University of Toronto Makes History with New Graduate Program in Black Health

The Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto will offer a new, two-year Master of Public Health in Black Health.

 University of Toronto Makes History with New Graduate Program in Black Health

The University of Toronto is making history in health care with their new master's degree. The Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH) now offers a new graduate program aimed at improving the public health system for Black communities. After five months of developing the program — 13 months quicker than it usually takes — the Master of Public Health (MPH) in Black Health will welcome 10 students in the Fall of 2023. DLSPH's Black Health Lead, Roberta Timothy, believes this program to be the first MPH in Black Health program in the world, but hopefully not the only one for long.

This two-year program, created and spearheaded by Timothy, will address public health issues for Black communities with a global perspective. "Everything that happens in the Black community and Black health, if you look at it globally, there's a connection," said Timothy.

MPH in Black Health

This new master's program will prepare you for public health practice with Black communities. You'll focus specifically on the impact of anti-Black racism on health, decolonizing theory and methods in Black health research, treatment within the health care system, and more.

Courses and practicum

You can expect to take courses such as a sociohistorical overview of Black health, chronic diseases and reproductive health in a lifespan, decolonizing theory and methods in Black health research, transnational Black health policy and practice, Black resistance in health, and many others.

You'll also have the opportunity to participate in a 16-week, full-time practicum in the summer of your first year, and an optional 12-week, full-time practicum in the winter of your second year. Your practicum will be directly related to issues of Black public health, providing you with necessary experience and skills in this field.

Program goals

This program will help students to:

  • Learn how to promote the well-being, health, healing, and wellness of diverse Black people and our communities
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the sociohistorical and current contexts that have led to this public health crisis
  • Understand how systemic violence and exclusion are sustained by concrete public health practices that need to be eradicated
  • Ensure that social and political determinants of health are decolonized and have a resistance-centred framework
  • Unlearn and learn how to intentionally challenge power structures that uphold the current exclusionary practices
  • Ensure that African/Black health practitioners/leaders and those working in solidarity have impactful roles in public health discourse and decision-making spaces, especially in areas that impact the health of Black populations
  • Include African Indigenous ways of wellness and healing as important to creating culturally responsive health care and safety
  • Incorporate African/Black epistemologies and methodologies that help in understanding the complexities of African/Black communities, specifically, intersectionality

Ultimately, Timothy said, "training folks to not only do better, but to create safer spaces for us to seek health care, and to seek healing and wellness, is the main goal."

Am I eligible to apply?

If you're interested in this program, applications begin in October 2022 and end in January 2023. You'll need an appropriate Bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a recognized university with a minimum of a mid-B average in the last year of your degree. You'll also need at least one undergraduate statistics course with a minimum grade of mid-B, and relevant work or volunteer experience.

What careers can I pursue with an MPH in Black Health?

With the skills and knowledge that you'll earn in this degree, you'll be prepared for any of these jobs:

  • Analyst (Research and Policy, Research Planning and Policy, Health)
  • Health Promotion Specialist
  • Health Planner
  • Program Coordinator
  • Community Health Worker
  • Program Evaluator
  • Medical Doctor (with further education)
  • Nurse (with further education)

These are only some of the careers you could consider with an MPH in Black Health.

Since the program's debut, Timothy has received immediate, positive responses from the community. Individuals who are currently in the medical field have reached out to tell her that they wish this program existed when they were in school. So, take advantage of this new, ground-breaking degree and discover your potential for changing the world of health care.

Explore U of T's MPH in Black Health

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