MD/MPH Four-Year Program

The educational mission of the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California is to improve the quality of life for individuals and society by promoting health, preventing and curing disease, advancing biomedical research and educating tomorrow’s physicians and scientists. To help meet that mission the Keck School of Medicine has established the four-year MD/MPH Dual Degree Program.

Program Description

The Keck School of Medicine’s four-year MD/MPH dual-degree program allows a student enrolled in the MD program to concurrently enroll in an accelerated MPH program that leads to graduation at the end of four years with both degrees. The goal of the four-year dual-degree program is to prepare Keck medical graduates for careers in public health, community medicine and health policy.  Clinically-trained physicians with the MPH degree can take positions in state and local health departments, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, non-profit organizations such as community health centers, and health plans.  They may also work in international contexts. Keck will graduate physicians who have the academic knowledge and skills, and clinical experience to improve the health of populations, particularly those in underserved communities.

The joint MD/MPH program is designed for individuals who wish to acquire not only medical practice competencies, but also an understanding of the history, organization, goals and philosophy of public health.  Areas of study will focus on the broader determinants of health including the effects of the environment and health behaviors on health status, preventive medicine, health promotion, health services delivery and health policy.  It will also help students develop competencies needed for population health management such as biostatistics, epidemiology, policy analysis, and evaluation.

The Keck MPH program is at an exciting moment in its growth and is highly regarded among all MPH programs in the nation for many reasons.

  • Distinguished faculty at USC produce groundbreaking research that addresses critical issues facing our global society
  • The Keck School’s unique location, resources and opportunities help create a rich educational environment for graduate students
  • A vast network of individuals throughout the community provide students with lifelong opportunities to gain real-world experience while making a lasting impact on public health
  • The program’s diverse curriculum combined with customized practicum opportunities make the MPH program at USC outstanding
  • Opportunities to complete a community-based scholarly research project as the practicum and capstone project for the MPH degree

The Accelerated MD/MPH Program Curriculum

The MD/MPH four-year integrated curriculum addresses the knowledge, skills and experiences fundamental to those competencies required of a public health physician at the time of graduation from medical school.

The MPH Program Plan is as follows:

  • Core Coursework (36 units)
  • PM 501 Foundations in Health Education Behavior (4 units )
  • PM 508 Health Service Delivery in the U.S. (4 units)
  • PM 510 Principles of Biostatistics (4 units)
  • PM 512 Principles of Epidemiology (4 units)
  • PM 525 Culture and Health: Global Perspectives (4 Units)
  • PM 529 Environmental and Occupational Health: An Epidemiological Approach (4 units)
  • PM 564 Public Health Leadership and Management* (3 units)
  • PM 596 Practicum in Public Health (2 units)
  • PM 597 Capstone in Public Health (2 units)
  • Public Health Policy & Politics (4 units)*
  • Quality in Healthcare (4 units)*
  • Clinical Track Elective Coursework* (8 units)

For students accepted in the program, MPH classes will begin in May prior to the first year of medical school and continue at specific points during the medical school curriculum. At the end of Year 3 students will spend one six-week elective block taking classes to complete their core MPH courses and their capstone project. The clinical track electives will be completed during Year 4.

The MPH program is a 47-unit program. Dual degree students complete 36 units of MPH curricula, receive credit for 8 units from the MD coursework and are waived from taking PM 564 Public Health Leadership and Management* (3 units). Additionally, dual degree students receive a 150 hour waiver of required practicum hours for a total practicum hour requirement of 150 hours. Students also receive 6 weeks of MD elective credit for MPH coursework. The MPH Practicum and Capstone project will fulfill the Required Scholarly Project Requirement. Schedule is subject to change depending on track and course availability.


Summer prior to Year 1: PM 501, PM 508, PM 510, PM 512
Summer prior to Year 2: PM 596 (Practicum)
Summer after Year 3: PM 525, PM 529, PM 597
Year 4: Clinical Track Electives (Public Health Policy & Politics; Quality in Healthcare)

Year 1 Course # Course Title Units
Summer Prior to Year 1 PM 501 Foundations in Health Education and Promotion 4 Units
PM 508 Health Service Delivery in the US 4 Units
PM 510L Principles of Biostatics 4 Units
PM512 Principles of Epidemiology 4 Units
Fall Medical School Curriculum
Spring Medical School Curriculum
Year 2
Summer Prior to Year II Practicum in Public Health 2 Units (150 hours)
Fall Medical School Curriculum
Spring Medical School Curriculum
Year 3
Fall Medical School Curriculum
Spring Medical School Curriculum
M.P.H Electives 8 Units
Environmental Health 4 Units
Year 4
Fall Medical School Curriculum
Spring Medical School Curriculum
Fall/Spring M.P.H Elective 4 Units
Spring Capstone in Public Health 2 Units

*MPH Practicum and Capstone meet the requirements for the Keck School of Medicine Required Scholarly Project Public Health Policy & Politics; Quality in Healthcare

Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM)

Because of public health’s emphasis on prevention and the broader determinants of health, many MPH students also have a strong interest in primary care.  As such, MD/MPH students are encouraged to enroll in the Introduction to Clinical Medicine Longitudinal Primary Care and Community Medicine Program (LCCME). The curriculum is a bit different than that of the Keck School of Medicine’s regular ICM/doctoring course.  Students participate in outpatient; urban underserved community-based experiences as part of their regular ICM program (as opposed to mostly inpatient, hospital-based experiences) and are placed with a primary care mentor.  This ICM track exposes students to a continuity model of care delivery that helps prepare students for careers in primary care including pediatrics, family medicine, internal medicine and OB/GYN. LCCME will augment students’ training in public health by placing like-minded interested students together with primary care faculty role models. Further, the program will connect students to opportunities to conduct community-based research to fulfill requirements for the MPH Practicum and Capstone experience using community-based resources.

For details of the ICM program please click here.


Applicants must apply for the program by selecting the “Combined Medical Degree/Graduate” application type within the AMCAS primary application. The supplemental application will provide applicants with the opportunity to submit a separate personal statement of intent required for consideration for the MD/MPH program. If you select to apply to the MD/MPH program, decisions regarding admission are made independent of the admission decision to the MD program. The prerequisites for the MD/MPH program are the same as those for the regular MD program.

The first block of MPH courses begin in the third week of May requiring that students accept a position in the MD/MPH program no later April 15th.

Financial Information

Scholarships are available for both the MD and MPH portion of the program. All applicants admitted are automatically given consideration for scholarships.