MPVM vs. MPH

What’s the difference between MPVM and MPH?

MPVM

MPH

Admission requirements

DVM or MD (or equivalent)

Bachelor’s degree

Anticipated career

Veterinary population health, academia, or public health

Public health

Required epidemiology coursework

12 units

4 units

Required biostatistics coursework

12 units

8 units

Units required

50

56

Emphasis

Infectious disease

Non-infectious disease

Research component

Yes

No

Culminating experience

Publishable manuscript

Practicum

Builds towards PhD

Yes

No

In general, an MPH degree prepares students for careers in the US Public Health system.  MPH programs emphasize human health, and seek to promote and protect health and reduce health disparities in human populations.  The biggest issues in human health are typically non-infectious chronic diseases, so most MPH programs do not have an infectious disease focus and emphasize issues related to behavior modification.  MPH programs include core coursework in Health Services Administration, Environmental Science, and Social & Behavioral Aspects of Public Health, in addition to epidemiology and biostatistics.  Students can take electives in epidemiology, biostatistics, general public health, or other topics.

An MPVM degree is intended to prepare students for leadership roles in veterinary population health worldwide.  Infectious diseases are emphasized, though the principles learned apply to non-infectious conditions as well.  Knowledge of disease processes is assumed.  The MPVM program includes core coursework in Infectious Disease Surveillance & Control, Applied Research, Leadership & Risk Communication, and Emerging Issues in One Health, in addition to more epidemiology and biostatistics coursework than is required for an MPH.  Electives allow for exploration of risk analysis, simulation modeling, diagnostic test evaluation, ecology, zoonoses, food safety, and other areas.

Upon completion of the MPVM, a veterinarian or physician will know how to conduct a research study to address a population health or productivity issue.  This includes developing a hypothesis, designing the study, collecting and analyzing the data, interpreting the results, and communicating those results to policy-makers, scientists, and the public.  Graduates have the skills to review and evaluate disease control programs or other veterinary services programs.  Graduates are prepared to be field epidemiologists, and also have the foundation to transition into a PhD program in epidemiology, ecology, integrative pathobiology, or another discipline.