Program Description

Mercer University's College of Health Professions offers the PsyD/MPH combined degree program.  This innovative combined degree program addresses the ongoing mental healthcare provider workforce shortage by preparing graduates to provide cost-effective, evidence-based mental healthcare 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 healthcare delivery system that are essential on both local and national levels. The curriculum plan facilitates preparation of mental healthcare providers who are able to address public health concerns and evaluate community-based programming.

Students admitted to the PsyD/MPH program can complete both degrees in 5 years.  Thirty-three (33 credits) of the MPH will be completed while fulfilling courses in the PsyD program. Students may begin taking MPH courses as early as their first year of enrollment in the PsyD program.  Three courses (CPSY 712, CPSY 715, and three credits of the 6-credit sequence CPSY 993) in the PsyD program will fulfill MPH elective requirements and applied practice requirements.  Students must also complete 40 hours of public health service.  The PsyD program consists of 100 credit hours and 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).


Program Outcomes

The outcomes and learning objectives for the PsyD and MPH programs will remain unchanged, as the student will complete both programs, with only minor adaptatations.

The PsyD program’s mission is to prepare psychologists as integrated healthcare practitioners who contribute to and apply scientific knowledge of human behavior to benefit individuals, systems, and society.

To this end, we aim to produce:

  1. 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
  2. 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 and 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 and 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

Interprofessional Practice

21. Perform effectively on interprofessional teams

Systems Thinking

22. Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue

Diverse Populations 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.   

Program Requirements

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology  (100 Hours Required)

Biological, Methodological, and General Psychology Requirements (25 hours)
CPSY 701         Psychometric Theory and Assessment (3 hours)
CPSY 702         Lifespan Developmental Psychology (3 hours)
CPSY 703         Biological Bases of Behavior (3 hours)
CPSY 710         Cognition and Affective Processes (3 hours)
CPSY 711         Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience (3 hours)
CPSY 712         Research Design (3 hours)
CPSY 714         Statistical Methods (3 hours)
CPSY 715         Advanced Statistical Methods (3 hours)
CPSY 812         Seminar in History and Systems of Psychology (1 hour)

Ethics, Professional Values, and Cultural Diversity Requirements (7 hours)
CPSY 716         Professional Values (1 hour)
CPSY 717         Ethics and Professional Issues (3 hours)
CPSY 718         Individual and Cultural Diversity (3 hours)

Assessment Requirements (21 hours)
CPSY 708         Psychopharmacology (3 hours)
CPSY 721         Psychopathology (4 hours)
CPSY 731         Personality Assessment (4 hours)
CPSY 732         Cognitive Assessment (4 hours)
CPSY 833         Neuropsychological Assessment (3 hours)
CPSY 865         Child Psychopathology (3 hours)

Intervention Requirements (14 hours)
CPSY 733         Clinical Interviewing (4 hours)
CPSY 743         Evidence-Based Assessment and Therapy I (4 hours)
CPSY 745         Evidence-Based Assessment and Therapy II (3 hours)
CPSY 874         Child and Family Behavior Therapy (3 hours)

Consultation, Supervision, and Health Psychology (14 hours)
CPSY 704          Integrated Primary Healthcare (3 hours)
CPSY 726          Health Psychology (3 hours)
CPSY 835          Psycho-oncology (3 hours)
CPSY 861          Health Psychology II (3 hours)
CPSY 960          Consultation and Supervision I (2 hours)

Practicum and Internship Requirements (12 hours)
CPSY 871         Practicum I (1 hour, taken for at least 6 credit hours) 
CPSY 993         Internship (6 hours, taken over the course of one year)

Dissertation (7 hours)
CPSY 971         Clinical Dissertation (taken for at least 7 credits)*

Electives (3 hours)
CPSY 880         Special Topics (1-3 hours)

Master of Public Health 

  MPH 611       Principles of Epidemiology (3 hours)
  MPH 621       Basic 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)