Dual Degrees

Interdisciplinary Degrees

The program offers interdisciplinary education for students desiring dual study in medicine (M.D./M.P.H.), dental medicine (D.M.D./M.P.H.), law (J.D./M.P.H.), social work (M.S.W./M.P.H.), pharmacy (Pharm.D./M.P.H.), and nursing (M.S./M.P.H.). Interdisciplinary study typically is accomplished by respective programs recognizing 12 credits of coursework completed within the other program (e.g., public health credits waived for specified courses completed within the schools of medicine, dental medicine, law, social work, pharmacy, or nursing). We also have had a few students who have combined their coursework in health systems management (a concentration in the M.B.A. program) or their doctoral study in nutritional sciences or anthropology with our public health program.

Admissions Process for Dual Degree

Students considering interdisciplinary education should consult with Jane Ungemack, coordinator of Interdisciplinary Programs, at ungemack@uchc.edu, for information prior to making application to the program. Candidates applying to both programs concurrently must submit two separate applications, two separate sets of transcripts, and pay two application fees. Candidates already admitted to one program (whether or not they have matriculated in that first program) must submit a new application and pay the fee; however, they can ask the Graduate Admissions office (gradadmissions@uconn.edu) to use the transcripts originally submitted. Applicants would have to submit new transcripts for course work taken after the original transcripts were submitted to the university.

The University of Connecticut offers medical students the opportunity to earn the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree concurrently with the Doctor of Medicine. The combined program has been developed to prepare future physicians to deal more effectively and creatively with the rapidly changing environment of medicine and health care. The dual degree M.D./M.P.H. program is co-sponsored by the UConn School of Medicine and the Master of Public Health Program, Graduate Programs in Public Health. Based within the Department of Community Medicine and Health Care at UConn Health, the Master of Public Health Program is nationally accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

Admissions Requirements for M.D./M.P.H.
Candidates must meet the admission requirements of both the UConn School of Medicine and the Master of Public Health Program. The M.P.H. program seeks students with a strong academic record, commitment to the health of the community, relevant background and/or experience, and career goals relevant to public health. Those with experience and knowledge of the U.S. public health system are preferred. Application to the M.P.H. program is streamlined for M.D./M.P.H. students. To initiate an application, individuals should submit a personal letter of application that addresses the admissions criteria above and a copy of the letter of acceptance to the School of Medicine. The application fee is waived for M.D./M.P.H. candidates.

Applications are considered for admission to the fall and spring semesters for medical students who have already completed at least the first half of year one; beginning medical students are considered for the spring semester of their first year. The M.P.H. application deadline is January 15 for the fall semester and on a rolling basis after that date if there are available slots. Spring admission is on a rolling basis. At the current time, there are no additional tuition costs for medical students who wish to pursue the M.D./M.P.H. degree but registration fees do apply.

The D.M.D./M.P.H. combined degree is a joint program that will train students with the skills necessary to apply public health principles to oral health problems. The D.M.D./M.P.H. program is designed to produce skilled dental health professionals equipped with a broad knowledge of health problems and health delivery. Graduates of the program will be capable of assuming leadership roles in community dental health promotion, oral health disease prevention, and dental health research programs.

The M.S.W./M.P.H. combined degree is a well-recognized dual degree field that offers interdisciplinary preparation in the fields of social work and public health. The objective is to provide the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to promote health, prevent illness and disease, and enhance the delivery of health and social services in the community. The degree is based on the idea that many social workers are involved in health delivery systems and are interested in taking a population-based look at the systems. The M.S.W./M.P.H. degree allows students to build interdisciplinary skills and an interdisciplinary professional distinctiveness by developing an understanding of the scope of each field and the interrelationships of the fields. The concurrent degree is offered by the School of Social Work and the Department of Community Medicine and Healthcare. The program enables students to complete within three years the requirements for the M.S.W. and M.P.H. degrees, which would require four years of academic work if earned separately.

The Pharm.D./M.P.H. combined degree is intended to provide students special skills in public health as it relates to pharmacotherapy and health promotion, disease prevention and medication safety. Public health and pharmacy have interests that are related in the spread of treatment of disease, community health, bioterrorism, managed care, and many other areas. Depending on the student’s choice of specialization within the M.P.H., the degree could lead to a wide variety of career options. Graduates of the program would be qualified to work in public and private hospitals, private practice, insurance and managed care organizations, local, county, state, or federal government, and public health agencies including: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, or the Food and Drug Administration. Pharm.D./M.P.H. holders might take on leadership roles in practice, governmental agencies, academics, and research. The concurrent degree is offered by the School of Pharmacy and the Department of Community Medicine and Healthcare.

The J.D./M.P.H. is an interdisciplinary program in law/public health designed for students who wish to integrate study of the legal and health care systems and reduce by one year the time required to obtain both degrees. It recognizes that an understanding of the legal system is increasingly important to health care administrators and policy planners, while policy planners trained initially in law, and attorneys more generally, find a sound professional grasp of health care systems and their administration is vital to their own work. Students completing the degree will develop expertise in public health legal issues. This degree program is intended to train qualified persons for leadership roles in both the public and private sectors. Instructors include members of UConn Health’s Division of Public Health Law and Bioethics in the Department of Community Medicine and Health Care; other UConn Health faculty; joint faculty of the UConn School of Law; and health attorneys and public health practitioners from the greater Hartford area. Students enrolled in the interdisciplinary program must earn 86 credits toward the law degree and 48 credits toward the M.P.H. degree. However, they may accelerate by applying 12 credits in relevant law courses to the M.P.H. degree and 12 credits in public health law and policy courses to the J.D. degree. For more information specific to the J.D./M.P.H. program, contact Zita Lazzarini at lazzarini@uchc.edu.