The shortcomings of BMI have been recognized for decades, yet physicians kept using it as a quick way to diagnose obesity and as a proxy for overall health. “It made life really easy,” says Dr. Cynthia Bulik. “It also led to a type of tunnel vision.”
Gillings School of Global Public Health
Welcome to the #1 public school of public health — and #2 overall.
Hanna Brosky works with Galapagos communities to detect and prevent water-borne diseases.Meet Hanna.
Our inclusive excellence action plan is a collaborative, living document that guides the efforts of the Gillings community as we work toward inclusive excellence.Learn more.
Get to know our departments.
Gain the knowledge, skills, experience and networks to make a difference right away.
Choose a Department
- Environmental Sciences and Engineering
- Health Behavior
- Health Policy and Management
- Maternal and Child Health
- Public Health Leadership
Our departments are home to more than 1,500 diverse, creative and dedicated students. With a Schoolwide focus on interdisciplinary research, collaborative opportunities abound.
Accurate interpretation and use of data is crucial to understanding public health needs and devising comprehensive, evidence-based solutions.
Environmental Sciences and Engineering
The environments in which we live, work and play invariably affect public health. In fact, environmental exposures – most of which can be prevented – account for nearly one quarter of all diseases worldwide.
- Gillings School to partner in environmental engineering and materials engineering tracks in new undergraduate degree in applied sciences
- New study shows energy storage’s impact on emissions and economics in the United States
- 8 public health faculty win Gillings School’s inaugural Research Excellence Award
Epidemiology — the study of the distribution and determinants of disease and other risk factors in a population — is the cornerstone of public health inquiry and problem solving.
Health behaviorists use social and behavioral science to develop, implement and evaluate programs and policies that promote health and foster social justice.
Health Policy and Management
Health policy experts address the complex challenges of health care delivery and produce cutting-edge analyses that impact policy at all levels, improving population health.
Maternal and Child Health
Maternal and child health focuses on the determinants and systems that promote and maintain the health of women, children and their families to enhance the future health and welfare of society.
This dynamic field encompasses nutrition science as well as behavior change, communication, counseling and the effects of dietary culture on individuals and within communities.
Public Health Leadership
Applying system thinking and leadership principles in a public health context — with teams, projects, organizations and systems — can eliminate inequities, improve health conditions and foster change in local and global communities.
Mental Health and Wellness
2023 Gillings Impact Report
In this year's Impact Report, we highlight the Gillings School's expansive role in public health, from local community efforts to global initiatives. Our innovative research, commitment to inclusivity and new faculty additions exemplify our dedication to health equity and educational excellence.Read More.