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CUNY SPH and the Universidad de Alcalá: The benefits of an online, international MPH degree

In 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. flagged economic disparities and the lack of equal footing in healthcare for all. In 1981, Anthony Fauci studied the first case reports on what eventually became known as AIDS. In 2019, the World Health Organisation received the first report on a global health emergency that has yet to cease.

These monumental moments, and others like them, have introduced billions of individuals to the fundamental concepts of public health. In turn, we’ve learned the basics of what professionals within the topical field do.

The industry’s world-bettering capabilities have inspired many to join the fight in keeping populations healthy, safe, and well. Hence, incoming experts are plenty — varying in age, sex/gender, and educational or professional backgrounds.

Many of them want flexibility. Among recent undergrads, some do not have the means to attend graduate school without working full-time. Some require an advanced qualification to build on their existing qualifications or fast-track a career switch. Meanwhile, others crave gaining a more global mindset while remaining close to home.

Thankfully, the online Master of Public Health package often encompasses far more than just flexibility. To start, these programmes are significantly more affordable. For instance, the  City University of New York’s Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) notably charges its online cohort the same attractive rates as its New York residents. It’s little wonder why its online MPH has been dubbed as one capable of meeting the needs of any ambitious professional.

CUNY SPH and Universidad de Alcalá ensure their master’s students gain global insights from faculty members based in both New York City and Madrid. Source: CUNY SPH

Jointly offered by the Universidad de Alcalá (UAH), one of the oldest universities in the world, the program draws from both historic principles and the progressive approaches CUNY SPH is known for — many of which have catapulted the institution to rank among the top 15% of schools of public health in the US and the best public school of public health in New York.

Together, both CUNY SPH and UAH ensure their master’s students gain global insights from faculty members based in both New York City and Madrid. Their collaborative courses are asynchronous, meaning students can attend classes whenever their personal or professional schedules allow and wherever they are. Focus areas are customisable as well — students choose from one of two specialisations: Community Health or Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

Aspiring changemakers can opt for the MPH in Community Health. This concentration was designed to satisfy the curiosity of students aiming to comprehend the social and behavioural sciences in public health. This route entails developing the key competencies needed to promote health in urban communities — think assessment, community engagement, programme development, grant writing, research, evaluation and every other skill needed to reduce social and behavioural threats to community health.

The concentration is filled with critical insights on addressing the social determinants of disease and health inequality/inequity. It features a corresponding emphasis on structural theories of change, informed by social justice principles, as well.

Many online MPH graduates can currently be found adding value to a range of organisations. Source: CUNY SPH

Meanwhile, the MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics was developed for the innovators — specifically the kind who understands the principles, methods, strengths, and limitations of epidemiologic study designs. This program also teaches students to collaborate on applied population health research; interpret epidemiologic findings; effectively communicate research and findings to audiences; and apply results to the development of evidence-based interventions.

Both routes are equally comprehensive, ensuring tomorrow’s public health heroes gain access to a wide range of rewarding roles within the booming sector. Many online MPH graduates can currently be found adding value to a range of organisations — such as service, advocacy, and health care — across public and non-profit sectors in New York and beyond. They have their programme’s industry-focused nature to thank.

“These professionals were already making a difference in population health during the course of their studies, and upon graduation, they’re fully prepared to take their places as leaders in their field,” explains CUNY SPH Dean Ayman El-Mohandes.

Ready to join them? The application deadline is Aug. 1, 2022 for international students keen on gaining a Spanish-taught qualification awarded by CUNY SPH. Apply for Fall 2022 here.

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