MD/MPH Dual Degree

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) offers a five-year MD/MPH dual degree program for students who want to better understand and address health issues on a population level. MD/MPH students are able to contextualize health and understand the determinants of health. In addition, students gain the research skills needed to engage in academic research.

Professionals with MD/MPH degrees may have interests in the following areas: prevention, health literacy, education and advocacy, policy analysis and development, evidence-based practice, academic research, quality improvement, monitoring and evaluation, health services research, health disparities, leadership and management, clinical research. 

Degree requirements

Students in the MD/MPH dual degree program must complete the two degree programs' requirements before graduating with both degrees.

The MPH degree requires 42 hours of academic credit which includes a practicum experience and thesis research.

The year of MPH course work is composed of three academic terms: fall, spring, and summer. The summer term includes didactic courses and courses dedicated to independent work on the public health practicum and thesis. 

The MD Program's Research Immersion Phase may be completed before matriculating in the MPH Program, and/or it may be integrated with the MPH Program's thesis and practicum requirements. This time should be planned in advance with input from the MPH Program.

How to apply

Medical students enrolled in Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) are eligible to apply.

Before a dual degree student can matriculate in the MPH Program, he or she must be in good academic standing with the MD Program and receive approval for his or her plan of study from the MPH Program director.

VUSM students should apply in the fall of their second year or in the fall of their third year by submitting an application to the Vanderbilt MPH Program in SOPHAS. Click here for application deadlines.

Before matriculating in the MPH Program, Vanderbilt medical students must successfully complete the following courses:

  • Foundations of Medical Knowledge
  • Foundations of Clinical Care
  • Research 1 (Case)
  • Research 2 (Discovery)

Programs of study

Students who wish to complete the MD/MPH Program have two options with respect to the timing of their year of MPH course work:

Option 1:

  • Apply to the MPH Program in the fall of the second year of medical school
  • Matriculate in the MPH Program after two years in the MD Program

Option 2:

  • Apply to the MPH Program in the fall of the third year of medical school
  • Matriculate in the MPH Program after three years in the MD Program

Click here to view a comparison of the two options and characteristics of each.

Tuition

The MD/MPH dual degree program provides a cost-effective option to those interested in earning both degrees. Students are charged three full years of MD Program tuition and one year of MPH Program tuition. For their fifth year, they are charged half a year of MD Program tuition and half a year of MPH Program tuition.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Vanderbilt MD students should apply to the Vanderbilt MPH Program in the fall prior to the academic year they intend to spend in the MPH Program. Depending on when student plan to complete their MPH course work, this is either the fall of their second year of medical school, or the fall of their third year of medical school.

All MD/MPH dual degree program students begin their year of MPH course work in the fall term. Before matriculating in the MPH Program, Vanderbilt medical students must successfully complete the following courses:

  • Foundations of Medical Knowledge
  • Foundations of Clinical Care
  • Research 1 (Case)
  • Research 2 (Discovery)

The MD Program's Research Immersion Phase may be completed before matriculating in the MPH Program, and it may be integrated with the MPH Program's thesis requirement.

Option 1

VUSM Yr 1 VMS I (FMK Phase) MD Tuition
VUSM Yr 2 VMS II (FCC Phase) MD Tuition
VUSM Yr 3 MPH Year 1 course work and practicum MPH Yr 1 Tuition
VUSM Yr 4 VMS III (Immersion Phase) MD Tuition
VUSM Yr 5

VMS IV (Immersion Phase)
MPH Independent work on thesis

1/2 MD Tuition
1/2 MPH Yr 2 Tuition

 

Option 2

VUSM Yr 1 VMS I (FMK Phase) MD Tuition
VUSM Yr 2 VMS II (FCC Phase) MD Tuition
VUSM Yr 3 VMS III (Immersion Phase) MD Tuition
VUSM Yr 4 MPH Year 1 course work and practicum MPH Yr 1 Tuition
VUSM Yr 5 VMS IV (Immersion Phase)
MPH Independent work on thesis
1/2 MD Tuition
1/2 MPH Yr 2 Tuition

Yes, students in the MD/MPH Program are eligible for MPH Program scholarships. There is no separate application for these awards. All applicants, including international applicants, are eligible and considered for these awards if their complete application is received by the application deadline. The support varies in amount from graduate assistantships to partial- or full-tuition scholarships. 

In addition, we urge all applicants to research and apply for external scholarship opportunities as well.

Click here to read more about funding opportunities.