Test tubes in a Cornell lab.

Cooperative degree program

  • 5-year B.A./M.P.H. with the University of Iowa College of Public Health

Pursuing a degree program in public health allows you to study how the human lifestyle can impact and improve health and quality of life for populations of people. As a public health professional you may advocate for preventive medicine and the impact of healthy lifestyle choices in a local community setting. You might work with a global team to understand the characteristics of an infectious disease and identify how to prevent it spreading from nation to nation. You might choose to fight for the rights of underserved populations to have equal access to quality healthcare and lobby local, regional, or national governments to create effective laws and policies.

When you pursue your Masters in Public Health you will earn both your B.A. from Cornell College and your M.P.H. from the University of Iowa in a total of five years, saving a full year of graduate level study required for many MPH programs.

How the cooperative MPH program works

First year: No specific course of study is required to enter into the MPH program, but a general course of study in biology, kinesiology, politics, or economics will create a good foundation in your first and second years at Cornell. Let your academic advisor know you’re considering the MPH program so you can plan your sophomore year accordingly.

Sophomore year: Take the University of Iowa’s online course Fundamentals of Public Health to understand the realm of public health and determine if this is the right course of study for you. This course will apply as an elective in the MPH program and qualifies for .75 credits to your Cornell degree whether you apply to the program or choose not to. Work with the Berry Career Institute to identify internships and research opportunities related to public health so you can expand your knowledge of the field.

Junior year: Take the GRE, complete internships and job shadowing opportunities, and apply to participate in the MPH program by spring semester.

Senior year: Complete three graduate level courses (9 semester hours) through the University of Iowa College of Public Health that apply to both your B.A. (2.75 Cornell credits) and your MPH. (One course can be taken during the summer prior to your senior year, and another can be taken the summer after your senior year if desired.) Complete your B.A. and graduate from Cornell.

Fifth year: Complete MPH coursework at the University of Iowa, and graduate from the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa.

MPH concentrations

Once you begin your coursework at the College of Public Health you will choose your course of study from three sub tracks:

  • Epidemiology
  • Community and behavioral health
  • Occupational and environmental health

MPH Careers

As you complete coursework for the MPH you will become knowledgeable in epidemiology, biostatistics, community and behavioral health, occupational and environmental health, and health policy. Program graduates work in a variety of health-related sectors including governmental, non-governmental, and nonprofit organizations. They find work as specialists; such as epidemiologists, biostatisticians, policy makers, administrators, program planners, evaluators, and environmental specialists. A MPH can also lead you to further graduate studies as M.D., D.O., P.T., D.V.M., D.D.S., and M.S.N.

If you have questions about the MPH program, please contact Barbara Christie-Pope, professor of biology.