To qualify as a dual degree student in any of the training paradigms which appear in the Bulletin, a student must have evidence of having been simultaneously enrolled in one or more courses of both of the programs constituting the “dual degree” for at least one semester.

The School of Pharmacy and the Division of Epidemiology in the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health in VCU’s School of Medicine offer a dual degree program through which students earn both Pharm.D. and M.P.H. degrees. This dual degree program offers students the opportunity to achieve a Doctor of Pharmacy while also learning about research and the importance of population health. This five-year program requires students to spend the fourth year of the Pharm.D. program pursuing the M.P.H. degree, after which they transition back to pharmacy for advanced practice experiences.

Students are required to take a minimum of 36 credits in the M.P.H. curriculum. This includes 24 credit hours of core courses, a minimum of nine credit hours of concentration courses and a minimum of three credit hours of a capstone project that examines a relevant public health topic. These courses [credits] within the Pharm.D. curriculum count toward the M.P.H. degree:

IPEC 501Foundations of Interprofessional Practice1
PHAR 509Evidence-Based Pharmacy I: Introduction to Pharmacy Information Skills1.5
PHAR 533Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience: Patient Care0.5
PHAR 545The U.S. Health Care System2
PHAR 546Pharmacy-based Immunization Delivery1.5
PHAR 565Evidence-based Pharmacy II: Research Methods and Statistics2.5
Total Hours9

Students in this dual degree program must complete a minimum of 191 graduate credit hours to earn both degrees. If students were to complete both degrees independently, a minimum total of 200 graduate credit hours would be required.

The required M.P.H. internship and M.P.H. capstone project will be completed in a community setting during the P5 year. The internship will be a community health-based advanced practice experience approved by both programs that involves the development of one or more deliverables. The M.P.H. capstone project will be a comprehensive, integrated learning experience involving either a hypothesis-based research question or a comprehensive project serving the needs of a professional public health organization. Examples include a disease surveillance project, a needs assessment or program evaluation, or analysis of survey data.

Note that some elective courses may not be available in certain years or may require instructor permission for registration.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

School of Medicine graduate program policies

The School of Medicine provides policies applicable to all programs administratively housed in the school. Information on master’s programs is available elsewhere in this chapter of the Graduate Bulletin.

For M.P.H., apply online at and complete a VCU supplemental application following instructions available at and the Family Medicine and Population Health/Division of Epidemiology website. Pharm.D. applicants follow instructions on the School of Pharmacy website.

Please review the admission requirements for each stand-alone degree (Master of Public Health and Doctor of Pharmacy) in the VCU Graduate and Professional Bulletins to learn the specific application requirements for each program.

Curriculum requirements

M.P.H. courses

Program core
BIOS 543Graduate Research Methods I3
BIOS 544Graduate Research Methods II3
EPID 547Applied Data Analysis Lab I1.5
EPID 548Applied Data Analysis Lab II1.5
EPID 571Principles of Epidemiology3
EPID 580Public Health Ethics1
EPID 593Foundations of the Public Health Profession2
EPID 604Principles of Environmental Health3
HCPR 601Introduction to Health Policy3
SBHD 605Introduction to Social and Behavioral Health3
Additional required courses
EPID 600Introduction to Public Health3
EPID 603Public Health Policy and Politics3
EPID 622Maternal and Child Health3
Integrative learning course
EPID 694MPH Capstone Project3
Noncurricular requirements
In addition to course work, students must attend 12 public health seminars and complete 20 hours of community-based service-learning.
Total Hours36

Pharm.D. courses

IPEC 501Foundations of Interprofessional Practice1
IPEC 502Interprofessional Quality Improvement and Patient Safety1
IPEC 561IPE Virtual Geriatric Case2
MEDC 527Basic Pharmaceutical Principles for the Practicing Pharmacist3
MEDC 533Pharmacognosy2
MEDC 542Biotechnology-derived Therapeutic Agents1
MEDC 543Clinical Chemistry for the Pharmacist1
MEDC 553Concepts in the Medicinal Chemistry of Therapeutics Agents1
PCEU 501Pharmaceutical Calculations1
PCEU 507Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics I3
PCEU 508Pharmacokinetics3
PCEU 509Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics II3
PCEU 615Applied Pharmacokinetics2.5
PHAR 509Evidence-Based Pharmacy I: Introduction to Pharmacy Information Skills1.5
PHAR 513Contemporary Pharmacy Practice2
PHAR 515Continuous Professional Development I1
PHAR 523Foundations I1.5
PHAR 524Foundations II1.5
PHAR 526Community Pharmacy Practice2
PHAR 529Clinical Therapeutics Module: Introduction to Special Populations2
PHAR 530Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience: Community Practice4
PHAR 532Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience: Hospital Practice3
PHAR 533Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience: Patient Care0.5
PHAR 534Foundations III1.5
PHAR 535Foundations IV1.5
PHAR 540Self-Care and Alternative and Complementary Treatments2.5
PHAR 541Patient Assessment in Pharmacy Practice2
PHAR 544Clinical Therapeutics Module: Cardiovascular4.5
PHAR 545The U.S. Health Care System2
PHAR 546Pharmacy-based Immunization Delivery1.5
PHAR 549Personalized Medicine1
PHAR 555Clinical Therapeutics Module: Endocrinology2.5
PHAR 556Clinical Therapeutics Module: Neurology4
PHAR 565Evidence-based Pharmacy II: Research Methods and Statistics2.5
PHAR 566Evidence-based Pharmacy III: Drug Literature Evaluation2
PHAR 602Clinical Therapeutics Module: Psychiatry3
PHAR 603Clinical Therapeutics Module: Respiratory/Immunology2.5
PHAR 604Clinical Therapeutics Module: Infectious Diseases4.5
PHAR 605Clinical Therapeutics Module: Hematology/Oncology2.5
PHAR 606Clinical Therapeutics Module: Nephrology/Urology2
PHAR 607Clinical Therapeutics Module: Dermatology/EENT2
PHAR 615Continuous Professional Development II1
PHAR 618Clinical Therapeutics Module: Gastrointestinal/Nutrition2.5
PHAR 619Clinical Therapeutics Module: Women's Health/Bone2
PHAR 620Clinical Therapeutics Module: Critical Care/Toxicology and Complex Patients2.5
PHAR 621Pharmacoeconomics2
PHAR 640Foundations V1.5
PHAR 645Foundations VI1.5
PHAR 652Health Promotion and Communication in Pharmacy Practice2.5
PHAR 660Community Pharmacy Practice Management II2
PHAR 715Continuous Professional Development III1
PHAR 724Pharmacy Law2.5
PHAR 730Continuous Professional Development IV.5
PHAR 760Acute Care Pharmacy Practice I5
PHAR 761Advanced Hospital Pharmacy Practice5
PHAR 762Geriatrics Pharmacy Practice5
PHAR 763Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Practice5
PHAR 765Elective I5
PHAR 766Elective II5
PHAR 768Advanced Community Pharmacy Practice5
PHAR 773Acute Care Pharmacy Practice II5
PHTX 606Introduction to Pharmacology of Therapeutic Agents (Pharmacy)1
Total Hours155

The minimum total of graduate credit hours required for this degree is 191.

Typical plan of study

Many students often end up taking more than the minimum number of hours required for a degree program. The total number of hours may vary depending upon the program, nature of research being conducted by a study or in the enrollment or funding status of the student. Students should refer to their program websites and talk with their graduate program directors or advisers for information about typical plans of study and registration requirements.

Juan Lu, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.D.
Associate professor, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, and graduate program director
(804) 828-9786

Pramit A Nadpara, Ph.D.
Assistant professor, Department of Pharmacotheraphy and Outcomes Science
(804) 828-3245

Additional contact
Lisa S. Anderson
Director of educational programs, Division of Epidemiology, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health
(804) 628-2512

Program website: and MPH Dual Degrees web page