Combined MD/MPH Program


Program Description
The Doctor of Medicine/Master of Public Health (MD/MPH) Dual Degree Program at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Public Health is designed for medical students who envision a medical career that incorporates public health and medicine. The MPH curriculum provides a focused emphasis on both knowledge and skills that will enable students to achieve mastery of competencies needed for public health practice. This flexible program combines traditional MD preparation with an MPH that is tailored to the student’s particular field of interest in public health.

Key Facts

  • Eligibility: Available for currently enrolled BUSM students
  • Number of credits: 40 credits in residence at the School of Public Health, with 8 credits granted for selected BUSM coursework
  • Program length: Coursework in the dual degree program is generally completed over a period of five years, with the MPH completed in 12 months between the third year and fourth year of medical school. MD/MPH students begin coursework in the Summer II semester (generally July 1) at SPH after completing their third year of medical school.
  • All MPH courses must be taken at SPH. Coursework from other BU schools and colleges cannot be counted to the MPH portion of the MD/MPH degree
  • This is a full-time program.

MPH Program Requirements for MD/MPH Students for medical students matriculating into the MPH program in summer 2017

1. Four MPH Core Courses that provide a strong foundation in values, history, methods, and functions of public health, as well as the fundamental knowledge and skills required of a 21st-century public health professionals (16 credits)

2. At least one area of specialization in the form of a functional certificate (16 credits). Examples include:

Community Assessment, Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation
Design and Conduct of Public Health Research
Environmental Hazard Assessment
Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Health Policy and Law
Health Communication and Promotion
Monitoring and Evaluation
Program Management

Not all BUSPH courses are available during each semester, so some certificate choices may not be available to the student. Advance planning will be required.

Students may opt to complete a context certificate in addition to their required functional certificate. (12 credits) No more than 4 credits may be shared between certificates. Examples include:

Chronic and Non-Communicable Diseases
Global Health
Infectious Diseases
Maternal and Child Health
Mental Health and Substance Use
Sex, Sexuality, and Gender
Social Justice, Human Rights, and Health Equity

3. Professional Development and Practical Experience requirements (0 credits)

240 hour practicum, a field-based experience
Integrated Learning Experience
Career development program that prepares students with techniques and professional confidence to effectively marker themselves

4. 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.


Completion of all of the MPH degree requirements within the restrictions of the BUSM calendar can be challenging, but is possible with advance planning and adherence to the schedule.

There are several important specifics to note:

  1. The student must commence classes at the beginning of the summer II term (generally July 1), during which the first two Core Courses will be taken.
  2. The 240-hr Practicum may be completed during elective time in the 4th BUSM year. This elective should be planned well in advance with the MD/MPH Director at SPH, and the elective should be devoted entirely to a public health-related project.
  3. All MPH and MD requirements must be completed by the deadline established for spring graduation in the year that the student will complete the MD program requirements. The MD/MPH degree is a simultaneous dual degree program. Students must finish both degrees together to be awarded either one. Students in the MD/MPH program cannot graduate with the MD and then finish the MPH post-MD graduation.


All medical students enrolled in BUSM are eligible to apply to the MD/MPH dual degree program. 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.

Students enrolled in BUSM should apply to the School of Public Health for admission to the dual MD/MPH no later than January of their third year at BUSM.

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
Phone: 617-414-1271

Ryan Manganelli
Admissions Coordinator
Boston University School of Public Health
715 Albany Street, Talbot Building
Boston, MA 02118
Phone: 617-638-5001