University of Washington School of Public Health

Undergraduate Public Health Major

Public Health Capstone

The Public Health Capstone is intended to be an integrative experience in which students bring together much of the competencies and skills acquired during their time in the Public Health Major and in college. The capstone will count as 5 credits towards the writing requirement and a minimum grade of 2.0 is required.

A recent student shared this about Capstone“SPH 491/492 class has honestly been my favorite class I've taken at UW! [This] made me more aware of a population I had never worked with, it gave me the opportunity to apply skills I had learned as an undergrad, and helped me understand how to assess and address a public health problem.”

The SPH 491 Capstone I and SPH 492 Capstone II integrates previous knowledge, applies it in a real world setting, and helps develop skills as students seek to identify, assesses, and address public health problems.

In SPH 491 + SPH 492, students will complete a literature review, a minimum 50-hour service learning experience, short reflections, a synthesis paper, and a presentation. Credit is earned at the completion of the two-course series so enrollment in the same section of SPH 491 and SPH 492 in consecutive quarters is necessary. The writing expectation is 20 – 30 pages across multiple assignments.

The service learning component, which is a real-world hands-on experience completed in small groups, will be arranged ahead of time by the course instructor and there are multiple options to serve various schedules.

Service learning sites in recent quarters have included the following:  The American Heart Association, Bailey-Boushay House, Chinese Information and Services Center, Cleveland High School, East African Community Services, HS3 High School in the Highline District, KC Juvenile Detention Center, Mary's Place, Noel House, Planned Parenthood Votes NW, Redmond High School, Refugee Women’s Alliance, Seattle Public Library, Teen Feed, Union Gospel Mission, United Way of King County, Urban Rest Stop, the Vulnerable Populations Strategic Initiative, and Within Reach.