New master of public health degree accepting applications

Special half-day introductory event on Feb. 13

People committed to improving the health of vulnerable communities and populations have a new degree option at Washington University in St. Louis — a Master of Public Health (MPH). The MPH Program at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work is accepting applications for its first class.

“Health care is a significant part of our current economic and environmental crisis,” says Timothy McBride, Ph.D., professor and associate dean for public health at the Brown School.

“Key components of any solution will include the creation and implementation of evidence-based programs, such as health promotion and disease prevention, targeted to at-risk populations and communities. This will create greater opportunities for those interested in public health.”

As part of the public health curriculum, students will take core courses in behavioral health, biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, and health policy and management. The curriculum will also draw upon a wide range of disciplines including economics, medicine, psychology, social work, and sociology.

A unique feature of the proposed curriculum is a set of special interdisciplinary problem solving courses. These intensive seminars will allow students to work in small teams to focus on a specific public health issue such as obesity, diabetes, Medicare reform, global climate change, cancer prevention, or international health.

Students will simultaneously participate in courses to help build analytical, research, presentation, leadership, and team-building skills.

“One of the unique and exciting aspects of our program is the connection between the public health and social work professions because both have the needs of communities at the heart of what they do,” McBride adds.

“Improving the quality of services delivered by health and human service organizations is a key element of the Brown School’s mission. The content of our MPH degree already fits with the research and professional interests of our faculty, students, and graduates, many of whom work in administrative or policy roles in health care settings.”

The Brown School regularly hosts information sessions about its academic programs. The School plans a special half-day “Focus on MPH” event on February 13 from 8:30 – 1:30 p.m. Individuals who have applied or plan to apply for the fall 2009 semester should attend. The event will be held in Brown Hall Lounge.

For more information about the MPH Program visit: or contact the Office of Admissions and Recruitment at 314-935-6676 or e-mail