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New Master of Global Health Degree Debuts
Ohio Ag Connection - 01/10/2018

From one great college comes two great opportunities to earn valuable master's degrees -- one a tried-and-true program in the Master of Public Health and the other a new Master of Global Health degree.

Enrollment is open at bit.ly/masterglobalhealth for Ohio University's College of Health Sciences and Professions' new Master of Global Health degree and at bit.ly/masterpublichealth for the Master of Public Health degree. Both are in line with strategic priorities introduced by President M. Duane Nellis, specifically strengthening global engagement efforts and promoting interdisciplinary collaborations.

"This is a really new field in the master's training level. There are only a handful in the entire country," said Gillian Ice, director of Global Health and one of the instructors of the new MGH program.

The Department of Interdisciplinary Health Studies has already established an undergraduate and graduate certificate in Global Health but a need was identified that students were becoming more and more interested in coursework and education in the global health field.

Ice said that in addition to students, government agencies and others were showing a desire for more training in program evaluation, research skills and others.

The MGH program has an option of being either a fully online or blended traditional master's program, which Ice said allows students outside of the country to take advantage of the program more easily while accommodating students who want a face-to-face experience as well.

The first cohort launches in fall of 2018 with an application of Feb. 1 for international applicants and June 30 for U.S. citizens.

While the excitement builds for the launch of the MGH, year one of the Masters of Public Health degree in the Department of Social and Public Health is already being deemed a success.

The MPH started last fall with 15 students in the cohort and is a traditional face-to-face master's program. Already the program is getting positive reviews.

"Our program can boast of being one of the few schools that focuses on Rural Public Health," said Gloria Aidoo-Frimpong, a member of the first MPH cohort. "Our program also has flexibility that allows students in addition to focusing on rural health, to specialize and to choose courses throughout the University that are approved by the program director to create a focus or major for themselves. Our professors understand that every student has a different pace of learning and they do strive to ensure that no student is left behind in the class.

Aidoo-Frimpong noted that the faculty involved in the program are excellent both in quality and in terms of accessibility.

Tania Basta, chair of SPH, said that new accreditation standards mean the program's curriculum will have to change a bit but that the program has been well received.

"I think (the students) like the fact that the group is small and they really get to know their faculty and get to work one-on-one with them."

While the MPH currently caters to traditional classroom-based students, Basta predicted that an online component may be added. Additionally, conversations have been conducted on combining the MGH and MPH to allow students taking their second year of the Master's in Global Health program to begin their courses in the Master of Public Health program with nine shared credit hours.

The first cohort will graduate in spring 2018. New students in need of consideration for financial assistance must apply before Feb. 15 while others can apply through April. The next cohort will start in August 2018.

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