First cohort starts new Master of Public Health program


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A cohort of 18 students joined the new Master of Public Health program this fall.

As of now, the program is only offered in an in-class format, but according to Dr. Jeff Inungu, the MPH program director, the college has plans to transition the program to a mostly online format within the next two years.

A master’s degree in public health “is a widely recognized professional credential for those seeking leadership and managerial positions in governmental, nonprofit and private organizations in Public Health,” according to the information sheet given out by the CHP.

“Graduates of public health are there to help other people live a healthy life by providing them information about the risk factors that are associated with diseases," Inungu said. "They will not only be able to prevent diseases but will be able to set up policies to allow people to live a healthy life.”

The program is in the process of applying for national accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health, however, it may not receive this accreditation for two to three years, Inungu said.

Inungu said the value of an MPH degree is high right now because of several reasons, one being the high number professionals in the field retiring, leaving jobs vacant. Eighty percent of professionals in the field do not have a degree in public health. There is also a lack of training, he said, because with the large Baby Boomer generation are becoming old, this means there more diseases to address and help prevent.

The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions is currently accepting applicants for the program. Requirements include a bachelor degree from an accredited institution, a 3.0 GPA on the 4.0 scale, a standardized graduate-level test score and proficiency in English.

“Public health is essentially an interdisciplinary field," Inungu said, "So we are open to anyone interested in public health. We consider this as an entry way to get into public health. We do encourage people from biology, pre-med, from psychology, sociology, anthropology to consider this (program).”

The program director also stressed the importance of a public health practitioner in the community.

“Public health is really engrained in social justice. When you look at the health system in Michigan – there are many issues with health disparity," he said, "A program like this will allow students to address these issues, correct them and allow people to live a healthy life.”

To receive the MPH degree, students must complete 47 credit hours. This includes 300 hours of field experience and a choice of writing a thesis or conducting research.

Students interested in the Master of Public Health program can contact Inungu via telephone 989-774-4476 or email mph@cmich.edu. 

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