The MS in Tropical Medicine is an academic degree designed to build a strong knowledge of infectious diseases of global public health importance. Coursework provides a solid foundation in parasitology, vector biology and other infectious diseases of public health significance. Foundational public health courses and specialty courses in biological, cellular and epidemiological aspects of pathogens and infectious disease comprise the curriculum. Students are also required to carry out original research and write a thesis based on the findings of the research project.
Graduates of the MS degree in Tropical Medicine are expected to find careers in public health, biomedical sciences, or related fields at academic institutions, governmental and non-governmental organizations, health care organizations, or biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies. Many individuals enter the program with the intention of subsequently pursuing PhD or MD degrees.
Students applying to master's programs at SPHTM must meet the school's general admission requirements and submit materials per the application requirements.
The MSPH degree requires a total of 42 credits that includes:
Required Courses (30 credits)
Electives (9 credits)
Graduate level courses offered within the department, school, or university in consultation with an academic advisor can be used as electives. Elective courses should complement the goals and objectives of the student.
Research & Thesis Requirements
Core Course Requirements (15 Credits)
Program course requirements (21 Credits)
*It is anticipated that most MSPH students will have a strong background in the biomedical sciences and will successfully pass the challenge exam for Biological Basis of Disease and therefore waive this course.
Elective courses (6 Credits)
Selected from courses offered within the department, school, or university in consultation with an academic advisor.
Practicum (SPHL 9980)
All students in the MSPH degree program complete a 200-hour practicum that usually occurs after completion of core courses.
The practicum is a planned, supervised practice experience in the field, designed to integrate and apply core and program knowledge while building skills in a practice setting. It culminates with a written report and 3-way evaluation by the student, the advisor, and the preceptor of the practicum site.
Students can satisfy the practicum requirement by participating in a wide range of activities related to health care provision or implementation of disease control strategies. Students may find placement with a health agency, a clinical laboratory, or an individual health professional working on a project related to public health in the United States or abroad. Ideally, the practicum experience should be relevant to diseases prevalent in tropical or developing countries.
Culminating Experience (SPHL 7950-01)
The required culminating experience is the means by which students synthesize and integrate knowledge acquired through successful completion of course work. Students pursuing degrees in public health complete a public health analysis (PHA) to fulfill the culminating experience requirement. Through it, students demonstrate learned skills and analysis of real world problems in public health.
The PHA is a planned project that addresses a public health issue. Students should identify a specific issue, question, or problem related to tropical medicine and/or public health; then state goals and objectives related to this question or problem. The PHA can be based on research results generated by the student, analysis of a data set available to the student, or a search of the literature.
The academic advisor or other departmental faculty should provide guidance in selecting a topic, preparing and editing the document, and determining if it meets the requirements and is of sufficient quality to merit graduation..
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