Dual Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health

Program Director K. Bartholomew

The goal of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) is to graduate clinician-citizens who are prepared to deliver excellent patient care while pursuing scholarly inquiry, serving as leaders and advocates to address population-level issues that have an impact on individual health, and engaging with communities to improve health at the local, national, and global levels. To further these goals, SMHS and the Milken Institute School of Public Health (SPH) provide a dual medicine–public health program (MD/MPH) for medical students.

MD/MPH students may pursue any of the following residential MPH programs:

  • Community oriented primary care
  • Environmental health science and policy
  • Epidemiology
  • Global environmental health
  • Global health policy
  • Global health program design, monitoring, and evaluation
  • Global health epidemiology and disease control
  • Health policy
  • Health promotion
  • Maternal and child health
  • Public health communication and marketing

Program scheduling

Students in the five-year dual program receive up to 15 SPH credits for medical school curriculum, and complete a minimum of 30 credits at SPH.  Students may begin SPH coursework during the summer following either Year 1 or Year 3 of the MD program. All MD/MPH students are granted a one-year leave of absence to complete the MPH coursework. In addition, SPH coursework is credited as four elective weeks during Year 4 of the MD program.  

MPH requirements for the dual MD/MPH program

The MD degree is the primary degree in the dual program. Students in the program receive the MD degree upon successful completion of all MD program requirements, but must successfully complete all requirements for both the MD and the MPH to receive the MPH degree.

Completion of 45 credits is required for the stand-alone MPH program. In the dual MD/MPH program, MD students complete 30 credits (minimum) in coursework from the MPH. Up to 15 credits are cross-credited with MD program courses. The required curriculum for the MPH is adjusted to meet requirements for the dual program as follows:

MPH core courses (15 credits for the stand-alone MPH; 10 credits for the MD/MPH)

  • MD/MPH students take 10 credits of MPH core courses and receive 5 credits for  PUBH 6001 Biological Concepts in Public Health (2 credits) and PUBH 6006 Management and Policy Approaches to Public Health (3 credits) through cross-crediting of IDIS 8101 in the MD program.

MPH Practicum and Culminating Experience (total 4 credits for the stand-alone MPH)

  • MD/MPH students satisfy 4 credits of MPH requirements—PUBH 6014 Practicum (2 credits) and PUBH 6015 Culminating Experience (2 credits)—through cross-crediting of IDIS 8334.

MPH elective requirement

  • Up to 6 credits of MPH electives are cross-credited with MD coursework. The number of credits varies by MPH program.

MPH program-specific requirements 

  • MD/MPH students must complete all program-specific MPH coursework, which totals 17 to 22 credits, depending on the MPH program.

Cross-counting MPH credits for MD Year 4 electives

  • 4 credits from the MPH program—PUBH 6004 Environmental and Occupational Health in a Sustainable World (2 credits) and PUBH 6007 Social and Behavioral Approaches to Public Health (2 credits)—are cross-counted as four weeks of MD Year 4 electives.

Application information and program time lines

Applications are due in the SMHS Admissions Office in December for eligible cohorts. MD students who wish to pursue the dual degree may apply in one of two application periods: 

  • Pathway 1: MD students may apply in December of the fall semester of Year 1 to begin the MPH program by taking two core MPH courses in the summer session between MD Years 1 and 2. Such students complete the remaining MPH program requirements during a fourth Academic Year after completing MD Year 3.  The final year of MD curriculum is completed in Academic Year 5.
  • Pathway 2:  MD students may apply in December in the fall semester of Year 3. Such students complete all MPH program requirements during a fourth Academic Year after completing MD Year 3.  The final year of MD curriculum is completed in Academic Year 5.