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MSPH in Tropical Medicine

The MSPH in Tropical Medicine is designed to build a solid knowledge base and core competencies required for professionals in the field of infectious diseases of global public health. Coursework provides a solid foundation in parasitology, vector biology and other infectious diseases of public health significance. Core public health and specialty courses in biological, cellular and epidemiological aspects of infectious pathogens and diseases comprise the curriculum.

Students graduating with the MSPH degree in Tropical Medicine have found careers in public health, biomedical sciences, or related fields at academic institutions, governmental and non-governmental organizations, health care organizations, or biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies. The MSPH degree is perfect for individuals entering the program with the intention of continuing on to doctoral study or a medical degree.

Program Competencies
  • Assess key elements affecting tropical diseases, including the pathogenesis and transmission of diseases commonly found in the tropics.
  • Critique peer-reviewed literature to identify strengths and weaknesses of methodologies, and apply those methodologies used in tropical disease biology research in the context of novel research investigations.
  • Critique strengths and weaknesses of vector and disease control programs.
  • Communicate tropical disease biology research results to peer groups, practitioners, and affected communities.
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. The following additional criteria is preferred for TRMD MSPH applicants:

  •     A major in the biomedical sciences or public health.
  •     A GPA of 3.0 or greater
Degree Program Requirements

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: Nirhbay Kumar, PhD

Department Administrator: Kasi Guillot


Phone: (504) 988-3558

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