Public Health Medicine MD/MPH

Understanding public health principles is increasingly important for physicians today. Part of the Public Health Practice major, the Public Health Medicine MD/MPH dual degree program gives medical students an opportunity to earn a public health degree and increase their knowledge of population-based science.

This program will prepare you to:

  • Serve as a leader and practitioner in the application of public health principles
  • Apply a scientific basis to current societal problems and concerns
  • Demonstrate an understanding of cultural and environmental factors that affect patients

The MPH Public Health Medicine program is designed for students who are presently enrolled in a medical school. If you are a practicing physician, please consider the Executive Program in Public Health Practice.

The classroom requirements of the MPH are completed during a 12-month sabbatical (May through June) from medical school while enrolled full-time in the School of Public Health. Most students begin the MPH program after year two or three of medical school.

See Detailed Public Health Medicine MD/MPH Curriculum Information (PDF)

Rather than focus on one particular area of public health, this degree program is meant to complement your medical education. We understand that most medical school students are planning to become practicing physicians and do not intend to become epidemiologists, community health educators, policy makers, or biostatisticians as their main career path.

However, students in the program have around 12 credits of electives (depending on other curricular choices) that give them the opportunity to investigate specific public health applications. Students are encouraged to arrange their elective curriculum around a theme of interest. Themes represent common public health problems such as Maternal & Child Health, International Health, Occupational & Environmental Health, Infectious Disease, Clinical Preventive Practice, and Nutrition. Students may also choose to design a theme in consultation with the program director/adviser. This is the most popular choice for students in this program as it allows them the opportunity to study the public health issues that sparked their original interest in an MPH.

As a medical student, you may apply to any other MPH program in the school if you would prefer to specialize. However, most programs do not provide the flexibility in their curriculum to accommodate a single year off from medical school. If you wish to earn an MPH in a specific area, you will need to budget two years to complete the program.

Qualifications for Admission

  • Applicants must be currently enrolled and in good standing at an accredited medical school.
  • Candidates may enter the program after the first year of medical school but no later than after the fourth year.

All applications are reviewed holistically. Applications are accepted for May/summer term only.

Standardized Test Requirement

This program requires the MCAT.

The Public Health Medicine MD/MPH prepares students to be leaders and practitioners in the application of public health principles in agencies delivering preventive health services and public health programs.

The major emphasizes the importance and applications of basic scientific knowledge to current societal problems and concerns.

Types of Jobs for Graduates:

  • Pediatrics
  • Rural Health
  • Local and international nonprofit agencies
  • Local nonprofit agencies

Public Health Medicine MD/MPH In-Depth Career Information

Who is eligible for the program?

Current students in good standing at any accredited medical school are eligible to apply. Students may be admitted to the program no earlier than after year one of medical school. However, coursework may begin earlier. Check with major coordinator for details.

How long does the program take?

This streamlined program allows medical students to earn an MD and MPH in five years. Students typically begin with two years of preclinical medical school courses, and then take a year of courses in the School of Public Health. They return to medical school for two years of clinical curriculum, during which they finish their public health graduate project.

Can I focus on a particular specialty?

Students are encouraged to focus their elective courses and field experience around one of these themes:

  • Maternal and Child Health
  • International Health
  • Occupational and Environmental Health
  • Infectious Disease
  • Clinical Preventive Practice
  • Nutrition

Students may also self-design a theme in consultation with an adviser.

Is financial aid available?

Public Health Medicine students are eligible to apply for Federal Student Aid by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please be sure to enter the UMN school code (003969) to ensure your information is received.

There are no special scholarships for this program. Ideas about how to finance your education can be found on our website.

Application Deadline

April 1 for
Summer Admission

Contact Us

Major Coordinators
Kate Hanson, 612-626-5665

Katy Korchik

Public Health Medicine MD/MPH Student Guidebook (PDF)