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USD School of Health Sciences Announces Newly Organized Department

The University of South Dakota School of Health Sciences Logo The USD School of Health Sciences combined existing programs into one, unified Department of Public Health and Health Sciences, which was launched this fall.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Nearly 450 students are enrolled in the newly organized Department of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of South Dakota. The department combines several existing programs into one, unified department that launched this fall. It is one of nine departments in the university’s School of Health Sciences.

The new department brings together three levels of education, including an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in health sciences, a Master’s program in public health (MPH) and a Ph.D. program in health science.

“We are now able to offer our students the opportunity to continue and seamlessly transition their educations from undergraduate to graduate programs in the same field,” said Haifa Samra, Ph.D., dean of the School of Health Sciences.

Samra also said the department delivers exciting new opportunities for interprofessional and interdisciplinary collaboration, an important aspect of cutting-edge health care. These opportunities, Samra explained, exist not only for students within all levels of the new department, but also for students in other programs within the School of Health Sciences.

The department is already proving to be popular at USD as a degree destination. Of the 447 students in the department, 354 are enrolled in the undergraduate portion of the department, 60 are enrolled in the master’s program, and 33 are part of the Ph.D. program.


USD’s School of Health Sciences is a national leader in interprofessional health sciences education. South Dakota’s comprehensive School of Health Sciences develops scholars, practitioners and leaders in health and human services, including addiction counselors, dental hygienists, health science practitioners, medical laboratory scientists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physician assistants, public health practitioners and social workers.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News