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New NYU Dual Degree Program Combines Dentistry and Global Public Health

Dr. Gustavo Cruz
NYU has introduced a new full-time, dual degree program that enables students to earn both a dental (DDS) degree and a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Global Public Health in five years, rather than the customary six.

“Oral health conditions like tooth decay, periodontal disease, and oral cancer have become major global health concerns,” explains the program director, Dr. Gustavo D. Cruz, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology & Health Promotion and Director of Public Health Promotion at the NYU College of Dentistry. “This new program teaches dentists to address those concerns by integrating oral health promotion and disease prevention into public health policy at the international level.”

Faculty from the College of Dentistry teach core courses covering regional and national differences in oral health delivery, policy, disease prevention and health promotion; social and cultural factors influencing health behavior; and oral public health research. Additional core courses are designed to prepare graduates to understand the contribution of specialists from other fields to international public health and are taught by faculty from throughout the University, including the College of Nursing, the School of Medicine, School of Social Work, Steinhardt School of Education, and Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. There are also opportunities to take elective courses at any of the NYU schools, subject to the approval of the student’s advisor.

Students fulfill their DDS didactic requirements in the program’s first and second years. Adjustments are then made to the standard DDS clinical training schedule to enable them to balance MPH degree coursework with clinical instruction in the third through fifth years. Fifth-year students also undertake an overseas public health assignment, such as designing an oral cancer prevention program for a rural community in a developing country.

Applicants must be accepted separately by the MPH and DDS programs. DDS students have the option of waiting until the first semester of their second year to apply to the MPH program.

“We are training students to understand the intricacies of oral health from both a clinician’s and a policymaker’s perspective so that they can assume leadership roles in the government agencies and private sector organizations that develop international health policy,” said Dr. Richard I. Vogel, Interim Dean of the College of Dentistry.

The application deadline for the dual degree program is December 15th. For additional information, call (212) 992-MPH1 (6741), email globalmph@nyu.edu, log on to www.nyu.edu/mph, or visit an open house on October 16, 5:30-7:30 at Kimball Hall Lounge, 246 Greene Street, First Floor.

NYU also offers an MPH degree in Global Public Health with a concentration in oral health for students who already hold a dental or other advanced degree. The program is available on both a full- and a part-time basis.

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