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February 5, 2009

GSPH, Peace Corps join forces

In collaboration with the Peace Corps, the Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) has instituted a program that blends classroom learning with real-world experience for students interested in a career in global health. The Master’s International (MI) track enables students to earn a master’s degree in public health and also volunteer with the Peace Corps.

As countries require more sophisticated knowledge and skills to address growing public health needs ranging from HIV/AIDS prevention to clean water and sanitation, “Peace Corps volunteers are needed who already have established skill sets,” said Sandra Quinn, director of the program and associate dean for student affairs and education at GSPH.

The MI track is an option within behavioral and community health sciences, and infectious diseases and microbiology. Students complete a year of public health study at GSPH, then depart for Peace Corps service for three months of training, followed by two years of field experience. At the completion of their field experience, they return to Pitt for a final year of graduate study.

Bringing the students back into the classroom after Peace Corps service also allows them to share what they have learned with other students, said Quinn.
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