Leaders at the School of Rural Public Health (SRPH), part of The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, and the Biomedical Sciences Program of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine will sign an agreement today that allows students to obtain both a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences and a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) in five years.
The signing takes place Wednesday, August 6, at 4 p.m. at the College Of Veterinary Medicine Office of the Dean on Texas A&M University’s west campus. Ciro V. Sumaya, M.D., M.P.H.T.M., dean of the School of Rural Public Health, and H. Richard Adams, D.V.M., Ph.D., dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, will sign the agreement.
The joint program allows students to reduce the time necessary to acquire an M.P.H. by receiving dual credit for courses taken as an undergraduate student. With the current increase in antibiotic-resistant disease and concerns about bioterrorism, many physicians have an increased need for experience in public health. In addition, many rural veterinarians find themselves in the position of being the only public health professional in a large area.
The program could also serve as a preliminary step to an advanced graduate degree in other health-related fields.
“We’re pleased to be working with the College of Veterinary Medicine on this program,” Sumaya said. “We currently participate in some research projects together and some of our faculty have joint appointments with the College. Many of our students have come to us from the BIMS program, so we are excited to make the educational link official and facilitate this professional career path. Dr. K.C. Donnelly, our department head for environmental and occupational health, has been instrumental in establishing this joint program.”
The program is scheduled to be available to students beginning in the 2003 Fall semester.
The College of Veterinary Medicine was established in 1916 and since that time has graduated over 5,600 veterinarians. It is one of only 31 Colleges of Veterinary Medicine in the United States and Canada.
The School of Rural Public Health was established in 1995 and admitted its first class of students in 1998. The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its five components located in communities throughout Texas are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology and the School of Rural Public Health.

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