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12 Best DPT/MPH Dual Degree Programs – 2023
Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Do you have a bachelor’s degree but want to make a big career move? Are you interested in how the body works and how mobility is associated with health? Does learning about public health issues and finding ways to address public health concerns sound like something you could do? If so, a DPT/MPH dual degree program could be the perfect choice for you.
Perhaps you have heard of Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Public Health degrees but did not know you could earn them concurrently. Maybe you heard of the concurrent programs but wondered, “What are the best DPT/MPH dual degree programs?” If this sounds like you, the 12 best DPT/MPH dual degree programs for 2023 featured in this article are a great place to start. As you continue reading, you will learn about this dual degree option, including finding information about cost, curriculum, and practical training. When you finish reading this article, you will have enough information to decide if taking the next steps to earn a dual DPT/MPH degree is right for you.
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WHAT EXACTLY IS THE GOAL OF A DPT/MPH DUAL DEGREE PROGRAM?
DPT/MPH dual degree programs are designed to prepare students with dual degrees as a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Public Health. Program goals are focused on educating professionals capable of using evidence-based practices, research, and hands-on practice to promote health and wellness among individuals, families, and populations.
IS A DPT/MPH DUAL DEGREE PROGRAM HARD TO COMPLETE?
DPT/MPH dual degree programs are challenging. The programs feature doctoral- and master’s-level coursework in two fields that could stand alone. While the curriculum is rigorous, with planning and dedication to studies, you can succeed and graduate with the dual degree.
5 MOST IMPORTANT SKILLS AND ABILITIES YOU WILL GAIN IN A DPT/MPH DUAL DEGREE PROGRAM
The best DPT/MPH dual degree programs prepare students for exciting careers with high levels of responsibilities. You will learn through a rigorous curriculum and practical training experiences. The following are five of the most important skills and abilities you will gain in a DPT/MPH dual degree program.
1. The Ability to Address Emerging Public Health Trends:
With a dual DPT/MPH degree, you will develop the ability to recognize changes in public health patterns, trends, and issues, which can be beneficial for developing education and preventive strategies to protect the public health.
2. The Ability to Assess Patients Across the Lifespan and Treat Issues Related to Physical Mobility:
Every successful diet plan tells us that being active is the key to healthy living. In a DPT/MPH dual degree program, you will learn to assess patients of all ages across the health and wellness spectrum to determine factors impacting physical mobility and help create plans to get patients moving to promote better health.
3. Strong Clinical Decision-Making Skills:
In dual DPT/MPH degree programs, students learn to use strong clinical judgment to make critical decisions regarding issues related to population health. The decisions you make could make a difference in whether underserved populations receive resources needed to promote wellness and decrease the occurrence of illness and disease.
4. The Ability to Use Evidence-Based Practices to Impact Patients and Populations:
The DPT/MPH dual degree programs prepare students to use evidence-based practice and research methods to determine health risks and trends and to create and implement plans to promote health and wellness.
5. The Ability to Understand and Lobby for Changes in Public Policies Affecting Populations:
DPT/MPH dual degree programs educate students about public welfare and policies. When you graduate from one of these programs, you will have the knowledge, skills, and credentials needed to lobby for changes that could impact individuals, families, and populations.
3 MAIN ADVANTAGES OF DPT/MPH DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS
Any time you consider going back to school, it is necessary to weigh the advantages and disadvantages. The following are three main advantages of dual DPT/MPH programs.
1. You can impact public health by educating people about how physical mobility influences health and wellness:
Many non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis are closely related to lifestyle habits, including a person’s physical activity. With a dual DPT/MPH degree, you can use your knowledge of physical therapy and mobility to educate people about how a lack of mobility can lead to illness and disease.
2. You will have access to career opportunities in two specialty fields:
You can use your dual DPT/MPH degree to pursue a career that utilizes both degrees. You could also choose to pursue a career in public health or physical therapy. Because you have two degrees, the career opportunities are endless.
3. You can earn two degrees in the same time it could take you to earn one:
One of the main advantages of DPT/MPH dual degree programs is that you can earn two graduate degrees in three to five years. Earning the degrees separately could take eight years or longer, depending on whether you enroll part-time or full-time.
WHEN DO DUAL DPT/MPH PROGRAMS START?
DPT/MPH dual degree programs start at different times. Some schools have multiple start dates. Others offer rolling admissions and multiple start dates. Typically, faculty and clinical site availability determine how many start dates schools offer each year. The following are some examples of start dates for some of the programs featured in this article.
HOW MANY CREDITS ARE THERE IN DUAL DPT/MPH PROGRAMS?
The credits required for dual DPT/MPH program differs from one program to the next. On average, students in these programs complete between 150 and 170 credits. The following are some examples from some of our featured programs.
• Emory University
is a program that consists of 144 semester credit hours. Thirty-two of those credits are spent on the MPH program courses, and the remaining 112 credits are spent on DPT program courses.
• The University of Colorado’s
dual DPT/MPH program consists of 158-semester credits. The curriculum includes 116 credit hours earned through the DPT component and 42 credit hours from the MPH component.
The New York Medical College
DPT/MPH dual degree consists of a 120-credit hour curriculum for the DPT part and also requires 31 more credits for the MPH part of the program.
The University of Buffalo
consists of a total of 150 credits to be completed for the dual DPT/MPH program. You will earn 43 credits from MPH coursework. The remaining credits are earned through DPT courses.
At the University of Florida
, students in the DPT/MPH dual degree program must earn 168 total credits. 113 credits are earned through the DPT curriculum and 48 from MPH coursework. The college allows rollover credits between the two programs.
HOW LONG ARE DPT/MPH DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS?
DPT/MPH dual degree programs vary in length and can range from anywhere between 3 and 5 years, depending on the university you choose to attend. Before you decide where you want to attend, you will want to spend some time researching the different programs to find one that works best for you. Below you can find a list of programs in different universities and how long you can anticipate each program to take.
Most students complete the DPT/MPH dual degree program at Emory University School of Medicine
in four years. Years one, two, and four are dedicated to the DPT curriculum. The third year involves a break in the DPT curriculum during which you will complete the MPH curriculum.
The University of Colorado
DPT/MPH dual degree program can be completed in as little as three and a half years. The DPT portion of the program takes two and a half years. The MPH can be completed in one year. It is important to note, though, that depending on your degree concentration, the MPH part of the program can take longer than one year.
You can complete the DPT/MPH dual degree program through the New York Medical College
in four years. You will begin the program in the Physical Therapy component. Upon recommendation of the DPT chair, you may complete the MPH component by the end of the academic year following completion of the DPT program component.
The dual DPT/MPH degree program at the University of Florida
is designed to be completed in four years. The first two years of the program involve DPT coursework and practical training. The third year consists of mostly MPH coursework. In the final year, the remaining credits for both components are completed.
The University of Wisconsin
dual DPT/MPH degree program is designed in a four-year format. The program begins with the first year of MPH coursework followed by two years of DPT didactic work. The fourth year of the program involves MPH applied practice experiences and integrative learning experience/capstone as well as the final year of DPT internships.
HOW MUCH DO DPT/MPH DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS COST?
One of the essential steps in planning for college is preparing to meet the financial obligation. Dual DPT/MPH programs can cost as little as $50,000 to more than $235,000. The following are a few examples of the cost of some of the programs featured in this article.
At Emory University
, tuition is calculated at a rate of $13,623 per academic year. The program takes an average of four years to complete, which means students pay approximately $54,492
Tuition for the dual DPT/MPH program at the University of Colorado
. The school charges a per-credit rate of $548 for DPT courses and $833 for MPH courses.
At Northwestern University
the three-year DPT/MPH dual degree program costs an average of $236,164
At the University of Arcadia
is $16,170 per semester. The dual degree DPT/MPH program typically takes nine semesters to complete, making the cost $145,530.
Tuition for the DPT/MPH dual degree program at Mercer University
is based on the DPT per-semester rate of $11,105. It takes an average of 10 semesters to earn the dual degree, making the program cost $111,050
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM GPA REQUIRED TO GET INTO DPT/MPH DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS?
The minimum grade point average requirement to get into DPT/MPH dual degree programs varies among schools. Most schools require at least a 3.0 GPA for all college coursework. However, it is important to consider that admission is competitive. Therefore, the higher your undergraduate GPA, the more competitive an applicant you become. The following are examples of the GPA admission criteria for some of our featured DPT/MPH dual degree programs.
• Emory University
requires candidates for the dual DPT/MPH degree program to have a minimum college GPA
At the University of Wisconsin-Madison
, applicants to the DPT/MPH dual degree program need a minimum 3.2 grade point average
for all undergraduate coursework.
The University of Colorado
requires that students have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for all undergraduate coursework.
The University of Wisconsin
requires applicants to the dual DPT/MPH degree program to have a GPA
of at least 3.0 to be considered for admission.
The GPA requirement for admission to the DPT/MPH dual degree program at Northwestern University
WHAT ARE THE ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR DPT/MPH DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS?
In addition to minimum grade point averages, you must meet other admission criteria to be accepted into top dual DPT/MPH programs. Some things you will need to submit for consideration include official college transcripts, admission essays, a professional resume, and letters of recommendation. Below are examples of the admission criteria for five of the top DPT/MPH dual degree programs in the nation.
Candidates seeking admission to the Emory University DPT/MPH dual degree program
must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum 3.0 college GPA. Additionally, you must have taken specific courses, including the following: human anatomy with lab, human physiology with lab, statistics, and physics I and II with lab. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation and participate in a formal interview. Additionally, candidates must have 100 hours of physical therapy experience and complete prerequisites, including Human Anatomy with Lab, Human Physiology with Lab, Statistics, and Physics I & II with Lab.
Admission criteria for the dual degree DPY/MPH program at the University of Colorado
include the following. Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree earned at a regionally accredited institution, a cumulative college GPA of at least 3.0, and TOEFL scores if the applicant’s first language is not English. You must submit two letters of professional recommendation, complete coursework prerequisites, and submit all post-secondary transcripts.
At the University of Florida
, candidates applying for admission to the DPT/MPH dual degree program must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. The baccalaureate degree may be in any discipline. If you choose to apply at the University of Florida, you must submit GRE scores from all sections of the exam (quantitative, verbal, and analytical), three letters of recommendation, and a University of Florida-specific admission essay. All candidates need a minimum of 40 observation hours completed with at least three types of physical therapy. You must have 10 hours of observation in each of orthopedic PT, neurologic PT, and a specialty area such as sports, acute care, geriatrics, or pediatrics.
Admission to the University of Wisconsin
DPT/MPH dual degree program is contingent upon meeting the following requirements. Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university or concurrent enrollment in a professional or graduate degree program. You must submit official transcripts from any college or university attended and have a minimum 3.2 college GPA. To meet coursework criteria, candidates must have completed at least one semester of a college-level math course and one semester of college-level biology, chemistry, or physics. Additionally, all students must meet at least one of the following requirements: Have a bachelor’s degree in public health, successfully complete the University of Wisconsin-Madison Public Health: Local to Global Perspectives. Students who do not meet one of those two requirements must take the university’s free MPH online Foundational Knowledge course before matriculating into the MPH program. Public health experience is strongly recommended, although not an independent factor in determining admission.
• Northwestern University
requires applicants to the DPT/MPH dual degree program to first be admitted to the Department of Physical Therapy & Human Movement Sciences DPT program
. Once admitted, you will apply to The Graduate School
for admission to the Master of Public Health program. Prospective students must complete a bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited college or university before entering the DPT/MPH dual degree program. All candidates must submit official college transcripts, an admissions essay, a Statement of Purpose, and three letters of recommendation. You must also acquire firsthand knowledge of physical therapy through volunteering, observation, or working in a healthcare facility. Viable applicants report a minimum of 100 hours of PT observation hours.
WHAT KIND OF COURSES WILL YOU TAKE IN DPT/MPH DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS?
The best dual DPT/MPH programs typically have a rigorous curriculum, and rightly so, as you will earn two graduate degrees. Although required courses may vary from one program to another, the general content is similar. The following are examples of some of the classes you will take in a DPT/MPH dual degree program.
Students enrolled in the DPT/MPH dual degree program at the University of Buffalo-SUNY
take classes, including Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy, Critical Analysis of Patient Care & Management, Evidence-Based Practice, Statistical Analysis, Study of Behavioral Health, and Leadership, Collaboration, & Negotiation in Public Health.
The Arcadia University
dual degree DPT/MPH program features a curriculum with classes such as Environmental Health: Impact of Community Health, Movement System Foundations, Differential Diagnosis & Intervention, Healthcare Systems & Public Health Policy: An Integrated Approach to Population Health, Research Methods & Designs for Health Professionals, and Exposure to Physical Therapy in a Healthcare System.
The DPT/MPH dual degree program at the University of Wisconsin
features classes like Physical Therapy Education & Lifespan Learning, Determinants of Health & Health Equity: A Systems Approach, Communicating Public Health Effectively, Quantitative Approaches to Public Health, Social Justice & Public Health: Tools & Models, and Medical Ethics, Jurisprudence, & Healthcare Regulation.
As a student in the Northwestern University
DPT/MPH dual degree program, you will study in classes, including Programming for Statistical Analysis, International Public Health, Infection Disease Epidemiology & Prevention, Public Health Law: Promoting Healthy Youth Development, and Injury & Violence Prevention.
The Mercer University
dual DPT/MPH degree program includes classes such as Biostatistics & Health Measures, Diverse Populations, Principles of Epidemiology, Health Promotion Across the Lifespan, Gross Anatomy, Foundational Musculoskeletal Sciences, and Geriatric Considerations in Patient/Client Management.
WHAT KIND OF PRACTICAL TRAINING WILL YOU UNDERGO IN DUAL DPT/MPH PROGRAMS?
Practical training is an essential part of both Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Public Health programs. Practical training gives you the opportunity to gain hands-on experience under the supervision of approved preceptors. The following are some examples of practical training requirements at schools offering some of the best DPT/MPH dual degree programs.
At the University of Florida
, students in the DPT/MPH dual degree program complete 200 hours of Applied Practice Experience for the MPH component. Applied Practice Experience may be completed through public health service-learning class or a public health study abroad course, participation in Clarion Competition, Global Health Case Competition, Putting Families First Team, or by serving as a board member for a public health agency. The DPT component of the program includes 26 credit hours of clinical practicum experience completed during the second and third years of the program.
The Des Moines University
dual DPT/MPH program includes three 10-week clinical education
experiences and four Integrated Clinical Education experiences to satisfy the DPT clinical requirements. These experiences include one inpatient, one out-patient, and one elective experience. The Integrated Clinical Experiences correspond with didactic courses focused on professional behaviors, skills, and knowledge within various care environments. To meet MPH competencies, you will complete two Integrative Learning Experiences
and a Public Health Applied Practice Experience
The University at Buffalo
offers various courses that satisfy your clinical experience requirements. The DPT portion of the curriculum includes two clinical experience courses with corresponding supervised clinicals, a six-credit hour clinical internship, and two clinical residencies. To satisfy the MPH component
of the program, you must complete a minimum of 120 practical training hours at a pre-approved field training site.
As a student at the University of Maryland
, you will complete 240 contact hours of field experience. Field practice hours take place in a public health setting under the supervision of a trained, university-approved public health preceptor. The fourth year of the DPT/MPH dual degree program, you will complete 33 weeks
of physical therapy practical experience in various clinical and non-traditional healthcare settings.
At Mercer University
, the DPT/MPH dual degree program includes 36 weeks of physical therapy clinical education. Physical therapy clinical education is completed over three semesters, each with one 12-week clinical. The MPH portion of the program includes a public health internship, which is completed during years one and two.
WHAT ARE THE BEST DPT/MPH DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS IN THE NATION?
(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 12 Best Online and Campus-Based Dual Degree DPT/MPH Programs in the nation for the year 2023.)
VIEW OUR RANKING METHODOLOGY
WHERE DO GRADUATES OF DUAL DPT/MPH PROGRAMS MOSTLY WORK?
One of the great things about dual DPT/MPH programs is the diverse and numerous job opportunities available to graduates. Some of the most common places graduates of these programs work include the following.
Graduates of DPT/MPH dual degree programs often work in research to find ways to prevent illness and injury and promote health, wellness, and fitness in populations.
2. Government Agencies:
Many graduates of dual DPT/MPH degree programs work for government agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization. In these settings, the knowledge of physical therapy and rehabilitation is instrumental in promoting public health efforts to increase health awareness and an understanding of how physical activity and health reduce the risk of illness and disease.
DPT/MPH graduates are well-qualified to teach in academic settings. The dual degree makes it possible for you to teach physical therapy, public health, or a combination of both.
3 BEST JOBS FOR GRADUATES OF DPT/MPH DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS
Graduates of DPT/MPH dual degree programs have a wide range of job opportunities in many settings. A few of the top jobs for program graduates include the following.
1. Injury Prevention Specialist:
Graduates of DPT/MPH dual degree programs who work as Injury Prevention Specialists manage and promote health education programs designed to help individuals, groups, families, and populations attain, maintain, and maximize healthy lifestyles.
2. Physical Therapy Researcher:
The role of a Physical Therapy Researcher focuses on improving the quality of life for people experiencing mobility issues. In this job, you may investigate the impact of physical therapy interventions for people experiencing neuromuscular or musculoskeletal disorders across the lifespan. Physical therapy doctors who work in public health research may target their studies on underserved communities to determine how health problems affect the physical abilities of individuals, groups, and populations.
3. Public Health Physiotherapist:
Public Health Physiotherapists are vital members of a collaborative team with a broad range of roles and responsibilities. This job may involve establishing education and healthcare programs promoting allocation of local resources to help people engage in healthy lifestyles. You may work as a mentor or educator dedicated to the prevention and management of lifestyle-related, non-communicable diseases like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
WHAT STARTING SALARY CAN NEW GRADUATES OF THIS PROGRAM EXPECT?
New graduates of dual DPT/MPH programs earn an average of $42,580 annually. This pay is equal to $20.47 hourly, $819 weekly, or $3,550 monthly.
WHAT AVERAGE SALARY CAN GRADUATES OF DPT/MPH DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS EXPECT?
The average salary for graduates of DPT/MPH dual degree programs is $83,950 per year. This annual wage is equal to $40.36 hourly, $1,614 weekly, or $7,000 monthly.
10-YEAR JOB OUTLOOK FOR GRADUATES OF DPT/MPH DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS
The 10-year job outlook for graduates of dual DPT/MPH programs is excellent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs in this field will increase by 28.33% between 2021 and 2031.
|(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)|
IS THE COST OF A DPT/MPH DUAL DEGREE PROGRAM WORTH THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)?
Dual DPT/MPH programs can range in cost from $50,000 to more than $235,000. While the investment can be quite steep, the average income for graduates of these programs is $83,950. Comparing the cost of the degree program to the average annual salary, you should see a profit in less than five years. Keep in mind, the average income is a middle-range salary. Many degree holders earn substantially higher incomes. Because of this, I am of the opinion that the cost of a DPT/MPH dual degree program is well worth the return on investment.
BONUS! 3 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO ENHANCE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING ACCEPTED INTO TOP DPT/MPH DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS
Getting into DPT/MPH dual degree programs can be a competitive process. The more you do to prepare ahead of time, the better your chances of becoming a viable candidate. Here are three tips for things you can do to improve your chances of getting into a top program.
1. Get volunteer or work experience.
If you want to improve your chances of getting into top DPT/MPH dual degree programs, consider volunteering, or working in inpatient and outpatient physical therapy departments. Additionally, you should seek volunteer or work opportunities in public health settings, like the American Red Cross or similar agencies.
2. Take relevant prerequisite courses.
Taking prerequisite courses early on can benefit you in two ways. First, you show the admission faculty your dedication to earning the dual degree by taking the initiative to complete those classes before applying. Second, if your undergraduate GPA is close to the minimum required, you could use the extra courses to help raise your average and make you a more competitive candidate.
3. Turn in an error-free, complete application before the priority deadline.
Most DPT/MPH dual degree programs will have a priority deadline and regular deadline for applying. When you apply before the priority deadline, that means your application is viewed before other candidates who wait until the final deadline to apply. Your effort to gather all required documents, craft an outstanding admissions statement, get excellent professional recommendations, and turn in your application early shows admission faculty how serious you are and could improve your chance of receiving an admission offer.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
If you are considering earning a dual degree as a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Public Health, it is only natural to wonder, “What are the best DPT/MPH dual degree programs?” It is wise to consider all your options before applying. The 12 best DPT/MPH dual degree programs for 2023 featured in this article offer excellent programs to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT
1. What Is The Best DPT/MPH Dual Degree Program In The Nation?
The best DPT/MPH dual degree program in the nation is offered at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
|Emory University - Atlanta, GA|
2. What Is The Minimum GPA To Get Into DPT/MPH Dual Degree Programs?
The minimum GPA to get into DPT/MPH dual degree programs is typically 3.0. However, the GPA may vary among schools; so be sure to verify the criteria for each school where you plan to apply.
3. What Is The Typical Cost-Per-Credit For Dual DPT/MPH Programs?
The per-credit cost for dual DPT/MPH programs varies, but averages between $500 and $700.
4. What Are The Most Difficult Classes In Dual DPT/MPH Programs?
Each student has his own opinion about which classes are most difficult in DPT/MPH dual degree programs. The general consensus is that gross anatomy, quantitative research methods, and epidemiology are the most challenging.
5. Can I Work Part-Time And Complete This Program?
It may be possible to work part-time and complete a dual DPT/MPH program. However, it will take careful planning of your school and work schedules due to the rigorous curriculum.
6. Can I Work Full-Time And Complete This Program?
Although it is quite challenging, some students work full-time when enrolled in a DPT/MPH dual degree program. Most students who continue to work pursue the degree on a part-time basis.
7. How Much Do New Graduates Of This Program Make?
New graduates of DPT/MPH dual degree programs make an average of $42,580 annually.
8. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Make Per Hour?
The average hourly pay of DPT/MPH program graduates is $40.36.
9. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Per Month?
On average, the monthly pay for graduates of DPT/MPH dual degree programs is $7,000.
10. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of Dual DPT/MPH Programs Make Per Year?
The average annual salary of dual DPT/MPH program graduates is $83,950.
Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).