U of M launches dual degree in Veterinary Medicine and Public Health
For immediate release
Contacts: Meta Gaertnier, College of Veterinary Medicine,
Brenda Hudson, Academic Health Center, 612.624.5680
U OF MN LAUNCHES DUAL DEGREE
IN VETERINARY MEDICINE
AND PUBLIC HEALTH
Innovative program enables Vet Med students nationwide to participate
/ ST. PAUL (November 21, 2002)--The University of Minnesota's
College of Veterinary Medicine and School of Public Health today launched a
new dual Doctor of Veterinary Medicine/Master of Public Health (DVM/MPH) degree
The program, developed in response to the critical national need for more veterinary
public health professionals, is one of the first in the United States that
enables students to complete work for both degrees in just four years.
The MPH curriculum is designed so that students working toward a DVM at any
qualified veterinary college nationwide can earn a dual Master of Public Health
concurrently through the University of Minnesota program.
"The United States clearly needs more public-health-oriented veterinarians to
help address new bioterrorism concerns, emerging diseases such as West Nile
virus and chronic wasting disease, and the ongoing need for a safe food supply," said
Jeffrey Klausner, DVM, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM). "Our
new DVM/MPH degree prepares future veterinarians to play a key role in addressing
these critical issues."
The combined program is offered through the University's School of Public
Health (SPH). The program prepares graduating veterinary students for careers
with local, state, and federal government agencies such as the U.S. Department
of Agriculture and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The program is expected to graduate its first students in May 2005.
"Diseases such as anthrax and West Nile virus demonstrate the interrelation between
animal and human health," said Mark Becker, Ph.D., dean of the SPH. "Our
goal is to help prepare professionals who can safeguard and enhance public
health through their intimate understanding of disease distribution and control
Participating students take public health coursework through online learning
programs and during the summers of their veterinary training, including a three-week
Summer Public Health Institute. Students also must complete a field experience
and a master's project. The MPH portion of the combined program requires
40 to 42 hours of coursework, with the potential for some veterinary electives
to satisfy MPH requirements as well.
"Some of our veterinary students already have begun taking public health courses
in anticipation of the dual degree program, and others have expressed a strong
interest," said Will Hueston, Ph.D., CVM professor and director of the
University's Center for Animal and Food Health Safety. "In fact,
our students have been urging us to offer this program as soon as possible."
The DVM/MPH degree program joins the University's new Executive Program
in Public Health Practice (MPH) degree program, which is designed for mid-career
veterinary and health service professionals, including practicing veterinarians.
"These degree programs reflect the College of Veterinary Medicine and School
of Public Health's commitment to collaborate not only with other colleges
across the University," said Debra Olson, SPHassociate dean for public
health practice education, "but also with public and private organizations
to address emerging issues and solve societal problems."
The Academic Health Center is home to the University of Minnesota's seven
health professional schools and colleges as well as several health-related
centers and institute, including the Medical School. Founded in 1851, the University
is one of the oldest and largest land grant institutions in the country. The
AHC mission is to prepare the new health professionals who improve the health
of communities, discover and deliver new treatments and cures and strengthen
For more information, see www.cvm.umn.edu; www.php.umn.edu; www.ahc.umn.edu