The objective of the dual-degree MD/MPH program is to provide high quality and in-depth training in public health to qualified medical students. The MD/MPH Dual Degree Program provides an opportunity for VCU medical students who wish to pursue a public health or research career to graduate from medical school trained in both clinical and preventive, population-oriented medicine. The five-year program includes four years of medical school and one year of study in the MPH program. The MPH curriculum is completed after the third year of medical school, focusing on MPH coursework and applied experiences during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
Students take a minimum of 36 credits of didactic courses. Successful completion of Population Health and Evidence-based Medicine satisfies the three credits of the MPH core course, EPID 571; Patient Safety and Quality Improvement satisfies the one credit required for IPEC 501; The Patient, Physician, and Society satisfies two credits of elective course work; and a minimum of one public health elective during the M-4 year satisfies the three-credit public health internship (EPID 693) requirement. No credits in the MPH program apply to the MD program.
The purpose of this dual degree program is to prepare graduates to work with individuals, families, groups, communities and/or organizations, advocate for social and economic justice in a diverse and multicultural society, and promote physical and mental health across the life course. Through this collaborative program between the VCU School of Social Work and the VCU MPH program, students complete a three-year full time program of study, including some summer course work, to obtain the Master of Social Work and the Master of Public Health degrees.
Students spend the first year completing foundational work in the MSW curriculum, then take a mixture of public health and social work courses in the second year, with an emphasis on the MPH curriculum. Final program requirements are completed in the third year, with a relatively even mix of coursework from each curriculum. During the last year, the School of Social Work places dual degree students in a field instruction placement focused on public health and approved by the MPH Program Director. A final research project is completed through the MPH Program, with the guidance of a public health faculty advisor.
This dual degree program provides students with the opportunity to earn a doctorate in pharmacy while learning to combine their expertise in pharmaceutical care with the perspective of benefit to populations. Through this collaborative program between the VCU School of Pharmacy and the VCU MPH Program, VCU PharmD students complete a five-year program in which they spend their fourth year pursuing MPH requirements full-time.
PharmD students are required to complete 36 of the 45 required MPH credit hours. After the fourth year, students transition back into advanced pharmacy course work and practice experiences. Students meet the MPH internship requirement with advanced community health practice experiences in their fifth year of the program. The MPH capstone project requirement is completed in a community setting during the fifth year and involves a comprehensive project that serves the needs of a professional public health organization, typically involving the development of one or more deliverables. Examples include a disease surveillance project, development of an immunization education campaign, or a needs assessment.
The MD/MPH and PharmD/MPH programs are available only to students already accepted to the VCU Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, respectively.
Applicants may apply simultaneously to the MSW/MPH program but must apply separately to each degree program, applying through the SOPHAS website for the MPH portion and VCU Graduate Admissions for the MSW Program. Applicants must be accepted to both programs and will matriculate in the MSW Program for the first year, beginning the MPH curriculum in the second academic year.