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University of Michigan School of Public Health and Spelman College to Offer Accelerated Master’s Degree Share a Spelman College Press Release


Jazmyn Burton
Spelman College

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ATLANTA (July 27, 2021) A new partnership between Spelman College and the University of Michigan School of Public Health will offer an accelerated pathway to earn a master’s degree in three public health disciplines.

In the five-year accelerated study program, students will earn a bachelor's degree from Spelman and a Master of Science degree from the University of Michigan. The partnership expands on both institution’s backgrounds in collaborative education and programs.

“The demand for public health specialists is unprecedented. Spelman College Health Careers Program wants to provide a clear and seamless pathway for students to gain both their Bachelors and Masters degrees," said Rosalind Gregory-Bass, M.D., C'92, director of the Health Careers Program and associate professor in the Environmental and Health Sciences Program. " This short timeframe will allow us to meet the global demand for diverse biostatisticians, environmental health scientists and nutrition specialists. Spelman College and the University of Michigan will have a unique mutually beneficial partnership, not only focused on the career development of students, but that of faculty, as well.”

Through the program, students will spend their first three years at Spelman taking courses to fulfill the requirements to earn a bachelor’s degree. In the third year of undergraduate study, students will apply for admission to the accelerated master’s program and upon acceptance will begin graduate courses at the University of Michigan.

Program candidates are eligible to seek a Master of Science from Michigan Public Health’s departments of Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, or Nutritional Sciences.

“We are excited to partner with the University of Michigan to help our students gain access to a program that will accelerate their ability to address public health issues in the African American community and beyond,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. “Through this program our students will graduate with a highly competitive degree and enter their careers poised to address the social and medical inequities that lead to health disparities in the nation’s most vulnerable communities.”

This holistic and bi-directional partnership will extend beyond the accelerated master’s degree program into other collaborative opportunities between Spelman and the University of Michigan School of Public Health. 

“In public health, we strive to improve the well-being of communities, and that means our workforce must broadly reflect all of the communities we serve. This past year has demonstrated the critical importance of educating a diverse array of highly skilled and adaptable public health professionals who can help us respond to the most pressing challenges,” said DuBois Bowman, Dean of Michigan Public Health. “Our school is proud to partner with Spelman  on this new educational offering, and we’re delighted to be part of the educational journeys of Spelman’s exceptional students as they become the public health leaders of tomorrow.”

Degrees are offered through the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School. This accelerated program is also open to current undergraduates at the University of Michigan.

More information on the accelerated master’s degree program can be found on Spelman's website.

About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 54 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 19 for undergraduate teaching, No. 4 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 14th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and partnerships have been established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit Spelman College.


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