The American Indian (AI) population suffers from among the worst public health disparities in the nation. In the northern plains, including North Dakota, the AI population has the highest rates of death due to diabetes, cancer, infant mortality, unintentional injuries, suicide, and other diseases. Risk factors and social determinants of these disparities include high rates of smoking, substance abuse, poverty, poor nutrition, historical trauma, and other unique circumstances that need to be addressed in the public health arena. In addition, the unique AI health policy considerations and the federal trust responsibility to provide health services to the AI population are poorly understood among most public health leaders.
NDSU is the only MPH Program in the nation offers a curriculum that is specifically designed to prepare graduates to work in AI populations and to improve AI population health. Students will take the required Core MPH coursework (Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Leading and Managing Public Health Systems, Environmental Health, Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health, and Healthcare Delivery in the U.S.). In addition, students will be required to complete the MPH Practicum and the Master’s paper—each will be focused on American Indian Public Health. The 18-credit Specialization Curriculum is described below.
MPH 771: American Indian Health Policy