An Overview from Sr. Assoc Dean for Academic Affairs, Luann White:
The School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (SPHTM) offers the Bachelors of Science in Public Health (BSPH) degree as one of the Tulane University undergraduate degrees. The BSPH was launched in 2005 just prior to Hurricane Katrina. Since then, the BSPH program has grown from the initial 5 students to over 400 in 2012. New Orleans provides a perfect laboratory to develop a range of public health skills.
The Tulane BSPH offers students great academic opportunities in public health. The SPHTM global health orientation highlights that health and disease is not restricted by geography and we learn by studying issues from around the world. The BSPH program at Tulane imbeds public health studies into a liberal arts and science education that provides students with the breadth of knowledge associated with a college education.
The public health major adds value to the liberal arts education by developing public health skills needed for high demand jobs related to promoting health and wellness and for preventing disease and injury. The BSPH also prepares students to enter graduate professional study and is a great companion degree for those who enter medicine, law, business, health administration and many other areas. Combining public health with professional study gives graduates a competitive edge.
The Tulane BSPH program is a leader in the national initiative that is developing the framework for undergraduate public health programs around the country. Public health is one of the fastest growing undergraduate programs in the US. Over the last five years, the number of students studying public health at the undergraduate level has grown exponentially across the country. This growth reflects the demand for people trained to address health promotion and wellness and institute prevention strategies in a wide variety of settings. The obesity epidemic, rise in chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, HIV), disaster management, and the emphasis on wellness and staying healthy has generated many new jobs and increased demand for people with a public health education.
This year we are adding two new clinical faculty who will be devoted to the undergraduate program. This will allow us to offer more service learning opportunities and additional courses. New curriculum innovations that are being implemented this year include the public health core courses specially tailored to our undergraduates. The core consists of epidemiology, environmental health, biostatistics, health management and community health.