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MD Dual Degree Curriculum

Each dual degree program offers a different learning experience. Read on to learn more about how the School of Medicine partners with other schools throughout Emory University to offer dynamic programs.


Following the second year of medical school and after passing Step 1 of the U. S. Medical Licensing Examination, students are admitted in advanced standing into a graduate training program where they begin working on the PhD under the direction of a thesis advisor. Students in the graduate years present clinical cases and journal articles at the MD/PhD Clinical Research Conference as well as satisfy all the academic requirements of their chosen program of graduate study. Students in the graduate years are also encouraged to seek out opportunities for clinical experiences in their area(s) of interest.

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The MD/MPH program is designed to be completed within five years, four of which are spent primarily in the School of Medicine.  The year spent in the School of Public Health follows the Clinical block of the new medical school curriculum (see “MD Curriculum”) and completion of the MD/MPH program satisfies the Discovery Phase requirement.  Entry to the MPH year is contingent on satisfactory evaluation of academic standing and professional conduct in the School of Medicine.

Between 32 and 42 credit hours, depending on the degree concentration, are required to achieve the MPH degree.  This includes core courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, public policy, healthcare management, environmental health, and behavioral sciences, plus additional hours of directed studies/thesis.  A thesis project representing original analytic work concerning a public health problem is required for most of the MPH degree concentrations.

Emory University School of Medicine and Rollins School of Public Health cooperate in an exciting dual-degree MD/MPH program to prepare physicians for leadership roles in public health. The MPH degree is a valuable addition for students who have special interests in any of the public health disciplines. Students who choose this path are automatically accepted into the MPH program provided they successfully complete the medical school curriculum prior to the MPH year.

Students typically complete the first three years of the MD program, followed by a year in public health, followed by completion of the final MD year in the School of Medicine (see “MD Curriculum”).

  • Rollins School of Public Health Majors for MD/MPH Students
  • Environmental and Occupational Health and Epidemiology
  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Global Health
  • Health Policy and Management
  • Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Behavioral Sciences and Health Education
  • Global Environmental Health
  • Global Epidemiology

For more information about the public health disciplines offered at Emory, please contact:

John E. McGowan Jr., MD
Director, MD/MPH Program

*Please note that curriculum revision is an ongoing process and changes may be made at any time.

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Investigators undertaking clinical and translational research must couple their knowledge of medicine and biology with analytic sciences including statistical reasoning, decision analysis, probability theory, analytical epidemiology, and informatics.  They must also have an understanding of the principles of evidence-based medicine, implementation science, bioethics, clinical trial design, regulations involving human subjects and animals, scientific and grant writing, and responsible conduct of research.  

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MD/MA in Bioethics

All students in Medicine at Emory complete a 5-month Discovery Phase, which gives students an opportunity to participate in research in their individual areas of interest.  Students with an interest in a robust program in bioethics simply replace the 5-month Discovery Phase with the MA-Bioethics Program, adding an additional year to complete the MA course requirements (5 years total is required for the MD/MA degree).  Entry to the MA year is contingent on satisfactory evaluation of academic standing and professional conduct in the School of Medicine.

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Other Programs for Medical Students

The medical school curriculum allows great flexibility for medical students to pursue outside opportunities, typically coinciding with the Discovery Phase and in between the third and fourth years of medical school.  For example, the Juris Master (JM) program at Emory Law School and the MD/MBA program at the Goizueta Business School both utilize the time from the traditional curriculum’s 5-month Discovery Phase period, adding an additional year to complete the course requirements (5 years total is required for the MD/JM and MD/MBA degrees).  Entry to each program is contingent on satisfactory evaluation of academic standing and professional conduct in the School of Medicine, as well as separate application to the respective school’s program.