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Religion & Public Health (MDiv/MPH and MAR/MPH)

Those who wish to improve the spiritual health and physical well-being of populations should consider the joint-degree program offered by Yale Divinity School and the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH). In this program students have the opportunity to do cutting-edge research on many of today’s most pressing public health questions in conjunction with their investigations into the theological dimensions of ancient and modern thought. Doing so affords students the ability to engage with complex public health problems, be they present in a nation or congregation, while cultivating an awareness of the spiritual realities of the world and its people. Depending on the character of their vocations, students may choose to apply for joint-degree programs in either Master of Divinity/Master of Public Health or Master of Arts in Religion/Master of Public Health

The joint degree program typically requires three years of study for the Master of Arts in Religion/Master of Public Health and four years of study for the Master of Divinity/Master of Public Health. The Divinity and Public Health degrees are awarded simultaneously at the conclusion of the designated period of study.

A joint degree is more than simply a list of courses taken at both Schools. It is an integrated educational program which is designed to achieve a combination of the two programs in a way that is complementary to both while protecting the integrity of each separate program.

Curriculum

MAR/MPH

The normal pattern for this joint degree requires candidates to spend the entire first year almost exclusively in one school and the entire second year almost exclusively in the other. In the third year, they register for one semester in each school, and complete both programs by the end of that year. Some students pursue other schedules of attending courses at the two schools. The two schools have made accommodations in order to make possible the completion of the joint courses of study in three years without burdening students with extraordinary course loads in any term. Requirements for both degrees must be completed to receive diplomas from YSPH and YDS for the joint degree program.

MDIV/MPH

The normal pattern for this joint degree requires candidates to spend the entire first year almost exclusively in one school and the entire second year almost exclusively in the other. In the third and fourth years, students register for three semesters in the Divinity school and one semester in the School of Public Health, and complete both programs by the end of the fourth year. Some students pursue other schedules of attending courses at the two schools. The two schools have made accommodations in order to make possible the completion of the joint courses of study in four years without burdening students with extraordinary course loads in any term. Requirements for both degrees must be completed to receive diplomas from YSPH and YDS for the joint degree program.

Course planning for joint degree candidates should be carried out in consultation with the appropriate educational officers at the Yale Divinity School and the Yale School of Public Health, and must satisfy the following general requirements.

The Public Health Component

Joint degree candidates must complete all of the core MPH courses as described in the School of PublicHealth Bulletin. All MPH students must complete the following core courses:

  • EPH 100a – Professional Skills Series (no credit)
  • EPH 505a - Biostatistics in Public Health (not required for BIS)
  • EPH 507a - Social Justice and Health Equity
  • EPH 508a - Foundations of Epidemiology and Public Health
  • EPH 510a - Health Policy and Health Care Systems
  • EPH 513b - Major Health Threats: Determinants and Solutions
  • EPH 515a - Ethics and Public Health: An Introduction (no credit)

Students must also complete all departmental requirements, an internship/ public health practice experience and the thesis/ capstone course. Students in any of the YSPH academic departments are eligible for the joint degree program.

The following exceptions to the standard YSPH curriculum apply to joint degree students:

The total number of YSPH course units required for the joint degree is reduced from 20 to 15. The MPH thesis counts as two course units. (If a student obtains an exemption for a required course, an elective must be substituted; an exemption does not reduce the total number of required course units below 15.) The YSPH Committee on Academic Progress reviews each student’s progress toward the YSPH component of the joint degree.

The Divinity School Component

Joint degree candidates must complete all Area and other required courses for their degree program as described in the Divinity School Bulletin. Some courses taken at the School of Public Health may meet requirements at the Divinity School, but specifics must be negotiated with the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and the student’s faculty advisor. The total number of Divinity School credit hours for the MDiv joint degree is reduced from 72 to 60. The total number of Divinity School credit hours for the MAR joint degree is reduced from 48 to 36.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Joint degree candidates will be responsible for remitting all terms of tuition to YSPH. The terms are academic year 1, and either fall/spring semester of year 3. The Joint degree candidate is also responsible for remitting all terms of tuition to PA. The terms are academic year 2, either fall/spring semester of year 3, and fall of year 4.

Tuition is paid to the school where the student is in residence. Students requesting financial aid during a particular semester must make arrangements with the school charging tuition during that semester. For students with dependents, who are eligible for the Enhanced Family Medical Benefit Program (EFMB), fee assistance will only apply during the enrollment period at the PA Program.

Tuition, fees, and financial aid policies may differ between the two schools. Financial aid applications will be judged by each school according to its own policy. Students should consult the financial aid officers in each school for a description of their respective policies.