School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine


Tulane University
New Orleans, Louisiana 70118

Pierre Buekens, M.D., Ph.D., Dean
Jeffery T. Johnson, Ph.D., Associate Dean

Downtown Office

Phone: (504) 988-8876
Fax: (504) 988-0907

Uptown Office

Phone: (504) 865-5140
Fax: (504) 862-8455


The mission of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is to advance public health knowledge, promote health and well being, and prevent disease, disability and premature mortality. This is accomplished through academic excellence in education of public health professionals, rigorous scientific research of public health problems, creative partnerships to advance the practice of public health, and innovative service to the local, national and international public health community.


The Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) integrates the disciplines of public health with studies in the liberal arts and sciences. The program is flexible to provide the student with a breadth of engagement in the liberal arts disciplines and depth in the selected public health discipline. Three majors are:

Environmental Health Sciences provides graduates with a solid foundation in the sciences, which may lead to positions with public health agencies, industry or the option of medical school.

Global and Community Health provides graduates with the skills to analyze the factors underlying domestic and international public health challenges and to implement disease-prevention strategies.

Health Informatics provides graduates with quantitative skills for careers in health analysis, data management and evaluation.

Upon completion of the undergraduate degree, the school offers exceptional students the opportunity to apply for a graduate degree program, the Master ofPublic Health. Students complete both degrees in a “4+1” format, e.g., four years for the undergraduate degree and an additional year for the master’s. The BSPH program is set apart from graduate studies in public health because it is specifically designed to provide a strong foundation in both the public health sciences and the liberal arts. Students not only will have opportunities to delve into timely public health issues like global health care disparities, HIV/AIDS, and bioterrorism preparedness, they also will have the benefit of studying with senior public health scholars in understanding the roots of public health through its literature and history.

Students will develop both scientific and humanistic skills, combining research experience with the ability to make difficult social choices and devise solutions to individual and population-wide health problems. Because undergraduate education has increasingly become more interdisciplinary, public health education is also a great foundation for graduate study in fields such as business, human services, international affairs, law and further public health specialties. In addition, with a curriculum that draws from the bench sciences, humanities, and social sciences, public health has come to be viewed as an appropriate degree for students considering medical school.


The study of public health in Louisiana began in the early 1800s when New Orleans suffered from endemic malaria and almost yearly epidemics of cholera and yellow fever. Attempts to control tropical diseases led to the establishment of the Medical College of Louisiana in 1834. The founders, a group of young physicians, issued a prospectus, which emphasized the lack of knowledge of these diseases and the necessity for studying them in the environment in which they occurred. In 1881, formal instruction in hygiene was offered for the first time. After the Civil War when Paul Tulane bequeathed funds to establish a new university the name of the medical college was changed to Tulane University of Louisiana, College of Medicine.

A school of hygiene and tropical medicine was first established in 1912 with a $25,000 gift from Samuel Zemurray’s United Fruit Company. In 1947, the departments of tropical medicine and preventive medicine merged to establish a department of tropical medicine and public health in the medical school. Instruction at the graduate level expanded to a full academic year with programs leading to the degrees of master of public health and master of public health and tropical medicine. A doctoral program was approved in 1950, and the first doctoral degrees in public health were awarded in 1953.

With the rapid expansion in public health and tropical medicine, and the participation of other departments of the medical school in educational activities, an administrative division of graduate public health was created in 1958. In 1961, this administrative division was redesignated as the Division of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Programs leading to the degrees of Master of Science anddoctor of science in hygiene were instituted, providing a wide range of preparation for public health careers.

In 1967, the Division of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine became the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. The school is now organized into seven departments: biostatistics, community health sciences, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health systems management, international health and development, and tropical medicine.

In December 2003, the University Senate approved the establishment of the Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) degree program in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine with the inaugural class beginning in fall 2005.

School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine's Degrees

The following specializations are available at the master’s level:


The School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine will admit highly motivated students who have demonstrated an interest and aptitude for public health disciplines. The School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is particularly receptive to students with superior speaking, writing, and interpersonal communication skills.

To receive an application for admission or transfer admission to the university, contact:

Office of Undergraduate Admission
Tulane University
210 Gibson Hall
New Orleans, LA 70118-5680

To receive additional information about public health programs at Tulane, contact:

School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Tulane University
Office of Undergraduate Public Health Studies

Downtown Office

1440 Canal Street, Suite 2460
New Orleans, LA 70112

Uptown Office

200 Stanley Thomas Hall

Academic Advising

Students working toward the Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) degree are assigned an academic adviser during the summer prior to matriculation. The academic adviser offers students information and advice on matters such as selecting appropriate courses, maintaining satisfactory progress, and choosing a major. Contact with the adviser is voluntary and at the initiation of the student. However, students are strongly encouraged to meet with their advisers at least once a semester, for degree progress audits, short and long-term academic program planning, and information on course prerequisites. Students have the responsibility for making their own decisions, monitoring their progress toward the baccalaureate degree, and meeting all degree requirements.

Often, students may need to discuss the challenges of balancing their personal and academic life. From the beginning of their college experience, they are encouraged to bring these concerns to their adviser, any faculty member or director of academic affairs for guidance and direction. Such matters are also addressed by other professional services available on campus, such as the Office of Student Affairs and the Educational Resource and Counseling Center.

Career Advising

The low student/faculty ratio allows members of the faculty to become acquainted with the majority of students and to advise them informally on academic matters as well as professional and general concerns. First and second-year students often require specific advice on public health as their career choice. The faculty is particularly sensitive and responsive to these needs.

The School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine alumni network is a valuable resource in career advising and facilitation. Our alumni work in public health and a variety of related fields throughout the United States and internationally. These successful professionals often prefer to hire Tulane graduates and are effective contacts for students seeking employment. Public health education is also a great foundation for graduate study in fields such as business, human services, international affairs and law. In addition, with a curriculum that draws from the bench sciences, humanities, and social sciences, public health has come to be viewed as an appropriate degree for applicants to medical school.

All students are encouraged to read the student handbook/code of student conduct manual for rules and regulations applicable to student affairs, policies and procedures, and rights and responsibilities.

Transfer Students

To be considered for admission to the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, students transferring from another institution must fulfill all Tulane general degree requirements and complete BSPH prerequisite courses for the public health program of choice.

Transfer applications are available from the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Submit applications by June 1 for admission in the fall semester and by November 1 for spring semester entry.

For transfer credit to be awarded, courses should match those offered at Tulane. Students should include course descriptions for all completed coursework, and course syllabi for the public health prerequisite courses. An official transcript of all coursework must be submitted. An admission decision will be made once evaluation of courses is completed.

The following guidelines apply for transfer credit. Credit is not granted for courses with a grade of less than 2.000. Grades on transferred courses are not used to calculate grade-point averages, Dean’s List, or honors eligibility. Transfer students are required to take a minimum of 24 semester hours of credit at Tulane University, regardless of the number of credit hours granted for non-Tulane work.

Non-Public Health Students

Students enrolled in other divisions at Tulane are welcome to take courses at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, with approval of their college dean and the course instructor.

Cross Registration

The following do not satisfy BSPH degree requirements:

Courses taken at other area universities and colleges will be treated as transfer work.

Programs Offered