Students entering graduate level public health programs in North Dakota will have different options available as programs at NDSU and the University of North Dakota continue to cooperate to provide a span of offerings and avoid duplication.
North Dakota Master of Public Health (ND MPH), a cooperative agreement between the MPH programs at NDSU and UND since 2014, provides for “…each university offering unique areas of specialization that emphasize and reflect their particular areas of programmatic strength.”
“Cooperation between institutions to address American Indian health needs which leverages the strengths of both NDSU and UND will better serve our students, rather than duplicating programs,” said Charles Peterson, dean of the College of Health Professions at NDSU.
In fall 2020, NDSU is suspending admissions into its American Indian Public Health track and will be looking at ways to integrate American Indian/Alaska Native public health into its overall MPH curriculum. Current NDSU graduate students will not be impacted by this change and will receive support to complete their degrees. UND currently offers Indigenous Health MPH/doctoral programs which include American Indian populations.
“We will be recruiting American Indian/Alaska Native students into other NDSU public health specializations, including management of infectious diseases, food safety and community health sciences, while exploring development of new high demand specializations,” said Pamela Jo Johnson, chair of NDSU’s Department of Public Health.
NDSU will continue the work of the American Indian Public Health Resource Center which engages and partners with Tribal Nations to advance American Indian public health priorities in their own communities.
“The UND MPH faculty is committed to working with NDSU faculty and leadership to ensure that American Indian-focused content, case studies, and cultural factors are incorporated in the curricula at both NDSU and UND,” said Dr. Donald Warne, associate dean, director of Family Medicine and Public Health, UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “As the state’s largest minority population, and with significant health disparities, it is imperative that we work collaboratively to address these vital public health issues.”
“Whether it’s through an MPH or doctoral program focused on Indigenous health, or by preparing American Indian/Alaska Native students as epidemiologists, researchers, or community health educators, there is a path for everyone with programs available at the two institutions,” said Johnson.
“NDSU Public Health is exploring new options to build on its departmental strengths in Infectious Disease, Epidemiology, Community Health Sciences and Maternal and Child Health, all of which are critical to the health of American Indians, rural residents, and all populations in the state,” said Johnson. “Our most important goal, however, is working with our current graduate students to ensure programs meet their needs.”
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