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New Mexico State University
College Of Health and Social Services
Nursing, Public Health Sciences and Social Work

Master’s International

Leah Kirby in Liberia 2014



The College of Health and Social Services (CHSS) is proud to welcome the Master’s International Program to New Mexico State University.  This unique program offers students the opportunity to earn their Master’s Degree while serving in the United States Peace Corps.  The CHSS is dedicated to providing academic programs that address issues affecting the quality of life in a rapidly changing society and prepares our graduates with the knowledge they need to make an impact in local, national, and international communities.



Degrees Offered

The CHSS offers Master International students 3 degree options:

  • The Master of Social Work (MSW) This program builds on the liberal arts’ perspective and foundation courses, students develop advanced skills and knowledge in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.  These advance skills and knowledge incorporate cultural responsiveness and addresses client systems in the context of social, cultural, community and other environmental factors.
  • The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in community health education is designed to prepare public health professionals in the breadth of public health practice while also including in-depth preparation in community health education. The mission of the MPH program is to provide academic excellence in educating health professionals who will provide competent leadership, innovation, and technical expertise at local, state, national, and international levels.
  • Joint MSW/MPH The values and ethics of both programs are similar, and both programs have an emphasis on social justice. The programs complement each other: Public Health focuses on populations of people and is highly analytical; social work focuses on individual, groups, and communities within the social environment and provides both qualitative and quantities research classes. Both programs heavily emphasize cross-cultural content in classes. Many students find this combined degree appealing, particularly if they are interested in public health and community outreach. Students from other countries and students who have served in the Peace Corps find that this degree furthers their careers in international service.


Applicants must apply for and be awarded a Graduate Assistantship to qualify for the Peace Corps/Masters International program.  A Graduate Assistantship will qualify the PC/MI in-state tuition, low cost health insurance, and and apportunity to gain valuable skills and experience by working as a teaching or research assistant.   Graduate Assistantships are awarded based on admission status, student interest, particular qualifications, and the availability of funds within the department.

Additional benefits:

  • MPH students may fulfill their internship requirement through the Peace Corps.
  • The Peace Corps will provide transportation to and from the country of service, health care, and a monthly stipend while serving.  The Peace Corps also provided a re-adjustment allowance of $7,425 (before taxes) at the successful completion of 27 months.

Admission Deadlines and Requirements

All applicants must be admitted to the Graduate School at New Mexico State University before being considered for admission to the MSW or MPH program. If applicant is applying for the joint degree, they must apply to each program separately and be accepted into both programs. For the Master of Social Work the deadline for complete applications is January 15th of each year. However, early applications received by November 28th will be given first consideration for Graduate Assistantships. Late applications that are received between January 16th and April 15th will be placed on a space available basis. For the MPH Program, applications are due March 15th.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of Graduate School at New Mexico State University and the appropriate academic unit(s). The GRE is required for the MPH application.

Other Information

Contact Information

Photo of Sue Forster-Cox
Dr. Sue Forster-Cox
Associate Professor
New Mexico State University
Department Of Health Science
Dr. Forster-Cox is an Associate Professor within the Department. She teaches Health Program Planning, Rural Health, Foundations of Public Health Education, and oversees the Field Experience for all students. Her research interests include promoting gardening as a form of physical activity and a means of providing healthful, fresh food sources in tribal/rural communities. She is the Coordinator of the Bachelor of Community Health program, Online MPH program (Interim), and two Peace Corps associated programs for the College: Paul C. Coverdell Fellows/USA and Master’s International. She received her PhD in Health Promotion from the University of New Mexico in 1995; MPH from University of Hawaii in 1982 in Community Health Education/Maternal and Child Health; and BS in Health Science - University of Northern Colorado in 1977.

This page last updated on October 22, 2014