Program Description

Mercer University’s College of Health Professions offers the Master of Medical Science/Master of Public Health (MMSc/MPH) combined degree program. Sixty-five percent of HRSA designated Primary Health Care Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) are located in rural areas. Given the need for primary healthcare providers in rural, medically underserved communities, the MMSc/MPH combined degree program specifically focuses on providing rural and underserved communities with well-trained public health-minded primary care providers who have the ability to address societal health concerns and evaluate community-based programming. The primary target audience includes students with strong academic records who demonstrate an interest in community-based health promotion and primary care practice.

Students admitted to the MMSc/MPH combined degree program will complete both degrees in nine semesters, completing 33 credits of the MPH program in Year 1 (Fall and Spring semester), followed by the required 128 credits in the seven (7) consecutive semester (28 months) Physician Assistant (PA) program.  Three courses required for the MPH degree (two electives and MPH Applied Practice) will be fulfilled by selected cross-listed courses in the PA program (four PA courses and PA Senior Seminar).  Students must also complete 40 hours of public health service.

Upon successful completion of the MMSc/MPH combined degree program, a Master of Medical Science (MMSc) degree and Master of Public Health (MPH) degree will be awarded.

Program Outcomes

The outcomes and learning objectives for the PA Program and MPH Program 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 separately, according to the guidelines in the Admissions Process and Requirements section for the PA and MPH programs.

After successful admission to the Master of Medical Science (PA) Program, the student with a strong academic record and demonstrated interest in community-based health promotion and injury prevention will apply separately to the MPH program via SOPHAS Express for combined degrees. The admissions requirements for the combined degree are the same as for each individual degree.

MPH Year 1 (33 hours)

Spring (18 hours)
  • MPH 611. Principles of Epidemiology
  • MPH 621. Basic Biostatistics and Health Measures
  • MPH 631. Environmental Health
  • MPH 641. Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  • MPH 652. Public Health Management
  • MPH 713. Health Systems and Policy
Fall (15 hours)
  • MPH 721. Grant Proposal Writing and Development
  • MPH 675. Community Health Needs Assessment
  • MPH 730. Introductory Program Evaluation
  • MPH 739. Diverse Populations
  • MPH 740. Health Equity

PA Year 2

  • PA 520. Human Anatomy with Lab
  • PA 521. Pathophysiology
  • PA 580. Physical Diagnosis with Lab
  • PA 530. Principles of Pharmacology
  • PA 511. Clinical Decision Making 1
  • PA 501. Medical Communication    * serves as MPH elective
  • PA 523. Concepts in Medical Science
  • PA 581. Clinical Medicine I with Lab
  • PA 533. Pharmacotherapy I
  • PA 545. Diagnostic Interpretation 1/ECG
  • PA 550. Behavioral Medicine    * serves as MPH elective
  • PA 512. Clinical Decision Making II
  • PA 561. Biostatistics for Clinicians    * serves as MPH elective
  • PA 582. Clinical Medicine II with Lab
  • PA 534. Pharmacotherapy II
  • PA 542. Diagnostic Interpretation II
  • PA 573. Surgical Medicine
  • PA 513. Clinical Decision Making III
  • PA 570. Emergency Medicine
  • PA 562. Evidence-Based Medicine for Clinical Practice

PA Year 3

  • PA 584. Clinical Medicine
  • PA 572. Medical Nutrition * serves as MPH elective
  • PA 502. Medical Ethics
  • PA 590. Point of Care Ultrasound
  • PA 595. Medical Ethics and Professional Practice
  • PA 601. Family Practice Practicum
  • PA 602. Internal Medicine Practicum
  • PA 603. Hospital Medicine Practicum
  • PA 604. Women’s Health Practicum
  • PA 605. Pediatric Medicine Practicum
  • PA 606. Emergency Medicine Practicum
  • PA 607. General Surgery Practicum
  • PA 608. Behavioral Medicine Practicum

PA Year 4

  • PA 609. Orthopedic Medicine Practicum
  • PA 611. Elective 1
  • PA 612. Elective 2
  • PA 650. Senior Seminar    *will be dually listed as PA 650 and MPH 793 (Applied Practice Experience)


The tuition for the MMSc/MPH dual degree program is as follows:

  • Year 1:  Spring/Fall semester tuition per MPH semester fee.
  • Year 2 through graduation:  The PA program tuition is fixed per semester throughout the 28 months.

Academic Advisement

Students are assigned advisors in both programs upon matriculation.