Gerald & Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH)

Academic Mission and Programs

Our Mission in the Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH) is to have a significant impact on improving the health of the people of Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary training and development of health professionals and others to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.  It offers an integrated approach to develop expertise in managing health programs, assessing the health needs of the people, and translating that knowledge into improving health by designing, implementing, and evaluating programs to meet those needs. The SPH Master of Public Health (MPH) Program engages experienced health professionals and others in transformational education and training in population-based approaches to health and health services research, delivery, and evaluation. Our graduates are then prepared to lead in improving health and health services in Armenia, the Caucasus, Europe, and the World. Our Vision is to advance health and produce leaders for Armenia and the region who can transform existing health systems for a modern society. Our Values include transparency, the highest level of ethics, community engagement, interdisciplinary collaboration, integration, the highest quality of research and project implementation, and sustainable development. Our Goals include:

  • Maintain a high level of academic and professional reputation, integrity, and success
  • Achieve improved public health and healthcare for Armenia and the region
  • Address societal need for interdisciplinary science and practice in public health, health services, and healthcare in Armenia
  • Enhance the scope of academic programs designed to address societal needs and meet international standards for education in health sciences
  • Expand enrollment in the current academic program and build enrollment in new academic programs, drawing from Armenia, the South Caucasus, the Region, the Diaspora and others.

The Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health and its Master of Public Health (MPH) Program provide experienced health professionals a thorough grounding in population-based approaches to health sector problem identification, investigation, analysis, and managed response.  The overall objective of the MPH Program is to prepare health professionals to draw on the knowledge and skills from a variety of disciplines to define, critically assess, and resolve problems affecting the public’s health.  Thus, the intensive, modular curriculum emphasizes basic public health sciences and essential managerial and analytic skills including project planning and evaluation, epidemiologic investigation, understanding complex determinants of health, effective communication to professional and lay audiences, and leadership. The two-year curriculum is organized around a guiding framework, which first provides students a conceptual overview of the diverse profession of public health and the team-oriented approach to professional practice.  The courses are taught in intensive, sequential blocks, which build upon and integrate with each other.  The first year curriculum provides exposure to the breadth of public health disciplines. The second year curriculum provides advanced training in key methodological disciplines and concludes with a student-directed thesis project that integrates essential public health knowledge, skills, and methods in a professionally and personally relevant practice context.  Students proceed through the program as part of a defined cohort, fostering group spirit and gaining experience in multi-disciplinary group problem solving, project leadership, and management. While the program consists almost entirely of requirements, students infuse elective content through the multitude of individual and group projects associated with each module and through special studies activities.  Students are encouraged to become involved with the Zvart Avedisian Onanian Center for Health Services Research and Development, which provides an opportunity for supervised, mentored practical experiences while addressing the health needs of Armenia and the region. The MPH Program is affiliated with the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health (Baltimore, Maryland, USA) and is a member of the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER). The Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH) is a member of the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER). ASPHER is an association of institutions and individuals primarily concerned with strengthening the role of public health by improving the training of public health professionals for both practice and research within the European Region, as defined by the World Health Organization. Membership is a testament to the quality of the program, graduates, and increasing international recognition. For more information please visit Currently, there are two programs within the Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health 

  •  1. Master of Public Health (MPH)
    •  Certificate in Public Health 

  •  2. Zvart Avedisian Onanian Center for Health Services Research and Development (CHSR)
    •  Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology


Zvart Avedisian Onanian Center for Health Services Research and Development

Zvart Avedisian Onanian Center for Health Services Research and Development (CHSR): The Zvart Avedisian Onanian Center for Health Services Research and Development (CHSR) is an applied research and development center located within the Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health, at the American University of Armenia (AUA).  The CHSR was established in 1995 to respond to the region’s research and development needs in the multidisciplinary field of public health.  CHSR activities are partially supported by the Zvart Onanian Endowment. One of the CHSR’s principal objectives is to provide supervised field training opportunities for students enrolled in the MPH Program.  Faculty members in the Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health play an active role in the center.  MPH program graduates comprise the CHSR core staff and facilitate the integration of students into ongoing projects.  Students have played integral roles in many of the center’s projects, including health status assessments, hospital quality assurance projects, patient and provider satisfaction surveys, development of health education materials, and various training programs, including Armenia’s first on-line courses in health planning, basics of epidemiology, human participant protection and web-based resources on malaria control and comparative health systems. The CHSR’s second objective is to provide its expertise as a resource to support and facilitate the existing public health infrastructure in Armenia.  This objective is primarily achieved by serving as a venue for linkages between the Ministry of Health, donor agencies, and the expertise of the center’s staff to support, develop, and implement research and project planning and development initiatives. The CHSR is housed in the new Paramaz Avedisian Building of AUA, where it conducts research and development activities with the support of modern computers, international telecommunication links, sophisticated statistical software packages, and the international experts who collaborate with the public health program at AUA.  The CHSR is well known, both within and outside Armenia, as an outstanding regional resource that ably combines the principles of rigorous, methodologically sound research, with the need to provide policy-makers with pragmatic information that will allow them to formulate effective policies. Launched in 1999 with a gift from the Meghrigian family, the Garo Meghrigian Institute for Preventive Ophthalmology (Meghrigian Institute) seeks to minimize the burden of blindness and eye diseases in Armenia.  In partnership with local experts, the Meghrigian Institute, a unit within the CHSR, seeks to assess and characterize the burden of eye diseases in Armenia, to promote preventive activities such as screenings, to develop professional and public awareness of the problem through education programs, and to foster development of the local health system’s capacity to effectively identify and prevent vision disorders before they lead to blindness.  Meghrigian Institute, in partnership with the Ararat-1 Lions Club and the Ministry of Health, was the recipient of a Lions Club International Foundation SightFirst Grant to develop a model regional ophthalmic system in Gegharhunik Marz (Province). Beginning in 2004, Meghrigian Institute is also sponsoring a fellowship program to encourage Armenian ophthalmologists to combine population-based prevention activities with clinical ophthalmology.