Program Description

Mercer University’s College of Health Professions offers the Doctor of Physical Therapy/Master of Public Health (DPT/MPH) combined degree program. The role of the physical therapist in health promotion and wellness is increasing, as is the role of the public health practitioner in addressing societal health concerns, and evaluating community-based programming.  Sharing the goals of promoting wellness and health promotion, advocating for improved health of individuals and society, reducing health disparities, and improving the quality of life for families and communities, students in the DPT/MPH combined degree program will be challenged to confront complex health issues, such as improving access to health care, and reducing environmental hazards and injury.

Graduates of this program will be empowered to serve the needs of humankind on an individual and societal level.  The accrediting agencies for both programs, the Commission on the Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), have approved this venture.

Students admitted to the DPT/MPH program will complete both degrees in 4 years, completing 33 credits of the 42 credit MPH program in year 1 (Fall and Spring semester), followed by the required 135 credits in the 3-year, 8 consecutive semester,  DPT program.  Three courses required for the MPH degree (two elective courses, and the Public Health Applied Practice) will be fulfilled by selected courses in the DPT program.  Students will have opportunities to complete one full-time clinical internship in a public health setting.

Program Outcomes

The outcomes and learning objectives for the DPT and MPH programs will remain unchanged, as the student will complete both programs in series, with only minor adaptations.

Admission Requirements and Procedure

Applicants must apply to each program according to the guidelines in the Admissions Process and Requirements section for the MPH and DPT programs. After successful admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, the student with a strong academic record and demonstrated interest in community-based health promotion and injury prevention will apply to the MPH program.  The admissions requirements for the combined degree program are the same as for each individual degree.

Program Requirements

MPH Year 1

Fall (18 hours)
  • MPH 611 Principles of Epidemiology
  • MPH 621 Biostatistics and Health Measures
  • MPH 631 Environmental Health
  • MPH 641 Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  • MPH 652 Public Health Systems, Services, and Management
  • MPH 731 Health Systems and Policy
Spring (15 hours)
  • MPH 675 Community Health Needs Assessment
  • MPH 721 Grant and Proposal Writing and Development
  • MPH 730 Introductory Program Evaluation
  • MPH 739 Diverse Populations
  • MPH 740 Health Equity

DPT Year 2 (DPT degree is 135 hours; all courses are required)

  • PT 500. Gross Anatomy I
  • PT 501. Applied Anatomy I
  • PT 504. Health Promotion Across the Lifespan
  • PT 508. Service-Learning I
  • PT 512. Leadership I: Foundations
  • PT 513. Evidence-Based Practice I: Research Methods
  • PT 521. Medical Conditions and Pharmacology
  • PT 517. Clinical Neuroscience
  • PT 530. Gross Anatomy II
  • PT 531. Applied Anatomy II
  • PT 535. Management of Individuals with Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Conditions
  • PT 536. Clinical Examination and Interventions I
  • PT 541. Musculoskeletal Science
  • PT 549. Clinical Education I: Integrated Experience I
  • PT 551. Foundations of Human Movement
  • PT 565. Management of Individuals with Integumentary Conditions
  • PT 566. Clinical Examination and Interventions II
  • PT 568. Service-Learning II
  • PT 574. Biopsychosocial Considerations I
  • PT 581. Medical Screening and Diagnostic Imaging
  • PT 584. Lifespan I: Pediatrics I

DPT Year 3

  • PT 613. Evidence-Based Practice II: Appraisal
  • PT 617. Management of Individuals with Neuromuscular Conditions I: Non-Progressive Disorders
  • PT 624. Lifespan II:  Older Adults
  • PT 625. Management of Individuals with Musculoskeletal Conditions I: Lower Quarter
  • PT 626. Prosthetics and Orthotics
  • PT 649. Clinical Education II: Integrated Experience II
  • PT 638. Service-Learning III
  • PT 642. Leadership II: Health Systems Science
  • PT 643. Evidence-Based Practice III: Application and Advocacy
  • PT 647. Management of Individuals with Neuromuscular Conditions II:  Progressive Disorders
  • PT 655. Management of Individuals with Musculoskeletal Conditions II: Upper Quarter
  • PT 659. Clinical Education III:  Simulation Seminar
  • PT 684. Lifespan III:  Pediatrics II
  • PT 665. Management of Individuals with Musculoskeletal Conditions III: Special Topics
  • PT 672. Leadership III: Administration, Consultancy, and Entrepreneurship
  • PT 674. Biopsychosocial Considerations II
  • PT 679. Clinical Education IV:  Full-Time Experience I (8 weeks)

DPT Year 4

  • PT 713. Evidence-Based Practice IV: Capstone
  • PT 719. Clinical Education V:  Full-Time Experience II (12 weeks)                                                                                       
  • PT 747. Physical Therapy Elective
  • PT 749. Clinical Education VI:  Full-Time Experience III (12 weeks)


Students will pay the DPT semester tuition for each semester.

Academic Advisement

Students are assigned advisors in both programs upon admission into the combined degree program.