Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies has partnered with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Public Health to offer distance learning courses online for veterinary medicine students seeking to earn a master of public health while earning their DVM.
Dr. Stephanie Ostrowski and Dr. Jim Wright in the Department of Pathobiology are the lead faculty coordinators at the College of Veterinary Medicine for the DVM/MPH dual degree program.
“Auburn DVM students who chose to pursue their MPH at UAB may choose a focus in one of five options, including Environmental Health Science, Epidemiology, Health Behavior, Health Care Organization and Policy or a general MPH,” said Dr. Frank Bartol, associate dean of Research and Graduate Studies. “MPH focus courses can be customized to the interest and needs of the student.”
Veterinary students must complete the MPH core curriculum and 10 credit hours of MPH focus courses for a total of 30 credit hours in addition to the required DVM curriculum in order to complete the dual degree program. Twelve credit hours from the DVM curriculum are credited toward the MPH degree for a total of 42 MPH credit hours.
UAB’s dual degree program allows students to complete the MPH degree completely online, in class or through a mix of online and in-class experiences. Out-of-state distance learning students will pay the same in-state tuition rate as Alabama residents.
“The dual degree broadens career opportunities and perspectives of individual and population health of both humans and animals,” said Dr. Max Michael, professor and dean of UAB’s School of Public Health. “In today’s world where humans and animals live together in both urban and rural
environments, DVM/MPH students will be better informed in research, government policies and international health for a broader view of the health of society and the world.”
This dual degree partnership expands opportunities at the AUCVM, where a complimentary DVM/MPH program partnership with the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health is also in place. Both dual degree programs are designed to be available for completion online within the same four years as a DVM degree. Distance classes are offered during all academic sessions so students can proceed at their own pace.
Like the new partnership with UAB, the University of Minnesota dual degree program also allows students to combine their veterinary and MPH studies, providing the credentials to work at the interface of human wellness and animal health.
All distance learning students in the University of Minnesota dual degree program also pay in-state tuition rates and have their online fees waived.
Students currently enrolled in the DVM/MPH program through the University of Minnesota at Auburn University are expected to graduate with DVM and MPH degrees in 2017 and 2018. The new UAB program is gathering interest and faculty are currently working closely with students in the admission process.
Written by Molly Lawrence