North Dakota-area colleges collaborate on a new master's degree program in public healthUniversity of North Dakota (UND) and the North Dakota State University (NDSU) are teaming up to offer a new online master’s degree program in public health. The schools are currently waiting for the State Board of Higher Education to approve to the program, which will cost $5.7 million over three years, reports the Grand Forks Herald.

The degree will allow graduates to pursue employment addressing individual patients’ illnesses at hospitals and clinics. Furthermore, professionals in this field will have to the opportunity to explore engage issues, such as obesity, diabetes and rural access to healthcare.

Currently, the classes are available on campus, however the schools are exploring ways to offer the course in a hybrid format. College officials say that more intensive classes will require students to attend classes on-campus.

The partnership offers students from UND that option to complete degree specializations at NDSU that were not previously available, including pharmaceutical, nursing and allied sciences tracks. Students will be required to pay $600 per credit hour, which is comparable to other area schools' costs for this degree program.

Graduates of this degree program can begin careers as public health social workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals in this field can earn average annual salaries ranging between $46,300 and $71,190.

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