Master of Urban and Regional Planning And Master of Public Health. Dual Degree University of Colorado Denver

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1 Master of Urban and Regional Planning And Master of Public Health Dual Degree University of Colorado Denver August 2010 The Degrees: This dual degree program combines the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) and the Master of Public Health (MPH). These respectively are offered by the Department of Planning and Design in the College of Architecture and Planning, and the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). The free-standing MURP is composed of 51 credits of coursework, and the MPH, 42 credits. Students in the dual degree program, however, may earn both degrees upon completion of 66 credits, that is, 27 fewer credits than if each degree were completed independently. The combined curriculum includes the MURP core (27 credits), the MPH Core (17 plus the 2-credit Practicum), an 18-credit concentration, and a 2-credit Dual Masters Project. The MPH will be in one of the five MPH concentrations with a focus on courses related to both urban and regional planning and public health. The MURP encompasses core studies in the history, theory, methods and practice of planning. The MPH encompasses core studies addressing health analysis and assessment (biostatistics and epidemiology), determinants (social and community aspects), contexts (environmental and occupational), and delivery systems. MURP concentrations beyond the core include land use and environmental planning, economic and community development planning, and urban place-making. MURP students may opt to configure uniquely individual concentrations with an advisor s approval. MPH concentrations include community and behavioral health, biostatistics, epidemiology, health systems management and policy, environmental and occupational health. Global health and health disparities constitute a further point of possible focus. A dual MURP/MPH hybrid concentration will satisfy the 18-credit dual degree concentration requirement. The Dual Masters Project (Capstone), for two credits, will be overseen by faculty in both of the two constituent programs. Rationale: The MPH is the primary professional degree in the field of public health. It prepares students for a variety of public health careers: epidemiological and health services research, community needs assessment, environmental and occupational health, health policy, health promotion, and administration of public health programs. MPH

2 graduates find work in research settings, health care settings, industry, government health agencies, community-based organizations and foundations, and global health. Physicians, veterinarians, nurses and other health care professionals comprise a portion of the MPH student body, acquiring graduate training in public health to enhance their understanding of the preventive measures and underlying causes of disease. The MURP degree, on the other hand, prepares professional urban and regional planners fit for a wide variety of career destinations. While many graduates seek and find work for professional planners in the local public sector, more and more pursue opportunities within regional, state and federal governance, and in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Some work outside the Untied States, and for American firms doing work overseas. Study in planning considers how knowledge about communities and regions is compiled and analyzed, social needs are legitimated, possible courses of action are evaluated, plans are formulated, and how plans consequences are tracked over time. Planners must be the masters of implementation. Indeed planning is not merely the contemplation of strategic change. Planners must cultivate the means through which plans are implemented through public education, negotiation, investment, and regulation. The linkage between urban and regional planning and public health is functional and of long-standing recognition. Roman city planners understood if only imperfectly how the placement, and configuration of cities and perhaps also the design of buildings influenced the health of their residents. The Laws of the Indies (Leyes de Indias in Spanish) issued by the Spanish Crown for its American and Philippine possessions not only regulated social, political and economic life in these areas but codified healthful planning practices. By the 19 th century efforts to alleviate urban squalor and foster healthful environs recorded gains as the linkage became better understood. Today we know that the subject of environment and health encompasses a wealth of causalities linking both physiological and psychological health outcomes to environmental conditions. We know for example that the cleanliness of air and water, opportunity for exercise, quality of diet, exposure to contaminants, and excessive exposure to naturally occurring conditions such as sunlight at altitude all influence human health. Perhaps it is only because the range of terrestrial environments that humans occupy is somewhat constrained that we fail to appreciate how sometimes seemingly minor departures from the environmental norm to which humans have acclimated through evolution can yield major health consequences. Given the lengthy history linking urban environments and health one might suppose that this area of scholarship would be well developed and a fit subject for study at many universities. But, in fact, the MURP/MPH Dual Degree is offered at only a handful of American universities, among them are: UC Berkeley, University of North Carolina, and Portland State. The merger of these two intellectual streams, moreover, can yield many distinctive combinations. The design and planning disciplines at UCD s College of Architecture and Planning focus especially upon the built environment and its spatial expression. These, however, are means by which these disciplines aim to affect the quality of life of the residents of towns and cities across the America and the world.

3 The UCD MURP/MPH Dual Degree arises from the commonalities of perspective and purpose shared by its two constituents. Each addresses the plight of populations not individuals. Each seeks proactively to improve the plight of people. A subset of public health s concerns addresses that aspect of the health of people that is dependent upon the places the environments they occupy. The latter of course is the domain of planning. Herein lies our dual mission. Within this domain environmental conditions can stimulate and accommodate the healthful behaviors of individual residents. They can also enable and promote the healthful practices of social, economic and governing institutions. Certainly government has a major role to play as a prime purveyor of essential services and infrastructures that bear directly upon the health of residents. Dual Degree Program Oversight: The dual MURP/MPH will be administered by a MURP/MPH Program Committee made up of four members, two from each degree program. These will be appointed by the Chair of the Department of Planning and Design of the College of Architecture and Planning and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the CSPH. Parameters: Applicants must secure independent admission to each program. After admission to each program, the student will apply for admission to the dual degree program. The dual degree admissions decision will be made by the MURP/MPH Program Committee. Once admitted and designated as a dual degree registrant, the student will graduate from neither degree until the requirements of both are satisfied, as herein enumerated. While many will secure dual admission at the very start of their studies, some will advance into the dual degree after commencing studies in just one of the two fields. It is imperative that dual admission be achieved as early as possible to ensure maximal efficiency and avert course selections that might not advance progress in the dual relationship. Each student is to consult with the designated advisor in each program and maintain an official record of course selections in each unit. Each program shall notify the other if a student enrolled in the dual degree program is expelled or suspended for academic or nonacademic reasons, or is subject to disciplinary action, or is placed on probation, or is otherwise not continued in good standing in that program. In matters involving academic ethics each program shall have jurisdiction to determine under its own procedures whether misconduct has occurred, and the consequences thereof, with respect to credit to be given towards the degree offered by that program and the standing of the student in that program. However, disciplinary expulsion or suspension of any dual degree program student shall apply to both programs as provided by university rules and regulations. If a student is suspended or placed on academic probation or is otherwise not continued in good standing at either of the programs, the adviser in each program may determine whether the student shall be continued in the dual degree program. Termination of dual degree program status of a student, or a student's voluntary withdrawal from the program, terminates both program's obligations based on this Dual Degree Agreement regarding that student. Upon termination or withdrawal, each

4 program may treat the student as a degree student who is not affected by this Dual Degree Agreement and may allow or disallow credit towards the degree offered by that program for courses taken in the other program during the period the student was enrolled in the dual degree program. Curriculum: The dual degree curriculum is composed of the core curricula in each program. The MURP core is composed of 27 credits, and the MPH s core is composed of 17 plus the 2-credit practicum. The dual student is to identify a set of elective courses constituting an 18-credit dual concentration approved by the student s dual advisors. The dual student must also complete a 2-credit Dual Masters Project. This project along with Planning Studio II a 6-credit course within the 27-credit MURP core would constitute a capstone experience and so these two would normally be taken during the latter semesters of study. Please refer to the curricular template provided below. Core and Elective Requirements MPH Core Courses Hrs. MURP Core Courses Hrs. BIOS 6601 Applied Biostatistics I 3 URP 5501 Planning Issues and Processes 3 EPID 6630 Epidemiology 3 URP 5510 Planning Methods I 3 EHOH 6614 Occupational & Environmental Health CBHS 6610 Social & Community Factors in Health 3 URP 5511 Planning Methods II 3 3 URP 5520 Urban Spatial Analysis 3 HSMP 6603 Health Systems & Management 3 URP 5530 Planning Law 3 PUBH 6000 Foundations in Public Health 2 URP 6630 Studio I 6 URP 6631 Studio II 6 Total MPH Core Courses 17 Total URP Core Courses 27 Elective Public Health Courses for MPH Concentration 12 Elective URP Courses 6 Practicum 2 Dual Master s Project 2 Total Required Hours= 66 The Practicum: 2 credits

5 When: Students are expected to engage in a practical field work experience following completion of most of their required courses. Length of Service: Students will work with the practicum coordinator to find an appropriate site to complete 120 field hours in their chosen area of study. The Masters Project (see below) often originates in the Practicum experience. Where: Practicum sites may include health departments or other governmental agencies, medical centers, community-based organizations, related private industry, communitybased research projects or research centers. The Preceptor: Sponsoring sites designate a qualified member of their staff to serve as the student s preceptor. Preceptors will guide the student s experience on site, helping him/her think critically about the meaning of activities, while facilitating interactions with staff and community members. Dual MURP/MPH Masters Project: 2 credits Overview: The culminating academic experience in this dual degree program is a Masters Project that benefits the community or particular target population. Masters projects must contribute meaningfully to the current body of knowledge in the field and may include creating a program plan, program evaluation, publishable paper, or policy initiative. Assigned faculty members and site preceptors provide ongoing support and guidance to students during the project. Link to the Practicum: The project will often be connected to the practicum or the Studio II (MURP core) experience by addressing a need identified by the host site. The project should relate to a student s academic goals and professional interests, as well as demonstrate the student s ability to work independently at the master s level of professional proficiency. Outcome: The final product will be a page paper and a poster presented at the CSPH Public Health Forum held at the end of each semester. Application Information for Each Program: College of Architecture and Planning Phone: Web Site: MURP Deadline: Applications to the MURP program are accepted yearly for fall and spring entry, with respective deadlines of February 15 and October 1. MURP Prior Education: A Bachelor s Degree is required. Successful applicants present degrees from virtually all of the arts and science and professional disciplines. For additional requirements consult the College web site. MPH Work and Study: Perhaps half of all MURP students are employed part-time, many in area firms or agencies within the planning field. A limited number of positions

6 are available within the College, through its research and service centers. A few positions as TA s arise each year. Some, working for area and firms without compensation, may under certain circumstances qualify for Americorps tuition offsets. A limited number of competitive scholarships and Graduate Tuition Aid (GTA) grants are provided each year. Colorado School of Public Health Phone: Web Site: MPH Deadline: Applications to the MPH program are accepted yearly for summer or fall entry, with a deadline of January 2 for regular admission decision. MPH Prior Education: Applicants must have a bachelor s degree. Students who seek public health training have varied backgrounds and levels of experience. Many applicants present a bachelor s degree in a biological or sociological science. Around 35% of the entering class will already have earned a prior graduate or professional degree. Amongst these are ones in nursing, medicine, veterinary medicine, law, social work, and the various laboratory sciences, in addition to urban and regional planning. MPH Work and Study: A significant number of enrolled students are concurrently employed while seeking professional training and advancement. In addition to students who are seeking the MPH as a first professional degree, several physicians, residents training in preventive medicine and occupational and environmental health concurrently obtain the MPH degree. FOR GENERAL CONSULTATION AND ADVISING: MURP: Dr. Thomas Clark, Chairperson, Department of Planning and Design, College of Architecture and Planning at ( ) or Pam Erickson, Student Services Officer at ( ). MPH: Dr. Jack Barnette, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, Colorado School of Public Health at ( ) or Dr. Judy Baxter, Director of Professional Programs at ( ).

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