New “3+2” option lets Drake students earn M.P.H. at DMU

Drake UniversityStudents pursuing a bachelor of science degree in health sciences (BSHS) in Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences now have the opportunity to also earn a master’s degree of public health (MPH) at Des Moines University.

This new “3+2” option allows Drake students, after their third year in the BSHS program, to begin taking MPH courses at DMU and concurrently earn credit toward both degrees, completing all course work in a total of five years.

The program allows undergraduate students to begin graduate course work in public health prior to completing their bachelor’s degree. “Drake University has a reputation for excellent undergraduate education in the health sciences, and we are excited to welcome their students to our graduate program,” says Rachel Reimer, Ph.D., MPH program director.

The field of public health is in need of a skilled and highly trained workforce. Participating students will expand their knowledge in the biomedical and clinical sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, health care management and health behavior with additional competencies in promoting and protecting the health of communities and populations. They’ll also benefit from increased interactions with public health and health care professionals and students.

“The MPH program at DMU is driven by a set of competencies that students will be able to put into practice as early as their culminating field experience and capstone project,” Reimer says. “These skills will make these graduates incredibly competitive in the job market.”

These advantages will better equip students to go on to become effective members of health care teams, public policy advocates, researchers in clinical or public health areas, developers of community-based health programs, and leaders in their professions and organizations, and to do so sooner than if they enrolled in a traditional undergraduate program followed by graduate school. They will be able to enter the workforce with a graduate degree at least a year sooner than their peers. In addition, students can complete the two degrees at a lower cost than if they took a traditional path.

“One of the hallmarks of our health sciences degree is the opportunity for students to begin work on graduate degrees while completing their undergraduate program,” says Renae Chesnut, R.Ph., M.B.A., Ed.D., interim dean and professor of pharmacy practice at the Drake College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “We are excited to partner with DMU in the offering of this unique opportunity, since many of our students are interested in pursuing public health careers.”

Drake and Des Moines University have partnered on joint degrees with the MPH program previously, including a joint Pharm.D./MPH and joint J.D./MPH. These programs allow students to pursue two graduate degrees simultaneously. They also provide unique opportunities for professional graduate students to include a population health focus to their graduate work.

For more information about the new BSHS and MPH program, including the application process and requirements, contact the Des Moines University Admissions Office at or the Drake College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at 515-271-3018.

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