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The Educated Citizen and Public Health


An understanding of public health is a critical component of good citizenship and a prerequisite for taking responsibility for building healthy societies.  At its best, the study of public health combines the social sciences, sciences, mathematics, humanities, and the arts.  At the same time, it serves as a vehicle for the development of written and oral communication skills, critical and creative thinking, quantitative and information literacy, and teamwork and problem solving.  It incorporates civic knowledge and engagement—both local and global—intercultural competence, and ethical reasoning and action, while forming the foundation for lifelong learning.  The study of public health, in other words, models a capacious vision of liberal education.

The Educated Citizen and Public Health Initiative serves the broader higher education community, setting the stage for integration of public health perspectives within a comprehensive liberal education framework. The Initiative simultaneously aims to fulfill the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that “…all undergraduates should have access to education in public health.” Developed in part by the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR), the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CCAS), the Association of Schools of Public Health, and AAC&U, the project creates and organizes publications, presentations, and resources to help faculty develop public health curricula in all our nation’s colleges and universities.

The initiative aims to connect and inform, to bring undergraduate study of integrative public health to all institutions of higher education, to foster interdisciplinary and inter-professional collaboration, and to link to other initiatives that address human health and environmental sustainability.


Now Available- CEPH Accreditation Criteria for Standalone Baccalaureate Programs in Public Health
The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is pleased to announce the release of Accreditation Criteria for Standalone Baccalaureate Programs in Public Health, adopted June 2013. These standards are the culmination of a multi-year effort to extend quality assurance opportunities to the ever-growing number of standalone baccalaureate public health programs (SBP).

Critical Component Elements of an Undergraduate Major in Public Health, a document produced by the Framing the Future: The Second 100 Years of Education for Public Health task force, is now available on the Association of Schools of Public Health undergraduate education web pages.

15 Undergraduate Public Health Programs Case Studies Now Available
In partnership with the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR), and in conjunction with the Healthy People 2020 Taskforce, AAC&U congratulates the fifteen institutions selected to develop case studies based upon their successful undergraduate public health programs.The case studies, now available under "Resources" on the Educated Citizen and Public Health webpage, demonstrate a variety of approaches to the development of undergraduate public health programs and will be valuable resources to those seeking to make undergraduate public health studies part of their institution.

Undergraduate Public Health Learning Outcomes Model
In collaboration with the Association of American Colleges and Universities, Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Association of Schools of Public Health is pleased to present the 1.0 version of Undergraduate Public Health Learning Outcomesdesigned to facilitate the introduction of public health to undergraduate students in two- and four-year colleges and universities. Model Version 1.0 represents public health knowledge, concepts, and skills that can be integrated into curricular and co-curricular undergraduate education, enabling all students to become more active participants in their own and their community’s health.


The ECPH Electronic Mailing List
Sign up for the undergraduate public health education electronic mailing list to communicate with fellow educators who are active in the emerging interdisciplinary field of public health study for undergraduates. Subscribers will also receive announcements about ECPH events and funding opportunities, as well as general news in the field. Created September 16, 2009

Research Findings and More Available in Special Public Health Issue of Peer Review
The summer 2009 issue of Peer Review focuses on undergraduate public health education as a powerful example of integrative learning. The issue includes an exposé of research findings from the needs assessment efforts of the Educated Citizen and Public Health initiative. Articles focus on research findings, program development strategies, and emerging directions in the way public health education can be approached as a facet of a robust liberal education. The issue includes perspectives from all sectors, including community colleges, public colleges and universities, and private institutions. Selected articles are available free online, and hard copies may be purchased at the above link. August 27, 2009

Full Catalog of Public Health Program Now Available
As a result of AAC&U's research on undergraduate public health majors, minors, and concentrations, a comprehensive list of such programs [PDF] is now available. Updated through August 2008, this should be of use to institutions seeking advice or partnership with nearby institutions that already offer such programs. More information about the research is also available. August 13, 2009

Curriculum Recommendations for Undergraduate Public Health Education
APTR and AAC&U have published a summary of recommendations (PDF) for core courses in undergraduate public health. Adapted from the Curriculum Guide, this document provides principles of design and curricular frameworks for developing undergraduate courses that incorporate the learning outcomes essential to a liberal education. September 29, 2008


About the Project:
Publications and Papers:
  Making the Case
  Practice & Analysis

  Full Curriculum Guide
Research & Surveys:
  Research Review
  Catalog Scan

  Case Studies