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Health Science Students

Accelerated Master's Degree Program Details

Understanding the Accelerated Master’s Degree Experience

This accelerated program is designed for students to receive a bachelor’s degree and Master of Science degree after a combined five years of study.

This overall program experience involves two phases. Students must complete the criteria outlined in Phase 1 and apply to the accelerated master’s degree program before being accepted into Phase 2.

Phase 1 (Years 1-3)

During a student’s first three years of study, their activities will focus on their undergraduate experience and requirements. During this time, students will complete approximately 80 percent of the credits needed for a bachelor’s degree at their home institution (either Spelman College or the University of Michigan). During these three years, it is ideal for students to take all classes except for their electives. They will also complete prerequisites for their preferred Michigan Public Health master’s program.

Department of Biostatistics Prerequisites
  • Three semesters of calculus, including multivariable calculus
  • One course in matrix or linear algebra
  • One course in statistics or biostatistics
Department of Environmental Health Sciences Prerequisites
  • General Biology and/or Physiology
  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • General Physics
  • Calculus
Department of Nutritional Sciences Prerequisites
  • Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Human Physiology

At the end of year three, students will apply to join the accelerated master’s degree program and enter Phase 2.

Phase 2 (Years 4-5)

Once accepted into the program, a student’s fourth and fifth years of study will focus predominantly on their graduate experience and requirements. Students will take graduate-level courses at Michigan Public Health. These classes will count toward both the master’s degree and the undergraduate degree (at Spelman or the University of Michigan) to fulfill the remaining elective credits required for completion of the students’ bachelor’s degrees. After year four, students will receive their bachelor’s from Spelman College or the University of Michigan, as appropriate, and after year five, they will receive their Master of Science from Michigan Public Health. 

Mapping Out the Program Year-by-Year

Year 1 (Learn and Plan)

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  • Students will learn more about the accelerated master’s degree program by attending webinars and other introductory recruitment activities.
  • Students may meet with advisors at both their home institution and Michigan Public Health to explore their interest in the program and discuss course requirements.

Year 2 (Explore and Pursue)

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  • Students will continue to work with advisors at their home institution and Michigan Public Health to fulfill course requirements and prerequisites.
  • Spelman College students may meet with Michigan Public Health faculty at Spelman College.
  • Students may get to know the Michigan Public Health community through opportunities such as attending research meetings, guest lecturing, taking part in symposia, and more.  

Year 3 (Continue and Prepare)

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  • Students will continue to plan and complete the course schedules they develop with academic advisors.
  • Spelman College students may meet with Michigan Public Health faculty at Spelman College.
    Students will prepare to transition into phase 2 of the program by applying to the University of Michigan School of Public Health by January 15. (Because the student will not yet have their bachelor’s degree, they will apply to be a Non-Candidate for Degree [NCFD] student.)
  • Students may apply to a summer program at Michigan Public Health, such as the Big Data Summer Institute, Future Public Health Leaders Program, Summer Enrichment Program or Summer Research Opportunity Program.

Year 4 (Complete and Begin)

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  • Students accepted into the program will complete graduate-level courses in their chosen field of study (Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, or Nutritional Sciences). These courses will both count toward their master’s degree and fulfill the remaining undergraduate elective credit requirements at Spelman College. 
  • Students will transition from an NCFD student to graduate student by formally applying to enter the University of Michigan graduate program by January 15.
  • At the end of this year, students will earn their bachelor’s degree from their home institution.

Year 5 (Build and Emerge)

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  • Students will build on prior knowledge and experiences by completing courses that fulfill their remaining master’s degree requirements.
  • Students will emerge from the accelerated master’s degree program prepared to pursue further graduate studies or professional positions in their chosen field with a master’s degree from Michigan Public Health.

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