School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine


1440 Canal Street
Suite 2460
Tulane University
New Orleans, Louisiana 70118

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

Downtown Office

Phone: (504) 988-3409
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. Upon completion of the undergraduate degree, the school offers exceptional students the opportunity to apply for a graduate degree program, the Master of Public Health (MPH). Students complete both degrees in a "4+1" format, e.g., four years for the undergraduate degree and an additional year for the MPH coursework (completing a practicum and culminating experience may take the student longer than an additional year). 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 and doctor 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 Continuing Studies courses not cross-listed with either the School of Liberal Arts or the School of Science and Engineering do not satisfy BSPH degree requirements.

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


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 challenges beyond the classroom. From the beginning of their college experience, they are encouraged to bring these concerns to their adviser, any faculty member or the program manager 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.

Students should consult their academic adviser, faculty adviser or BSPH program manager for assistance with course selections. Students are recommended to consult with their academic advisors each semester to ensure that all requirements for graduation are being met. While every effort is made to assure accurate advising, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to be aware of and satisfy all requirements for the degree.


In addition to the Tulane office of Career center, BSPH students also have access to the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine's career services office. Staff at this office have specialized experience in helping graduates to pursue jobs in the field of public health and extensive contacts with alumni networks. Faculty are also a valuable resource for students as they often have working experience of particular career paths. 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.

School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine Career Service Offices:

Downtown Office

Suite 2460, Tidewater Building
Phone: (504) 988-3902

Uptown Office

201D Alcee Fortier Hall
Phone: (504) 865-5129

BSPH/MPH Joint Degree

Programs Offered by the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Public Health Courses