A transient petition form should be submitted prior to registration.

8020.20 Directed Readings

Directed Readings courses in the undergraduate program are intended to allow students of proven performance to do independent study in a specific subject area. Enrollment in a directed readings course requires prior consent of the instructor and the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services. A maximum of one directed readings course may count toward fulfillment of degree requirements, and the course may not be substituted for a core course requirement. The subject of the independent study will be determined in consultation with the faculty member responsible for supervising the independent work. A faculty member may seek the assessment of a second faculty reader on any directed readings paper. Letter grades, rather than grades of S or U (satisfactory or unsatisfactory), will be assigned for all directed readings courses.

8020.30 Modification of Degree Requirements

Students may petition for modifications of the degree requirements of the School of Public Health. Degree modification petitions are granted only in the case of extenuating circumstances and only when an educationally acceptable substitution is proposed. Petition forms and information are available at the University Advisement Center for freshman, sophomore, and junior students, and at the School of Public Health Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services for seniors (at least 90 credit hours completed).

8020.40 Catalog Editions

Undergraduate students should refer to the Change of Catalog Edition section in the University Academic Regulations chapter of the undergraduate catalog.

8030 Student Complaints, Petitions for Policy Waivers and Variances, and Appeals

The appeals procedure for students in the School of Public Health will follow different courses depending on the nature of the student’s appeal. Please refer to Student Complaints, Petitions for Policy Waivers and Variances, and Appeals section University Academic Regulations chapter of the undergraduate catalog or visit deanofstudents.gsu.edu/student-assistance/student-complaints-petitions/ online for details.