Mississippi university campus to offer first doctoral program

Published 6:15 am Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Mississippi State University-Meridian received approval for its first doctoral program and an additional healthcare program at the Thursday [March 23] meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.

The board approved both the Doctor of Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration degree programs, extending the university’s growing commitment to meeting critical healthcare needs of the region.

“I am excited about the opportunity these programs present in helping us continue to address what matters in our state and community,” said Terry Dale Cruse, associate vice president and head of MSU-Meridian. “Local commitments of funding and clinical support to launch these programs has been overwhelming.”

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The Paul and Sherry Broadhead, Phil Hardin, and Riley foundations jointly contributed $4.6 million to help the university expand clinical and behavioral health programs on the MSU-Meridian campus.

“There is a great need for psychologists in Mississippi as our state continues to face significant challenges related to mental health and well-being. From addressing the opioid epidemic to providing support for individuals dealing with trauma or other mental health conditions, psychologists play a critical role in helping Mississippians lead happier, healthier lives,” said Kim Hall, associate dean of the College of Education and professor of counseling. “The new Doctorate of Psychology in combined health services psychology will increase the number of practitioners throughout our community and state to help address these needs.”

The 91-hour program will provide health service training for students seeking a graduate degree who wish to become practicing psychologists. Upon successful completion of the program, students will possess the skills necessary to provide psychological health services to diverse populations and promote health, prevent illness, and improve health care through healthy choices.

The development of both programs resulted from recent conversations with healthcare leaders as part of a comprehensive study on how the university can better leverage the MSU-Meridian campus in addressing local needs.

The Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration will prepare graduates to work in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, private medical practices, long-term care facilities, pharmaceutical agencies, insurance companies and medical equipment manufacturers. Specifically, graduates will be trained in healthcare finance, healthcare law and the specialized healthcare regulatory environment to manage smaller group practices, and work in mid-level positions in larger organizations such as hospitals, long-term facilities and health systems.