Medical Sciences & Public Health (MS/MPH)
Graduate Medical Sciences and the School of Public Health offer a dual degree that is broadly based in preclinical medical sciences and public health.
Students must apply and be accepted to both Graduate Medical Sciences and the School of Public Health. The acceptances do not have to be concurrent, but students must be accepted to both programs before completing either program. We strongly suggest that students apply to the MPH program after their first semester in the MS program.
The MS/MPH degrees are simultaneous degrees and are awarded together. Students must successfully complete the requirements of both programs.
Upon completion of the MPH degree requirements, graduates are able to:
Evidence-Based Approaches to Public Health
- Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice.
- Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context.
- Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate.
- Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy, or practice.
Public Health & Healthcare Systems
- Compare the organization, structure, and function of healthcare, public health, and regulatory systems across national and international settings.
- Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities, and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community, and societal levels.
Planning & Management to Promote Health
- Assess population needs, assets, and capacities that affect communities’ health.
- Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs.
- Design a population-based policy, program, project, or intervention.
- Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management.
- Select methods to evaluate public health programs.
Policy in Public Health
- Discuss multiple dimensions of the policymaking process, including the roles of ethics and evidence.
- Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes.
- Advocate for political, social, or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations.
- Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity.
- Apply principles of leadership, governance, and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration, and guiding decisionmaking.
- Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges.
- Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors.
- Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation.
- Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content.
- Perform effectively on interprofessional teams.
- Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue.
MPH Requirements for MS/MPH Candidates
The MPH is a 48-credit degree. MS/MPH students must complete a minimum of 40 credits in residence at SPH and 8 credits are completed at GMS. All courses counted to the MPH portion of the MS/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.
Foundations of Public Health
Effective public health requires expertise from many disciplines, and students need to have a broad foundation of knowledge across these diverse disciplines in order to collaborate effectively with other health professionals.
SPH PH 700 Foundations of Public Health (0 credits) is an online course designed to provide students with foundational knowledge in the profession and science of public health and factors related to public health. PH 700 meets the foundational knowledge criteria (as outlined by CEPH) for all SPH students.
SPH Core Courses
- SPH PH 717 Quantitative Core (4 cr)
- SPH PH 718 Leadership and Management (4 cr)
- SPH PH 719 Health Systems, Law, and Policy (4 cr)
- SPH PH 720 Individual, Community, and Population Health (4 cr)
MPH Certificate & Elective Coursework
Students select and complete one functional area certificate as their interdisciplinary, professional skills base (16 credits) and have the option to take a context certificate (focused on key populations or areas of interest in public health, 12 credits) or elective courses to fulfill SPH coursework requirement. MS/MPH students must complete a minimum of 24 credits beyond the core courses and a maximum of 4 credits may be shared between a functional and a context certificate.
The MPH functional certificates are:
- Community Assessment, Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation
- Environmental Health
- Epidemiology and Biostatistics
- Health Communications and Promotion
- Healthcare Management (CAHME)—28 credits
- Health Policy and Law
- Global Health Program Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation
- Program Management
Context Certificates—12 credits
- Chronic and Non-Communicable Diseases
- Global Health
- Infectious Disease
- Maternal and Child Health
- Mental Health and Substance Use
- Human Rights and Social Justice
- Sex, Sexuality, and Gender
- Pharmaceutical Development, Delivery, and Access
Students follow the SPH grading policy for their MPH courses.
Professional Development and Practical Experience
- SPH PH 746 Career PREP (0 cr)
- SPH PH 976 Practicum (240 hours, 0 cr)
- SPH PH 985 Required Integrated Learning Experience (0 cr)
The following Graduate Medical Sciences (GMS) courses have been approved to meet MPH electives required for students enrolled in the MS/MPH dual degree program. MS/MPH students must complete 8 credits of coursework from this list when completing the GMS portion of their degree. These courses cannot be counted toward certificate requirements or core course requirements for the MPH degree.
- GMS AN 722 Cellular Organization of Tissues (4 cr)
- GMS AN 723 Human Body Systems
- GMS BI 751 Biochemistry and Cell Biology (6 cr)
- GMS MS 640 Introduction to Biomedical Information (2 cr)
- GMS PA 510 Medical Immunology
- GMS PA 600 Intro to Pathology
- GMS PH 730 Physiology A (4 cr)
- GMS PH 731 Physiology B (4 cr)
- GMS PM 730 Introduction to Medical Pharmacology (4 cr)