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The DMD/MPH program is designed for a select number of Penn Dental Medicine predoctoral students who wish to expand and enrich their knowledge and skills in public health as an integral part of their dental education.


The dual-degree DMD/MPH program is offered to a select number of School of Dental Medicine predoctoral students who wish to expand and enrich their knowledge and skills in public health as an integral part of their dental education. The dual-degree program provides students with a focus on population health, and a specific concentration in community oral health and dental public health. This program is designed as a full-time educational program, which culminates in receipt of both the DMD and MPH degrees.

Educational Objectives and Public Health Competencies

At the completion of the dual-degree DMD/MPH program, students must demonstrate achievement of the educational objectives and specific competencies expected of all University of Pennsylvania MPH graduates as well as all Penn Dental Medicine competencies.

As part of the dual-degree program, students will receive foundational knowledge in all 10 competency statements for dental public health, as formulated by the American Board of Dental Public Health. At graduation from the dual-degree DMD/MPH program, students will qualify for admission into a public health residency program in order to gain additional experience and skills to achieve competency as a public health dentist. Competency and candidacy for dental public health specialty status are achieved after the candidate has completed a dental public health residency program in addition to an advanced degree in public health.


Students gain entry into the dual-degree program at the end of the first year of the dental education program. Admission to the MPH program is a two-step process. Students must complete a separate application for the MPH program, and must first be recommended for admission by the Office of Academic Affairs and the Division of Community Oral Health at the School of Dental Medicine. Criteria for recommendation for application to the MPH program include academic achievement and demonstrated interest and activities in dental public health. Once the Penn Dental Medicine recommendation is received, the Admissions Committee of the MPH program must then approve students. Admission to the dual degree program is highly selective.


Required public health courses for the dual-degree DMD/MPH program are taken throughout the dental curriculum. As part of the dual-degree DMD/MPH program, students must complete all course, clinical, and practice requirements for both the DMD and MPH degree. Students are required to complete 9 core required courses and 3 elective courses on top of the DMD requirements for the MPH degree. Students are also required to complete 125 hours of public health fieldwork. The fieldwork hours are non-credit baring and students will be guided through this process by MPH staff.

See below for a list of required courses for the MPH program. There is some flexibility on the timing of your MPH coursework, and an individual course plan will be discussed with each student with their MPH academic advisor.

MPH Course Units
Biostatistics Pubh 501 MPH Course Unit
Epidemiology Pubh 502 MPH Course Unit
Environmental and Occupational Health Pubh 503 MPH Course Unit
Public Health Theories & Frameworks Pubh 504 MPH Course Unit
Public Health Administration and Policy 505 MPH Course Unit
Methods in Public Health Practice Pubh 506 MPH Course Unit
Public Health Law & Ethics Pubh 507 MPH Course Unit
Capstone Seminar I Pubh 508 MPH Course Unit
Capstone Seminar II 509 MPH Course Unit
2 Pubh electives MPH Course Unit for each
1 open elective MPH Course Unit


For course descriptions and a listing of public health electives, see the MPH website.

Two elective credit units (CU) will transfer over from the dental curriculum as follows:

MPH Course Units
Intro to Health Promotion 550 .5 MPH Course Unit
Local & Global Public Health 612 .5 MPH Course Unit
Experiences in Community Oral Health 712/812 MPH Course Unit



For more information, contact:
Joan Gluch, PhD, RDHPHDHP
Division Chief and Professor of Clinical Community Oral Health

Hillary CM Nelson, PhD, MPH
Co-Director, MPH Program