M.D./M.P.H. Frequently Asked Questions
What is the M.P.H.?
The Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) is the most widely recognized professional degree in public health. Core disciplines of public health are: Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Social and Behavioral Health, and Management and Policy Science.
Who should earn an M.P.H.?
If you are interested in community health, clinical research, infectious disease, health promotion, global health, primary care specialties, preventive medicine, public policy, or administration, you may benefit from public health training, and the M.P.H. would be beneficial to your career path. Physicians in many different medical and surgical specialties have all benefited from public health training.
Why should I consider this program?
You have the opportunity to earn both degrees in four years, saving you time and money. Through partnership with the University of Texas School of Public Health (UTSPH), you may receive up to 12 hours of shared credit toward your 45-hour M.P.H. for some of your medical school courses. You will also benefit from studying public health and medicine concurrently, and through close interaction with your M.D./M.P.H. peers.
Where is the UTSPH?
The UTSPH has a regional campus in Dallas with full-time faculty. All public health coursework is completed at the UTSPH Dallas Regional Campus, which is housed on the seventh and eighth floors of the UT Southwestern School of Health Professions Building, with convenient parking. Classes are offered online, via ITV with instructors from other SPH campuses, and “live” with local instructors.
Do I need to start taking public health classes this summer? What about the fall?
To finish the M.P.H. in four years, you should plan to begin your M.P.H. studies in the summer before you begin medical school. We recommend that you take two online core classes this summer (Biostatistics and Epidemiology). Some students choose to take three classes.
We do NOT recommend taking online classes while traveling abroad unless you are certain that you will have reliable high-speed internet access. There is an overlap between the UTSPH summer semester and the start of your medical studies.
I’d like to earn an M.P.H., but I’m concerned about taking on the extra load. Can I wait to apply until after I’ve started medical school?
To be admitted to the dual degree program and earn shared credits, you must begin your M.P.H. coursework before the end of MS1. If you don’t start coursework in the summer before medical school, it will be much harder to finish the degree requirements in four years, so you should consider taking five years to complete both degrees.
Please be aware that admission to the program is competitive, and the UTSPH may decide not to accept any M.D./M.P.H. students in the Spring application cycle.
If I am accepted to the M.P.H. program and subsequently decide to accept an M.D. offer from another participating medical school, will the M.P.H. acceptance be honored by another medical school?
Yes, there are four medical schools in Texas with partnerships with the UT Houston School of Public Health. Those schools are UTHSC-Houston, UTHSC-San Antonio, UT Southwestern, and Texas Tech School of Medicine-El Paso. To participate in this combined M.D./M.P.H. program, you must first receive an admission offer from one of the participating medical schools in this partnership.
If I start the dual degree program, can I change my mind?
Absolutely. You will learn a lot about yourself and your career path through your studies. You may choose to leave the dual degree program, to take a leave of absence, or to extend the program to five years. You also may opt for the Certificate in Public Health, which requires five core classes (16 hours).
Is financial aid available?
Typically, yes. If you are in the M.D./M.P.H. program, additional aid for M.P.H. tuition and fees may be pursued through UT Southwestern's Office of Student Financial Aid. Some students find they are able to pay their M.P.H. tuition and fees out of their medical school disbursement without requesting additional funds.
If financial aid is needed for summer M.P.H. classes prior to starting medical school, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore options. The current estimated four-year cost for tuition and fees for the M.P.H. part of the program is approximately $8,000.
The UT Southwestern Office of Financial Aid office is your primary contact for financial aid questions. Contact the office at 214-648-3611 regarding any financial aid for the M.D./M.P.H. Program, including for the summer prior to starting your medical studies.
Note that financial aid is highly individual. You should always consult directly with the Office of Student Financial Aid so they can give you correct information based upon your unique situation.
How can I learn more about the four-year M.D./M.P.H.?
Visit the UTSPH website or contact Molly Patterson, M.S., firstname.lastname@example.org, of the UT School of Public Health or email Angela Mihalic, M.D., email@example.com of UT Southwestern Medical Center for additional questions. Each student has unique personal and professional goals. We are happy to discuss how the M.D./M.P.H. Program can help you meet those goals and enhance your future practice as a physician.