Public Health-Global Health Honors

Departmental Honors allows students the opportunity to explore public health in greater depth. Departmental Honors can be completed in conjunction with Interdisciplinary Honors (to graduate with College Honors in Public Health), or alone (to graduate with Honors in Public Health). Our program is designed to build an engaged community of learners that can positively support each other’s growth. 

Honors students discuss their learning in our seminar classes and share how they are seeing “public health in action.” Each component of the honors program is designed to both enhance students’ academic experience and allow students to practice critical public health career readiness skills such as collaboration, exploring positionality, and opening their work for feedback.

Joining Departmental Honors

To join the Public Health-Global Health Major Honor’s cohort you must meet minimum eligibility and demonstrate an interest in actively contributing to the cohort. All students who are eligible to enter the cohort are highly encouraged to apply. Students may apply to Departmental Honors by completing an application form available from the Public Health-Global Health Major during the Winter quarter of their first year in the program. Students selected for each cohort will start the Honors program in the Spring of their first year and in Autumn, Winter, and Spring of their final year in the Public Health-Global Health Major.

Applying for Departmental Honors 

If you are interested in applying for Departmental Honors for the upcoming 2023 – 2024 cycle, please visit the PH-GH Departmental Honors Application and submit an application no later than Sunday, February 12, 2023 at 11:59 pm (PST). If you have any questions regarding the application, please email


Timeline for Entry to Departmental Honors

Application Deadline Notification Period Term of Entry
Winter Quarter of Junior Year 3-5 weeks after the application deadline Spring Quarter of Junior Year


Grade Expectations
To pursue departmental honors, students must have earned a cumulative UW GPA of 3.3 or higher. Honors students are required to maintain a cumulative UW GPA of 3.3 or higher and earn a Major GPA of 3.5 or higher by the completion of the program. Please contact PH-GH advisers with questions regarding GPA and eligibility.


Honors Requirements

  1. Honors Seminars (SPH 494): Honors students complete two 2-credit Honors Seminars, one in Autumn and the other in either Winter or Spring of their final year for a total of 4 credits. 

    In seminar, students will be a community of learners who : 1) do a deeper academic dive into a variety of public health topics that are of personal interest to them by working in teams to facilitate discussions on e.g. assigned readings, research articles, documentaries, and grey literature focused on a public health issues; 2) participate in leadership workshops designed to support their career development; 3) engage in an experiential learning project with a health focused organization where course instructors coach the students to manage and complete the project with community partners; and 4) explore how their privilege and social positionality impact their understanding of public health models and frameworks in their future fields of study. 

    Students are also encouraged to attend special lectures sponsored by health sciences programs and then, to bring that learning to the honors seminar. In addition to the above, students also receive peer support and faculty mentorship on their ad hoc projects in the PH-GH Integrated Core. 

    Note: Students graduating during WIN quarter will need to take their second SPH 494 seminar in WIN quarter prior to graduating.

  2. Honors Academic Projects (Ad Hoc): Honors students complete a single ad hoc project in either SPH 480 or SPH 481. This is a project that goes above and beyond the assigned work in those courses. Students will receive guidance on how to design their Honors Ad Hoc Projects. Then they will work in groups of with their ad hoc course instructor to develop the ad hoc project. Honors ad hoc projects provide students the opportunity to work closely with an instructor to bring the project to completion.

    Examples of Prior Ad Hoc Project Titles: 

    - Multilevel Research Study Evaluating the Culture of E-Cigarettes: SPH 480 

    - HIV Treatment and Prevention Strategies through the Ryan White CARE Act: SPH 481 

    - Displacement Due to Climate Change and Maternal and Child Outcomes: SPH 480

  3. Formal Public Presentation: Honors students are expected to conduct a poster or oral presentation during the SPH Undergraduate Symposium in May. Students may present on an internship, research experience, ad hoc project, or capstone project.

Students should consult with advisers if they have any questions about departmental honors requirements.