Medicine & Public Health (MD/MPH)
Public Health Courses for Students at Boston University School of Medicine
There are two separate but related programs for providing students at Boston University Medical School (BUSM) with opportunities to take courses at Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH).
- The Advanced Standing Program for BUSM1 Students
- The MD/MPH Dual Degree Program
I. Advanced Standing Program for BUSM1 Students
Medical students with advanced standing, i.e. students who are exempted from one or more first year medical school courses, may take SPH courses during their first year of medical school at no additional cost to the student, with the approval of the BUSM Registrar and pending space availability in the SPH classes. This program will be available to a maximum of 25 students per year. Students who wish to register for SPH courses via this program must first obtain written signature from the BUSM Registrar on an SPH add/drop form. Courses taken as part of this program will not appear on the student’s BUSM transcript, but will appear on an official Boston University transcript.
Important notes on tuition charges for BUSM students taking BUSPH courses:
- Tuition charges and grades: BUSM students will not be charged additional tuition for SPH courses taken as part of this program, provided that the courses are pre-approved by the BUSM Registrar, and provided that the student successfully completes SPH course work with a grade of B- or better. If a student receives a lower grade, the student will be responsible for paying the tuition for the course prior to the next semester of medical school.
- Dropped or incomplete course: Medical students registered for SPH classes are subject to the SPH drop deadlines. Application procedures: BUSM1 students with advanced standing should follow these steps to register for SPH courses:
- Obtain an advanced standing registration form from the BUSM registrar. The BUSM registrar (Ellen DiFiore) or a designated staff member will review and approve the form. The student will bring or fax the form to the SPH Registrar’s Office (Talbot 210 Center; 617-638-5060).
- The SPH Registrar’s Office will email the student a registration confirmation with a copy to Ellen DiFiore, BUSM Registrar.
- Registered students may obtain the classroom locations and class materials list from the SPH web site.
II. MD/MPH Dual Degree Program
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 Dr. Wayne LaMorte with questions and to obtain information regarding scholarship support.
The MD/MPH program combines traditional medical preparation with a concentration in one of the eight concentrations in the Master of Public Health program:
- Environmental Health
- Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights
- Health Policy & Management
- International Health
- Maternal & Child Health
- Social & Behavioral Sciences
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 Professor Wayne Lamorte.
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, Dr. Wayne LaMorte. 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.
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 Dr. LaMorte directly.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; international 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. Coursework in the dual degree program is generally completed over a period of five years.
For specific information or questions regarding the MD/MPH program, contact:
Wayne W. LaMorte
Director, MD/MPH Program
Boston University School of Public Health
715 Albany St., Talbot Building, Room 510 East
Boston, MA 02118
For further information regarding admission to the School of Public Health contact:
Boston University School of Public Health
715 Albany Street, Talbot C202
Boston, MA 02118