Interschool Collaborative Programs
Multidisciplinary Masters of Public Health
Master of Studies in Law
Master of Education, Higher Education Administration
Master of Education, Research Methodology
Graduate Certificate in Geriatric Dentistry
Established in 2001, the Multidisciplinary Master of Public Health (MMPH) Program provides an opportunity to meet the needs of a growing number of health science professionals desirous of practicing in a public health setting where data-based concepts, preventive medicine, health promotion, and public health practice will be of benefit. Physicians, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists, nurses, and other doctoral level health professionals participate in this program that is designed to augment their professional training with a flexible curriculum that prepares them to become leaders of the health care industry in the 21st century. Multidisciplinary MPH graduates will practice in areas such as public health agencies or clinical, academic, or instructional settings in the community.
In addition to the MMPH degree, The University of Pittsburgh offers other Masters' level programs that could be of interest to students entering the dental profession. To broaden the scope of these types of opportunities available to students, additional interschool collaborative programs have been established. Two of the programs are in collaboration with the School of Education; and the third with the Graduate School of Public Health. The fourth is in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, which offers a one-year program for a Master of Studies in Law.
As with the MMPH degree, these additional Masters' programs were specifically selected for their potential to enhance career opportunities of our graduating dentists beyond the scope of traditional private practice. In the following descriptions of each individual program, it can be seen that these career opportunities can prepare students to head organizations that assess, plan, and implement interventions designed to promote health and wellness in the general population, to become leaders in health care finance restructuring, and/or to become the future dental school academicians and administrators.
The field of public health dentistry, which includes the ADA- recognized specialty of Dental Public Health*, attracts dentists with a wide range of interest levels and engages them in a variety of community-based activities. Public health dentists promote oral health by assessing the needs of the community, developing oral health policies, and then providing related programs and services. Interested dentists should be well-trained in academic areas such as research methodologies, the delivery and financing of oral health care, and in prevention and control of oral disease. In order to facilitate training and development of public health dentists, The University of Pittsburgh, School of Dental Medicine and the Graduate School of Public Health have established a collaborative effort that affords predoctoral dental students the opportunity to initiate studies leading to a Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree while enrolled in the School of Dental Medicine. The purpose of this program is to: 1) provide selected dental students with training that would enable their pursuit of careers in public health dentistry, and 2) enhance the multidisciplinary training necessary for effective public health leadership. Click here for more details.
The University of Pittsburgh School of Law Master of Studies in Law Degree (MSL) provides education about law to people who use law -- or will use law -- in their careers, who want to learn more about it, but who do not want to become lawyers. You can obtain this degree in one year full-time, or part-time over the course of up to four years. The MSL program consists of regular law school courses with JD students. Law is a pervasive influence on almost all aspects of life in the United States. Most everyone's knowledge about law is very limited because the instruction we receive in school, even in college, is very limited. As we progress in various jobs, many of us come into contact with laws and lawyers and have to conduct our careers in ways that require some knowledge of law, although our education about these laws is often very limited. The Master of Studies in Law program will provide you with an education about how law and the legal process work in general. Many people think that the law can be known simply by looking it up in the library. In truth, there are great gaps in the law -- or as lawyers say, there is no law on that point. By reading cases decided by courts, statutes passed by legislatures, and regulations issued by administrative agencies, you will learn how to reason about what the law would be in a situation in which there currently is no law or no clear law.
The Master of Education in Higher Education Administration degree program is intended to serve those who hold, or aspire to hold, administrative positions in higher education. This program is specifically designed to prepare administrators rather than professors or theoreticians of higher education. Graduates are working in community colleges, four year colleges and universities, and major research universities in the state, nationally, and abroad. Many of these graduates hold faculty positions, as well as a variety of administrative posts including college president, academic vice president and dean, vice president, director of student services, and director of admissions, financial aid, and residence life.
Students in the Master of Education in Research Methodology learn to conduct empirical studies of educational phenomena. The master's degree develops students' competency in three broad research areas: measurement, research design and statistical methods. Students completing the master's degree are capable of participating in applied research projects, translating research findings for application to educational settings, designing and building assessment instruments, and assisting professional educators with analyses and interpretations of data. Many interesting and stimulating jobs are available in research methodology. Graduates of the program are recruited for positions in colleges, universities, testing agencies, research centers, public school systems, and industry.
In response to the current and anticipated educational needs in the area of gerontology, members of the University of Pittsburgh Council on Aging collaborated to create a university-wide Graduate Certificate in Gerontology overseen by the University Center for Social and Urban Research. Two core courses are required. In addition, five courses comprise the curriculum for the Graduate Certificate in Geriatric Dentistry: Dental Care for the Geriatric Population, Aging and Oral Health, Age-Related Changes in the Tissues of the Oral Cavity, Medical and Therapeutic Considerations of Geriatric Dental Patients, and Clinical Geriatric Dentistry. Two of these courses, Aging and Oral Health and Age-Related Changes in the Tissue of the Oral Cavity are offered online. Both Dental Care for the Geriatric Population and Clinical Geriatric Dentistry require the dental student to provide direct care to a medically compromised older adult in the dental school clinic and/or off-site in another facility, such as a nursing home. Dental students who successfully complete the curriculum leading to the Graduate Certificate in Geriatric Dentistry gain additional experience and knowledge in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of the oral health of older adults.
The Curriculum Committee of the School of Dental Medicine drafted guidelines for tracking student participation in the Graduate Certificate Program. The faculty advisor and module team leader must provide, in writing, an assessment as to whether each student is prepared academically and clinically before registration in these courses can be completed. These students are required to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00, need to be current with their patient care responsibilities, have passed Part I of the National Dental Boards, and not be on academic probation or under review for issues of academic integrity. Students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Geriatric Dentistry must meet with their faculty advisor once per semester to assess their progress in the program.