Masters in Public Health

I was wondering if anyone has any advice they can offer on my situation. I am graduating this semester and still have several pre-med classes to take. I was interested in getting a masters in public health along the way too.

I met with a public health advisor to see if in those 2 years of finishing the masters work, I could try to incorporate pre-med coursework. She said I could at most take one pre-med class a semester. This sounded great!

However, my pre-med advisor said that I would not be a competative applicant for med schools because I would not be taking two hard science classes in a semester. Is this true? Does the fact that I would be getting a masters compensate for this?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Another option for getting your MPH is to do in during medical school. More and more medical schools are offering dual degree programs - MD/JD, MD/MBA, MD/MPH to name a few. At my school, you do the MPH portion between your second and third year of medical school. There are also several different focuses for an MPH - public policy, clinical research, etc. We have a great MPH in clinical research program right now where not only is your tuition paid for by the NIH, you also receive a stipend.

I think Amy’s (Emergency’s) advice about doing the degree while in school is very compelling. I know of at least one school that offers an MPH that has about half its credits shared with regular medical school curriculum, making it considerably less work than doing the standalone degree followed by MD/DO. If you can squeeze in some courses in the spring and summer, you will only need to take like 4 extra credits during your whole four years of medical school, and you get an MPH out of the deal. Undoubtedly other schools have similar arrangements.

Regarding your premed advisor’s comment about needing to take >1 prereq per semester, I suggest you ask him for some statistics to back that up. Just how many medical schools, especially out of the ones that you’re interested in attending, have this kind of preference? My guess is, very few. The Wash U’s, Yales, and Hopkins, the heavy research oriented schools may prefer to see a heavier dose of science but most med schools these days want to see diverse and broad backgrounds in their candidates because it’s been demonstrated that people with broad backgrounds tend to make good physicians.

Good luck,