The story of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH) begins in 1972, when the very first CUNY Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program in Community Health Education at Hunter College received accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the national body that accredits public health programs and schools. Later, Brooklyn and Lehman Colleges received accreditation for their own MPH public health programs. The ten-year period from 2006 to 2016 marks the critical trajectory from programs housed at separate CUNY colleges toward the current independent graduate school.
2006: Matthew Goldstein, then Chancellor of the City University of New York, announces plans to create a consortial school of public health with a focus on urban health, to open within five years. The school would bring together the University’s existing public health programs at Hunter, Brooklyn, and Lehman Colleges and the Graduate Center, as well as other faculty with relevant expertise from around the University.
2007: The new consortial CUNY School of Public Health is established, with Hunter College as the lead institution. The Doctor of Public Health degree program is established.
2008: The CUNY Board of Trustees appoints Dr. Kenneth Olden as founding and interim dean of the School.
2011: CEPH votes to accredit CUNY SPH for a full five-year term extending to July 1, 2016.
2015: The CUNY Trustees approve a new structure for the CUNY School of Public Health, directing current Chancellor James B. Milliken to develop and implement a plan to transition the existing consortial school at Hunter to a free-standing unified graduate school that would administer all professional master’s and doctoral-level public health degree programs.
2016: Faculty, staff, and students at the four consortial colleges transfer to the new CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH) and move to a brand-new campus in Harlem’s central corridor, at 125th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard, a setting suited to the urban health focus of the newly independent school.
CUNY SPH receives a full seven-year accreditation from CEPH through 2023 and, under the leadership of Dean El-Mohandes, begins a period of rapid expansion, launching numerous new research, service, and educational programs including:
- CUNY Institute for Urban Food Policy
- CUNY Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health
- Center for Systems and Community Design
- Center for Innovation in Mental Health
- Center for Immigrant, Refugee, and Global Health
- Public Health Advanced Certificate
- Advanced Certificate in Industrial Hygiene
- Nutrition and Dietetics Internship
- Population Health Informatics Certificate
- Certificate in Social Marketing for Health
CUNY SPH continues to evolve and respond to the changing face of public health, growing and modifying its programs to ensure the public health professionals of tomorrow are optimally equipped to meet its challenges. Plans are well under way for several new degree offerings.