The Master of Public Health Program (MPH) with a Veterinary Epidemiology Concentration

About the Program

The Master of Public Health Program (MPH) with a Veterinary Epidemiology Concentration is designed to provide graduate training for veterinarians interested in pursuing public health service oriented careers with local, state, federal and international public health and animal health agencies. The MPH program supports the unique role that veterinarians can play as members of the broader public health community. Enrolled students take classes at both North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine (NCSU CVM) and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Enrolled students are veterinarians, Some are recent graduates others have many years of prior veterinary practice experience. The MPH builds on this training, by engaging the collective expertise of faculty mentors, enrolled students, and colleagues representing various local, state and federal agencies working throughout the Research Triangle Area (Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill).

The MPH program with a Veterinary Epidemiology Concentration provides advanced graduate training in epidemiology and the opportunity to take electives in one or more of the following areas:

  • Outbreak investigation and disease eradication;
  • Food safety and security;
  • Field Epidemiology;
  • Community preparedness and disaster management;
  • Geographic information systems and spatial analysis;
  • Livestock health management and trade policy;
  • Public health, and the identification and control of zoonotic pathogens.

Master of Public Health Program with a Veterinary Epidemiology Concentration brochure.

 

NC State College of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Epidemiology Concentration course site.

 
educational objectives

Educational objectives

  • Preparing veterinarians for service-oriented careers in public health;
  • Providing students with a portfolio of problem solving and analytic skills that will facilitate work competence and career advancement in public service and veterinary medicine.

 

 
Career choices
 
The field of veterinary epidemiology provides a wealth of opportunities for veterinarians interested in working with populations on animal, human and environmental health issues. Prior students are engaged in various public health oriented careers with local, state, and federal agencies, non-government agencies..

Practice Areas

  • Outbreak investigation, and disease eradication;
  • Food safety and security;
  • Field epidemiology;
  • Community preparedness and disaster management;
  • Geographic information systems and spatial analysis;
  • Livestock health management and trade policy;
  • Public health and the identification and control of zoonotic pathogens.


Career Opportunities

United States Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS) state veterinary medical officers

Regional epidemiology positions (require additional degree), animal health surveillance, regulatory compliance, outbreak investigation, disease control and eradication

United States Department of Agriculture: Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS) public health veterinarians

Public health veterinarians responsible for ensuring the safety of the commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products moving interstate or exported to other countries, is wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged. Involved in epidemiology, pathology, and evaluation of food safety programs to reduce prevalence of food borne hazards

US Military

  • US Army Veterinary Corps
  • US Air Force Public Health Corps
  • Enter as captain or equivalent; further training to Master’s level (MPH, MVPH) and specialty board certification (e.g., ACLAM, ACVPM) will advance career
  • Food safety, food security, canine corps, preventive medicine


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Epidemiologic intelligence service (EIS)
  • Speciality branches: Special pathogens, Viral and Rickettsial zoonoses, NCID National Center for Infectious Diseases, Global Health, HIV surveillance, Epidemiology Program office


Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

  • Center for Veterinary Medicine
  • Center for Food Safety and Nutrition
  • Drug evaluation and product safety, food safety


State Departments of Agriculture veterinary services

Veterinary medical officers, disease surveillance, outbreak investigation, disease control and eradication, biosecurity

State Departments of Public Health, Epidemiology

  • Case surveillance, outbreak investigation, preventive medicine
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Clinical trials, basic research


Global agencies that hire veterinary epidemiologists

  • Pan American Health Organization
  • World Health Organization
  • US AID
  • United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization
  • Office International des Epizooties
  • Peace Corps

Our goal is for each graduating student to have a sound grasp of the epidemiologic approach to problem solving, outbreak investigation, study design, data storage, data analysis, and data communication. The core curriculum is designed to provide each graduate with a working knowledge of the issues and policies that impact public health, animal agriculture, international trade in animal products, and the risks that challenge the integrity of our food supply. In addition, each graduate will be required to have a thorough understanding of zoonoses, their rapid detection, and alternative approaches that can be used to minimize their effect on human health.

The program requires a minimum of 56 total credit hours and is consistent with MPH requirements in the Department of Epidemiology at UNC CH. The core curriculum is 50 credit hours, and enrolled students supplement these basic courses with a minimum of 6 hours of additional elective specialization courses. To complete the degree requirements students will take courses at both UNC and NCSU from the following curricular areas.

  1. Foundational courses in epidemiology and biostatistics. [24 credit hours]
  2. Courses required for a veterinary epidemiology concentration. [10 credit hours]
  3. Core courses in areas of knowledge basic to public health (health policy and management, social and behavioral sciences, and environmental sciences). [9 credit hours]
  4. Elective courses from the following areas. [at least 6 credit hours]
    • Outbreak investigation and disease eradication;
    • Food safety and security;
    • Field epidemiology;
    • Community preparedness and disaster management
    • Geographic information systems and spatial analysis;
    • Livestock health management and trade policy;
    • Public health, and the identification and control of zoonotic pathogens.
  5. Epidemiology Practice. (The master’s practicum is a planned and supervised component of the curriculum that provides learning opportunities normally not available in the classroom. It is designed to be an intensive, mentored, skill-building experience. The masters practicum provides students with the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom while addressing the masters competencies in the context of a public health field training). [4 credit hours]
  6. Master’s Paper (The Master’s Paper is a thesis substitute and is a major requirement for the MPH degree. The purpose of this capstone experience is to challenge the student to apply epidemiologic principles and methods to a specific clinical or public health issue. In carrying out the project, the student will be expected to select a scientifically relevant, feasible topic, review the body of epidemiological knowledge on the issue, formulate an informative study question and its associated hypothesis(ses), and analyze a dataset to evaluate the study question). [3 credit hours]

This program is designed to be completed over 2 academic years including one summer session. Students would typically begin the program in the fall semester. However students may elect to take one or two statistics classes in the summer session before the first fall semester. This would provide greater elective course selection during the program. For a more enriched experience, students are encouraged to fully develop a specialization area by choosing to take 6 or more credits of the elective specialization courses in one area and completing their masters practicum and paper in that same area.

Check the GPS tab for the Gillings Program Search tool to expand on UNC courses.

Sample Curriculum ( printable copy)

  University Course Number Course Credit
Optional Summer Session NCSU ST511 & ST512 Experimental Statistics for the Biological Sciences (Biomed. Section)
Experimental Statistics, SAS-based data analysis, regression, linear modeling
(3)
(3)
         
Fall 1st Year        
  UNC EPID 710 Fundamentals of Epidemiology 4
  UNC EPID 705 Logic and Probability 2
  UNC EPID 700 SAS 3
  NCSU/UNC   Elective* (3)
  NCSU (UNC) ST 511
(BIOS 600 sub)
Experimental Statistics for the Biological Sciences (Biomed. Section) 3
  NCSU VPH 650 Population Medicine Forum 1
      Total 13
         
Spring 1st Year   Course Number Course Credit
  UNC EPID 715 Theory and Quantitative Methods 4
 
UNC
EPID 716
Epidemiologic Data Analysis
2
  NCSU ST512
(BIOS545 sub)
Experimental Statistics, SAS-based data analysis, regression, linear modeling 3
  NCSU VPH713 Zoonoses and Public Health 3
  NCSU/UNC   Elective* (3)
  NCSU VPH 650 Population Medicine Forum 1
      Total 13
         
Summer 1st Year   Course Number Course Credit
  UNC EPID 900 Epidemiology Practice (master’s practicum) 4
         
Fall 2nd Year   Course Number Course Credit
  UNC HPM 600 Introduction to Health Policy and Management 3
  UNC EPID 718 Epidemiologic Analysis of Binary Data 3
  NCSU(UNC) Tox 715
(ENVR 600 sub)
Environmental Toxicology 3
  NCSU/UNC   Elective* (3)
  NCSU VPH 760 Molecular Technologies for Epidemiologic Investigation 3
  NCSU VPH 650 Population Medicine Forum 1
      Total 13
         
Spring 2nd Year   Course Number Course Credit
  UNC HBHE 600 Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health 3
  NCSU/UNC   Elective* (3)
  NCSU/UNC   Elective* (3)
  UNC EPID 992 Master’s Paper 3
  NCSU VPH 650 Population Medicine Forum 1
      Total 7
         
      Required Credits 50
      Elective Credits 6
      TOTAL CREDITS 56

 

*Sample of Elective Courses (other courses considered on a case-by-case basis)

Food Safety
NCSU FSA 520 Pre-Harvest Food Safety 3
NCSU FSA 530 Post-Harvest Food Safety 3
NCSU FSA 540 Food Safety and Public Health 3
Geographic Information Systems
NCSU GIS 510 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 3
NCSU GIS 530 Principles of Geographic Information Systems 3
UNC GEOG 445 Medical Geography 3
UNC GEOG 450 Population Geography 3
NCSU GIS 520 Advance Geospatial Analysis 3
NCSU MEA/GIS Geospatial modeling and Analysis 3
Community Preparedness and Disaster Management
UNC HPM 420 Community and Public Health Security – Disasters, Terrorism and Emergency Management 3
Global Health
UNC PUBH510 Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Global Health 3
UNC HPM664 Globalization and Health (HPM 664/MCH 664) 3
Field Epidemiology
UNC EPID750 Fundamentals of Public Health Surveillance 3
UNC EPID758 Principles and Methods of Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology 3
UNC EPID759 Methods in Field Epidemiology 3
Trade Policy
NCSU ST 506 Sampling Animal Populations 3
NCSU ST 520 Statistical Principles of Clinical Trials and Epidemiology 3
NCSU VPH580 Veterinary Production Epidemiology 3
NCSU VPH554 Trade and Agricultural Health-on-line 3
NCSU VPH555 Public Health, Sustainable Development and Gender in A Global Context 3
NCSU VPH675 Supervised Public Health Research 1 – 7
NCSU VPH/ FW 720 Epidemiology of Wildlife Diseases 3
NCSU CBS/VPH 784 Principles of Analytic Epidemiology 3

Possible practicum opportunities

Team Epi Aid (Practicum only)
Team Epi-Aid is an award-winning volunteer group at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health that provides students with the opportunity to gain applied public health experience by assisting with outbreak investigations and other public health emergencies, while at the same time providing North Carolina’s local and state health departments with needed surge capacity. More than 120 students are currently members of Team Epi-Aid and have contributed over 6,000 volunteer hours since 2003.

Students will be assigned a joint faculty academic advising team from both the UNC CH Department of Epidemiology and the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine.  Students will complete coursework, practicum and masters paper requirements under the guidance of these joint advisers.

UNC CH Department of Epidemiology

Faculty Profiles

NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine

Faculty Profiles

 
Prospective applicants
 

Please note: persons applying to the program must already have their DVM, VMD, or equivalent, or be enrolled in the senior year of their veterinary professional program with an anticipated date of graduation prior to the initiation of enrollment in the MPH program.

  • DVMs who have just received their degree or have practiced in the field and want to pursue public health service oriented careers with local, state, federal and international public health and animal health agencies
  • DVMs who want an interdisciplinary MPH experience. Students in the MPH – Veterinary Epidemiology Concentration will also have the opportunity to interact with students from other departments and degree programs in many of the courses they will take allowing for a unique interdisciplinary experience.

How to apply link (enroll at UNC)

 
IMPORTANT:   If you are applying for this program please indicate your interest by placing the following text in your Statement of Interest in the application form.  I am interested in the Master of Public Health program with a Veterinary Epidemiology Concentration.

How to apply link (enroll at UNC)

 
Research Triangle Park
 

Research Triangle Park The Research Triangle Park (RTP) is a high-tech research park. It is located near Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill, NC.

Chapel Hill, NC Home to the University of North Carolina

Durham, NC Home to Duke University and North Carolina Central University.

Raleigh, NC Home to North Carolina State University

 

Check out the beta version of our Gillings Program Search (GPS) for prospective students. The GPS provides a search option for our School’s degree and non-degree programs, as well as the ability to drill down to an overview of each program’s quick facts and related information about how to apply. See our tuition and fees page for related information.


 

If you have questions or would like more information about the this program, please contact:

Jay Levine, DVM, MPH
Professor, Epidemiology and Public Health, NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine
Phone: 919 513-6397
Email: Jay_Levine@ncsu.edu

Andrew Olshan, PhD
Department of Epidemiology, Chair
Phone: 919 966-7424
Email: andy_olshan@unc.edu

Questions about the application process should be directed to:
epidemiology@unc.edu.