William Sander, DVM, MPH, DACVPM
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The joint DVM-MPH degree program allows Illinois veterinary students to complete, within five years, the requirements for both the professional veterinary medicine degree and the master in public health degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health.
Some of the MPH coursework (42 to 46 semester hours, depending on the division) will be completed during the DVM program, including through online courses. The fifth year of the program typically involves on-site courses in Chicago and concludes with a research-based capstone project (integrated learning experience). The year in Chicago provides a unique perspective surrounded by public health students in an urban environment with excellent support and mentorship.Remote completion of the fifth year may be possible, depending on the division chosen and with approval of the program directors. The default division for the MPH degree is Epidemiology and Biostatistics; other options include Community Health Sciences, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, and Health Policy and Administration.
Why Consider the Joint Veterinary-Public Health Degree Program?
- Superb Career Preparation: By augmenting your excellent veterinary education with a grounding in public health and specific competence in epidemiology, biostatistics, and health policy, you expand your career options far beyond traditional clinical practice.
- Saving Time and Money: Through the joint degree program, the master’s in public health can be obtained with just one additional year of study. You can be earning money as a veterinarian while completing the MPH, and you’ll qualify for in-state tuition for the MPH.
Why Pursue a MPH?
Health challenges posed by domestic and global zoonotic disease emergencies, climate change, environmental toxicants, threats to food safety, and the specter of bioterrorism demand a cross-disciplinary, collaborative approach.
Public health veterinarians are uniquely positioned to solve complex problems that demand effective policy development affecting multiple stakeholders.
Veterinarians trained in both medical and public policy fields have the skills necessary to analyze and integrate information, manage diverse teams, and implement solutions to public health problems.
Students accepted and matriculated into the professional DVM curriculum may apply to the joint DVM-MPH degree program. DVM student applicants must:
- have earned a baccalaureate degree,
- be in good academic standing in the DVM program, and
- meet the requirements for the MPH program at the UIC School of Public Health.
Because the application deadline is February 1 to start the following fall semester, students are encouraged to consult with the director of the DVM-MPH program during the fall semester either in year 1 or year 2. Students may apply as late as the spring of their second year.
Students will automatically be placed into the Epidemiology division at UIC’s School of Public Health program. Once enrolled, students can elect to change divisions, if desired and in consultation with the director of the DVM-MPH program. Other divisions available include Community Health Sciences, Health Policy and Administration, and Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.
Veterinary students take UIC public health core courses online while completing the four years of their veterinary training at the College of Veterinary Medicine. The integrated core curriculum at UIC consists of four online courses counting for 14 semester hours of credit (please see MPH course requirements, page 26-29).
Required Core Courses for the MPH Degree
- Determinants of Public Health (4 hours)*
- Analytic and Research Methods in Public Health Part 1 (3 hours) *
- Analytic and Research Methods in Public Health Part 2 (3 hours) *
- Public Health Systems, Policy, and Management (4 hours) *
- Applied Practice Experience (3-5 hours)
- Integrative Learning Experience (1 hour)
Additional course requirements for the MPH include 6 semester hours of elective courses and 14 to 18 semester hours of required courses that vary according to the division chosen by the students for their MPH degree.
* Denotes ability to complete online
Joint-degree students in the epidemiology division spend a minimum of two semesters in residence at the School of Public Health following completion of the professional veterinary curriculum. For those in the other divisions, options exist to complete the entire degree online.
For applied practice experience (field experience), students can complete the requirements for those credits routinely during their clinical year rotations. For the integrated learning experience (capstone), students are encouraged to structure their research project including hypothesis, plan, and any data collection while in residence in Urbana. This allows for data analysis and final presentation of the project during their year in Chicago.
It is not uncommon for students to complete all online courses, their field experience requirement, and the some of the capstone project during their veterinary curriculum prior to the academic year in Chicago, leaving approximately 21 hours of classwork to complete the MPH. Graduate DVM students, finishing the MPH degree in Chicago, have the opportunity to take elective courses in Chicago, in addition to required courses, and to work in private veterinary practices and other health agencies while completing the MPH program.
MPH Course Requirements (Epidemiology Concentration)
Please see the course requirements for the degree excerpted from the UIC School of Public Health Student Handbook 2019-2020, pages 26 to 29.
Applied Practice Experience and Integrated Learning Experience
Applied practice experiences (field experiences) and the integrated learning experience (capstone project) are opportunities for MPH students to participate in professional public health activities while developing their own meaningful project. The applied practice experience can provide the foundation for the student’s integrated learning experience. The integrated learning experience requires the student to synthesize knowledge acquired in course work and other learning experiences and to apply theory and principles in some aspect of professional public health practice.
Many of the externships that students participate in during their four years of the DVM curriculum qualify for the applied practice experience in the MPH program. Examples of these externships are the CDC epidemiology elective for fourth-year students, externships with the United States Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies, Illinois Department of Public Health, and working at a local health department.
Applied practice experiences and integrated learning experiences can only be counted for credit after students have completed the core courses of the MPH curriculum.
Previous Integrated Learning Experiences
A list of completed capstone projects/integrated learning experiences:
- Hennenfent A. The Impact of Substance Abuse on Food Safety Knowledge and Beliefs in HIV Patients. 2014
- Davis H. Predictors of Success in Salmonella Foodborne Outbreak Investigations in the United States 1998-2010. 2014
- Varela K. Too much of a good thing, global biofuelmandates and food insecurity in Guatemala. 2013
- Szilagyi K. Epigenetics and Health Disparities of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Chicago, IL from 2006-2013. 2013.
- Deutsch JC. Antibiotic Resistance Prevalence in Turtles and Fish from Salt Creek and Busse Woods with Varying Exposure to Outflow from a Wastewater Treatment Plan. 2013
- Burdorf K, The prevalence of E. coli, Enterobacteria and Salmonella in wild bird and cattle populations in central Illinois. 2011.
- Kostiuk SL, Temporal and spatial distribution of blastomycosis cases in humans and dogs in Illinois (2001-2007). 2010.
- Hickey MJ. Simian Immunodeficiency Virus and Parasitism of Chimpanzees at Gombe National Park, Tanzania. 2010
- Pierce Abou-Daoud A. Risk factors for sporadic, non-typhoidal Salmonella in two counties in Illinois. 2012.
- Goel V. The epidemiology of bluetongue and epizootic hemorrhagic disease in Illinois cervid and cattle. 2012.
- Uchtmann, N. Barriers to the development of an integrated One Health surveillance system in Illinois. 2012.
- DeBaene K. A Theoretical Model of an Avian-Human Influenza Outbreak at Lincoln Park Zoo. 2011.
- Eisenbart V. Foodborne Illness Risk Factor Violations and bacterial load in the food preparation areas of Champaign-Urbana restaurants. 2011.
- Mathewson A. MRSA and MRS in horses and their handlers. 2010.
- Wrobel L. Molecular Phylogenetic Analysis of a Geographically and Temporally Matched Set of Candida albicans Isolates from Humans and Nonmigratory Wildlife in Central Illinois. 2010.
- Sweeney I. Exchange of virulence and resistance genes of staph infecting canine companions. 2015 expected.
- Joshi, V. Injuries in shelter workers at the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago, Illinois, 2009-2012. 2014 expected.
- Shobe A. 21st Century Healthy Communities – IPLAN. 2015 expected.
- Rasmussen C. Investigation into enteric bacteria and antibiotic resistance in a novel box turtle population from both a rural and urban landscape. 2016 expected.
- Weldu A. The influence of urban storm water management practices on mosquito blood feeding behavior and the potential for West Nile Virus enzootic amplification. 2016 expected.
- Houle MK. Perspective From the Field: Illegal Puppy Imports Uncovered at JFK Airport. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/importation/bringing-an-animal-into-the-united-states/operation-dog-catcher.html
- Venkat H, Matthews J, Narang J, Sunenshine R, Adams LE, Bunko AM, White JR, Levy C, Sylvester T. Human rabies postexposure prophylaxis knowledge and retention among health professionals by using an online continuing education module: Arizona, 2012 to 2015. Pedagogy in Health Promotion. 2018. Vol 5 (1):14-23. https://doi.org/10.1177/2373379918768329
- Hennenfent AK, DelVento V, Davies-Cole J, Johnson-Clarke F. (2017). Expanding Veterinary biosurveillance in Washington, DC: the creation and utilization of an easily accessible online veterinary based surveillance system. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 138, 70-78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2017.01.009
- Szilágyi KL, Liu C, Zhang X, Wang T, Fortman JD, Zhang W, Garcia JGN. Epigenetic Contribution of the Myosin Light Chain Kinase Gene to the Risk for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Translational Res, doi:10.1016/j.trsl.2016.07.020
- Herrmann JA, Dahm NM, Ruiz MO, Brown WB. Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Tick-Borne Disease Cases among Humans and Canines in Illinois (2000–2009). Env. Health Ins. 2014:8(s2) 15–27 doi: 10.4137/EHi.s16017.
- Johnson YJ, Nadler Y, Field E, Myint MS, O’Hara-Ruiz M, Ruman A, Olson S, Herrmann JA, Briscoe J, Hickey MJ, Kunkle J. Flu at the Zoo: Emergency Management Training for the Nation’s Zoos and Aquariums. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 2014; 11 (3) DOI: 10.1515/jhsem-2013-0052
- Szilágyi K, Garcia JGN, and Zhang W. (2013) Exploring DNA Methylation of MYLK as a Contributor to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Disparities. J Pulm Respir Med, 3(4): e127.
- Hall AJ, Eisenbart VG, Etingue AL, Gould LH, Lopman BA, Parashar UD. Epidemiology of foodborne norovirus outbreaks, United States, 2001-2008. Emerging Infectious Diseases. Vol 18 (10). October 2012.
- Herrmann JA, Kostiuk SL, Dworkin MD, Johnson YJ. Temporal and spatial distribution of blastomycosis cases in humans and dogs in Illinois (2001-2007). JAVMA 239(3), August 1, 2011. 335 – 343.
- Wrobel L, Whittington JK, Pujol C, Oh Soon-Hwan, Ruiz MO, Pfaller MA, Diekema DJ, Soll DR, Hoyer LL. Molecular Phylogenetic Analysis of a Geographically and Temporally Matched Set of Candida albicans Isolates from Humans and Nonmigratory Wildlife in Central Illinois. Eukaryotic Cell September 2008 vol. 7 no. 9 1475-1486.
2019-2020 academic year finances, per semester
In Person In Person Online 12 hours and over 6 to 11 hours Per Credit Hour Resident Tuition $8,098 $5,399 HPA $730 Campus Fees $2,327 $2,141 CHS $806 Total $10,425 $7,540
Expected cost for fifth year = $16,080 to $20,850