Tacoma, Wash. – University of Puget Sound will launch a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) program as part of its ongoing commitment to prepare graduates for leadership in a rapidly changing world. A search for a director for the new program will be conducted this summer, in anticipation of enrolling the first class as early as fall 2021.
“The demand for public health professionals is growing, and the addition of a master’s program is a natural extension of our mission as a liberal arts university,” said University of Puget Sound President Isiaah Crawford. “The M.P.H. program is a key part of the university’s Leadership for a Changing World strategic plan, which calls us to be innovative and forward-looking in meeting the needs of today’s students and the world in which we live. It will provide students with the strong analytical, communication, and interpersonal skills that employers most desire and add to our already strong complement of programs in the health sciences.”
The new degree program will play an important role in addressing shortages in Washington state’s labor market; currently there is only one Council on Education for Public Health-accredited M.P.H. program in Washington state. Over the next few years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment for medical and health services managers will grow by 24.7% in Washington state alone.
The university’s faculty has worked over the past year to develop a 16-unit public health program that can be completed in two years and includes collaboration with academic and professional public health partners throughout the Pacific Northwest. Coursework and practicum experiences will prepare culturally responsive graduates able to promote health equity, community wellness, and the prevention of injury and illness. Topics of study will encompass health disparities and vulnerable populations; health care systems, policy, management and administration; epidemiology; bioethics; and other areas foundational to the advancement of public health.
The university’s commitment to the sciences has increased dramatically over the past two decades with an investment of more than $86 million in state-of-the-art facilities, including new and renovated science laboratories and facilities, and The William T. and Gail T. Weyerhaeuser Center for Health Sciences, which houses classrooms, labs, and occupational and physical therapy outpatient clinics that play an important role in the community’s network of health care providers.