March 2, 2016

Cornell University Introduces Masters in Public Health

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Beginning next fall, Cornell will offer a campus-wide master of public health degree, according to Gen Meredith associate director of MPH and international health programs.

The program is still pending approval from the State University of New York and registration with the New York Department of Education, which could take either weeks or months, according to Meredith.

Meredith said that although the curriculum of the MPH program is still under development, candidates stand to “benefit from the participation of Cornell’s multiple world-class colleges, schools and departments.”

Claudia Wheatley, senior public affairs officer for the College Veterinary Medicine, said her school would take a leading role in the partnership between the academic units.

“The College of Veterinary Medicine alone has world-renowned experts working in epidemiology, population medicine, infectious disease, food systems and human-animal dynamics,” Meredith said. “With faculty from across Cornell, our students will learn and apply public health competencies from a multidisciplinary approach.”

The program will look at the connections and overlap between many different health fields, according to Wheatley.

“We expect to have a focus on disease of course, but there will also be a focus on land usage, on poverty, on diseases that humans and animals share,” Wheatley said. “[The MPH program] is going to be a lot of different disciplines with a focus on public health. We’ve all got something to bring to the table when it comes to public health.”

This interdisciplinary focus will distinguish Cornell’s MPH degree from the Master of Health Administration degree offered by the College of Human Ecology’s Sloan Program, Meredith said.

Although MHA programs cover issues of public health, their primary focus are the business and managerial sides of healthcare, Meredith said.

“An MPH program focuses on the health of communities and the conditions that cause or prevent the spread of diseases and other conditions that undermine the health of people, animals and the environment; healthcare systems are covered as one of many factors at play,” she said. “The MHA and MPH should complement each other, and will offer students an expanded choice as they come to Cornell.”

Meredith discussed the fall 2016 launch of this MPH program at the second annual Global Health Gala held on Sunday.