Combined MD/Public Health Degree Programs

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The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) and the Milken Institute School of Public Health (SPH) offer two combined degree programs to prepare clinician-leaders to help drive the changing health care landscape, improve broad health systems, promote the health of communities, and engage in scholarly inquiry.  MD students at GW have the option of earning an MD/Master of Public Health (MD/MPH) with one additional year of training or completing an MD/Graduate Certificate in Public Health (MD/Certificate) during the four years of medical school.

Both combined programs capitalize on the MD program’s inclusion of its clinical public health curriculum and take full advantage of GW’s location in the nation’s capital, with unique proximity to policymakers, agencies, and organizations engaged in all aspects of health and health care. Upon completion of either the MD/MPH or MD/Certificate, students may take the national certifying exam in public health (CPH).


MD students can complete an MPH with one additional year of training (4 years MD + 1 year MPH) through a combination of online and residential MPH Courses. Students pursue a generalist MPH program that provides them with a broad knowledge of public health while offering a generous number of electives to allow students an opportunity to design a program tailored to their interests and goals. 

By capitalizing on the SMHS MD curriculum's inclusion of public health, population health, and health systems in its clinical public health curriculum, the MD/MPH provides 15 cross-credits for Milken SPH courses, with 30 credits to be completed at Milken SPH. Also, 4 credits from Milken SPH will cross-count as 4 weeks of  MD fourth-year electives. Students may begin Milken SPH coursework during the summer after Year 3 or Year 4 of the MD Program.

MD/Certificate in Public Health

MD students can gain a foundational understanding of the core disciplines of public health by completing a Graduate Certificate in Public Health during the four years of the MD program.  MD/Certificate students begin SPH courses during Year 4 and complete 10 credits at SPH while receiving 5 credits for MD clinical public health coursework.  Additionally, the MD Program accepts SPH coursework as 4 weeks of MD fourth-year electives.

For more information about both programs visit the Milken Institute School of Public Health's Program Overview or contact the MD Public Health combined degree program at

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Important Dates - 2023-2024

  Early Admission Regular Admission
Application Deadline Dec 6, 2023, 11:59 PM EST Mar 21, 2024, 11:59 PM EST
Milken Institute SPH Notifies Students of Determination Dec 14, 2023 Mar 29, 2024

SMHS Orientation for Accepted Students: April 2, 2024: 6:30 -7:30 p.m.

Declaration of Intent Submission Deadline: April 10, 2024: 11:59 p.m

Burgess Loan Application Deadline: April 15, 2024: 11:59 p.m.

SPH Advising & Registration Session: April 16, 2024: 6:30 -7:30 p.m.

Deadline to Submit Registration Forms: April 23, 2024: 11:59 p.m.

Milken Institute SPH Classes Begin: July 1, 2024 (estimated)

Download the Combined MD/Public Health Degree Informational Flier 


Who can apply for the Combined Degree Programs? What are the admission requirements?

Students enrolled in GW’s MD program are eligible to apply: MS3s and MS4s can apply for the MD/MPH; MS4s can apply for the MD/Certificate. MD students with less than a Passing Grade (Conditional, Fail) are not eligible to apply until the grade has been remediated. Students are not required to take the GRE, but must take USMLE Step 1 before beginning their MPH.


When and how do I apply for the Combined Degree Programs? When do I start the program?

Milken Institute SPH coursework for the MD/MPH begins during the summer following either MD Year 3 or 4. Some students may pursue the MD/Certificate during MD Year 4 in consultation with their advising dean. MD/MPH students may apply in either December or March of the MS3 year; MD/Certificate applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the MS4 Year. The application for both programs is an online form with academic information and a brief narrative.


What are the credit requirements? How long does it take?

The MD/Certificate requires successful completion of four Milken Institute SPH courses (10 credits) in addition to the MD program; courses are taken either all in one 10-week term, or divided across several 10-week terms. The MD/Certificate is completed within the four-year MD program. The MD/MPH requires successful completion of at least 30 credits at Milken Institute SPH in addition to the MD program. Students may begin courses during the summer following Year 3 or 4. The MD/MPH requires a one-year leave of absence from the MD program between MD Years 3 and 4 or after Year 4 to complete the MPH coursework for a total of five years (4 MD + 1 MPH). Students pursuing the MPH after Year 4 will delay MD graduation for one year until completion of the MPH.

Can I transfer from one Combined Degree Program to the other? Can I transfer credits from other schools?

Students can transfer from the MD/Certificate to MD/MPH. All four Milken Institute SPH courses for the MD/Certificate will apply toward the MD/MPH; students then continue on the MD/MPH timeline with a one-year leave of absence for MPH coursework. No coursework or credits can be transferred from other institutions for either the MD/Certificate or MD/MPH.

Can I participate in a Combined Degree Program AND a Scholarly Concentration in the MD Program?

Yes. Students should share their interest in the combined programs with the Office of Student Professional Enrichment (OSPE) as early as possible. Once in a Scholarly Concentration (SC), MS1s should begin early in the spring semester to discuss their combined degree plans with their SC Director and summer project mentor to ensure the focus, workload, and schedule will meet the SC summer internship requirements.

What is the tuition for the SPH portion of the Combined Degree Programs?

Students in the MD/Certificate are financially responsible for 10 Milken Institute SPH credit hours at the published MD/Certificate rate; total tuition for the MD/Certificate in 2022-23 is $12,860. Students in the MD/MPH receive a 10% tuition discount for their 30 Milken Institute SPH credits; total tuition for the MD/MPH in 2022-23 is $48,600.

Are the Combined Degree Programs eligible for Financial Aid?

Both the MD/Certificate and MD/MPH are eligible for federal financial aid. Applications and disbursements are handled by the SMHS Office of Financial Aid. Deadline for submission for summer aid is July 1, but late fees may apply so students are encouraged to apply by mid-April to ensure continuity of funding streams.

What happens if I drop the SPH portion of the Combined Degree Programs without completing it?

The MD remains the primary degree for both the MD/Certificate and MD/MPH; the MD will be awarded if the MD requirements are successfully completed regardless of the status of the Milken Institute SPH degree. The Certificate or MPH will be awarded only if the MD and public health requirements are completed.

Do I need to complete a Practicum, Thesis, Culminating Experience, and/or Capstone?

The MD/Certificate does not require any of these. The MPH requires a Culminating Experience satisfied through the MD program’s Summit IV. Also, MD/MPH students must complete an Applied Practice Experience (APEx) in Spring of their MPH Year after completing all MPH courses.

Will I be able to sit for the national certifying exam for public health?

All students who successfully complete the MD/Certificate or the MD/MPH are eligible to sit for the national certifying exam through NBPHE – Certified in Public Health (CPH).