The Mission of the NDSU MPH Program is to promote health and well-being in diverse populations with an emphasis on American Indian and other underserved populations by providing educational, practical, and research opportunities for public health professionals.
Public health is defined as the practice of helping members of society live healthier, longer lives. More specifically, public health focuses on improving the general health of communities through efforts to monitor the spread of diseases, initiatives (both clinical and policy-oriented) to prevent disease and disability, and by promoting healthy lifestyles through education and community engagement. Public health is both an art and a science. It is practiced by inter-professional teams whose members’ training spans a wide array of academic and vocational fields.
Of particular importance to public health in our state is determining how to meet the challenges of change and diversity within rural areas. Rural health solutions are essential to the well-being of North Dakota and to other areas of the nation and the world. North Dakota is an ideal location for rural public health research in addition to the application of practical solutions to health improvement for rural communities. Public health is an interdisciplinary field; it is common for many people to gain competencies and/or training in a related field (medicine, nursing, pharmacy, business, engineering, etc.) and subsequently move into public health as a matter of vocation or occupation. The MPH degree is uniquely designed to accommodate the needs to these individuals. It blends theory and practical knowledge across a wide array of disciplines, and is the “degree of choice” among practitioners in the field.
There are three specializations to choose from within the MPH degree at NDSU. The specializations of Community Health Sciences or the Management of Infectious Diseases are the most suitable for most pharmacists, as they prepare health professionals to integrate public health initiatives and policies within traditional medical models. It is designed to provide pharmacists and other health professionals with a better understanding of their diverse roles in public health.
The MPH degree consists of 42 credits and can be completed in two years as a full time graduate student. Pharm.D. students are able to complete a Pharm.D./MPH dual degree in as little as one extra year of study. Pharm.D. students who are in good academic standing are eligible to apply for the Pharm.D./MPH program through the graduate school during their P2 year.