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Veterinary Public Health DVM/MPH

 

With this dual degree program, students can combine their veterinary studies with a Master of Public Health, providing the credentials to work at the interface of human wellness and animal health. The degree is designed so you can earn your MPH degree in the same four years as your DVM degree.

Master’s Project

The Master’s Project involves studious inquiry or examination. The product of that undertaking is a formal, written, scholarly report that demonstrates writing proficiency; and the ability to critically approach a topic, synthesize, interpret, and successfully convey information to the appropriate audience.
The Master’s Project provides a culminating experience for the student that allows the student to demonstrate the use of public health principles and competencies.
Students are expected to demonstrate familiarity with the tools of applied research or scholarship in public health practice, the ability to work independently, and the ability to apply skills learned in coursework by completing one of the following:

  • Research Paper
  • Systematic Literature Review
  • Consultative report
  • Grant proposal
  • CPH Exam

CPH Exam

Students may take the Certificate Public Health exam (CPH) instead of completing an MPH project. Students are eligible to take the CPH exam after completing 21 credits by the end of fall term. The 21 credits must include the core concept courses. You may repeat the test if a passing score was not obtained or complete an MPH project. The CPH exam replaces the MPH project requirement, but not the credits.

Field Experience

This is an opportunity for students to learn first-hand about the organization, operations, and special activities of selected agencies, institutions, and industries concerned with public health practice.
The field experience provides students with a means of gaining additional insight into programs, personnel management, governmental relations, public relations, legislative support and, particularly, knowledge of special investigations conducted by these organizations.
Participation in the activities of public health practice programs external to the university adds a dimension of experience to the curriculum that enriches the student’s training and may be beneficial in seeking employment.

Applicants must be currently admitted into an accredited college of veterinary medicine by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Applicants are encouraged to begin the program summer prior to entering veterinary school. Students must have a bachelor’s degree before beginning MPH coursework.

Preferred performance levels:

  • GPA of 3.00
  • GRE minimum composite score of 1000 and a 3.5 on the AWA
  • TOEFL or IELTS test scores (international applicants only – see application information for specifics)

Deadlines

  • Applications are accepted for May/summer term only.
  • Early application is encouraged. Deadline is Jan. 15. All applications must be received by March 15.

What do public health veterinarians do?

  • Address complex problems that relate to the health of animals and people
  • Operate as field epidemiologists investigating new and emerging diseases
  • Serve as leaders for zoonoses prevention and control programs such as rabies, foodborne illnesses and arboviruses
  • Prepare and respond to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies
  • Work to ensure the health of humans and animals by promoting safe natural and working environments
  • Develop public policy at local, state, national and international levels

DVM/MPH practice areas

  • Risk communication
  • Food safety
  • Zoonoses control
  • Public health leadership/policy
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Occupational health
  • Teaching and research
  • Epidemiology
  • Environmental health

Where do they work?

Private industry: Pharmaceutical and vaccine companies, food processors, medical device companies

Government agencies: Departments of Agriculture; Departments of Natural Resources, Departments of Public Health, Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
International organizations: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, World Health Organization, World Animal Health Organization

Uniformed services: Army Veterinary Corps, Air Force Health Officer, Public Health Corps
International public health agencies: Veterinarians without Borders, Heifer Project International, Pan American Health Organization

See program career spotlights

  • Who is eligible for the program?
    Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree, be currently admitted into an accredited college of veterinary medicine and meet the prerequisites for admission. Students are encouraged to begin the MPH program the summer before beginning vet school. Early application is encouraged. Vet students may apply at any time during vet school. The DVM/MPH program is open to students at all accredited veterinary schools.
  • How long does it take to complete the MPH degree?
    It depends on you. You have up to seven years to complete the MPH. The basic (required) curriculum is offered online throughout the year. Focus area (elective) curriculum is traditionally completed via attendance of two or more Public Health Institutes. On average, our students complete the MPH in 3.5 years, regardless of where they are in their vet school career.
  • What are my focus area choices?
    You have the option to choose one of three focus areas:

    • Food Protection
    • Preparedness, Response and Recovery
    • Infectious Disease
  • Will a course I took while completing my bachelor’s degree as a DVM student transfer?
    Yes. Once a student has completed their undergraduate degree and has been accepted into the DVM/MPH. program, courses taken as a veterinary student without an undergraduate degree are eligible for transfer with appropriate approvals.
  • What should I consider when transferring credits into the DVM/MPH degree program?
    Up to 14 credits can be transferred (with approval), which will save you tuition dollars. The following conditions must be met in order for a course to be eligible for transfer.

    • A grade of “B-” (3.0) or better is required.
    • Course credit can not be older than five years.
    • You must submit a petition to have the course be reviewed for approval, along with course description and syllabi.
  • Will Public Health Institute courses be transferred once I am admitted?
    If I am a veterinary student without a bachelor’s degree and I take courses at the Public Health Institute or the regular summer session, will those be considered transfer credits once I am admitted to the program?
    Yes. Credits completed at the University of Minnesota as a non-admitted School of Public Health student will count as transfer credits and contribute to the 14 credit transfer limit. Public Health Institute courses are taught at a graduate level.
  • What if I don’t finish my MPH by the time I’m done with my DVM?
    Although you are encouraged to complete your MPH within three to five years, you have seven years to complete the MPH. The clock starts when you register for your first MPH course.
Contact Info
Major Coordinator
Sarah Summerbell
612-626-1948
php@umn.edu
Program Director
Larissa Minicucci
minic001@umn.edu
Alumni Spotlight
“The attributes a veterinary public health official brings to the world are instrumental to improving the human-animal interaction, and cultivating a better environment.” ~Jason Crawford (DVM/MPH ‘09) Read more
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