DVM/MPH Curriculum

Students in the DVM/MPH combined degree pathway earn a masters in public health (MPH) degree in the same four years they earn a doctor of medicine (DVM).

Developed especially for DVM students, the track’s public health curriculum is tightly integrated with veterinary course work. DVM/MPH students take a selected group of core and required courses with either the MD/MPH or the stand-along MPH students. In addition, students have access to public health electives designed specifically for them on the Grafton Campus. This careful integration allows completion of the program in four years. The track provides the basics for understanding and practicing public health without compromising a complete veterinary medicine degree program. The program provides the same core curriculum provided to all Tufts MPH students, although most courses for DVM/MPH students are offered at different times to accommodate the MD and DVM schedules. In addition, the DVM/MPH helps students develop knowledge and skills specific to careers where public health and clinical practice overlap. With the MD students, DVM/MPH students are introduced to the One Health concept, an approach to integrating medical and veterinary perspectives.

In the first two years, students take public health core and required courses in place of the weekly, pre-clinical field or research selectives pursued by other medical students. Students spend part of their summer between first and second year taking additional classes, and part of that summer doing field work. Electives are available either on the Boston campus through the special four-week blocks in the spring of the students’ third and fourth years, or through-out the year on the Grafton campus.

In addition, students must complete an independent public health project through an Applied Learning Experience (ALE). These may be done in the summer between second and third year or in place of a clinical elective during the fourth year. Students often make use of this experience to do independent research and/or to do work overseas.

Over the course of the first three years, students participate with the MD/MPH students in a monthly, small group seminar designed to help students integrate what they are learning over time in the MPH curriculum with their clinical training.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete 13 credits of public health course work. With the program director’s permission, students may substitute Tufts’ MPH courses offered outside the DVM/MPH pathway for elective course credits. The majority of the required courses are taken in the first two years and electives are taken in the final two years.


Core competencies for the DVM/MPH are the same as those for all Tufts MPH students. These are covered in the five core courses, the field experience and the Applied Learning Experience.

Competencies specific to the DVM/MPH pathway are as follows:

Students graduating the DVM/MPH pathway are able to:

  1. Approach health problems from a population and prevention perspective in order to effectively integrate the roles of the biological sciences and clinical practice into the broader sets of knowledge and practices used in public health both domestically and globally.
  2. Assume leadership, advocacy and other team roles in addressing public health problems by facilitating the integration of scientific, clinical, social science, legal, political, and community expertise and perspectives.
  3. Improve clinical practice and organization through the use of public health tools and expertise.
  4. Develop and critique research hypotheses and study designs applicable to population health through clinical and/or community research methods.
  5. Articulate the utility of the “One Health” approach between human and veterinary medicine for effective responses to disease, and to natural and manmade disasters.