Why consider a combined degree?
Most people agree that jobs are becoming much more multidisciplinary, particularly in public health. A combined degree is an excellent way to gain an interdisciplinary perspective and increase employment opportunities. In addition, a combined degree can save credit hours over earning these degrees separately, since some coursework may be cross-counted, saving time and money.
As a result of the increasing demand for and on the public health workforce, the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health (COPH) has partnered with several undergraduate programs in Arkansas to create an accelerated, coordinated course of study allowing students to enroll in the MPH program as an undergraduate and receive credit for MPH courses towards their undergraduate degree. Upon graduating with a BA or BS degree, students typically finish the MPH in the next year (thus “4+1”); attaining an undergraduate degree and an MPH within five years, one year after obtaining their undergraduate degree, instead of the typical six. The COPH currently has a 4+1 degree program partnership with Arkansas Baptist College, Hendrix College, Philander Smith College, and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
The M.D./MPH program combines the complete medical school training with a solid foundation in public health, providing students with the clinical skills and science to address health and wellness from the perspective of the individual patient, as well as the community and population. This knowledge and training prepares our graduates with a multidisciplinary perspective when caring for individual patients and understanding the connection between each patient and the health of their community.
Public health law is a rapidly growing field creating a wide variety of employment opportunities for those with knowledge and skills in both law and public health. In the J.D./MPH combined degree program students gain legal knowledge and skills as well as public health theory and practice to understand how public health and law intersect to protect and advance the public’s health. Graduates of this program have a multidisciplinary perspective allowing them to apply their knowledge and skills to legal and public health issues in any field or organization.
Pharmacists are quickly becoming one of the most accessible groups of healthcare professionals for individuals and communities, and pharmacy practice is rapidly expanding to include preventive care and ultimately community healthcare. The PharmD/MPH program combines clinical training with public health theory and practice allowing students to incorporate a preventive and population-based focus into their pharmacy practice. This multidisciplinary approach equips our graduates with the ability to provide treatment and preventive care to the individual and their community.
The MPS/MPH combined degree program affords the student opportunities to apply public health science to a broad range of issues that affect the health and wellness of individuals, communities and populations locally and globally. Students gain a theoretical and practical understanding of how public health and public service intersect at the application of evidence-based interventions to population-level issues. This unique combination of knowledge and skills allows our graduates to find employment in a wide variety of public service organizations and private businesses.