An integral component of the new MPH curriculum, small group sessions called the “Integration of Science and Practice” bridge the gap between what you traditionally learn in a classroom and the real-world experience of working as a public health professional.
The curriculum consists largely of case studies drawn from history and current events. The case study method teaches behaviors critical to professional success, such as negotiation, persuasion, team thinking, public speaking, and critical judgment.
You will analyze the cases in small interdisciplinary teams of 20 that include students from other academic departments, guided by a faculty member and a teaching assistant. Over the course of three semesters you will have an invaluable opportunity to get to know your ISP professor, teaching assistant, and teammates as you grapple with challenges and dilemmas that public health professionals have actually confronted. For example, what happens when programs intended to improve the health of a community conflict with local values and traditions?
Assignments will be in the form of labs. You may be asked to write a policy brief, identify what evidence is missing or necessary to make a decision, plan a media briefing, find citations in the scientific literature relevant to a case study, or identify the key aspects of an effective health intervention program. Both the nature of these labs and the teamwork involved will hone your problem-solving skills and your ability to apply public health theory to professional practice.