2 Best PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Programs – 2023

Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Are you a college graduate with a bachelor's or master’s degree in psychology or a related field considering going back to school? Do you like learning about human behavior and mental health? Do public health and policies related to health interest you? If so, a PsyD/MPH dual degree program is an excellent option to help you pursue your interests in a career you enjoy.

Maybe you considered earning psychology and public health degrees but wondered, "What are the best PsyD/MPH dual degree programs?" In this article, I will answer that question and share information with you about these unique programs. As you continue reading, you will learn about the 2 best PsyD/MPH dual degree programs for 2023, including what it takes to get into a program, the classes you will take, and the cost of earning the dual degrees.


What Exactly Is the Goal of a PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Program?

PsyD/MPH dual degree programs are designed for individuals who wish to pursue a career in both public health and psychology. The goal of the programs is to prepare students with broad general training in psychology with a foundation in biopsychosocial health. PsyD/MPH dual degree programs aim to help students build upon prior knowledge and skills to become professionals capable of bridging the gap between mental and public health issues.

Is A PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Program Hard to Complete?

Pursuing any dual degree program can be challenging, and dual PsyD/MPH programs are no exception. Students must be highly organized and motivated to balance coursework and field practice experiences of both disciplines. Despite the challenges, you can succeed with perseverance and solid dedication to your academic pursuits!

When Do Dual PsyD/MPH Programs Start?

PsyD/MPH dual degree programs offer different start dates depending on the campus, available faculty, and the number of applicants. When you apply to a school that offers these programs, verify start dates for both the PsyD and MPH programs, as you may have the option to choose which component to begin first. The following are the start dates for the programs featured in this article.

At Rutgers University, new classes begin four times each year in the spring, summer, fall, and winter quarters.

Mercer University offers start dates in the spring, summer, and fall semesters.

How Many Credits Are There in Dual PsyD/MPH Programs?

The curriculum for PsyD/MPH dual degree programs may consist of 100 to 200 credits. The PsyD component of the dual degree program typically requires more credits. Some programs allow cross-over credits, which means you may receive credit toward both degrees for some classes. The following is a breakdown of the credits required at the nation's top programs.

At Rutgers University, you may choose a clinical or school psychology specialty track when pursuing the PsyD/MPH program. The clinical psychology pathway features a 93-credit hour curriculum, and the school psychology pathway requires 131 credits. The MPH component of this dual degree is 45 credits. Therefore, depending on your chosen psychology specialty, you will complete 138 to 176 credits. You may transfer up to 15 credits from the PsyD program toward the MPH, with approval from the program director.

Mercer University's PsyD/MPH dual degree program consists of 142 credits. You will complete 100 PsyD credits and 42 MPH credits.

How Long Are PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Programs?

The best dual PsyD/MPH programs typically take four to five years to complete. The time it takes you to complete the program will depend on several factors, including the type and number of courses taken in each area, how many credits you transfer, and the student's prior education.

The PsyD/MPH dual degree at Rutgers University takes five years to complete if you enroll full-time and six years if you choose part-time study.

Mercer University's program is designed to be completed in five years.

How Much Do PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Programs Cost?

As you search for PsyD/MPH dual degree programs and weigh your options, one key factor to consider before committing is how much the programs cost. Many PsyD/MPH dual degree programs cost upwards of $100,000. Some schools charge different tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students, which could influence the amount you pay to earn the degrees. The following are the costs for the two top programs in the nation.

Rutgers University charges in-state students $952 per credit and out-of-state students $1,427 per credit. Students complete between 138 and 176 credits. Therefore, in-state students pay $131,376 to $167,552, and out-of-state students pay between $196,126 and $ 251,152.

At Mercer University, tuition for MPH courses is $1,009 per credit. PsyD tuition is $1,079 per credit hour. The dual degree program requires 100 PsyD credits and 42 MPH credits, making the total tuition cost $150,278.

What Is the Minimum GPA Required to Get into PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Programs?

PsyD/MPH dual degree programs often require a minimum GPA of 3.3 to be accepted into the program. Here are the GPA requirements for the top two PsyD/MPH dual degree programs in the nation.

Admission to the PsyD/MPH dual degree program at Mercer University requires a minimum cumulative of 2.85 on a 4.0 grading scale.

Candidates seeking admission to the Rutgers University dual PsyD/MPH program must have a cumulative college GPA of at least a 3.0.

What Are the Admission Requirements for PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Programs?

Admission to dual PsyD/MPH programs has specific requirements for applicants. To be considered, applicants are typically required to have a bachelor’s or master's degree, preferably with a major in psychology, and at least two years of experience working with clients in a professional or clinical setting. Below are what the universities featured in this article require for admission.

Admission to the Rutgers University dual PsyD/MPH program requires meeting the following criteria. Applicants must have a baccalaureate or master’s degree, preferably with a major in psychology, from an accredited college or university and a minimum 3.0 college GPA. Candidates must submit three letters of professional recommendation and a personal statement indicating their education and career goals. Although the GRE is not required, you may submit scores to help strengthen your application.

At Mercer University, prospective students seeking admission to the PsyD/MPH dual degree program must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited college or university. Candidates must submit official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended, a personal statement, and two letters of professional or academic recommendation. Applicants must have completed college-level math and biology courses with a grade of "C" or higher and have at least 30 hours of experience related to a community project or community service. The MPH program requires candidates to have a minimum 2.85 GPA. However, the PsyD program requires a minimum 3.0 college GPA.

Although a prior psychology major or psychology coursework is not a prerequisite for admission, applicants with an undergraduate psychology degree or at least 12 semester hours of psychology coursework are offered special consideration.

What Are the Best PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Programs in The Nation?

(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 2 Best Online and Campus-Based Dual PsyD/MPH Programs in the nation for the year 2023.)

1. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Piscataway, NJ

2. Mercer University Macon - Atlanta, GA


What Kind of Courses Will You Take in PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Programs?

Dual PsyD/MPH programs offer content-heavy, rigorous curriculum plans. While programs may offer different classes, the content in accredited programs follows similar guidelines. The following are examples of some of the courses you will take in PsyD/MPH dual degree programs.

At Rutgers University, you will take MPH classes such as Health Systems & Policy, Introduction to Environmental Health Sciences, Introduction to Biostatistics, Principles & Methods of Epidemiology, and Social & Behavioral Health Sciences in Public Health. Psychology classes in the dual PsyD/MPH program include Adult Psychopathology, Observation & Interview, and Community Psychology will also be a part of your course load.

Mercer University's PsyD/MPH dual degree program features classes, including Psychometric Theory & Assessment, Biological Bases of Behavior, Social Psychology & Social Neuroscience, Advanced Statistical Methods, Psychopharmacology, Personality Assessment, Clinical Interviewing, Health & Systems Policy, Principles of Epidemiology, and Health Equity.

What Kind of Practical Training Will You Undergo in Dual PsyD/MPH Programs?

PsyD/MPH dual degree programs provide students with practical training that gives them the skills needed to excel in their respective fields. This training is generally delivered through seminars, interactive courses, and lab activities that prepare them for future endeavors.

The PsyD/MPH dual degree program at Rutgers University includes an MPH Applied Practice Experience and Practicum Capstone and 1,080 preceptor-supervised psychiatric clinical practicum hours and a 1,750-hour practicum externship.

The MPH practice experience, the Applied Practice Experience (APE) is a supervised learning experience where you acquire and develop professional communication, problem-solving, and project management skills. The APE promotes hands-on practice in a public health setting. The Practicum Capstone allows you to demonstrate synthesis of concentration and foundation competencies.

The Rutgers University PsyD component requires 1,080 supervised clinical hours and a 1,750-hour practicum externship. Supervised practicum hours and the practicum externship are arranged by clinical faculty with your input considered.

At Mercer University, the Director of Clinical Training for the MPH program assigns clinical placements and preceptors and guides you through your practical training experiences. You will complete a three-credit hour public health internship.

Clinical experiences for the PsyD/MPH component include a clinical practicum, internship, and clinical dissertation. Your clinical training experience at Mercer University is guided by the Director of Clinical Training. At Mercer, you will complete a psychiatric practicum and internship and a Clinical Dissertation to satisfy the practical training portion of the PsyD program. The MPH degree includes a field internship and at least 40 preceptor-supervised practicum hours.

5 Most Important Skills and Abilities You Will Gain in A PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Program

PsyD/MPH dual degree programs provide students with instruction and hands-on training needed to develop essential skills for practice. You will learn to use effective communication, research, interdisciplinary collaboration, and critical decision-making to influence psychiatric and public health. The skills and abilities you develop in a dual PsyD/MPH program will help you build effective teams, promote best practices, and manage organizations. Five of the most important skills and abilities you will gain in these programs are the following.

1. You will learn to effectively create, implement, and evaluate health programs for individuals, communities, and populations:

PsyD/MH dual degree programs prepare students capable of creating and managing health programs designed to improve public health and wellness. These programs may include maternal/child programs, infectious disease control, or public health education.

2. You will gain the ability to understand the ethical and legal implications of careers in psychology and public health, and provide care based on that understanding:

As a student in a PsyD/MPH dual degree program, you will learn to incorporate the American Psychological Association’s (APA’s) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct into practice. Program faculty will guide you as you learn to implement ethical practices focused on improved patient outcomes.

3. You will develop an understanding of and ability to demonstrate cultural competence:

One of the most essential skills professionals earning a dual PsyD/MPH degree must demonstrate is cultural competence. Cultural competence is defined as the ability of one person to understand and respect the beliefs, values, and attitudes of others. It is a vital skill linked to quality care and improved patient and organizational outcomes.

4. You will develop the ability to communicate effectively and participate in multidisciplinary collaboration:

As a PsyD/MPH degree holder, you will work alongside a team of healthcare workers collaborating to create and implement appropriate client treatment plans. PsyD/MHP dual degree programs prepare students to engage healthcare peers with respect and understanding while still advocating for client care.

5. You will learn to use evidence-based assessment and practice with a higher level of independence:

The fields of public health and psychology rely on evidence-based research and data to promote effective psychological and public health practices. Using evidence-based practices, you will help enhance public health by applying proven principles of assessment, planning, and intervention.

4 Main Advantages of PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Programs

PsyD/MPH dual degree programs will provide you with a wide range of benefits to help you develop a deeper understanding of mental health topics and hone your skills in public health. With a PsyD/MPH dual degree, you will develop valuable interdisciplinary knowledge both inside and outside the classroom that you can apply directly in the field. Some of the primary advantages of this type of degree program include improved career potential, an understanding of public health systems, greater insight into community dynamics, and increased problem-solving skills. PsyD/MPH dual degree students gain an in-depth knowledge base unmatched by traditional single degrees, which means you will have a competitive edge in today's job market. The following is a list of the top four benefits of PsyD/MPH dual degree programs.

1. Increased Job Opportunities:

Because dual PsyD/MPH programs confer two degrees upon graduates, you will have a broader range of possible job opportunities. You may find a job combining the skills from both degrees, such as public health psychologist, or you could pursue a job relevant to one of the specialties.

2. Improved Earning Potential:

Graduates of PsyD/MPH dual degree programs earn an average annual salary greater than $100,000. Earning potential increases with continued experience and in different settings.

3. You can help at-risk or underserved populations:

Dual PsyD/MPH programs prepare you with the knowledge and skills needed to reach individuals and populations at risk for mental and physical health issues. The skills you develop in this unique program make it possible for you to advocate for underserved populations and promote efforts to improve their health and well-being.

4. You will have a sense of accomplishment and job satisfaction:

Graduates of dual PsyD/MPH programs deservedly feel a sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction for having earned two graduate degrees. Additionally, because of the broad range of opportunities the degrees bring and the people and populations they impact, most graduates report an excellent job satisfaction rate.

Where Do Graduates of Dual PsyD/MPH Programs Mostly Work?

Graduates of PsyD/MPH dual degree programs have a range of career options to consider. PsyD/MPH dual-program graduates may work in health-related institutions, hospitals, medical clinics, or government agencies. The following are three of the top settings where graduates of dual PsyD/MPH programs work.

1. Government Agencies:

Graduates of PsyD/MPH dual degree programs often work in local, state, or federal government settings. In these settings, you may address healthcare inequalities or lobby for healthcare reform.

2. Prisons/Correctional Facilities:

PsyD/MPH dual degree holders may work in correctional facilities, prisons, or other types of detention centers. Those who work in these settings evaluate the mental health conditions of incarcerated individuals and monitor the effects of those issues on the physical health of inmates.

3. Medical Research Centers:

PsyD/MPH dual degree program graduates are often employed in medical research centers gathering information and interpreting data to develop and implement public health policies.

4 Best Jobs for Graduates of PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Programs

Graduates of dual PsyD/MPH programs have many excellent opportunities. Healthcare system administrators, medical directors, and public health officer positions are some of the best job choices for those with this dual degree. Working in the public or private sector, PsyD/MPH dual degree holders can easily transition to executive-level jobs in public health policy and state government.

Additionally, dual PsyD/MPH degree graduates have the opportunity to work in communities as consultants for universities and non-profits that focus on health promotion and community interventions. The following are the four best jobs for graduates of these dual programs:

1. Public Health Psychologist:

Public health psychologists work to identify and understand the connections between behavioral and emotional factors and health issues. In this role, you may research to find connections between physical health problems and emotional responses. The role may also involve studying how psychological health issues impact the health and well-being of communities and larger populations.

2. Clinical Health Psychologist:

As a clinical health psychologist, you will help patients with various health conditions understand their illnesses and/or diseases and learn ways to promote health-related behavioral changes. Your role as a clinical health psychologist is to promote healthy lifestyles that lead to general well-being.

3. Public Health Research Psychologist:

With a dual PsyD/MPH degree, you can work as a public health research psychologist and work to understand the emotional, behavioral, and health problems of the general population. This job involves tracking the incidence and prevalence of mental and physical health issues, identifying protective and risk factors, designing measures to promote positive changes, and educating the public about research findings.

4. Critical Health Psychologist:

Critical health psychology is not as well-known as other types of psychology...yet. Critical health psychologists have the unique role of challenging theories, assumptions, and methods used in traditional psychology. The role involves applying an understanding of behavior and psychological well-being to promote positive social changes and treat and prevent psychopathology.

What Starting Salary Can New Graduates of This Program Expect?

Graduates of dual PsyD/MPH programs earn an average starting salary of $24.53 an hour, $981 weekly, or $4,250 per month. This income equals $51,030 annually.


What Average Salary Can Graduates of PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Programs Expect?

The average annual income of PsyD/MPH dual degree program graduates is $100,625. This salary is equivalent to $48.38 hourly, $1,935 weekly, or $8,390 monthly.


10-Year Job Outlook for Graduates of PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Programs

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects graduates of PsyD/MPH dual degree programs will see a 28.33% increase in jobs between 2021 and 2031. This estimate is much better than other jobs reported by the BLS and indicates a positive long-term job outlook.

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Is The Cost of a PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Program Worth the Return on Investment (ROI)?

PsyD/MPH dual degree programs can cost $100,000 to more than $250,000, which makes it normal to wonder if the return on investment is worth the cost you pay to earn the degrees. In terms of financial return, it could take four or five years to break even if you earn the average starting salary of $51,030. The average income for graduates increases with experience and is approximately $100,625. However, with continued experience and depending on where you work, you could earn a significantly higher income. When you compare the earning potential that comes with earning this dual degree, the cost of the program is worth the return on investment.

Bonus! 3 Expert Tips to Improve Your Chances of Getting Accepted into The Top PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Programs

Gaining acceptance into dual PsyD/MPH programs at the top universities is highly competitive. Increasingly higher expectations are placed on applicants in terms of research experience and scholarly writing.

Experts suggest focusing on a few key aspects when applying for dual PsyD/MPH degree programs in order to increase your chances of success. These include emphasizing the importance of solid letters of recommendation, highlighting any research experience you have in the field, and crafting a compelling personal statement that stands out from the crowd.

Lastly, given the limited spaces available, it's important to demonstrate your commitment and passion for public health by showcasing relevant past accomplishments related to dual PsyD/MPH dual program processes. The following are tips for the three best things you can do to improve your chances of being admitted to dual PsyD/MPH programs.

1. Get Involved in Research.

One of the best ways to improve your chances of getting accepted into top PsyD/MPH dual degree programs is to get involved in research. Many students think they need years of experience to be competitive, but this is not the case. Getting involved in research as an undergraduate or even a high school student can show programs that you are dedicated to the field and have the skills necessary to succeed. There are many ways to get involved in research, so talk to your professors or look for opportunities online.

2. Volunteer or Intern in a Related Field.

Another great way to improve your chances of getting accepted into one of the best dual PSYD/MPH programs is to volunteer or intern in a related field. That will not only give you valuable experience, but it will also show programs that you are committed to working in the field of psychology. There are many ways to find volunteering and interning opportunities, so talk to your professors or look for postings online.

3. Join Professional Organizations.

Joining professional organizations is a great way to network with other students and professionals in the field of psychology. It can also help you stay up-to-date on the latest news and developments in the field. Joining professional organizations and being active in them demonstrates your desire to learn and grow, which is something admission faculty look for in candidates.

My Final Thoughts

Psychology and public health complement each other in many ways, creating a powerful combination for anyone interested in studying and promoting mental and public health. PsyD/MPH dual degree programs offer an excellent option for earning degrees in both specialties.

If you are interested in a career specializing in public health psychology, wondering, "What are the best PsyD/MPH dual degree programs?” is natural. Mercy University and Rutgers University offer the 2 best PsyD/MPH dual degree programs for 2023. If this is a career you wish to pursue, please start today! There is no time like the present to pursue your dreams.

Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Our Expert

1. What Is The Best PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Program In The Nation?

The best PsyD/MPH dual degree program in the nation is offered at Rutgers University.

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Piscataway, NJ

2. What Is The Minimum GPA To Get Into PsyD/MPH Dual Degree Programs?

Most PsyD/MPH dual degree programs require prospective students to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all college coursework.

3. What Is The Typical Cost-Per-Credit For Dual PsyD/MPH Programs?

The typical cost-per-credit for dual PsyD/MPH programs is $1,000 to $1,500.

4. What Are The Most Difficult Classes In Dual PsyD/MPH Programs?

The most difficult classes in dual PsyD/MPH programs may include Health Care Finance, Research Methods & Evaluation, and Public Health Law & Policy. These classes require rigorous research and critical thinking to understand complex healthcare systems and policies.

5. Can I Work Part-Time And Complete This Program?

Yes, working part-time and completing classes in dual PsyD/MPH programs is possible. Flexible scheduling allows students to design a plan that works for them.

6. Can I Work Full-Time And Complete This Program?

While it may be possible to work full-time and complete PsyD/MPH dual degree programs, it can be difficult. These programs feature rigorous coursework and practical training experiences that leave little time for anything else. Talk to your academic advisor and discuss options for working and going to school before committing to a program.

7. How Much Do New Graduates Of This Program Make?

New graduates with a dual PsyD/MPH degree typically earn an average salary of $51,030.


8. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Make Per Hour?

Dual PsyD/MPH program graduates typically make around $48.38 per hour.


9. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Per Month?

Dual PsyD/MPH program graduates typically make an average of $8,390 per month.


10. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of Dual PsyD/MPH Programs Make Per Year?

Graduates of dual PsyD/MPH Programs can expect to make an average salary of $100,625 per year.


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).