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Spotlight on Education and Training in Behavioral Medicine
Founded in 1980, the Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) at San Diego State University (SDSU) has a well-established program of education and training, research, and community outreach. Collaborating institutions include the University of California San Diego (USCD) School of Medicine and the San Diego Country Health and Human Services Agency.
The GSPH is actively involved in the local community, offering opportunities for both research and practice-based experience working with a large number of nonprofit community-based health organizations. San Diego’s culturally diverse community and its proximity to Mexico provide opportunities for experiences with issues that may apply to particular ethnic groups.
The SDSU GSPH offers numerous programs of study, spanning undergraduate, masters, doctoral and integrated, concurrent degrees. Its five divisions include an Undergraduate Division and four academic divisions reflecting Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, Health Services Administration, and Occupational and Environmental Health.
Undergraduate program options for students include an undergraduate minor with a Health Science concentration and a BS degree in Health Sciences with an emphasis in Public Health. Masters Degree programs of study are varied and include Master of Science (MS) and Masters in Public Health (MPH) foci. The MS concentrations include Global Emergency Preparedness and Response, Industrial Hygiene, and Toxicology. Several MPH concentrations are available: Biometry, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, and Health Promotion. The Biometry Concentration is an applied biostatistics program focused on public health, medicine, and biology. The Environmental Health Concentration is a professional degree program for students who wish to work as environmental or occupational health practitioners. The Epidemiology Concentration provides training in identification of biological, environmental, social, and behavioral risk factors for human disease as well as determination of the distribution and etiology of health and disease. The Health Promotion concentration emphasizes the behavioral sciences and behavior-environment relationships. A concentration in Health Services Administration is also offered.
Several interdisciplinary, concurrent MPH programs of study are available. The GSPH in tandem with the school of Social Work offers a graduate program leading to a MPH and a Master of Social Work (MSW) with a Health Services Administration concentration. The GSPH and the Center for Latin American Studies offer a program leading to a MPH in Epidemiology, Environmental Health, or Health Promotion and a Master of Arts (MA) in Latin American Studies. The GSPH at SDSU and the UCSD School of Medicine, offer a collaborative education effort to enable UCSD medical students to also obtain the MPH degree.
Several doctoral degrees are also offered jointly by the SDSU and UCSD. These doctoral programs (PhD in Public Health) are in three concentration areas: Epidemiology, Health Behavioral Sciences, and Global Health. A concentration in Epidemiology includes several specialization options including infectious and chronic diseases, exercise science, medical geography, and behavioral epidemiology. A concentration in Health Behavioral Science emphasizes applied behavioral analysis, social cognitive theory, and ecological models for population application; qualitative and quantitative research methods; and the application of interventions and research methods to health behavior in disenfranchised populations. A new concentration in Global Health emphasizes specific skills related to public health research and leadership in global health settings.
The GSPH provides numerous opportunities for field placements with local agencies and organizations.