Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is On the Rise

Make Way for Tulane SPHTM!

The Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is one of the Best Graduate Schools in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report, which released its annual rankings for graduate schools today. 


Tulane now sits at No. 12 on the list of best schools and programs of public health, up two spots from 2022. 


“I’m of course pleased to see the school’s rise in the rankings. This increase represents the resources and efforts we’ve put in over the past few years and is just the beginning of many good things to come,” said Dr. Thomas A. LaVeist, dean of the school since 2018. 


Under the dean’s leadership a number of strategic goals have been reached including a refocus on local health initiatives to go along with the school’s extensive history in global health. Health equity has been elevated as central to all of the school’s planning. Faculty and leadership at the school are now much more diverse, and there’s a growing focus on diversity in procurement practices at both the school and university level. 


While the faculty tenure and promotion process has been redesigned and a brand new staff council has been initiated, it’s in the student realm that the school has seen its biggest changes. The newly rebranded Office of Student Experience has greatly expanded programming for students and affinity groups, launched a multi-layered advising team, and expanded Career Services to include a Career Studio, an interview room, and year-round workshops and consultations to help students plan their careers.


“The school has grown exponentially in many positive ways,” said LaVeist. We’ve nearly doubled our admissions, put a laser focus on the student experience at the school, and introduced new programs like the wildly popular Doctor of Public Health in Leadership, Advocacy, and Equity.”


Always a leader

The Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine was the first such school in the country, originally launched in 1912, although the university’s roots in public health go back even further. 


“While Tulane began as a medical school, the problems that the founders were dealing with – cholera, smallpox, Yellow fever – those are public health issues,” points out LaVeist. “The original Department of Tropical Medicine addressing the ever-present concern of infectious diseases still exists today in our school.”


The overall school rankings were not the only bright spot. The Master of Health Administration Program also rose in the rankings from No. 17 to No. 16. 


“Tulane had one of the very first MHA programs and we’ve expanded that program to the online space,” said Dr. Lizheng Shi, interim chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management. “We recently hired Dr. David Washburn to serve as director of the MHA for both the residential and online programs, and he has exciting plans to help that program continue to excel.”


The school was also named in four out of five new specialty areas in the public health rankings, in environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health policy and management, and social and behavioral sciences,


“It’s a very exciting time to be at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine,” says LaVeist. “We look forward to moving into the fully renovated Charity Hospital building in the next few years. Students will be able to learn and study in state-of-the-art facilities in a space that has been custom designed for us.”


He adds, “All of the investments we’ve made as a school and that the university has made in us represent an inflection point, a launching pad if you will, and SPHTM is ready to take off!”