(OD/MPH) Doctor Of Optometry Program / Master Of Public Health

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Program Description

This coordinated degree program is offered through the UAB School of Optometry and the UAB School of Public Health. Students may focus their MPH in any one of four areas: (1) Environmental Health Science, (2) Epidemiology, (3) Health Behavior, (4) Health Care Organization and Policy or a combination (general MPH). MPH focus courses may be customized to the experience and needs of the student.

Vision disorders and eye diseases are major public health problems, both nationally and internationally. Optometrists with training and experience in public health are needed to assess community needs for vision care services, to determine which factors contribute to treatment and prevention of visual system anomalies, to develop and apply quality assurance systems, to participate and provide leadership in health-related agencies, and to foster public awareness of the need for vision care. The MPH at the UAB School of Public Health prepares students for careers to improve the health and well being of individuals, families, communities and populations, locally and globally. An individual qualified both in optometry and public health is expected to have the capability to develop, administer, and evaluate eye and vision health programs in research projects; design and conduct epidemiological field studies; use statistical methods in data analysis of case-control and cohort studies; develop and implement vision health education programs; and develop occupational health and eye safety programs.

Program Requirements

Students must complete the MPH Core plus 10 credit hours of MPH focus courses for a total of 30 credit hours in addition to the required OD curriculum requirements. Twelve credit hours from the OD curriculum are credited toward the MPH degree for a total of 42 MPH credit hours. Students may complete the MPH degree program totally online, in class, or through a mix of online and in class experiences.

Program Admission Process

Students are admitted separately to the MPH and OD programs. Upon acceptance to the OD program, students will be accepted automatically to the MPH degree program.

Application Process

Students must apply separately to each program. To apply to the UAB School of Optometry, please follow this link for step-by-step instructions: www.uab.edu/optometry/home/admissions.

To apply for the dual MPH, please apply through the Graduate School’s Apply Yourself online application via the following link: https://app.applyyourself.com/AYApplicantLogin/fl_ApplicantLogin.asp?id=uab-grad. Select “MPH dual program” and then the MPH/OD track. Special instructions:

  • Test score field is required, so enter GRE and a date to advance in the application.
  • The reference letter field is also required, so enter three names from the OptomCAS application and select ‘no’ when asked if they will be electronic submission.

Curriculum Planning

Click here for Coordinated Master of Public Health/Doctor of Optometry (MPH/OD) Curriculum Planning Sheet

Contact Information

For additional information concerning the coordinated OD/MPH program contact Michelle Henry in the School of Public Health at henrym@uab.edu or Connie Wright in the School of Optometry at csewell@uab.edu.

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