Medicine & Public Health (MD/MPH)

Medicine and Public Health (MD/MPH) Dual Degree: Combining medical and public health education in preparation for a career of caring for the health of individuals and their communities.

The MD/MPH Dual Degree Program at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Public Health is designed for students who envision a medical career that incorporates public health and medicine. [For a discussion of the pros and cons of MD/MPH programs in general and the timing of public health course work, see the MD/MPH Guide at AMSA (American Medical Student Association.] The MD/MPH program prepares physicians for academic careers or for practice in today’s health care environment. This flexible program combines traditional MD preparation with a concentration in one of the following areas of public health: biostatistics; environmental health; epidemiology; health policy and management; health law, bioethics and human rights; global health; maternal and child health; or social and behavioral sciences. In addition, 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.

Key Facts

  • Number of credits: 32 credits in residence at the School of Public Health
  • Program length: Coursework in the dual degree program is generally completed over a period of five years.
  • Full-time or part-time: Full time

Program Requirements

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 Donald Thea.

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
  • Family Medicine Clerkship
  • Pediatrics Clerkship
  • Psychiatry 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, Donald Thea. Students who select this option must fulfill all practicum requirements.

Admission

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.

Once accepted to BUSM, students who decide to apply to the MD/MPH program should submit an application directly to the MD/MPH program director as early as the first year of medical school and no later than February 15 of the third year of medical school. 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 Donald Thea directly.

MD.MPH Internal Application

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.

For further information regarding admission to the School of Public Health contact:

Anne Thorsen
Admissions Coordinator
Phone: 617-638-5001
Email: thorsena@bu.edu

Tuition

Interested students are encouraged to contact Donald Thea with questions and to obtain information regarding scholarship support.

Contact Information

For specific information or questions regarding the MD/MPH program, contact:

Donald Thea
Director, MD/MPH Program
Boston University School of Public Health
800 Massachusetts Ave, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02118
Email: dthea@bu.edu
Phone: 617-414-1271

Anne Thorsen
Admissions Coordinator
Boston University School of Public Health
715 Albany Street, Talbot Building, Room 202C
Boston, MA 02118
Email: thorsena@bu.edu
Phone: 617-638-5001