MD/MPH Dual-Degree Program

The MD/MPH Dual Degree Program is offered jointly by the College of Medicine – Tucson and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

The program is designed to prepare future clinicians for community-engaged, evidence-based and socially responsible medical practice. These goals are achieved in an interprofessional setting that emphasizes respect for peoples of all ages, genders, ethnicities, cultures and national origins. Students’ pursuit of knowledge and preparation for leadership will be guided by academic and clinical mentors who foster inquisitiveness, open-mindedness, compassion and resilience.

While the dual degree program provides students with training in core public health competencies, including epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental and occupational health, and sociocultural diversity, its primary focus involves clinical leadership. The curriculum is intended to enhance the graduate’s ability to provide high-quality medical care by using public health knowledge and skills to plan, implement and evaluate policies that affect the health of communities. These skills complement the pathophysiologic, diagnostic and therapeutic training provided by the College of Medicine – Tucson that is intended to treat individual patients.

The MPH degree prepares students to fill leadership roles in the public or private sector, craft and implement policies that improve the health and well-being of specific populations, and manage public health programs, including those targeting the unique populations residing in the Southwest.

Competencies of the program include:

  • Describe contemporary issues and trends where public health and medicine intersect, with an emphasis on traditional public health roles, health care systems and health disparities
  • Provide leadership in public and private organizations, manage programs and projects, and employ critical thinking, systems thinking and self-reflection to resolve technical problems, ethical challenges and interpersonal conflicts
  • Engage in leadership roles and opportunities for physicians in public health at the local, state or national level
  • Apply public health principles to develop solutions to real-life public health issues
  • Collaborate with local advocacy groups to critically analyze public health problems, formulate legislative solutions and develop evidence-based justifications to secure bipartisan support
  • Evaluate the practicality of and evidence to support proposed public health interventions
  • Analyze the administrative, management, legal/regulatory and financial issues required to assume a leadership role in health care or public health organizations

Students must apply to the program after matriculation to the College of Medicine – Tucson during the spring semester of MS1.

Medical students interested in the MD/MPH program should enroll in Issues and Trends in Public Health (PHPM 570) in the fall of the first year of medical school. If, after completing this course, the student wants to pursue the MPH, they should enroll in Applied Public Health Practice (PHP 572) and biostatistics (BIOS 576a) in the spring and apply to the MPH program. Once accepted into the MPH program, the student will officially matriculate into the dual degree program and MEZCOPH in the fall of MS2 as they continue with the MD program.

The MPH program for the dual degree includes 42 units of coursework and experiential learning. All students must complete 16 units of core public health courses, 10 units of required clinical leadership courses, 5 units of applied practice experience and 11 units of elective credit. Dual credit for MD course work can be requested for up to 11 units. 

Required Core Public Health Courses (16 units)

  • PHPM 574 (3) Public Health Policy and Management – Online Spring
  • HPS 577 (3) Sociocultural and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health – Online Fall
  • EHS 575 (3) Environmental and Occupational Health – Online Fall
  • BIOS 576a (3) Biostatistics in Public Health – Online Spring
  • EPID 573a (3) Basic Principles of Epidemiology – Online Fall 
  • PHP 580 (1) Integrated Learning Experience—Online Fall and Spring

Required Clinical Leadership Courses (10 units)

  • PHPM 570 (3) Issues and Trends in Public Health – Hybrid Fall Year 1
  • PHP 572 (3) Applied Public Health Practice (3) – Hybrid Spring Year 1
  • PHP 696i (4) Clinical Leadership and Administration – Hybrid Spring Year 4 

Required Applied Practice Experience (5 units)

  • PHP 909 Master’s Report – Hybrid Spring Year 4 (5 units)

Electives (11 units)

  • Elective courses (9 units)
  • Dual MPH credit for the public health content in the MD basic science blocks (2 units)

The MPH requires an Applied Practice Experience (APE), which is planned by the student, program director and site preceptor. The APE may include health planning, policy analysis, health research, community health assessment, or program development and implementation. Students should expect to spend about 225 hours on this experience.

How do you apply to the program?  

Applications are submitted online via the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS) and a Supplement Graduate College Application is also required. Prospective applicants should familiarize themselves with the requirements of the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. Students must be accepted to the College of Medicine – Tucson before being considered for admission to the MD/MPH program.

Must students apply to MD/MPH program when they apply to medical school?  

No, students typically apply to the MD/MPH program during their second semester of medical school.

What are the costs of the MD/MPH program?  

There is a fee of $1,500 per year for three years, for a total of $4,500, if the student completes the program in four years. There can be additional fees for some online courses. If MPH course work is not completed at the end of MS4 the student can continue to enroll in MPH courses and pay MEZCOPH tuition. 

How do MD/MPH graduates use their education and skills? What employment opportunities are available?  

MD/MPH graduates become leaders in a range of agencies and organizations. In addition to using their clinical expertise, many of our graduates use their public health competencies in state and local health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other federal health agencies.

Is financial aid available?  

For information on student financial aid, please contact the College of Medicine – Tucson Office of Financial Aid. There are also many scholarships specifically available for medical students. Most are based on financial need, and some are based on merit. A list of scholarships and their requirements is mailed to incoming medical students each January. Finally, many loans specifically designed for medical students are available, as well as other federal, state and institutional aid.