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Global Changemakers: CUNY SPH x Universidad de Alcalá

Flexible, affordable, and accessible — three words Masura Tidjani uses to describe her education at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH). “I really love this school,” she enthuses.

After all, it got her to where she is today. Tidjani is currently a Data Research Analyst at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene — a role she landed after achieving a Masters in Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from CUNY SPH. The 2019 valedictorian’s role revolves around conducting quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation to support programming for the Bronx Neighborhood Health Bureau at the Center for Health Equity and Community Wellness, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She is also a public health and food justice advocate.

There’s never been a better time for aspiring changemakers to follow in her footsteps. New global health challenges will arise while long-standing issues persist — think of inadequate human resources for health, poverty, HIV, violence prevention, and pandemics. None of these matters can be managed effectively without insights from properly qualified public health professionals.

They play a critical role in the promotion of health, prevention of disease and empowerment of communities. It’s no easy job, but it is fulfilling in every sense of the word. Every research finding, policy or awareness campaign has the potential to impact the lives of millions immediately and far into the future.


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

Anyone who chooses to gain a qualification from CUNY SPH can easily join the fight, especially thanks to its flexible programs, like the online MPH, which is offered in collaboration with Universidad de Alcalá (UAH) — one of the oldest universities in the world and one of Spain’s best schools of medicine and health sciences.

To open international doors for learners, the program allows students to pick the brains of esteemed faculty members from both New York City and Madrid. Bilingual advisors and faculty directors offer guidance throughout as well. However, unlimited direction doesn’t mean students ever have to set their responsibilities aside. Online courses are asynchronous, meaning virtual learners can attend classes as and when their schedules permit.

Two concentrations are offered to ensure every learner meets their career goals: The MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the MPH in Community Health. The first prepares students to design and conduct public health research before applying findings to improve the health of populations. Meanwhile, the latter focuses on the social and behavioral sciences in public health.


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

Tidjani took the Epidemiology and Biostatistics route. “While completing this degree, I wore multiple hats — as a mother, a wife, a full-time employee and a full-time student,” she says. “I was able to juggle between these roles and still maintain a strong academic record.”

That’s not all. The online MPH package is also significantly more affordable. Both CUNY SPH and UAH are public universities, meaning tuition rates are much lower than those of private institutions. In fact, CUNY SPH offers its online students the same rate enjoyed by New York residents.

To ensure all aspirations are catered to, the School offers various other MPH concentrations. Through the MPH in Public Health Nutrition, students learn to promote the nutritional well-being of population groups by planning, implementing and managing nutritional programs.

The MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences teaches learners to recognize, analyze, and control environmental and occupational threats to health.

Meanwhile, the MPH in Health Policy and Management was designed to teach the arts of planning and managing public health programs in a variety of urban settings, analyzing the impact of health and non-health policies on population health, and advocating for policies that better promote the health of populations. All three are programs are offered either online or in a hybrid, blended-learning format.

While flexible, each option maintains its rigor, which is precisely why several online MPH graduates are currently thriving in a range of sectors — such as service, advocacy, and health care. Such outcomes are common for students who choose to study at a School that ranks among the top 15% of schools of public health in the US and is the best public school of public health in New York.

“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.

For more information on the program, get in touch here.

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