Indiana University has received approval to become the only official school of public health in the state. The change will be recognized for meeting basic requirements as other prestigious programs around the country such as Harvard and John Hopkins universities.
With the accreditation, IU’s School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation or HPER will be changed to the IU School of Public Health.
Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs Edwin Marshall says the Bloomington campus’ program will focus on rural, environmental health and health behavior, and the Indianapolis campus on biostatistics and health policy.
“Indiana as a state in terms of public health workers, we have about a one-third of public health workers per capita than we see in the national average,” says Marshall. “We have a long time to go in terms of building up the infrastructure that’s going to make us a much healthier state.”
Marshall says degrees within HPER are already accredited. But IU Health Behavior doctoral candidate Margo Mullinax says the new accreditation should still make students more appealing to future employers.
“One thing great about this accreditation process is that it’s really going to help students when they’re graduating and ready to come in the job market,” says Mullinax. “I think that public health is a specified field, so employers really look at students who are coming from accredited schools of public health.”
Students can expect to begin the new curriculum with fall classes.