The University of Utah will soon add to its curriculum a master's of public health, a professional degree that does not require a thesis.

The U. Institutional Council approved the addition Monday after medical school professors said it will offer services to professionals who want additional public health training."It will allow some help to professionals who are interested in being state directors of public health or county directors of public health to get a master's in public health without going through the thesis process," said Dr. F. Marian Bishop, chairman of the department of family and preventive medicine. "We are trying to be responsive to different academic needs of students," said Dr. Charles Hughes.

The new degree will add another dimension to the medical school offerings. The U. has offered a master's of science in public health for 14 years, having awarded 127 degrees in that time. That program requires a thesis.

The professors said the master's of science degree currently has 17 students and 12 are expected to be enrolled in the master's of public health program in five years.