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MS in Tropical Medicine

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.

Program Competencies
  • Explain infectious disease including types of organisms, mechanisms of transmission, and natural history.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the biology and immunology of host-pathogen interactions and their outcomes.
  • Interpret and effectively communicate research-based peer-reviewed literature to an academic audience.
  • Analyze research projects that address specific questions as applied to tropical medicine.
  • Identify appropriate statistical tests and research methodology for performing hypothesis-driven research that address public health problems.
  • Evaluate how biomedical methods can be applied to public health research
Admission Requirements

Students applying to master's programs at SPHTM must meet the school's general admission requirements and submit materials per the application requirements.

  • baccalaureate degree from an accredited university
  • A major in the biomedical sciences or public health (other majors considered on case by case basis)
  • A GPA of 3.0 or greater
  • Minimum GRE or MCAT scores in the upper 25th percentile
  • Strongly positive letters of recommendation
  • Career statement indicating research career goals
Degree Program Requirements

The MS in Tropical Medicine degree requires a total of 42 credits that includes: 

Required Courses (30 credits)

  • SPHL 6020 Foundations of Public Health (3)
  • SPHL 6050 Biostatistics for Public Health (3)
  • SPHL 6060 Epidemiology for Public Health (3)
  • TRMD 6010 Biological Basis of Disease (3)
  • TRMD 6050 Medical Helminthology (2)
  • TRMD 6060 Medical Entomology (3)
  • TRMD 6070 Medical Protozoology (2)
  • TRMD 6090 Parasitology Laboratory (1)
  • TRMD 6170 Immunology (3)
  • TRMD 6250 Biomedical Research Methods (3)
  • TRMD 6330 Microbial Diseases of the Tropics (2)
  • TRMD 6420 Tropical Virology (3)
  • TRMD 7020 Infectious Disease Seminar (two semesters)(1 +1)
  • TRMD 9980 Thesis Research (0)

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

  • Students who have completed coursework may register in TRMD 9980 (Thesis Research) while conducting the research and writing the thesis.
  • Student should conduct a rigorous and independent research project under the supervision of a departmental affiliated faculty mentor.

Model Course Schedule

Degree Program Requirements (entry prior to Fall 2018)

Core Course Requirements (15 Credits)

  • BIOS 6030 Introductory Biostatistics (3)
  • EPID 6030 Epidemiological Methods 1 (3)
  • GCHB 6030 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Global Health (3)
  • GEHS 6030 Survey of Environmental Health (3)
  • GHSD 6030 Principles of Health Systems Administration and Management (3)

Program course requirements (21 Credits)

  • TRMD 6010* Biological Basis of Health and Disease (3)
  • TRMD 6050 Medical Helminthology (2)
  • TRMD 6060 Medical Entomology (3)
  • TRMD 6070 Medical Protozoology (2)
  • TRMD 6090 Parasitology Laboratory (1)
  • TRMD 6170 Immunology (3)
  • TRMD 6330 Microbial Diseases of the Tropics (2)
  • TRMD 6420 Tropical Virology (3)
  • TRMD 7020 Infectious Disease Seminar (1+1)

*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..

Contact Us

Department Chair: Preston Marx, PhD

Program Director: Eric Dumonteil, PhD

Department Administrator: Kasi Guillot

Email: tropmed@tulane.edu

Phone: (504) 988-3558

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