Medicine & Public Health (MD/MPH)

The MD/MPH dual degree program at BU’s School of Medicine and School of Public Health is designed for students who envision a medical career that incorporates public health and medicine. The MD/MPH program prepares physicians for academic careers or for practice in today’s health care environment. Interested students are encouraged to contact the program director with questions or to discuss the dual degree program.

The MD/MPH program combines traditional medical preparation with a concentration in one of the eight concentrations in the Master of Public Health program:

Students are encouraged to pursue programs of study and practice placements that allow the exploration of the multifaceted relationships between medicine and population-focused public health disciplines.

There is also an option for students in the BA/MD program to join the MD/MPH program after they graduate with the bachelor’s degree. For more information, contact the MD-MPH program director.

Degree Requirements

The MD and MPH are simultaneous degrees and are awarded together. Students must complete all MPH requirements to earn the MPH. Students in the MD/MPH program cannot graduate with the MD and then finish the MPH post-MD graduation.

Coursework in the dual degree program is generally completed over a period of five years. MPH coursework for the MD/MPH program is generally completed between the third and fourth year of medical school. To earn both degrees, students must complete the required classroom and clinical coursework for the MD and the required 48 credit hours for the MPH. For some concentration areas completing all coursework within two semesters can be challenging and requires advance planning.

Students must earn at least a grade of Pass in all medical school courses and must maintain satisfactory academic progress at SPH according to the SPH Grading Policy.


MD/MPH students must complete a minimum of 32 credits in residence at SPH while meeting the core course, concentration, culminating experience, and practicum requirements for the MPH. All courses counted to the MPH portion of the MD/MPH must be numbered SPH XX 700 and above. No courses taken outside of the School of Public Health will count toward the MPH, including courses taken at other Boston University schools and colleges.

MD/MPH students earn an additional 16 credits toward the MPH by completing at least 16 credits in designated courses required for their MD from the following list. These courses cannot be counted toward concentration requirements, practicum requirement, culminating experience, or core course requirements for the MPH.

  • MS 126 Human Behavior in Medicine
  • MS 129 Essentials of Public Health
  • MS 130 Medical Genetics
  • MS 131 Medical Immunology
  • MS 220 – MS 226 Disease and Therapy
  • MS 313 Pediatrics Clerkship
  • MS 314 Psychiatry Clerkship
  • MS 315 Family Medicine Clerkship

All MPH candidates must complete an approved practicum by registering for an MPH practicum course and completing all MPH practicum requirements. MD/MPH students may also fulfill the requirement by undertaking a suitable project during a one-month elective rotation during their fourth year of medical school. This elective should be planned well in advance, and the month-long elective should be devoted entirely to a public health-related project that has been approved by the MD/MPH program director, Dr. Donald Thea. Students who select this option must fulfill all practicum requirements.

Opting Out of the MPH

A student may resign from the MD/MPH dual degree program by submitting a letter to the director of the MD/MPH program, the BUSM Registrar, and the BUSPH Registrar. This will not affect the MD in and of itself.

Eligibility & Application

All medical students accepted to BUSM are eligible to apply to the MD/MPH dual degree program. Students interested in the MD/MPH program must apply first to BUSM. Selecting the MD/MPH program on the AMCAS application alerts the Admissions Office at BUSM that the student is interested in the dual degree program. It does not obligate the student to apply, and it has no impact on the likelihood of acceptance into BUSM.

There are no acceptance quotas for the combined program. Note that if a student enrolls in the program and changes his or her mind, that student may opt out without penalty. Medical students interested in applying to the MD/MPH program should contact the program director.