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levo111p

mph in epidemiology vs sociomedical studies (columbia) advice appreciated!

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Hi,

 

So.. I  applied for the MPH in sociomedical studies at Columbia but just got an email from the school saying that the ad com thinks I'm a stronger fit for the MPH in epidemiology (they want to find out whether I'd like to be considered for the MPH in epi instead). 

 

 

 

I'm confused though... I have a background in psychology and indicated in my essay that I want to study the application of psychology/behavioral science in public health (how to improve people's health). This sounds just like what people study at SMS department...  

 

The MPH degree in Sociomedical Sciences (SMS) is designed to train healthcare professionals in the application of theories and methods of social and behavioral sciences to address public health issues. Students are provided with the knowledge to understand the importance of social and behavioral sciences for the health of individuals and communities and the skills to apply this knowledge in the analysis and formulation of public health programs and policies.

 

Since an admission officer emailed me (not someone from ad com), not feeling like I can inquire why they think i'm a better fit for epi....  any insights here anyone as to why they might think i'm a better fit for epi? if there's anyone here attending mailman would love to hear your thoughts. many thanks and good luck to yall! 

 

 

 

 

 

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I know someone who's currently studying SMS at Columbia, and she actually doesn't really recommend it (I guess she says that the faculty doesn't really seem to care about its students). Why not go for epidemiology? It seems like a great track that would allow you to gain a lot of technical skills and be open to a lot of job opportunities in the future. You can always work in a psychology/health-related field later.

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Sorry to resurrect this thread (I'm looking into MPH programs for 2015!), but could you switch into SMS afterward if you decided epi wasn't right for you? Is switching between concentrations prohibited at Columbia/in most schoolsl?

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People's opinions of the department are going to vary, but FWIW I'm getting my PhD in SMS at Columbia and I wholeheartedly disagree.  All of the professors I have interacted with care about their students, many a great deal.  Our DGS is great, too.

 

I think if you want to transfer you have to apply to transfer, and the MPHs are not interchangeable - the core classes you have to take are different for epi and SMS, so you might have to spend an extra semester in school (if not longer) to take the classes you need to take in order to satisfy the requirements.

 

Also - I realize that this is old, but

 

I'm confused though... I have a background in psychology and indicated in my essay that I want to study the application of psychology/behavioral science in public health (how to improve people's health). This sounds just like what people study at SMS department...

 

This is what I do (in SMS) but this is ALSO what epidemiologists do.  Many epidemiologists do social epidemiology, which is the application of the principles of behavioral science to epidemiology.  And the epidemiology MPH is actually a bit more marketable than the one in SMS.

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