Public health school starts dual-degree program

The School of Public Health and Health Services implemented a dual-degree program this fall that will allow GW students to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in public health in five years, without taking the Graduate Record Examination.

The unique program is open to juniors who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the School of Public Health, said Sara Wilensky, director of the undergraduate program in public health.

“The ability to offer a minor, a major and now a dual-degree program, puts GW on the cutting edge of public health schools in the nation,” Wilensky said.

She said students who apply must have already completed two courses in the School of Public Health achieving a B or higher and have a grade point average of at least 3.5.

“We intend to admit a very limited number of students for the first few years of the program so we can make sure that we are providing everything our students need as we ramp up the program,” Wilensky said.

Students must apply directly to a specific public health graduate program. The departments that offer the dual-degree program are epidemiology and biostatistics, environmental and occupational health, health policy, global health, and prevention and community health.

After the school selects the students, they are able to finish undergraduate courses during their junior year. The summer before their senior year, the students begin the graduate courses in their respective departments.

“By completing both programs at GW, I hope to gain the knowledge and skills I need in order to enter the field with a desirable career,” said Ayla Pelleg, a junior enrolled in the program. “Getting a MPH will open many doors for me, and it is nice that I will save time through this particular program.”

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