by Shelley Ardonne
The World Report on Hearing, released by the World Health Organization, recognized a crucial need for hearing healthcare professionals to widen their view of hearing loss prevention and treatment beyond the clinical and individual perspectives. In line with the objectives of the report, Dr. Sarah Warren of the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Dr. Marian Levy of the School of Public Health teamed up to create a dual Doctor of Audiology and Master of Public Health (AuD/MPH) degree track. The AuD/MPH program is the only degree program of its kind in the United States. The program provides interested AuD students the opportunity to combine their audiologic clinical education with the population-level perspective that the MPH provides.
Dr. Sarah Warren
The AuD/MPH track is geared towards students who are interested in healthcare leadership, healthcare access, interprofessional practice, research at the population level, community health, and humanitarian work. This dual degree program is designed to be completed in the four years that an AuD requires but offers students the flexibility of completing the MPH within seven years. The traditional AuD class schedule is supplemented each semester with an additional MPH class. Public health courses can be chosen as AuD electives, and the student's research project for their AuD combines audiologic and public health components. Examples of the public health courses that can be taken are Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health, and Health Policy and Organization. Upon graduation, the student will have completed 99 credit hours in audiology and 42 credit hours in public health.
In addition to the dual-degree program, AuD students also have the option to complete a graduate certificate in Population Hearing Health, which requires 15 credit hours of coursework. This certificate is ideal for students who are interested in the treatment of hearing loss on a broader scale, but do not wish to enroll in the MPH program. This certificate can also be completed by students in other AuD programs and practicing professionals who would like to learn more about public health. The required courses for this certificate are Special Topics: Population Hearing Health, Epidemiology in Public Health, and Foundations of Public Health. Additionally, the student would choose two public health electives.
Thank you to Dr. Sarah Warren for providing information for this article.