Dual Degrees offered jointly with other U-M schools and colleges

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Number of formal dual degree programs offered

The University of Michigan is known for encouraging an interdisciplinary environment. Students at U-M SPH have the opportunity to pursue a formal MDDP or self-initiated dual degree option.

Formal dual degree programs are written agreements between two U-M schools.  Formal dual agreements, called Multiple Dependent Degree Programs (MDDP), are created out of shared interest.  MDDPs typically have a specified number of credits or courses that can be double counted or recommended.  

All dual degree students must register for half of their total credits under the School of Public Health.  Both degrees will be conferred at the same time, regardless of which degree is completed first.  It is important that all dual degree students work closely with their Department Program Coordinator and/or Faculty Advisor throughout their studies. The student must ensure they have registered for at least the minimum necessary credits under Public Health, have met the SPH BIC requirements, and have also completed departmental graduation requirements.

The details of the U-M SPH formal MDDP dual degree programs and self-initiated dual degree programs are listed below:

Offered jointly by SPH and the Medical School, this dual degree promotes public health work by physicians. When admitted to this joint program, you are awarded an MPH degree only upon completion of the M.D. degree and the three terms of MPH coursework.

Description: The MPH/M.D. program is designed for a small number of students who wish to combine their medical degree with a public health degree. These programs are suitable for students interested in: community medicine, health behavior and health education, healthcare management, healthcare or public health policy, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, nutritional sciences, or for students who simply want to enrich their medical education with an emphasis on public health.

Requirements: To be eligible for this dual-degree program, the student must be currently enrolled in an accredited M.D. degree program, or be employed in their medical residency or in a medical fellowship. The MPH portion of the program is a minimum of 42 credit hours, which can be fulfilled in one academic year, utilizing the standard academic year fall and winter terms, and the summer before the standard fall and winter terms. Students typically take a leave of absence from medical school between the second and third years of study to complete their public health coursework. The MPH degree is awarded once the M.D. degree is awarded.

Description: The Department of Health Management and Policy (HMP) and the Law School offer a dual-degree program that enables qualified students to pursue concurrent work in health services administration or public health policy and law, leading to the Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) or Master of Public Health (MPH) and Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degrees. Applicants to the dual program must gain separate and independent admission to both UM SPH and the Law School.

Requirements: The program is designed so that all requirements for both degrees can be completed in eight terms of enrollment. Some students may elect to complete the degree in less time by beginning the program at the Law School in the summer term. Students admitted to the dual degree program are required to complete a total of 60 credit hours in the School of Public Health, including the MHSA or MPH core requirements, along with HMP departmental and UM SPH requirements. They must also complete the required first-year law courses and a total of 83 additional credit hours in Law School courses. Up to 12 credit hours for the J.D. degree may be earned through courses taken in the School of Public Health, and up to 15 of the 60 credit hours required for the MHSA or MPH may be earned through courses taken in the Law School.

Students admitted to the combined program are required to take the complete sequence of first-year courses in one school during the first-year of the program, and the complete sequence of first-year courses in the other school during the second-year of the program.

Offered jointly by the Department of Health Management and Policy (HMP) and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy (SPP), you receive a degree from both the School of Public Health (SPH) and the Rackham School of Graduate Studies.

Description: The MHSA/M.P.P. and MPH/M.P.P. dual degree program are designed for a small number of students who wish advanced training in the quantitative and qualitative methods of policy analysis as well as thorough preparation in the fields of health management or public health policy.

Requirements: All requirements for both degrees are completed in three years of enrollment. During year one of the combined program, the student is required to complete the first-year sequence of courses in either program. In the second-year, the other school's first-year sequence must be completed. In the third-year, the student will attend courses in both programs. Each institution will apply its own deferred admissions to students who elect to take the first-year in the other. Core requirements that are common to both programs must be satisfied with coursework in either UM SPH or SPP. When a core course is waived, the student is expected to take another course from the unit that has waived the requirement.

Students in the MHSA/M.P.P. degree program must complete a total of 84 credits, a minimum of 45 of which must be elected in the School of Public Health, and a minimum of 33 of which must be elected through SPP, including core courses for each degree, and the Integrated Policy Exercise (IPE). The remaining credits may be taken as electives chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor.

Students in the MPH/M.P.P. degree program must complete a total of 82 credits, a minimum of 43 of which must be elected in the School of Public Health, and a minimum of 33 of which must be elected through SPP, including the IPE. The remaining credits may be taken as electives chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor.

Students are expected to complete an internship in the summer between each of the years of study. The HMP faculty assists in the placement for one of the internships, and students consult the SPP for placement assistance with the second internship.

Description: The MPH/MS dual-degree program in Human Genetics provides students with an innovative learning experience that includes academic training, research skill development, and clinical instruction focused on addressing issues that occur at the intersection of the fields of Health Behavior & Health Education (HBHE) and Genetic Counseling. The program is available through the department of HBHE in UM SPH and the Genetic Counseling Program, department of Human Genetics, in the Medical School. The goals of the Human Genetics Program are to: 1) promote health, prevent disease, and manage chronic illness; 2) understand the genetic basis of common complex diseases; 3) help individuals and families understand and adapt to the medical, psychological, and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease; 4) understand the impact of genetics on health; and 5) guide the evolving practice of genomic medicine and public health genomics. This program was developed in 2008 and typically accepts only one to two students per year given the small class sizes of the Genetics Counseling Program in the Medical School.

Requirements: The three-year course of study provides students with academic, research, and clinical training. Students have some flexibility in the sequencing of their program, which is designed in consultation with the program directors. Students typically spend the first and second years completing one year of training toward their public health degree, and one year toward their genetic counseling degree. In the third year, they combine training in genetic counseling and public health. Students develop a strong sense of community in both schools. The program includes academic coursework, an individual research project, and practical experience in genetic counseling and public health. Students are required to complete a minimum of 48 credit hours toward the MPH degree (at least 24 of which must be within HBHE), and a minimum of 46 credit hours toward the MS degree. They must complete a summer field experience in HBHE and six clinical genetic counseling placements.

Description: The MHSA/M.B.A. and MPH/M.B.A. are three-year programs offered jointly by the Department of Health Management and Policy (HMP) and the School of Business Administration. They are designed for people who wish to further enhance the business skills provided through the MBA curriculum.

Requirements: Students in the dual-degree program complete the MHSA or MPH and the M.B.A. degrees in three years, rather than the four normally required to complete each degree separately.

This combined degree program is not open to students who have already earned the MHSA, MPH, or the M.B.A. degree. However, students who are registered in the first year of the MHSA, MPH, or the M.B.A. degree programs may apply for admission to the dual program.
Students admitted to the dual-degree program are required to earn a minimum of 45 credits in the Business School and a minimum of 45 credits in the School of Public Health. In their first-year of study, they normally enroll in the required courses in the Business School. The second-year is then devoted to required courses in the MHSA program or the MPH program in UM SPH. In the third-year, students enroll in courses in both schools.

MHSA/M.B.A. and MPH/M.B.A. students are expected to spend the summer months between academic years in a hospital or other healthcare organization as paid administrative interns. The HMP faculty assists in the placement for one of the internships, and students consult the Business School for assistance with the second internship placement.

Description: This MS/PhD dual-degree program provides students who enter the Microbiology and Immunology PhD program in the Medical School with epidemiology training through the School of Public Health that broadens their training at the interface of infectious disease mechanisms, prevention, and control, and prepares trainees for careers in agencies such as the CDC or WHO, or other careers that combine the biomedical sciences and public health. This program, which had been operating on an ad hoc basis, was officially approved by the Rackham Graduate School in April 2009, and now attracts about one to two matriculants per year.

Requirements: Dual degree students complete all coursework required for both the Microbiology and Immunology PhD and the 42-credit Hospital and Molecular Epidemiology (HME) MPH degree. Students who complete these requirements are awarded the MS degree in HME concurrently with their PhDs. Students in this program perform laboratory research that contributes both to their PhD dissertation studies and to research capstone requirements in HME. All dual degree students participate both in the Epidemiology Student Seminar Course (EPID 565) and the Microbiology & Immunology student research series (MICRBIOL 812), as well as other activities that immerse them in the didactic features and learning cultures of both programs.

Description: The dual Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and Master of Public Health (MPH) - Health Management & Policy program allows qualified students enrolled in the PharmD program to work on pursuing studies in both fields during a five-year enrollment period. Upon completion of the dual program, students will have earned the PharmD degree, making them eligible for state licensure as a pharmacist, and the MPH degree in Health Management & Policy.

Requirements: Students are required to complete the degree requirements for both the PharmD and MPH degrees as outlined the curriculum guide for each program.

The PharmD degree requires 138 credit hours for degree completion (based on the Class of 2020 curriculum). This includes completion of required IPPE and APPE rotations which are included in the curriculum guide for all classes. The MPH degree in Health Management & Policy requires a total of 42 credit hours and completion of an approved internship. For the MPH degree, the total required number of credits must be taken while a student enrolled in the dual degree program.

PharmD students accepted into the dual program would begin enrollment in the School of Public Health following successful completion of the first three years of the PharmD program. Outlined below is the proposed enrollment timeline for completion of the dual degree program. Enrollment in the Spring/Summer semester of year five will be needed if degree requirements for either program are not fulfilled by the end of the winter term in year five. If an additional semester is needed in year five, degree conferral will be moved to August of that academic year.

Self-Initiated Dual Degree Policy

Self-initiated dual degree programs offer students the ability to complete two degree programs based on their particular interests.  Students interested in this option must apply to each program separately.  The current School of Public Health (SPH) Policy for admissions to a dual degree program states that students have to apply within their first year for any dual degree program. Occasionally, exceptions will be granted--exceptions to this policy will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Students should complete the Self-Initiated Dual Degree request form Authentication Required.

Graduate Self-Initiated Dual Degree Policy

Self-Initiated Dual Degree graduate students entering the Fall 2017 cohort or later, will have two options available for minimum credit completion at the School of Public Health. Self-Initiated Dual Degrees are not currently available for undergraduate students.

Option 1 

(*This option is required for all students earning two degrees within SPH.)

  • Complete a minimum of 45 credits toward program (CTP), registered under the Public Health career;
  • Students may NOT double-count any of these 45 credits;
  • If a self-initiated dual degree student earns a credit reduction from their summer internship, these credits may be applied to the 45 required SPH credits, up to a maximum of three (3) credits. Thus, earning the CEPH accreditation minimum of 42 credits for a degree program;
  • Complete the SPH Core Curriculum requirements;
  • Complete all the degree requirements specified by the admitting SPH department;
    • All exception/substitution requests can be submitted to the SPH department curriculum committee for review;
  • Complete all the degree requirements specified by the other degree unit; and
  • Coordinate coursework with a faculty academic advisor from both the SPH department and the other degree unit.

Option 2

(It is predicted that primarily students doing a self-initiated dual degree with a Rackham program will select this option.)

  • Complete a minimum of 60 credits toward program (CTP), registered under the Public Health career;
  • Students MAY double-count up to one sixth of the total of both programs, not to exceed half of either program, and not to fall below 42 credits registered under SPH;
  • If a self-initiated dual degree student earns a credit reduction from their summer internship, these credits may be applied to the required SPH credits, up to a maximum of three (3) credits. The credit reduction from the internship would reduce the amount of double counting allowed.
  • Complete the SPH Core Curriculum requirements;
  • Complete all the degree requirements specified by the admitting SPH department;
    • All exception/substitution requests can be submitted to the SPH department curriculum committee for review; 
  • Complete all the degree requirements specified by the other degree unit; and
  • Coordinate coursework with a faculty academic advisor from both the SPH department and the other degree unit.

Questions regarding dual degrees should initially be discussed with the Department Program Coordinator and/or Faculty Advisor. If you still have questions after this conversation, please contact the SPH Registrar, sph.registrar@umich.edu.