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Catalog Scan of Undergraduate Public Health Programs


The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,250 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, and universities of every type and size. AAC&U organizes its work around five broad goals: (1) A Guiding Vision for Liberal Education (2) Inclusive Excellence (3) Intentional and Integrative Learning (4) Civic, Diversity, and Global Engagement (5) Authentic Evidence. Through its publications, meetings, public advocacy, and programs, AAC&U provides a powerful voice for liberal education. AAC&U works to reinforce the commitment to liberal education at both the national and the local level and to help individual colleges and universities keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges. With a nearly one-hundred year history and national stature, AAC&U is an influential catalyst for educational improvement and reform.

The Catalog Scan of Undergraduate Public Health Programs identified institutions that offer majors, minors, or concentrations in public health at the undergraduate level. The purpose is to establish a baseline of undergraduate public health offerings.

Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)
Data Years Available: 
Mode of Collection: 
Abstraction of data from college websites.
Selected Content: 
Population Covered: 
The data was gathered July-August, 2008, from online published materials of a specific subset of AAC&U's 1,181 member institutions. The data pool included only 4-year institutions located in the United States that offer undergraduate degrees in diverse fields. The Catalog Scan used the content of course requirements to determine if specific programs fulfill Public Health criteria. Majors, minors, and concentrations in Community Health and other related fields were considered Public Health if they included the primary components of public health education for undergraduates (including courses in Epidemiology, Health Systems, and others). It is important to note that individual public health courses are offered to undergraduates at many institutions that do not offer majors, minors, or concentrations in Public Health. For example, epidemiology courses are offered through many Sociology departments, and Global Studies programs often include a course that addresses issues in Global Health. Therefore, the findings of this Catalog Scan are not representative of the entire spectrum of public health education available to undergraduates. Rather, this research shows the availability of in-depth study of public health for undergraduates.
Response Rates and Sample Size: 
837 institutions were surveyed.
Interpretation Issues: 

Riegelman, R. and Albertine, S. (2008) Recommendations for Undergraduate Public Health Education. Association of American Colleges and Universities and Association for Prevention Teaching and Research. Retrieved from: