Cornell's new Master of Public Health program begins classes

Outbreaks of infectious diseases, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and foodborne diseases are happening around the globe, making comprehensive public health assessment, planning and action crucial. This semester, a diverse group of 15 students began their journey to learn how to address these issues as members of the new Master of Public Health (MPH) graduate program.

Housed in the Graduate School and administered through the College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell’s MPH incorporates both a “One Health” philosophy that focuses on how humans, animals and the environment are connected, and a “Planetary Health” philosophy that places sustainability and equity at the core of action.

“Our health today comes at the expense of the health of our children,” said Gen Meredith, associate director of the MPH program and of International Programs in the College of Veterinary Medicine. “We need a variety of engaged minds around one table to collaboratively understand and collectively address complex problems that are public health today. Cornell’s MPH program will prepare graduates to be a leader in public health at the municipal, state, national and international levels."

Students have chosen to specialize in one of two concentration areas ­– Infectious Disease Epidemiology or Food Systems and Health.

The Infectious Disease Epidemiology program trains students to help prevent and respond to emerging viral, bacterial, or parasitic disease outbreaks, and to lead a coordinated response to address the public heath need.

Graduates from the Food Systems and Health program will be trained to assess and coordinate policy, programs, or interventions that ensure safe and sustainable land use, food production, food storage and processing, food delivery, and consumption, helping to prevent and reduce the global burden of chronic diseases and food-borne diseases.