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Veterinary Public Health: MPH

Veterinary Public Health

The Master of Public Health (MPH) program at USU trains students to be leaders in the field of Public Health. The MPH provides students with a strong educational and research foundation in biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, sociobehavioral public health, and public health policy and administration. MPH graduates will be prepared for careers in health care professions, academic institutions, local, state, and federal health agencies, private industry, and non-profit organizations.  

The Veterinary Public Health Degree builds on the program of the USU School of Veterinary Medicine by offering specialized training in the emerging Public Health discipline of One Health. Learn to work with veterinarians, ecologists, and physicians to monitor and control public health threats by applying the core disciplines of public health and specialized knowledge of veterinary medicine. Learn how diseases spread among people, animals and the environment. USU provides unique resources for the Veterinary Public Health MPH program with the School of Veterinary Medicine, Agricultural Extension programs, diagnostic laboratories, Institute for Antiviral Research, and strong academic programs in climate sciences, ecology, and natural resources.

Veterinarians who receive an MPH degree can increase their ability to become board certified in Veterinary Preventive Medicine and can seek out diverse positions in public health organizations, academia, and industry that offer opportunities for leadership roles, professional development, and higher pay and benefits. These organizations include:

  • Local, state, and federal health and environmental agencies
  • Colleges and universities
  • Health care organizations
  • Agricultural and food industries
  • International agricultural and development organizations

Potential positions for MPH graduates include:

  • Public health veterinarian
  • Veterinary epidemiologist
  • Animal food safety specialist
  • Wildlife public health specialist
  • Research and  management positions in government, academia, and industry

Admission Requirements

  • Complete the online application
  • Pay the $55 application fee
  • Have a 3.0 or higher GPA on your last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits
  • Provide transcripts of all college/university credits
  • Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation
  • Include a statement of purpose in your online application
  • Prior correspondence with program faculty is encouraged

Master's Degree Plan Option(s)

The MPH requires a minimum of 42 semester credit hours including 15 credits of required core courses, common to all degree options, departmental required courses, elective courses, seminars, and credits for the Plan A, Plan B, or Professional degree options described below.

Plan A option: requires preparation of a thesis, and 6 to 15 thesis credits are required. The semester(s) during which a student registers for thesis credit should correspond as closely as possible to the semester(s) in which the thesis work is done and faculty supervision is provided. The thesis for a Plan A master's degree is to be a contribution to the field of knowledge based on the student's own research, or a treatment and presentation of known subject matter from a new perspective. The student and major professor should decide upon a problem or subject for the thesis study by the end of the student's second semester of graduate study.

Plan B option: requires the production of a scholarly paper and completion of 2-3 credits of thesis research. The Plan B paper is usually a review of literature based on inquiry, systematic research, and analytic critique of the findings. The summary and conclusions developed should enhance knowledge in the discipline. Plan B papers and reports should follow the same format specifications as theses and dissertations and are expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards, even though they may be less intensive and not demand the originality of a Plan A thesis. Plan B papers are defended but are not reviewed by the Graduate School or signed by the dean of graduate studies. Plan B papers must be submitted to the Merrill-Cazier Library.

Professional degree: A master's degree option with no thesis or Plan B paper is available. Those seeking professional degrees must complete a supervised field or professional experience, write a capstone paper about it, and give a presentation on it to the department in which the student is enrolled. Students should contact their advisor early in their program to outline an acceptable project and to be certain that all degree requirements will be met and that all appropriate paperwork has been sent to the School of Graduate Studies.

Jane Kelly, DVM, MS, MPH, DACVPM, DACVM, University if Iowa
Clinical Associate Professor
Area: Veterinary Medicine and Public Health
Office: N/A
Phone: (801) 798-5435

Young-Min Lee, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
Research Associate Professor
Area: Veterinary Medicine and Public Health
Office: IC650, 205L
Phone: (435) 797-9667

Mirella Fica-Meyer, PhD, Ederhard Karls University
Research Faculty
Area: Veterinary Medicine and Public Health
Office: BTEC 213
Phone: (435) 797-1685

Kerry Rood, MS, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, Louisiana State University
Associate Professor
Area: Veterinary health
Office: VSB 209
Phone: (435) 797-1882

Annette Roug, DVM, PhD, N/A
Wildlife Veterinarian
Area: Veterinary Medicine, Wildlife, and Public Health
Office: N/A
Phone: (801) 538-4891

Bart Tarbet, PhD, University of Delaware
Research Assistant Professor
Area: Genetic engineering
Office: VSB 201
Phone: (435) 797-3954

Zhongde Wang, PhD, University of Massachusetts
Associate Professor
Area: Veterinary Medicine and Public Health
Office: USTAR 305K
Phone: (435) 797-9668

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

American Dairy Science Association: ADSA is an organization committed to sustaining and increasing the global dairy industry through the generation, dissemination, and exchange of information and services.

American Society of Animal Science: ASAS is a professional society for animal scientists interested in promoting new ideas and interacting widely with the broad spectrum of animal science professionals. 

International Embryo Transfer Society: IETS and its missions provide access to the most current research and clinical procedures associated with the follicle, ovulation, superovulation, gonadotropins, the embryo, the oocyte, the sperm cell, IVF, IVM, embryonic developmental stages, oocyte cryopreservation, lactation, and embryo transfer/cloning.

Society for the Study of Reproduction: SSR is a group of scientists who share an interest in reproductive biology. 

Utah Veterinary Medical Association: The Utah Veterinary Medical Association (UVMA) is an organization collectively representing the veterinarians of Utah. It seeks to improve the veterinary profession through quality continuing education, active involvement in legislative issues, disaster response planning, community service and public education.

American Veterinary Medical Association: The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), established in 1863, is a not-for-profit association representing more than 89,000 veterinarians working in private and corporate practice, government, industry, academia, and uniformed services. Structured to work for its members, the AVMA acts as a collective voice for its membership and for the profession.

American Association of Food Safety and Public Health Veterinarians (AAFSPHV): AAFSPHV is the nation's premier professional organization dedicated to the collaboration of veterinarians engaged in the practice of food safety, public health, and preventive medicine. The mission of the Association is to promote the science and art of food safety, public health, epidemiology, and preventive medicine by providing an expert forum for the discussion of issues of importance to the veterinary profession and the development of professional recommendations and resolutions. The Association consistently supports programs to promote and improve the professional education, communication, and collaboration among public health veterinarians in order to reduce human illness, animal illness and promote public health.

Labs, Centers, Research

Animal Science Farm: The Animal Science Farm provides facilities for cattle, sheep, swine, and horses. Facilities also include a home for the farm manager, a pavilion for teaching and Cooperative Extension activities, and handling facilities for the various species of livestock.

Caine Dairy Center: The Caine Dairy Center is considered one of the nation's most modern dairy research facilities. The center features a state-of-the-art milking parlor, a heated pavilion for judging cows and teaching, a 60-cowtie stall barn, a feed preparation and behavior research area, and a feeding research unit for 72 cows in loose housing, which has eight stalls for research involving fistulated or catheterized animals. There is also outdoor cow housing with a capacity of 128 animals, which is equipped with meteorological instruments for continuous recording of climatic data. Additionally, the center features heifer and dry cow housing, individual, portable calf housing hutches, and a waste-handling system and lagoons.

Center for Integrated BioSystems: The CIB leads a progressive, interdisciplinary effort in research, core services, and education serving agriculture and life sciences. The CIB is where the first hybrid animal, a mule, was cloned, and was named one of “30 Awesome College Labs” by Popular Science magazine. The CIB has a research program with several active projects in diverse areas of life science that encompass plant, animal, and microbe functional genomics.

Equine Education Center: This modern equine facility accommodates 40 head of horses with two tack rooms, wash racks, feed rooms, two classrooms, and office space that provides a working environment experience. Large indoor and outdoor arenas accommodate more classes, Extension events, and horse shows and clinics. A breeding barn will be a part of the new facility, as donations allow for its eventual completion, to provide students with experience in handling stallions, collecting and evaluating semen, teasing and inseminating mares, and foaling.

Institute for Antiviral Research: The IAR is comprised of a recognized team of scientists representing a spectrum of disciplines, who are researching ways to control viral diseases. The IAR has been involved with the pre-clinical development of several FDA-approved drugs, including Tamiflu, which was recently used to combat H1N1. The main areas of emphasis are respiratory diseases such as influenza and infections caused by emerging viruses, including West Nile virus.

Laboratory Animal Research Center: The LARC is a controlled laboratory that utilizes animals in teaching and research. The proper care of animals is of utmost importance as it relates to the effectiveness of research and the safety of the animals and researchers.

Matthew Hillyard Agricultural Research and Teaching Center: This center provides teaching, research, Cooperative Extension, and professional service to support the animal industries of Utah, the surrounding region, the nation, and the international community. The facility features a veterinary clinic, a teaching laboratory, and a harvest facility.

North Logan Farm: The North Logan Farm facility consists of land, equipment, buildings, and animals (beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and mink) that are used for research, teaching, service, and animal husbandry activities.

USDA ARS Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory: The Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory identifies toxic plants, and its interdisciplinary teams of chemists, geneticists, pathologists, physiologists, plant and range scientists, toxicologists and veterinarians provide an interdisciplinary approach of applied and basic research to develop solutions to intoxication.

Utah Agricultural Experiment Station: The UAES is part of a network of researchers and facilities at the nation’s land-grant universities and is committed to improving agriculture and managing natural resources for the people of Utah. At research facilities on the USU campus and throughout the state, UAES supports hundreds of research projects that promote agriculture and human nutrition and enhance the quality of rural life.

Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory: The UVDL is a cooperative effort by USU and Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. The laboratory provides timely, in-depth, cost-efficient, veterinary diagnostic services to safeguard animal health, protect the agricultural economy, and shield the public against diseases transmissible from animals to humans.

Veterinary Diagnostics and Infectious Disease Research Group: VDID draws on the strength of USU’s College of Agriculture to tackle a $1-billion-a-year market in the United States for animal disease screening and diagnostics.

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