Department of Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences
College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences
The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree provides students with a strong foundation in the core disciplines of public health including biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, sociobehavioral public health, and public health policy and administration, and specialized training in one of four MPH tracks: Public Health Nutrition, Health Education and Promotion, Veterinary Public Health, and Applied Biostatistics and Epidemiology. The curriculum follows guidelines of the Council on Education for Public Health and the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health.
The MPH program in Veterinary Public Health builds on the program of the USU School of Veterinary Medicine by offering specialized training in the emerging Public Health discipline of One Health, defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the approach of working with veterinarians, ecologists, and physicians to monitor and control public health threats by applying the core disciplines of Public Health and specialized knowledge of veterinary medicine to learn how diseases spread among people, animals and the environment (www.cdc.gov/onehealth). The Land-Grant setting of USU provides unique resources for the Veterinary Public Health MPH program with the School of Veterinary Medicine, Agricultural Extension programs, diagnostic laboratories, Institute for Antiviral Research, and strong academic programs in climate sciences, ecology, and natural resources.
This program is available online, on the Logan campus, and at USU Regional Campuses including Brigham City, Kaysville, Moab, Roosevelt (Uintah Basin), Tremonton, Vernal (Uintah Basin), Tooele, Price, and Blanding.
Veterinarians who receive an MPH degree can increase their ability to become board certified in Veterinary Preventive Medicine as well as seek employment opportunities in local, state, and federal, agricultural and environmental agencies among others. In addition, there is a great need for public health professionals who can address the issues of animal to human infectious disease transmission (zoonotic diseases), food safety concerns, and emergency response to such outbreaks . Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are a huge burden on global economies and public health and these EID events have risen significantly over time and, of particular concern, 60.3% of EIDs are zoonotic diseases. Of the 60.3% that are zoonoses, 71.8% originate in wildlife. This emphasizes the important role that veterinarians may play in public health. Noteworthy examples of zoonotic EIDs include SARS (severe, acute respiratory syndrome), West Nile Virus, and Ebola virus. Veterinarians play a vital role in food safety because of the in depth knowledge of diseases such as Campylobacteriosis and Salmonellosis and the animals that may be infected and contaminate food supplies.
What It Takes
Students must meet some departmental requirements in addition to requirements of the School of Graduate Studies, as shown on the School of Graduate Studies webpage. Applicants must attain Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores at the 40th percentile minimum on the Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing tests, and must have a 3.0 or higher GPA for the last 60 semester (90 quarter) credit hours. The GRE is waived for students with professional degrees (such as a DVM, MD, DDS, DC). Once admitted, students are required to maintain enrollment by being registered for 9 or more graduate credits or enrolled in at least 3 credits per semester in order to use University facilities and receive direction (including thesis or project report direction) from their major professor. Students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits per semester if receiving an assistantship or fellowship from Utah State University.
The Veterinary Public Health MPH in the Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences requires either an undergraduate degree with a background in biochemistry, chemistry, biology, mathematics, statistics, and animal disease, or a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from an accredited veterinary college. Prior coursework in public health is desirable. Students may be accepted into the MPH graduate program with deficiencies in these areas; however, their supervisory committee will require that competencies equivalent to a BS degree in the department of study be obtained as part of the Program of Study.
MPH Degree Plan Options
The MPH degree is designed to meet the accreditation requirements of the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The MPH requires a minimum of 42 semester credit hours including 15 credits of required core courses, common to all degree options, departmental required courses, elective courses, seminars, and credits for the Professional degree option. While most MPH degrees include a Plan A, Plan B, and Professional option, The Veterinary Public Health degree requires a practicum.
Professional degree: A master’s degree option with no thesis or Plan B paper is available. Those seeking professional degrees must complete a supervised field or professional experience, write a capstone paper about it, and give a presentation on it to the department in which the student is enrolled. Students should contact their advisor early in their program to outline an acceptable project and to be certain that all degree requirements will be met and that all appropriate paperwork has been sent to the School of Graduate Studies.
For more information on this program please see the program webpage at mph.usu.edu/degrees/veterinary-public-health.