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    DO/MPH students taking a break from class


The discipline of osteopathic medicine –with its traditional emphasis on treating the whole person, education, and prevention –is particularly well‐suited to complement public health in its mission to promote and protect individual and population health. Students concurrently enrolled in the DO/MPH Program are provided with an integrated curriculum that focuses on understanding that with each patient, there is an opportunity to impact overall community health by examining health issues on a population basis rather than the individual. Students gain an awareness of population medicine -beyond the emphasis on just how to treat individual patients- as well as healthcare systems and how they work. The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)/MPH Dual Degree at TUC provides students:

  • Increased knowledge of and sensitivity to the political, historical, economic and social environments of health promotion and health services delivery;

  • Increased capacity to incorporate preventive practices into care of individual patients;

  • Greater knowledge in the area of health policy and management;

  • Opportunities for physicians who want to initiate change in managed health care, hospitals, and acute care centers;

  • Planning, implementation, and evaluation of interventions to improve the health of a population; and

  • Ability to investigate outbreaks of disease or symptoms in a population.

Physicians with MPH degrees enjoy a wide range of career choices that can benefit the overall care they can offer their patients and their community:

  • Leadership positions with health departments, federal and international agencies, managed care organizations and healthcare providers, schools of medicine and public health;

  • Performing clinical research;

  • Planning and implementing disease prevention and control strategies; and

  • Consulting in global health research and programs.

Why get your dual degree at TUC?

There are many advantages to getting your MPH degree while concurrently obtaining your DO degree in the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM):

  • The TUC Public Health Program is dedicated to reducing health disparities in local and global communities with an unwavering focus on social justice.

  • While the full MPH degree is 42 units of study, as a dual degree student you complete 30 units within the Public Health Program, and the remaining 12 units are transferred from the DO curriculum and cover related cross‐over content.

  • The TUC Public Health Program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), an indicator of a public health program’s quality and viability. Certain professional positions and fellowships are only open to those with degrees from CEPH‐accredited programs.

DO/MPH Curriculum

A total number of 30 units are required for the DO/MPH Dual Degree. Fifteen units are in the 5 core public health disciplines: Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health Science, Health Policy and Management, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Students complete 10 units in their specialty track, Community Health or Global Health, and 4 units of the Public Health Field Study. Students have the option to enroll in the 1-unit MPH Capstone Course, OR the 1-unit Certified in Public Health (CPH) Prep Exam Course, which prepares students to sit for the National Board of Public Health Examiners CPH Exam.

The COMMUNITY ACTION FOR HEALTH CONCENTRATION prepares students to respond to the health needs of communities, especially those communities that face unique vulnerabilities due to current and historical policies and practices and is comprised of the following courses:

  • Health Disparities and Community Organizing

  • Health Education and Promotion

The GLOBAL HEALTH CONCENTRATION prepares students to be global health advocates and leaders. Our curriculum reflects the realities of health around the world and reinforces the links between countries at different stages of economic development. The Global Health Concentration is comprised of the following courses:

  • Essentials of Global Health

  • Emerging Health Threats

The HEALTH EQUITY & CRIMINAL JUSTICE CONCENTRATION is a new emphasis in the Public Health Program designed to address the impact of criminal justice involvement and incarceration on the health of individuals, families and communities.  Students gain an understanding of the needs of these populations through field study and specialized courses including:

  • Criminal Justice and Public Health

  • Criminal Justice Law and Advocacy

MPH CULMINATING EXPERIENCE: Upon completion of all MPH core and track-required courses, students must complete the following courses:

  • CPH Prep Exam Course (1 Unit): This course prepares students for the 4-hour CPH Exam, which consists of 200 multiple choice questions and covers the five core areas of knowledge offered in CEPH–accredited schools and programs, as well as cross–cutting areas relevant to contemporary public health.


  • MPH Capstone Course (1 Unit): Students who elect to complete a Capstone Project in lieu of the CPH Exam are required to produce a substantial, original, independently written manuscript concerning a significant public health problem and share and defend their work during an oral presentation.


    Public Health Field Study: In either Y3 or Y4, all DO/MPH students are required to complete a 4-unit Public Health Field Study over a 6-week block under the guidance of preceptors at affiliated public health field study organizations that serve as field study placement sites. The Field Study also satisfies the COM Research Rotation Elective. Please see track-specific requirements below:

    • ENERGY2Community Health Concentration students complete the Field Study at Community Health field study sites that include, but are not limited to: county health departments, state and federal health agencies, community health organizations, hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, academic institutions, California correctional facilities, philanthropic and voluntary health agencies, and non-profit organizations.

    • Global Health Concentration students conduct their field boliviafieldstudy2013studies at sites in Bolivia, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Nepal, and Uganda under the guidance of site preceptors and course coordinators at public health institutions, universities, ministries of health, non-governmental organizations, and United Nations agencies.

Options for Dual Degree Study

The Program's academic calendar is divided into semesters - from August to December (Fall), January to May (Spring) - and into a session from June to August (Summer). Students may pursue the dual DO/MPH degree in one of two ways:

  • Begin public health courses the summer before entering COM. The didactic coursework will be completed during that first summer and the summer after the first year of COM. Students may then take the CPH exam and complete the Public Health Field Study during 6-week blocks designated for public health rotations; OR

  • Add a 5th year to the four years in COM. Students take a leave of absence from COM after completing their second year and boards, and spend a year immersed in public health. All didactic coursework is completed during the year, and the Field Study is completed during 6-week blocks designated for public health rotations.

There are two benefits to the 5th year option: 1) If you are interested in completing a Capstone Project rather than taking the CPH exam, this gives you the time to work closely with a faculty member; and 2) If you are unable to start the MPH program the summer before starting COM, you can still take advantage of the streamlined nature of the DO/MPH Dual Degree Program which requires only 30 units.

Contact Information

For specific information or questions regarding the DO/MPH Program, contact:

Gayle Cummings, PsyD, MPH
Assistant Dean and Program Director
phone: 707-638-5831