The University of Georgia will begin training the next generation of public health policy makers, practitioners and researchers in fall 2004, following the approval by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents of a new master’s degree program in public health.
“We are very excited about the new graduate program,” says Arnett C. Mace Jr., senior vice president for academic affairs. “It is a positive step toward further strengthening UGA’s public health programs.”
The interdisciplinary degree program initially will be coordinated by UGA’s Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute and its Division of Public Health. It will be a unique collaboration between many academic units, including the departments of environmental health science and health promotion and behavior.
“Given the current budget limitations within the University System, we are pleased that this program provides a new and very important degree program with essentially no additional cost,” says BHSI director Harry Dailey. “The majority of courses for the M.P.H. already exist in various schools, colleges and departments across campus.”
The master’s of public health program will initially offer courses of study in environmental health science and health promotion and behavior. Specialty areas will eventually be expanded to include gerontology, health communication, nutrition and exercise science.
“We anticipate that the M.P.H. at UGA will be a very popular graduate degree program and serve to strengthen interdisciplinary interactions across campus,” says Phil Williams, BHSI public health division chair and M.P.H. program coordinator.
The university hopes to enroll 30 graduate students this August and expects the program to grow to about 200 students within the next three years.