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CUNY SPH and the Universidad de Alcalá: Two universities, one strong voice for a healthier world

When it comes to choosing a quality public health programme, prestige is key, as is flexibility, comprehensiveness and the capacity to open international doors. The City University of New York’s Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) and Universidad de Alcalá (UAH) have joined forces to guarantee tomorrow’s changemakers all the above and more.

“This collaborative MPH will provide a superior learning experience designed for career advancement, shaped by public health leaders at two outstanding universities in two major cities: New York and Madrid,” confirms CUNY SPH Dean Ayman El-Mohandes.

Together with UAH, CUNY SPH offers an online Master of Public Health (MPH) that can meet the needs of any working professional. Accolades are proof of this. CUNY SPH is ranked among the top 15% of schools of public health in the US and rated the best public school of public health in New York. UAH was a perfect match for being not only historic but also equally impressive — it is one of the oldest universities in the world and one of Spain’s best schools of medicine and health sciences.

The programme’s comprehensive nature opens doors to a broad array of rewarding roles in the ever-so-topical field of public health. While the qualification itself was designed to produce highly-skilled professionals, its two concentrations develop specialists.

The MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics prepares learners to improve the health of populations by teaching them to understand the principles, methods, strengths, and limitations of epidemiologic study designs; collaborate on applied population health research; interpret epidemiologic findings; effectively communicate research and findings to lay and professional audiences; and apply findings to the development of evidence-based interventions.


Students accepted into this programme begin their studies with eight online courses from CUNY SPH. Source: CUNY SPH

Students can also expect to comprehend and apply core and intermediate-level statistical methods to public health research data management, statistical analysis, interpretation, and presentation of analytical results. Graduates are currently thriving in government and private health agencies, industry, and research institutions.

Meanwhile, the MPH in Community Health is geared towards those keen on understanding the social and behavioural sciences in public health. To prepare for change-sparking careers, they work toward 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. It features a corresponding emphasis on structural theories of change, informed by social justice principles, as well.

Today, the programme’s graduates can be found adding value to a range of organisations — such as service, advocacy and health care — across public and nonprofit sectors in New York and beyond.

Universidad de Alcalá

After completing eight online courses with CUNY SPH, MPH students are required to complete six online courses from UAH. Source: Universidad de Alcalá

The best part? Both routes are accessible thanks to the programme’s online format, which in turn makes it especially affordable. Thanks to both CUNY SPH and UAH, working professionals need not set aside their existing responsibilities or cut off their source of income to gain a world-class qualification. Their online courses are asynchronous, meaning students attend lessons whenever their schedules permit. Furthermore, tuition rates are substantially lower than most private institutions — CUNY SPH notably charges its online cohort the same attractive rates as its New York residents.

Choosing to become a virtual learner doesn’t mean missing out on the support offerings that come with the full university experience. Both institutions work together to ensure bilingual advisors will always be available to those in need of additional aid. Faculty directors remain equally engaged in ensuring curious learners evolve into successful graduates — many even create experiential learning opportunities that enhance skills and strengthen professional networks.

“We know we’re doing the best for our students by engaging them directly in the public health work of our faculty,” says Dean El-Mohandes. “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.”

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