Mercer University's College of Health Professions offers the PsyD/MPH combined degree program. This innovative combined degree program addresses the ongoing mental health care provider workforce shortage by preparing graduates to provide cost-effective, evidence-based mental health care to diverse populations within Georgia. This program is structured around one specific goal as stated in the Healthy People 2020 objective: “Improve mental health through prevention and by ensuring access to appropriate, quality mental health services”. Innovative programs such as the PsyD/MPH combined degree program address issues within the health care delivery system that are essential on both local and national levels. The curriculum plan facilitates preparation of mental health care providers who are able to address public health concerns and evaluate community-based programming.
The traditional MPH program consists of 42 credit hours and occurs over 2 years; however, there is a fast track option available that allows students with the appropriate GPA to complete the program in three semesters. Students admitted to the PsyD/MPH program can complete both degrees in 5 years, completing 33 credits of the MPH in year 3 of the PsyD program. Three courses (CPSY 712, CPSY 715, CPSY 993) in the PsyD program will fulfill MPH elective requirements and advanced practice requirements. Students must also complete 40 hours of public health service. The PsyD program consists of 100 credit hours. The PsyD curriculum remains unchanged in the combined degree program. Students who complete the program will be awarded a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) and Master of Public Health (MPH).
The outcomes and learning objectives for the PsyD and MPH programs will remain unchanged, as the student will complete both programs, with only minor adaptations.
The PsyD program’s mission is to prepare psychologists as integrated health care practitioners who contribute to and apply scientific knowledge of human behavior to benefit individuals, systems, and society.
To this end, we aim to produce:
- Graduates with broad and general training in the science of psychology grounded in the biopsychosocial model. This aim reflects discipline-specific knowledge of history and systems of psychology, basic content areas in scientific psychology, research and quantitative methods, and advanced integrative knowledge in scientific psychology.
- Competency: Substantial discipline specific knowledge of affective, biological, cognitive, developmental, and social aspects of behavior
- Competency: Substantial knowledge of history and systems of psychology
- Competency: Substantial understanding and competence in advanced integrative knowledge of affective, biological, cognitive, developmental, and social aspects of behavior
- Competency: Substantial understanding and competence in research methods
- Competency: Substantial understanding and competence in quantitative methods
- Competency: Substantial understanding and competence in psychometrics
- Graduates who understand that the competent practice of psychology occurs in broad contexts that encompass diverse cultures, ethical/legal standards, and professional attitudes and values. This aim reflects profession-wide competencies.
- Competency: Research – Demonstrate the integration of science and practice in health service psychology
- Competency: Ethical and legal standards – Demonstrate ethical and legal standards in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence across levels of training following the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, as well as relevant laws and regulations
- Competency: Individual and cultural diversity – Demonstrate sensitivity to human diversity and the ability to deliver high quality services to a diverse population
- Competency: Professional values and attitudes – Demonstrate profession values and attitudes in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence across levels of training
- Competency: Communication and interpersonal skills – Demonstrate communication and interpersonal skills in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence across levels of training
- Competency: Assessment – Demonstrate evidence-based assessment with a greater degree of independence across levels of training
- Competency: Intervention – Demonstrate evidence-based intervention with a greater degree of independence across levels of training
- Competency: Supervision – Demonstrate knowledge of supervision models and practices
- Competency: Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills – Demonstrate knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions
The Master of Public Health Foundational and Concentration Competencies are as follows:
Evidence-based Approaches to Public Health
1. Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice
2. Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context
3. Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming and software, as appropriate
4. Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy, or practice
Public Health & Health Care Systems
5. Compare the organization, structure and function of health care, public health, and regulatory systems across national and international settings
6. Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community, and societal levels
Planning & Management to Promote Health
7. Assess population needs, assets, and capacities that affect communities’ health
8. Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs
9. Design a population-based policy, program, project, or intervention
10. Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management
11. Select methods to evaluate public health programs
Policy in Public Health
12. Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence
13. Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes
14. Advocate for political, social, or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations
15. Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity
16. Apply principles of leadership, governance, and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration, and guiding decision-making
17. Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges
18. Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
19. Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
20. Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content
21. Perform effectively on interprofessional teams
22. Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue
Diversity and Health Equity Concentration Competencies
23. Analyze theoretical frameworks for disparity causation
24. Develop community capacity for leadership among diverse populations
25. Build capacity in diverse populations to address racism and other systems of intolerance
26. Evaluate empowerment strategies for viability in diverse communities including disparate, rural, and aging populations
27. Engage stakeholders to develop schemas to build sustainable programs and systems in vulnerable communities
MPH Foundational Public Health Knowledge (Learning Objectives)
Profession and Science of Public Health
1. Explain public health history, philosophy, and values.
2. Identify the core functions of public health and the 10 Essential Services.
3. Explain the role of quantitative and qualitative methods and sciences in describing and assessing a population's health.
4. List major causes and trends of morbidity and mortality in the US or other community relevant to the school or program.
5. Discuss the science of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention in population health, including health promotion, screening, etc.
6. Explain the critical importance of evidence in advancing public health knowledge.
Factors Related to Human Health
7. Explain effects of environmental factors on a population's health.
8. Explain biological and genetic factors that affects a population's health.
9. Explain behavioral and psychological factors that affect a population's health.
10. Explain the social, political, and economic determinants of health and how they contribute to population health and health inequities.
11. Explain how globalization affects global burdens of disease.
12. Explain an ecological perspective on the connections among human health, animal health, and ecosystem health (e.g., One Health).
Admission Requirements and Procedure
Applicants must apply to each program according to the guidelines in the Admissions Process and Requirements section of MPH and PsyD programs.
The primary target audience includes students with strong academic records who demonstrate an interest in community-based health promotion and mental health care practice. The admissions requirements for the combined degree are the same as for each individual degree.
Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology Curriculum (100 credit hours)
Biological, Methodological, and General Psychology Requirements (25 hours)
701 Psychometric Theory and Assessment (3 hours)
702 Lifespan Developmental Psychology (3 hours)
703 Biological Bases of Behavior (3 hours)
710 Cognition and Affective Processes (3 hours)
711 Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience (3 hours)
712 Research Design (3 hours)
714 Statistical Methods (3 hours)
715 Advanced Statistical Methods (3 hours)
812 Seminar in History and Systems of Psychology (1 hour)
Ethics, Professional Values, and Cultural Diversity Requirements (7 hours)
716 Professional Values (1 hour)
717 Ethics and Professional Issues (3 hours)
718 Individual and Cultural Diversity (3 hours)
Assessment Requirements (21 hours)
708 Psychopharmacology (3 hours)
721 Psychopathology (4 hours)
731 Personality Assessment (4 hours)
732 Cognitive Assessment (4 hours)
833 Neuropsychological Assessment (3 hours)
865 Child Psychopathology (3 hours)
Intervention Requirements (14 hours)
733 Clinical Interviewing (4 hours)
743 Evidence-Based Assessment and Therapy I (4 hours)
745 Evidence-Based Assessment and Therapy II (3 hours)
874 Child and Family Behavior Therapy (3 hours)
Consultation, Supervision, and Health Psychology (14 hours)
704 Integrated Primary Healthcare (3 hours)
726 Health Psychology (3 hours)
835 Psycho-oncology (3 hours)
861 Health Psychology II (3 hours)
960 Consultation and Supervision I (2 hours)
Practicum and Internship Requirements (12 hours)
871 Practicum I (1 hour, taken for at least 6 credit hours)
993 Internship (6 hours, taken over the course of one year)
Dissertation (7 hours)
971 Clinical Dissertation (taken for at least 7 credits)*
Electives (3 hours)
880 Special Topics (1-3 hours)
Master of Public Health 42 hours to be completed via fast track option during 3rd year.
MPH 611 Principles of Epidemiology (3 hours)
MPH 621 Basics Biostatistics and Health Measures (3 hours)
MPH 631 Environmental Health (3 hours)
MPH 641 Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (3 hours)
MPH 713 Health Systems and Policy (3 hours)
MPH 652 Public Health Management (3 hours)
MPH 675 Community Health Needs Assessment (3 hours)
MPH 721 Grant Proposal and Writing (3 hours)
MPH 730 Introductory Program Evaluation (3 hours)
MPH 739 Diverse Populations (3 hours)
MPH 740 Health Equity (3 hours)
MPH 793 Internship (3 hours); Substitute CPSY 993 (3 hours)
Electives (6 hours)
CPSY 712 Research Design (3 hours)
CPSY 715 Advanced Statistical Methods (3 hours)