• Joint Public Health with PA

    Touro students meet Mayor Bob Sampayan

PA and PH: Integrating the Professions

TUC’S Joint Program: A Unique Blend

In 2002, Touro University California (TUC) introduced a new type of program: a blended education that prepared a physician assistant (PA) with a public health perspective. By integrating coursework, students are able to earn two degrees simultaneously, and with less coursework than if the two degrees are pursued separately. The students in the Joint Program meet the same requirements for completion of the MPH degree as students seeking the stand-alone MPH degree, and differ only in how they meet those requirements. The credits from six PA courses and one of the clinical rotations apply towards the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, and four of the Public Health courses apply towards the Master of Science in PA Studies (MSPAS) degree. This overlapping structure distinguishes the Joint Program from other PA programs with MPH options, where the two courses of study are pursued independently. PA courses counting towards the Public Health degree:

  • Topics in PA Practice I, II, and III
  • Clinical Medicine II
  • Maternal Child Health I
  • Maternal Child Health II
  • Geriatrics
  • Primary Care I Rotation

Public Health courses counting towards the PA degree:

  • Behavioral & Social Aspects of Public Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Program Evaluation
  • Research Methods

Public Health at TUC

Since its beginnings with the PA Program, the Public Health Program has grown and become independently accredited. In addition to educating MSPAS/MPH students, the program has developed partnerships with other academic programs at TUC. In addition to the Joint MSPAS/MPH degree option, there is a single degree option and two dual degree options – DO/MPH and PharmD/MPH. As with the Joint Program, these students complete 30 credit units of public health courses and transfer 12 from their curricula. However, as the course overlap only goes one way (i.e., no MPH courses are counted towards the DO and PharmD degrees), these options are referred to as the Dual DO/MPH and the Dual PharmD/MPH degrees. 

All TUC MPH students gain depth through coursework in a chosen specialized public health track, selecting Community Action for Health, Global Health, or Health Equity and Criminal Justice

Check out the MPH student testimonial video below!

You can also visit the Public Heath Prospective Students page for more information.



  • 2002: The Joint Program is first accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the PA (ARC-PA), enabling it to provide physician assistant education. TUC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and can grant MPH and MSPAS degrees. Select courses are considered toward both the MPH and MSPAS degrees, making this a Joint Program. The Physician Assistant Program’s students are all also Public Health students.
  • 2003: The Class of 2005 starts in January and the Class of 2006 a few months later. Subsequent classes matriculate each August and are identified by the year they will graduate - e.g., the Class of 2007 matriculated August 2004.
  • 2005: The first class graduates from the Joint Program, having earned MSPAS and MPH degrees.
  • 2007: An independent MPH degree is offered, along with a dual degree with the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM). For the first time, the Public Health Program has students who are not Physician Assistant students.
  • 2008: The Public Health Program graduates its first three independent students.
  • 2009: The Public Health Program earns accreditation from the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH). Some MPH-level employment is only open to graduates of CEPH-accredited public health schools or programs, such as the US Public Health Service.
  • 2010: A dual degree is offered with the College of Pharmacy (COP).
  • 2011: The first DO/MPH students graduate.
  • 2014: The first PharmD/MPH students graduate.