Graduates of the MD/MPH program are equipped to become leaders in public health administration, policy and research, as well as superb clinicians. They are sought out by residency programs and other employers, and have many interesting career opportunities available to them. Anthony Schlaff, MD, MPH
What are the requirements?
MD/MPH students must complete 39 credits in the MPH Program in addition to their MD courses. MD/MPH students are awarded three credits for the completion of their MD degree; these credits count toward the MPH 42 credit requirement.
The curriculum is integrated into the regular MD track so that combined degree students complete their MD requirements in the same sequence as their traditional MD colleagues. Students take their required MPH courses on Tuesday afternoons during their first two years. In the summer between the first and second year students complete a 200 hour field experience. In the following third and fourth years they spend late winter/early spring of each year taking elective courses (two in the third year and two in the fourth year) as well as remaining required courses. Several students take an additional year to undertake independent research projects or study abroad.
What courses do I need to take?
As for all MPH students, those pursuing the MD/MPH must complete courses in the five core knowledge areas as well as a research methods course, one course on health care budgeting and management and the Applied Learning Experience (the latter undertaken in one month, a single clinical elective block). In addition, students take Public Health Theory to Practice and Law and Public Health and, for their first three years, also attend a monthly evening seminar—Integration of Public Health—that helps integrate their public health work and clinical studies. Students usually lose two clinical electives when undertaking their public health course requirements in years three and four.
How do I apply?
Applicants for the MD/MPH apply to the School of Medicine in the same manner as all other applicants and additionally submit a separate combined degree program application. The online combined degree program application is accessible with the online secondary application on the TUSM secondary application web site. Applications for the MPH program will be reviewed only after admission to the Medical School.
What is the application time frame and process?
Applications to the MPH portion of the MD/MPH program may be done via the Tufts MD secondary application at any time from when an applicant first fills out that application up until early August, just before the combined degree program starts on the day prior to the MD program orientation. The structure of the program precludes students from joining the program after it starts.
Applying early has the advantage of assuring a seat in the MPH should a student get accepted and choose the Tufts MD program. Although we accept MPH applications until just before the program starts, it is on a space-available basis. Most years the numbers work out well and everyone who gets in and wants the MPH can matriculate, but we have had years when not all students could be accommodated. Also, late applicants are likely to be placed on a waiting list pending decisions made by students admitted earlier, and so an early application can reduce uncertainty about acceptance to the MPH at a time when an accepted MD student is deciding whether to attend Tufts or another school.
Applicants accepted to both the MD and the MPH will be offered a choice of either an MD or an MD/MPH seat. They are not committed to taking the MPH until they respond to that offer.
The combined MD/MPH program is applied to through the medical school. MD applicants may apply to the combined MD/MPH via the online TUSM secondary application at any time during the application cycle. (Space is limited in the program so applying early is recommended.)
Applying to Combined Degree Programs
In conjunction with Tufts School of Medicine’s Public Health and Professional Degree Programs (PHPD), Tufts School of Medicine offers several combined degree programs for MD candidates. All combined degree applicants are considered for a position in the traditional MD program as well as for a position in the combined degree program of their choice. Applicants for combined degree programs apply to the School of Medicine in the same manner as all other applicants and additionally submit a separate combined degree program application. The online combined degree program application is accessible with the online secondary application on the TUSM secondary application web site.
Additional interviews are not required for any of the MD/master’s degree programs. No additional standardized tests (such as the GMAT or GRE) other than the MCAT are required for any of our combined degree programs. Applying to our combined degree programs does not require any additional application fees.
The TUSM Committee on Admissions is the only body with the authority to admit applicants to our medical school. In PHPD, each combined degree program has its own program committee that is authorized to admit applicants to its combined degree program; however, it may do so only after the applicants have been approved for admission to the entering class by the TUSM Committee on Admissions.
Tufts Secondary Application
If interested in a combined degree program, that must be indicated on the secondary application. The secondary application deadline is January 15.
PHPD’s Decision Process
PHPD does not review students for the combined degree until a positive MD decision is rendered and accepted by the applicant. Applying to a combined degree neither helps or hinders their MD application.
What are the MPH tuition costs for the MD/MPH degree?
The cost of the MPH program is significantly reduced for Tufts medical students. The 2017-2018 MPH tuition is a flat rate of $7,216 for the year.
What kind of job can I get with these degrees?
Physicians with an MPH go into every specialty. All Tufts MD/MPH graduates have gone on to take and complete clinical residencies, and most continue to work as clinicians throughout their career. A small portion do leave clinical medicine, usually several years after residency, to work in public health full-time, but most will find a career that allows them to do both clinical work and to engage in work that uses their public health skills explicitly. Public health careers for physicians exist in government, in academia, in community settings, in clinical administration, and in the private sector. Some physicians never use their MPH for work separate from their clinical work, but rather use their MPH to be a somewhat different, and we would say better, clinician.