Academics » MD Program » Curriculum » Clinical Public Health » Combined MD/Public Health Degree Programs

Combined MD/Public Health Degree Programs

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, popultaion 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 the summer following Year 1 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 or contact the MD Public Health combined degree program at

Important Dates

SMHS Information Session, Early Admission: December 6, 2021: 6:30 -7:30 p.m.

Application Deadline, Early Admission: January 6, 2022: 11:59 p.m.

Milken Institute SPH Notifies Students of Determination, Early Admission: January 14, 2022

SMHS Information Session: March 15, 2022: 6:30 -7:30 p.m.

Application Deadline:March 2 4, 2022: 11:59 p.m.

Milken Institute SPH Notifies Applicants of Determination: April 1, 2022

SMHS Orientation for Accepted Students: April 5, 2022: 6:30 -7:30 p.m.

Declaration of Intent Submission Deadline: April 13, 2022: 11:59 p.m

Burgess Loan Application Deadline: April 15, 2021: 11:59 p.m.

SPH Advising & Registration Session: April 18, 2022: 6:30 -7:30 p.m.

Milken Institute SPH Classes Begin :July 1, 2022 (estimated)



Students enrolled in GW’s MD program are eligible to apply: MS1s can apply for either the MD/MPH or the MD/Certificate; MS3s and MS4s can apply for the MD/MPH. 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.

SPH coursework for the MD/Certificate begins the summer after MD Year 1; students apply in January of that year.

Milken SPH coursework for the MD/Certificate begins the summer after MD Year 1. For the MD/MPH, students may begin Milken SPH coursework during the summer following either MD Year 1 or 3. Some students may pursue the MD/MPH after MD Year 4 in consultation with their Advising Deans. All students apply in March of their start year. The application for both programs is an online form that includes academic information and a brief narrative statement.

The MD/Certificate requires successful completion of 4 Milken SPH courses (10 credits) in addition to the MD program (Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Social & Behavioral Health, Program Evaluation); courses are taken during the summer between Years 1 and 2 (approx. 5/18-7/25) and during the summer following Year 3 (approx. 5/18-6/27). The MD/Certificate is completed within the 4-year MD program. The MD/MPH requires successful completion of at least 30 credits taken at Milken SPH in addition to the MD program. Students may begin courses during the summer between MD Years 1 and 2 or during the summer following Year 3 or 4. Both MD/MPH start dates require a 1-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 5 years (4 MD + 1 MPH). Students pursuing the MPH after Year 4 will delay MD graduation for 1 year until completion of the MPH.

Students can transfer from MD/Certificate to MD/MPH by submitting a Milken SPH Admissions Petition. All 4 Milken SPH courses for the MD/ Certificate will apply toward the MD/MPH; students then continue on the MD/ MPH timeline with a 1-year leave of absence for MPH coursework between MD Years 3 and 4.

Students who begin MD/MPH courses following Year 1 can submit a Petition before Mid-March of Year 3 to transfer to the MD/Certificate; they will follow the MD/Certificate timeline and complete Milken SPH courses during the summer following MD Year 3.

No coursework or credits can be transferred from other institutions for either the MD/Certificate or MD/MPH.

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.

Students in the MD/Certificate are financially responsible for 10 Milken SPH credit hours at the published Milken SPH Certificate rate; total tuition for the MD/Certificate in 2020-21 is $12,730.

Students in the MD/MPH receive a 10% tuition discount for their 30 Milken SPH credits; total tuition for the MD/ MPH in 2020-21 is $46,250.

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.

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 SPH degree. The Certificate or MPH, however, will be awarded only if the MD and the SPH requirements are successfully completed.

The MD/Certificate does not require any of these.

The MPH requires a Culminating Experience satisfied through the MD program’s Summit IV. MD/MPH students must complete a 6-week Applied Practice Experience (APEx) in May-June after completing all MPH courses.

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).