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Meeting of the Board of Regents | July 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 - 11:20pm

sed seal                                                                                                 







Johanna Duncan-Poitier




Yeshiva University:  Master plan amendment authorizing the University to offer a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree program



July 9, 2008



Goals 2 and 4






Issue for Decision (Consent Agenda)


Should the Board of Regents approve a master plan amendment authorizing Yeshiva University to offer a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree program?


Reason(s) for Consideration

              Required by State regulation.


Proposed Handling


The question will come before the full Board at its July 2008 meeting where it will be voted on and action taken.


Procedural History


Master plan amendment is required because the proposed program will be the University’s first master’s degree program in the discipline of the health sciences.


Background Information


The mission/goal of the proposed Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree program of Yeshiva University is to provide the knowledge and training to enable students and professionals from diverse disciplines to incorporate a public health perspective into their work.  The program seeks to produce leaders in public health who conduct scholarly inter-professional research that improves health, enhances well-being and promotes social justice, both locally and globally. The Master of Public Health program is built around case studies and service-learning methods, and provides opportunities for establishing sustainable academic-community collaborations.  The program seeks students and professionals from diverse fields of training who wish to incorporate a public health perspective into their work.


The proposed program is a two-year, full-time program requiring 42 credit hours, including five required core courses from each of the five major public health knowledge areas: biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, health services administration, and social and behavioral sciences. The Master of Public Health degree program also includes a thesis project and practicum/practice-based research, reflecting the program’s strong emphasis on practice-based research using service-learning as a primary educational method.  


Program graduates will be prepared to meet the complex challenges that face health care administrators, clinicians, educators, policy makers and researchers as well as business, governments, research groups, health advocacy groups, and national and international health organizations.


There are several major elements that make this program important to the State of New York and to the broader communities:


  1. the program’s headquarters is located at the Jack & Pearl Resnick Campus, Bronx, New York;
  2. the focus on the interface between behavior and health;
  3. the target audience of physician-students and other professionals; and
  4. the focus on public health research and its applications.


The target audience will be students within Yeshiva University enrolled in graduate programs in medicine, psychology, law, and social work, and post-graduates (such as residents and fellows) at affiliated medical institutions.  Based on the large number of current Yeshiva University students who pursue Master of Public Health programs off-campus, and the interest expressed within the graduate medical education community, enrollment is anticipated to be 20 students in 2008 and 25 students in each subsequent year, for a total target population of 125 in five years.


There are currently three full-time faculty assigned to the program.  Three additional full-time faculty will be hired upon program approval.  The proposed program will draw upon 18 faculty from across the university who are full-time in the university but part-time in the program.  All faculty in the program possess earned doctorates in appropriate fields of study.


The facilities, equipment, and other academic resources are provided by Yeshiva University, drawing primarily upon the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. The library for the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) program is the Gottesman Health Sciences Library which holds 195,200 volumes and more than 4,000 e-journals, including most of the current public health research and practice journals. Locally mounted MEDLINE and PsycINFO (OVID Technologies, vendor) are available via remote access, and wireless internet connection is available at all times. The library offers a wide range of support services to its users. 


The University has identified numerous employment opportunities for program graduates: universities, government agencies (health departments and health care finance; environmental protection; other regulatory agencies), foundations, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, U.S. aid agencies, a variety of for-profit corporations (e.g., pharmaceutical, biotech, informatics and medical device industries), as well as medical centers, health centers, health insurers/plans, hospitals (public or private), and physician group practices.


According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical scientists is expected to increase 20 percent over the next decade, faster than the average for all other occupations.  The annual mean wages for medical scientists in the New York City area were $78,930 in May 2007.


The University intends to seek accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) in 2011.


The Department canvassed all higher education institutions in New York City.  Seven institutions responded.  None raised any concerns about, or objections to, the proposed Master of Public Health program. 




It is recommended that the Board of Regents approve the amendment to the master plan of Yeshiva University authorizing the University to offer the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree program in Public Health.  This amendment will be effective until July 31, 2009, unless the program is registered by the Department prior to that date, in which case master plan amendment shall be without term.


Timetable for Implementation


If the Board of Regents approves the degree authorization and the master plan amendment, the Department will register the program and the University will proceed to recruit and enroll program students.