Penn's CEPH accredited MD-MPH program is designed for students interested in studying medicine with a special focus on population health problems. The goal of the program is to provide strong interdisciplinary training to individuals interested in clinical practice, prevention, hygiene, education and policy making. The information on this website describes the admissions process, curriculum, advising, and tuition policy for the MD-MPH program.

Please note that these guidelines apply only to Medical Students at the University of Pennsylvania. If you are a medical student at another institution, you may apply for the MPH program directly, but the admissions, curriculum and financial information listed here will not apply. Medical Students from other institutions will typically need two years of full time study to complete the MPH program, and will be asked to provide verification that their Medical School has granted a two year leave of absence to complete the program.

Admissions Information
The admissions process for the MD-MPH program is competitive and requires admission to both the MD and MPH programs. Typically, students will apply to the MPH program for the MD-MPH after matriculation into the MD program. A Penn Med student may apply during his/her first, second or third year.

Medical students who are interested in applying for the MD-MPH program are encouraged to contact Jackie McLaughlin the MPH Associate Director. She can refer you to members of the MD-MPH committee who are available to provide the following: 1) career guidance to students who are interested in public health issues but are undecided about the MPH program, 2) advice and counseling to students enrolled in the program and 3) screening applications to the program and makeing recommendations to the MPH admissions committee.

In addition to submitting an MPH application, students must also submit a Master’s Program Registration form to the Combined Degree and Physician Scholar Programs Office. The form is brief and can be obtained in the office or by contacting Amy Nothelfer.


Completion of the two degrees separately would require six years, but Penn's MD-MPH can be completed in five years as long as students apply for admission by June 30th at the end of their third year of the MD program and gain acceptance to the joint program. The MPH component of the MD-MPH curriculum consists of 16 MPH course units, 10 required “core” courses and 6 electives. Students are enrolled in the MD program full time for the first three years and in MPH course work full time during year 4 and the fall of year 5. The final semester of the five year program is spent primarily in the MD program. The sample plan of study below is meant to provide details about the timing of MPH course work for those who are already familiar with the Penn Med curriculum. The MPH plan of study will be individualized for each student.

Sample MD-MPH Plan of Study

Earning an MPH following matriculation into medical school fulfills the Scholarly Pursuit requirement for the MD degree. Students interested in the MPH program are encouraged to take PUBH 500 Introduction to Public Health early in their studies.

The following plan of study is a typical timeline and course sequence for students who have completed PUBH 500 plus an additional PUBH elective prior to year 4.  Note: The MPH program accepts MOD320 Health Care Systems as 1.0 cu transfer credit toward the MPH. A Bridging the Gaps experience may be accepted as an MPH elective.

In following this template, students will complete most required core MPH courses within the first 2 semesters of year 4. The first Capstone seminar (PUBH 508) is taken in the Spring term to plan the Capstone project. Students may conduct the Capstone project over the summer term and complete the second Capstone seminar with (PUBH 508) in Fall of year 5. This distribution reduces the course load in year 5 when students are interviewing for residencies.






MD curriculum (Modules 1, 3, 6)

OptionalPUBH500: Introduction to Public Health*

MD curriculum (Modules 2, 3,6) MOD320 Health Care Systems**

Optional: Bridging the Gaps(1)***


MD curriculum (Modules 2, 3, 6)

MD curriculum (Modules 4, 6)

MD curriculum (Modules 4, 6)


MD curriculum (Modules 4, 6)

MD curriculum (Module 5)

MD curriculum (Module 5)


4.0 units of MPH

PUBH501: Introduction to Biostatistics

PUBH504: Behavioral & Social Sciences of Public Health

MPH Elective (2)

MPH Elective (3)


4.5 units of MPH

PUBH502: Introduction to Principles and Methods of Epidemiology

PUBH503: Environmental and Occupational Health

PUBH506: Methods for Public Health Practice (1.5 cu)

PUBH508 Capstone Seminar (1.0 cu)

1.0 units of MPH


MPH elective (4)


3.5 units of MPH

PUBH 507: Law,Ethics and Policy (0.5 cu)

MPH Elective (5)

MPH Elective (6)

PUBH508 Capstone Seminar (1.0 cu)

residency interviewing

MD curriculum (Mod 5) and residency interviewing

Time-line Options

*PUBH 500:  Introduction to Public Health may be taken in the Fall of year 1 or year 2.  This course may be helpful for those students who are undecided about the MPH or who are confident of their interest and eager to begin the MPH. Students who do not take PUBH 500 prior to year 4 will be required to take this course in the first term of the MPH studies to fulfill the 16 cu’s required for the MPH.

**MOD320 Health Care Systems is counted as 1.0 cu transfer credit applied to the MPH degree in place of PUBH 505.

***The Bridging the Gaps Community Internship may qualify as an MPH elective. Medical students should discuss a BTG experience or any elective options with a member of the MD-MPH advisory committee in advance. Students who do not have an MPH approved elective to carry forward into the MPH program in year 4 would enroll in an additional elective during Fall term year 5 (total 3.5 cu per semester) to fulfill the 16 cu’s required for the MPH.

2.0 course units of Capstone Seminar are required to fulfill the degree requirements. The Capstone seminars are only offered in Fall and Spring terms.

Tuition and Billing for the Penn MD-MPH Program

Tuition cost for the combined MD-MPH program is less than the total tuition cost would be if the two degrees were earned separately in stand alone programs over six consecutive years.

Students in the program will be billed at the MD tuition rate for the first three years in the program. In their fourth year, students will be billed for MPH tuition (for Fall, Spring and Summer semesters). The MPH tuition is based on the total number of course units in which a student is enrolled. Year 5 billing will be split between the MPH tuition rate per course unit (cu) in the Fall term and the MD tuition rate in the Spring. This fee schedule has been designed to benefit students who are pursuing the MD/MPH simultaneously. These tuition fee distributions and information about maximum Stafford loan eligibility are outlined in the following table.



Maximum Stafford Loan Eligibility


MD Tuition Fall & Spring



MD Tuition Fall & Spring



MD Tuition Fall & Spring



MPH Tuition Fall, Spring & Summer



MPH Tuition Fall

MD Tuition Spring

Fall: $16,500

Spring: $20,250

MD/MPH Program Financial Aid

As soon as a student is considering the pursuit of an integrated joint degree program, financial aid counseling and planning is strongly advised. Students should come to the School of Medicine Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. Staff members are available to help explain program costs, the financial aid process, funding options, and how to apply for financial aid.

The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid in the School of Medicine assists students in the integrated MD/MPH program in filing their financial aid applications and reviewing funding eligibility. When paying medical school tuition and registered as a medical student, an individual can retain his/her School of Medicine scholarship and has a Stafford eligibility of $38,500. When a student is paying graduate school tuition and is registered in the Graduate School, he/she is not eligible for a School of Medicine Scholarship and has a Stafford eligibility of $31,000.

There are a number of private loan programs which are available for students in meeting program costs if necessary. These funds are credit based and more costly. The School of Medicine Office of Financial Aid lists preferred private loan lenders on the School of Medicine financial aid website. Students who anticipate applying for a private loan are encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss options and determine the best program based on individual circumstances, and prior borrowing.

Costs for each of the programs are updated annually on the financial aid website. Please note that policies concerning curriculum and financial aid are subject to change. Additionally, though variations in the curriculum may be possible, any changes will need prior approval and may have financial implications.

Tuition for the MPH is based on the number of credits taken.

For more information about the MD-MPH contact:

Giang Nguyen, M.D., M.P.H.
Assistant Professor , School of Medicine,
Dept of Family Medicine and Community Health

Jackie McLaughlin, M.S., R.D.
Associate Director, MPH Program
(215) 746-2043
(215) 573-9025 fax

Amy Nothelfer, LSW
Coordinator for MD-Masters Programs
Combined Degree and Physician Scholar Programs Office
(215) 746-2359

Jean Fox
Financial Aid Officer
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
(215) 898-9118

For MD students interested in public health and the global health certificate follow this link to Q & A on this subject click here