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MPH Candidate Bridget Curran Commends Time at SLU, Builds Toward Future in Global Health

Accelerated Master of Public Health student Bridget Curran is on the fast track to using her passion for global health and the environment to drive future change. 

“I love that public health looks at issues from a population perspective and makes systematic changes that will impact so many lives. I am interested in the intersection between the environment and health, and I am continuing to improve my Spanish skills so hopefully, I can work in a Spanish-speaking community in the future either abroad or in the U.S.” says Curran, who is originally from the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois. “I love international politics and seeing how different countries and multilateral organizations work together to encourage sustainable development and address things like climate change and global food security.” 

Bridget Curran, MPH '23
Bridget Curran, MPH '23.

Curran is finishing up her senior year while also completing her first year of her Master of Public Health (MPH) program as an accelerated student. SLU’s accelerated MPH program enables public health majors to obtain their undergraduate and master's degrees in five years; they then enter the workforce up to a year earlier than with traditional two-year MPH programs.

Students apply to the accelerated program during their junior year, and accepted students begin graduate coursework during their senior year.

Curran will graduate this May with a bachelor’s in Public Health and a double minor in Spanish and Environmental Studies, and will graduate in the spring of 2024 with her MPH in Global Health. 

“Not very many schools have a good undergraduate program in public health, so that was definitely something that drew me to SLU. It has all the opportunities of a bigger school, especially in terms of career services and student organizations, but is also small enough that each student is seen as more than a number,” she said.

Curran’s favorite thing about SLU and the College for Public Health and Social Justice (CPHSJ) is the sense of community and career preparation. 

“Friendly faces fill every corner of campus, especially on nice days when the tables by the clock tower are full of students having lunch, studying, or just hanging out. There are always professional development events from mock interviews to alumni panels that help students explore the broad field of public health,” she said.

“Though I have so much more to learn, I know I will feel ready to find a job with the strong support system I have at CPHSJ when the time comes.” 

Along with her excitement for her program, there are also classes Curran has taken that have made her excited for her career. Her favorites being both ‘Introduction to Global Health’ and ‘Spanish for the Health Professions.’

“The global health landscape is ever-changing and requires collaboration between so many stakeholders from country governments to international NGOs. ‘Spanish for the Health Professions’ was also a great class where I got to work with a community-based public health organization that worked with Spanish-speaking clients. I was able to see meaningful work in action that I had been learning about in so many of my classes,” she said.

Curran is currently involved with the Catholic Studies Center and is a building supervisor at the Simon Recreation Center on campus. She is also the Director of Communications for the Presidential Scholar Society and has an internship at a local non-profit organization called World Pediatric Report. 

Once she graduates with her master’s degree, Curran hopes to work with a multilateral organization, such as the United Nations or with an international non-governmental organization.

“This degree is giving me the experience and knowledge necessary to eventually take on leadership roles in addressing things like natural disaster preparedness, the refugee crisis, or managing the effects of climate change,” she says.

College for Public Health and Social Justice

The Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice is the only academic unit of its kind, studying social, environmental and physical influences that together determine the health and well-being of people and communities. It also is the only accredited school or college of public health among nearly 250 Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States. Guided by a mission of social justice and focus on finding innovative and collaborative solutions for complex health problems, the college offers nationally recognized programs in public health and health administration.