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The Common Watch Program

Many of you attended a college or university wherein there was a common read experience for entering first year students. The Common Watch is similar – but instead of reading a book, we are all watching a movie. The purpose of the Common Watch is to provide you and other entering MPH students with an enjoyable and positive shared experience. We hope that the Common Watch experience will work to reinforce the message that engagement across public health disciplines is critical and an integral part of finding success as a practitioner. The Common Watch Program is designed to foster a sense of community between you and other students, faculty, and staff not just in your home department, but across the School.

Program Goals

  • To provide a common experience for entering MPH students to ease the transition into graduate education
  • To build an intellectual community among MPH students (online and on-ground), faculty and staff
  • To help students make connections between classroom and out-of-classroom experiences
  • To engage students in discussions surrounding current societal issues
  • To demonstrate the utility of the flipped classroom model

When should I watch the movie?

You should watch the movie selected before orientation at the beginning of the summer semester.

Why a Common Watch Program?

This summer is different, students everywhere are embarking on a unique journey of furthering their education in the wake of a global pandemic. Here at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, we are actively striving to alleviate some of the concerns shared by numerous entering students by creating a sense of community and purpose for them through this common experience. Not only will you and other entering students be sharing the joys, frustrations and adventure of attending graduate school during a global pandemic, you will also be drawn together in a more intimate common experience even before you enter the classroom whether virtually or in the traditional sense. All entering students regardless of modality will be participating in the common watch program, established to ease the transition into their new academic environment. When students are ready, they will be able to transfer this experience to the journey of lifelong learning.

Benefits of a Common Reading Program

  • It is a unique opportunity to engage new students prior to them entering the classroom.
  • It offers the chance to develop a sense of community, connectedness to the school, and cultivate an enlightened student.
  • There is a cross–curricular integration of skill building activities. 
  • The department and school–wide discussions will be based on the content of the movie and in turn will allow students to come away with a sense of unity and commitment to their studies, peers, and community.

What is the Common Watch Movie?

The movie selected for the common watch experience is Contagion (2011 / PG-13). Contagion is a global action thriller that revolves around the threat of a deadly outbreak of a fatal disease and the people determined to keep it at bay. As the fast–moving epidemic grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself. At the same time, ordinary people struggle to survive in a society coming apart. A stellar cast portray the dedicated doctors at the CDC and World Health Organization who rush to contain the outbreak of a new virus.

How do I access the movie?

Tulane University has the rights to use this movie for educational purposes. You can follow the link and login using your Tulane credentials you will be able to watch the movie on your computer, phone, or tablet.


Contagion movie screen grab