Public health education and research activities at the American University of Beirut (AUB) go back more than 100 years, when community oriented physicians at the AUB School of Medicine initiated studies of epidemics and community health problems.
A public health center was established in 1927, with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. It served as a community resource conducting field projects in underserved areas.
In 1948, the Department of Public Health was established within the School of Medicine. This department offered certificate and non-degree programs in public health and sanitation; the fact which attracted students from the whole region.
In 1954, the School of Public Health was founded as the region's first independent public health faculty. Several departments were established sequentially. A bachelor of science (BS) in environmental health was offered starting in 1961 and the master of public health (MPH) program was initiated in 1971. Non-degree and certificate programs were gradually phased out to be fully discontinued in 1976. The name of the school was changed to that of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) in 1978 to reflect the addition of related health programs.
FHS is committed to a vision and a role that set a model for academic public health in the region, and redefine leadership as a commitment to lead by example. The faculty thrives to be an advocate for public health as much as a leader and a path setter in public health education and research.
Academically, the faculty serves through its programs the well-being of people and communities by conducting research and service that influence policy and practice, and preparing competent health professionals become agents of change in society.
FHS also contributes to knowledge and the improvement of the public's health in Lebanon and the region by:
Conducting scholarly and relevant research and by responding to priority health issues and training needs in collaboration with stakeholders.
Preparing professionals in the disciplines of public health and health sciences through graduate and undergraduate programs, and introducing future physicians to public health.
Moreover, since the voices of the people of the Arab region and the specificities of its public health context were largely absent from international dialogue, The Faculty of Health Sciences in AUB also commits to an advocacy role-serving as a platform for engaging the international community in the public health context of the Arab region, and as a result, influencing the global public health discourse.
The Faculty of Health Sciences exercises these functions, while at the same time, it promotes and adheres to the principles of ethics, social justice, and collective responsibility.