Dual-Degree: Master of Biomedical Science / MPH

ABOUT THE MASTER OF BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE / MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH (MBS/MPH) DUAL-DEGREE

In partnership with Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (Newark) and the Rowan Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the School of Public Health offers biomedical science students the opportunity to earn a Master of Biomedical Science (MBS), non-thesis based, alongside a Master of Public Health (MPH). MBS/MPH students will provide students with a strong knowledge of contemporary research methods and scientific foundations in both the biomedical sciences and public health. Individually, the MPH degree program requires 45 credits and the MBS degree program requires 30 credits.

Many students who follow a program in basic biomedical science find themselves drawn to a career in the pharmaceutical, academic or public policy areas that involve public health issues. Similarly, some students who are interested in public health discover that they have inadequate preparation in the basic biomedical sciences. This dual-degree program allows students to gain expertise in the fields of biomedical science and public health and thus produces graduates able to solve problems common to both fields and communicate effectively with the respective professional workforces.

The MBS/MPH dual-degree program is directed towards individuals holding a baccalaureate degree in any discipline of study and who express an interest in public health. Some students may use the program as a terminal degree while others may use it as preparation to pursue the MD, DMD, PhD, or DrPH degrees. Positions that would find such a dual-degree of benefit include:

  • Urban governmental agencies;
  • State and Federal Departments of Health;
  • Non-governmental health organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, etc.; and
  • Pharmaceutical/biotech companies.

Public health officials trained in this program will be academically grounded in biomedical science and will be better prepared to address the complex problems facing the public health workforce in New Jersey and in the nation. The program also benefits students interested in clinical careers by simultaneously preparing them for professional school while broadening their knowledge in public health, with the desired outcome of producing clinicians who are well trained in public health.  For example, public health workers who understand the molecular biology of a pathogen will be in a better position to analyze effective measures to help control the pathogen.  Likewise, basic research scientists, working in an academic, pharmaceutical or biotech environment who understand the epidemiology of a pathogen will be in a better position to design experiments to critically assess ways of immobilizing or destroying the pathogen.

LOCATION

Newark with Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and
Stratford with Rowan Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
*Only the Department of Quantitative Methods: Epidemiology & Biostatistics (in Newark with Rutgers GSBS) and the Department of Health Systems & Policy (in Stratford with Rowan GSBS) at the School of Public Health are currently participating in this dual-degree.

ADMISSIONS

Interested applicants in the MBS/MPH dual-degree program must apply separately to each school. Students may apply to each school simultaneously, or students may already be matriculated at one of the schools and then decide to pursue the dual-degree.  Students in either school may apply to the other school for the dual-degree at any time prior to the completion of their penultimate semester in the degree program for which they were originally admitted.  Once a student has been admitted to both programs, they are then identified as an MBS/MPH dual-degree student. Application for this degree program is available through a School of Public Health campus office.

Admission into the MBS/MPH dual-degree program requires a strong score on the Verbal and Quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) [MCAT scores are also accepted] and a superior undergraduate academic record of achievement. GSBS also requires that applicants have a basic background in biology and chemistry. Undergraduate courses in biochemistry and molecular biology are useful, but not be required.

CURRICULUM

For the MPH degree: Students are required to complete 15 credits of School of Public Health core courses, 15 credits of department required courses, 9 credits of electives and 6 credits of fieldwork. MBS/MPH students may be enrolled full-time or part-time.  In general, required courses are completed in the first two semesters and the remaining coursework is taken during the subsequent semesters. The anticipated length of the program is five semesters of full-time study. MPH core and department courses are offered primarily in the evening during the spring, fall and summer semesters.  Students who are available to take courses during the summer are encouraged to do so if they wish to speed the completion of the program.  Those who wish to begin taking MPH courses after acceptance into the MBS/MPH dual-degree program, but before matriculation in September, may be eligible to take up to two MPH courses by contacting the campus office and completing a Non-Degree Seeking Student Registration form. Visit the MPH degree webpage, the Department of Quantitative Methods' webpage (for Newark), or the Department of Health Systems and Policy's webpage (for Stratford) for more information about the MPH curriculum.

  • For students enrolled at Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences on Newark Campus: Up to nine credits of MBS courses which have direct relevance to public health will fulfill School of Public Health electives. This reduces the number of credits for the MPH from 45 to 36. Identification of the three courses from a student's MBS transcript will be done in consultation with the Department Chair and the student. MBS courses must have a grade of B or better in order to transfer. Students will major in Quantitative Methods, emphasizing Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Injury or Infectious Diseases. Other majors leading to the MPH degree may also be considered. 
  • For students enrolled at Rowan Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences on Stratford Campus: Up to six credits of MBS courses will fulfill School of Public Health electives. This reduces the number of credits for the MPH from 45 to 39. (MBS/MPH students at Rowan will need to take another 3 credits of electives to fulfill the MPH degree requirements.) MBS courses must have a grade of B or better in order to transfer. Students will major in Health Systems & Policy.

For the MBS degree: Students are required to complete 21 credits in the biomedical sciences, composed of two 3-credit mandatory “Fundamental” courses Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Cell Biology; 1 credit of seminar; 2 credits of laboratory rotation; and 12 credits of electives in biomedical sciences, at least three credits should have direct public health relevance. Both Rutgers GSBS and Rowan GSBS will accept 9 credits of coursework from the School of Public Health.

Program Directors for MBS/MPH Dual Degree with Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Science (Newark) and Rowan Graduate School of Biomedical Science (Stratford):
At the School of Public Health, Newark Campus: William E. Halperin, MD, DrPH, MPH
At the School of Public Health, Stratford Campus: Bernadette West, PhD