The BA-MPH dual degree program is a 5 year program offered jointly by Boston University's College of Arts and Sciences and the Boston University School of Public Health. This dual degree program enables qualified students the opportunity to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree (128 credits) at the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) and a Master of Public Health degree (48 credits) at the School of Public Health (SPH) in a minimum of five years of full-time study. All requirements for the BA and the MPH must be met. A maximum of 16 credits of course work can count toward both degrees. Those 16 credits consist of graduate-level SPH courses that fulfill requirements in the School of Public Health and also count as free electives toward the BA in CAS. The BA will be awarded at the completion of all BA degree requirements; the MPH will be awarded upon completion of all MPH degree and concentration requirements.
In total, students in the dual program will complete a minimum of 48 credits in SPH graduate courses numbered 700 and above. During their undergraduate years, BA-MPH students may enroll in any School of Public Health courses for which they satisfy pre-requisite requirements. A maximum of sixteen credits of graduate level BUSPH coursework may be applied jointly towards the two degrees, and a minimum of 32 credits of MPH coursework must be completed after receiving the BA, while registered in the SPH. Thus, it is possible to complete all requirements for the BA and MPH degrees in a minimum of five years. However, once students matriculate in the School of Public Health they may choose to complete the degree requirements on a part-time basis which will increase the duration of their studies beyond five years. Other factors such as unusual problems with course sequencing, personal problems, or academic difficulties may also increase the time to degree.
Eligibility and Admission to the BA-MPH Program
Students in all undergraduate concentrations within CAS are eligible to apply for admission to the dual degree program. The Director of Prehealth Advising and staff members in the Preprofessional Advising Office will advise prospective and continuing students with specific regard to the BA-MPH program. [Contact: Kim Devoursney, Pre-Medical Academic Advisor, Pre-Professional Advising, 725 Commonwealth Ave., room B-2; phone: (617) 353-4866] Students who are considering the BA/MPH are required to meet with the Director for advising and to obtain the Director's signature on an application approval form as an essential step in the application process for the dual degree.
Students may apply for admission to the BA/MPH program in the second semester of their sophomore year or the first semester of their junior year, and may apply for admission to the BA-MPH program prior to completing, or registering for, any courses at the School of Public Health. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.20, and admitted students will generally have a GPA above 3.50.
Application to the dual degree program will consist of an application approval form signed by the Director of Prehealth Studies; a completed application to the School of Public Health submitted via the SOPHAS online system (http://www.sophas.org); an official Boston University undergraduate transcript, which must contain a minimum of four semesters of grades; three letters of reference, including one from a faculty member at CAS specifically addressing the student's capacity to do graduate level work; and SAT scores for Critical Reading, Math, Writing, Essay, and two subject tests (or corresponding ACT scores). NOTE: Applicants do NOT have to have SAT scores sent to SOPHAS; BUSPH Admissions will obtain them from the Boston University system. GRE test results will NOT be required as part of the application. (NOTE: Sophomore applicants submit a three-semester transcript with their application and, then, must submit a four-semester transcript as soon as their fourth semester grades are available.)
Application Deadlines and Decision Dates:
NOTE: Boston University undergraduates in their junior year during academic year 2009-2010 may apply until April 1, 2010, and you should specify that you are applying for Spring 2010. Thereafter, applicants should follow the schedule in the table below and specify that you are applying for the next academic semester following the completion of your application.
|Year of Student
|Second semester sophomores
||No later than June 1
|First Semester Juniors
||No later than January 8
Students who are accepted into the BA-MPH program must send a written confirmation of their intention to join the BA-MPH program to the Director of Admissions at the School of Public Health within ten business days of receiving an offer of admission.
NOTE: Students who are not accepted into the BA-MPH program may apply for entrance to the regular MPH program during their senior year. At that time, they may meet with the CAS Student Records staff and SPH Registrar's Office staff to determine which SPH classes they completed may count towards the MPH degree if they are accepted to the SPH.
Upon acceptance to the MPH program, students are required to meet with the Registrar or Assistant Registrar at the School of Public Health to plan an overall course of study that matches the student's background, interests, and aspirations to SPH graduation and concentration requirements. Each student will additionally have an SPH faculty advisor assigned by the student's SPH department. Advisors on both campuses will collaborate, under the auspices of the public health steering committee, to ensure that students receive accurate and timely information about how they are to proceed through the dual degree program.
Requirements and review prior to matriculation to the SPH
Students accepted to the BA-MPH are required to meet certain academic standards and undergo further review prior to entering the SPH for their final year of study. BA-MPH students must maintain the GPA graduation requirement and other degree requirements for their particular major at Sargent College. Additionally, they must achieve a grade of B- or better in all SPH courses in which they enroll while undergraduates, and have attained a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in all SPH courses. Students who achieve less than a B- in any SPH courses will be subject to dismissal from the dual degree program and must petition the SPH Associate Dean for Education for permission to remain in the dual degree program. Upon completion of the BA degree, the student's academic record will undergo a review by the SPH Assistant Dean for Admissions and the Assistant Dean for Education, who will make a final determination regarding a full transition to the School of Public Health. This review can be referred to the SPH admissions committee.
By the time of graduation from CAS and as a condition of entry into the SPH, students must have completed the following specific courses:
- Statistics: CAS MA 115 and 116; or CAS MA 213 and 214; or CAS MA 684; or SPH BS 701 (Elementary Biostatistics, 3 credits); or SPH BS 703 (Biostatistics, 4 credits). Students who attain a grade of B or higher in both CAS MA 115 and CAS MA 116, or in both CAS MA 213 and CAS MA 214, or in CAS MA 684 will have fulfilled the MPH biostatistics requirement and are not required to take an SPH biostatistics course. (However, credit received for these CAS statistics courses does not count toward the minimum total of 48 credits of SPH coursework required for graduation with the MPH; and SPH BS 703 is the preferred biostatistics course for all MPH candidates concentrating in Epidemiology or Biostatistics.)
- Epidemiology: SPH EP 713 (Introduction to Epidemiology, 3 credits)
- Health Law: SPH LW 707 (Essentials of Public Health Law, 2 credits) or SPH LW 751 (Public Health Law, 4 credits) or LW 740 (Health and Human Rights. NOTE: LW 707 and LW 751 fulfill the core course requirement in health law for MPH students (students who plan to concentrate in Health Law must complete LW 751 to fulfill the law core course requirement, while other non-law concentrators may use LW 707 to fulfill the core requirement.) LW 740 does not fulfill the requirement for a health law core course, but it can be taken to fulfill this transition requirement for the BA-MPH or the BS-MPH.
Students are required to meet with the Registrar or Assistant Registrar at the School of Public Health shortly after being accepted into the dual degree program in order to plan their public health courses in advance. Proactive planning is essential for timely completion of all MPH requirements. The tentative schedule of courses should then be reviewed with the student's advisor at CAS. The six core courses required of all MPH candidates provide a broad exposure to the field of public health, and it is strongly recommended that students focus on MPH core courses during the undergraduate years. However, there may be variation in schedules due to course sequencing.
Students who have previously declared an undergraduate Minor in Public Health must formally "un-declare" it in the CAS Records Office, since courses taken toward the minor cannot also be counted toward the MPH degree. (Students admitted to the dual degree program who do not matriculate at the SPH may re-declare, and graduate from CAS with, the minor, provided that all minor requirements are completed at the time of graduation with the BA.)
Undergraduate Courses That Waive MPH Core Course Requirements
Students who attain a grade of B or higher in both CAS MA 115 AND CAS MA 116 or CAS MA684 will be waived from MPH Biostatistics requirement. However, note that for MPH students concentrating in Biostatistics or Epidemiology the preferred course Biostatistics core course is SPH BA703. Also, note that this course waiver does not count toward the minimum 48 graduate credit requirement for the MPH degree. Students will need to take another graduate level SPH course to meet the minimum 48 credit requirement.
Checklist for Students
For additional information contact Sophie Godley, Director of Undergraduate Education, Boston University School of Public Health (email:
; phone (617) 638-5296).
- Meet with the Director of Prehealth Advising and staff members in the Preprofessional Advising Office for advise regarding the BA-MPH program.
- Obtain an application approval form signed by the Director of Prehealth Studies.
- Submit completed application through SOPHAS services (http://www.sophas.org) by April 1 of sophomore year or October 15 of junior year. A complete application to the School of Public Health will require; an official Boston University undergraduate (Sophomore applicants submit a three-semester transcript with their application and, then, must submit a four-semester transcript as soon as their fourth semester grades are available); three letters of reference, including one from a faculty member at CAS specifically addressing the student's capacity to do graduate level work; and SAT scores for Critical Reading, Math, Writing, Essay, and two subject tests (or corresponding ACT scores). GRE test results are not required as part of the application.
- If accepted, undeclare public health minor.If accepted, schedule a meeting with the SPH Registrar's Office to plan your program of study.