Dual Degree in Anthropology and Public Health | Department of Anthropology

Dual Degree in Anthropology and Public Health

Overview: MS in Applied Anthropology/MPH

The Department of Anthropology at the University of North Texas at Denton the School of Public Health at the UNT Health Sciences Center in Fort Worth have developed a cooperative agreement that allows students to simultaneously pursue the Master's of Public Health and a Master's of Science in Applied Anthropology. The dual degree program in Applied Anthropology and Public Health offers an opportunity to strengthen collaboration in public health and anthropology research and practice. Medical anthropology is a field that uses anthropological theories as a framework to understand public health issues. Its emphasis on social and cultural influences on health, illness, and healing are central to the shared goals of improving health and social justice to eliminate local and global disparities. This 3 year program prepares students for careers in research, public health, and public policy planning relating to health and health care in the U.S. or in an international setting.

Curriculum (2022-2023)

Total hours for degree: 63

Master's of Science in Applied Anthropology - 27 hours

Required courses in Applied Anthropology - 21 hours

  • ANTH 5010 Anthropological Thought and Praxis I
  • ANTH 5021 Anthropological Thought and Praxis II
  • ANTH 5031 Ethnographic and Qualitative Methods
  • ANTH 5041 Quantitative Methods
  • ANTH 5050 Preparation for Practice and the Applied Thesis
  • ANTH 5201 Medical Anthropology
  • ANTH 5210 Anthropology and Public Health

Culminating experience in Medical Anthropology and Public Health (Applied Thesis) - 6 hours

  • ANTH 5950 Applied Thesis (topic may overlap with PHED 5297)

Master's of Public Health - 36 hours

Required courses in Public Health - 30 hours

  • BACH 5300 Theoretical Foundations of Individuals and Community Health
  • BIOS 5300 Principles of Biostatistics
  • EPID 5300 Principles of Epidemiology
  • HMAP 5300 Introduction to Health Management and Policy
  • EOHS 5300 Environmental Determinants of Health I
  • BACH 5340 Community Assessment and Program Planning
  • HMAP 5328 Organizational Leadership
  • HMAP 5336 Health Politics and Policy
  • BACH 5350 Community Health Program Evaluation
  • HMAP 5332 Public Health Law

Elective courses in Public Health - 3 hours

  • 1 elective course (to be decided after consultation with MPH advisor)

Culminating experience in Public Health (Comprehenxive Examination and Practice Experience) - 3 hours

  • PHED 5000 CPH Comprehensive Examination (no credit)
  • PHED 5297 MPH Practice Experience (completed over 3 semesters)

    Suggested Timeline

    This program is designed to take 3 years for students taking 4 courses per long semester, plus 1 course each summer. Students are allowed to take fewer classes per semester but should be aware that some classes are only offered once a year or once every two years. This is just one exampe of a timeline.

    Fall - Year 1

    • ANTH 5010 Thought and Praxis I (Fall only)
    • ANTH 5031 Ethnographic and Qualitative Methods (Fall only)
    • ANTH 5201 Medical Anthropology (Fall only)
    • Can take a Public Heath class here

    Spring - Year 1

    • ANTH 5021 Thought and Praxis II (Spring only)
    • ANTH 5041 Quantitative Methods (Spring only)
    • ANTH 5050 Preparation for Practice and the Applied Thesis (Spring only)
    • Either ANTH 5210 Anthropology in Public Health (offered every other Spring only) or an SPH 3-hour elective

    Summer - Year 1

    • EOHS 5300: Environmental Determinants of Health (online)

    Fall - Year 2

    • BIOS 5300 Principles of Biostatistics (online or face-to-face)
    • EPID 5300 Principles of Epidemiology (online or face-to-face)
    • BACH 5300 Theoretical Foundations of Individual and Community Health (online or face-to-face)
    • HMAP 5300 Introduction to Health Management and Policy (online or face-to-face)

    Spring - Year 2

    • HMAP 5336 Health Politics and Policy (must be online Spring II)
    • BACH 5340 Community Assessment & Program Planning (must be online Spring II)
    • HMAP 5332 Public Health Law (Spring I or on campus*)
    • ANTH 5950 Applied Thesis or ANTH 5210 Anthropology in Public Health

    Summer - Year 2

    • PHED 5297: Public Health Practice Experience
    • ANTH 5950 Applied Thesis

    Fall - Year 3

    • SPH Elective (Fall I, Fall II, or campus*) or ANTH 5950 Applied Thesis
    • HMAP 5328 Organizational Leadership (Fall I or on campus*)
    • BACH 5350 Community Health Program Evaluation (must be online Fall I)
    • PHED 5297 Public Health Practice Experience

    Spring - Year 3

    • PHED 5297 Public Health Practice Experience


    The Public Health Practice Experience (PHPE) is a 600-hour, yearlong experience that MPH students are expected to complete as part of fulfilling degree requirements. PHPE is an opportunity to apply what has been learned in the classroom. Students will create projects that align with at least 3 foundational MPH competencies and 2 concentration-specific competencies and that will make a meaningful contribution to their Practice Sites. Because of this, any overlap in PHPE and thesis-related work will be contingent on being able to relate this work to public health competencies.

    All dual degree students are eligible to apply for a waiver of 300 hours. This waiver does not change the mandatory yearlong length of the PHPE. Deadlines to submit this paperwork depend on the semester that the student will start practice. These dates can be found in the forms section of the MCH Practice Experience webpage: https://www.unthsc.edu/school-of-public-health/mph-practice-experience/

    Students are encouraged to complete PHPE (PHED 5297) and the UNT Applied Thesis (ANTH 5950) concurrently, with flexibility to enroll non-concurrently in consultation with the committee chair and graduate advisors. Ideally, PHPE should be conducted in the last 3 semesters of the degree program to allow students to apply more of their coursework in the practice experience. However, students are eligible to begin practice as soon as their core Public Health coursework (the five 5300 courses) are completed. See subsequent sections for a discussion of the impact of timing on the flow of the practice experience and applied thesis.

    Given the flexibility in timing for the start of PHPE, there are three (3) potential pathways for dual anthropology and public health students to complete their practice and applied thesis-related degree requirements. These pathways can be found here.

    Additional Information

    1. New students must apply simultaneously to both programs. You can find more information about the Anthropology application process here. You can find more information about the Public Health application process here.
    2. Students currently enrolled in only the Public Health program or Anthropology program have 18 credit hours to decide if they would like to enter the dual degree program. Before they have completed 18 credit hours, if they wish to enroll in the dual-degree, they must apply to the program in which they are not currently enrolled. If a current Public Health student, they must apply to the Anthropology program for the following fall semester. If a current Anthropology student, they can apply to the Public Health program any semester (fall, spring, or summer). If they are accepted, they must submit new degree plans to both of their programs to ensure that their academic record reflects the dual degree program.
    3. At the end of this program, students will have two degrees - one in public health and one in applied anthropology. The programs share 21 hours and coordinate the culminating experiences that fulfills both degrees.
    4. Students will have a 3-person faculty committee - 2 members from Anthropology and 1 member from Public Health.
    5. Although UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth and UNT Denton are part of the University of North Texas System, they are separate universities. They have separate admissions, separate financial aid offices and different academic calendars. It is important that students let administrative offices know that they are a dual degree student, particularly the financial aid office. Although there is a high level of cooperation between the two programs, students will be enrolled at two universities. They will apply to two universities, submit separate degree plans to two universities, apply for graduation to two universities, and graduate twice.
    6. UNTHSC SPH can grant current dual degree students with a 300-hour waiver towards the 600-hour, yearlong Public Health Practice Experience (PHPE) that all MPH students must complete, in recognition of the skills and training they obtain from the anthropology degree. Information about how to apply for the waiver as well as important deadlines can be found on the UNTHSC SPH MPH Practicum webpage. This is discussed in the guideline document.
    7. The length of the PHPE (1 year) and the required hours after the 300-hour waiver (300 hours) must be completed as part of MPH degree requirements.
    8. Regarding when to start the PHPE: UNTHSC SPH can be flexible on timing that dual degree students begin Practice, with the idea that some timings will be better than others. Dual degree students are encouraged to do the applied thesis and practice concurrently, but the guideline document provides other pathway options.
    9. Dual degree students who align the timing of their PHPE and applied thesis and carry out both in the same setting can count some of their applied thesis-related tasks towards their required, 300 PHPE hours, as long as they align with the MPH competencies and deliverables identified in the students' PHPE work plan. The workplan document does have a table to facilitate alignment of competencies, tasks, and deliverables. Students who do their applied thesis outside of the practice setting cannot apply any of those hours towards their practice experience. The writing of the actual applied thesis document itself would not count towards practice hours. Again, the guideline document provides some additional information and examples.
    10. UNT Denton Anthropology students can take any of their PH coursework in the online delivery format, so long as the course in available in that format. This has been added to the guidelines document. The sample degree progression provided in the Degree Planning document is one that assumes that students will engage in at least some online courses. Courses that are available in both face-to-face and online modes are noted.
    11. UNT Denton Anthropology students can do their PHPE and applied thesis in a non-local setting as long as sites can adhere to all of the guidelines (i.e. bimonthly supervision, project/workplan requirements).
    12. Successful completion of CPH exam is a passing grade is a degree requirement of all MPH students.
    13. Currently, we cannot offer UNT Denton Anthropology students waivers for in-state tuition. As a smaller degree program at a different university, there are different rules for the allotment of such waivers and UNTHSC School of Public Health is provided very few of these waivers.