Volume 98, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The prevalence of public health and global health (PH/GH) curricular offerings appear to be increasing in terms of undergraduate curricula and in the context of liberal arts education in the United States. Liberal arts colleges (LACs) represent stand-alone institutions, which exclusively focus on undergraduate education. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of PH/GH study pathways and PH/GH course offerings among LACs. All LACs identified through the (USNWR) college rankings were contacted with a survey about the following: formal majors, minors, or concentrations in PH/GH; independent study (IS) pathways for PH/GH; specific PH/GH courses offered; and the number of students graduating in 2016, 2017, and 2018 with formal and IS degrees in PH/GH. Demographic characteristics of the colleges came from the USNWR database. Almost half (43%) of all LACs in our sample offer a PH/GH major, minor, concentration, or IS pathway. Almost all (90%) colleges offer at least one course in PH/GH. Approximately 2,000 students attending these LACs pursued or are pursuing graduation with majors, minors, or concentrations in PH/GH for the years 2016–2018. The number of students pursuing formal PH/GH programs has increased by 25% from 2016 to 2018. Student interest in public health is rising in U.S. LACs, with more students seeking formal curricular or IS PH degree pathways. Public health messages are prevalent even among institutions without formal programs. Colleges without programs should consider integrating public health into their curriculum.


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  • Received : 09 Jan 2018
  • Accepted : 03 Feb 2018
  • Published online : 02 Apr 2018
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