Program Description

Mercer University's College of Health Professions (CHP) is pleased to present the Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Public Health (PharmD/MPH) combined degree program. For qualified students in the College of Pharmacy (COP), Mercer University provides an opportunity to pursue a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree concurrently with the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree. The PharmD degree is earned through the COP and the MPH degree is earned through the CHP.

The MPH degree program is designed to develop students into competent, passionate professionals ready to address the complex and dynamic challenges of public health in neighborhoods and populations in the U.S. and world. The MPH degree will complement the PharmD degree in a manner that will broaden the occupational and professional opportunities of the prospective graduate in community, industry, or institutional practice. The program has been carefully developed to permit concurrent pursuit of both the PharmD and the MPH curricula.

Program Outcomes

The outcomes for the PharmD and MPH programs will remain unchanged, as the student will complete both programs, with only minor adaptations.   

  • The Pharm.D. graduate of the Mercer University College of Pharmacy will be able to:
  • Provide effective patient-centered care in multidisciplinary settings to a culturally diverse population.
  • Demonstrate foundational knowledge in biomedical, pharmaceutical, social, behavioral, administrative and clinical sciences.
  • Provide medication therapy management for optimal outcomes and to ensure patient safety.
  • Evaluate biomedical literature to make evidence based clinical decisions and recommendations.
  • Solve problems and think critically.
  • Effectively counsel patients while addressing health literacy. 
  • Educate the public and health care professionals.
  • Contribute to the elimination of health disparities to benefit individual patients and society.
  • Effectively manage human, financial, material and informational resources.
  • Adhere to laws and guidelines regulating the practice of pharmacy.
  • Adhere to professional and ethical standards of conduct.
  • Actively participate in professional organizations and advance the profession of pharmacy and its contributions to society.
  • Proactively address changes in the health care delivery system.
  • Pursue life-long professional development.

The program objectives for the MPH programs revolve around the profession's eight domains.  The program domains are listed under the competency headings and include:

  1. Analytic/Assessment Skills

1) Assess the health status of rural and underserved populations and their related determinants of health and illness (e.g. factors contributing to health promotion and disease prevention, availability and use of health services)

2) Use methods and instruments for collecting valid and reliable quantitative and qualitative data for rural and underserved populations

3) Use information technology to collect, store, and retrieve data for rural and underserved populations

  1. Policy Development/Program Planning Skills

1) Analyze information relevant to specific public health policy issues related to rural and underserved populations

2) Utilize decision analysis for policy development and program planning for rural and underserved populations

  1. Communication Skills

1) Communicate in writing and orally, in person, and through electronic means, with linguistic and cultural proficiency for rural and underserved populations

2) Present demographic, statistical, programmatic, and scientific information for use by professional and lay audiences in rural and underserved populations

  1. Cultural Competency Skills

1) Incorporate strategies for interacting with persons from diverse backgrounds including rural and underserved populations, cultural, socioeconomic, educational, racial, ethnic, and sexual orientation

2) Consider the role of cultural, geographic, social, and behavioral factors in the accessibility, availability, acceptability and delivery of public health services in rural and underserved populations

3) Respond to diverse needs that are the result of cultural and geographic differences in rural and underserved populations

4) Explain the dynamic forces that contribute to cultural and geographic diversity in rural in underserved populations

  1. Community Dimensions of Practice Skills

1) Assess community linkages and relationships among multiple factors (or determinants) affecting health in rural and underserved populations

2) Describe the role of governmental and non-governmental organizations in the delivery of community health services in rural and underserved populations

  1. Public Health Sciences Skills

1) Relate public health science skills to the Core Public Health Functions and Ten Essential Services of Public Health

2) Apply the basic public health sciences (including, but not limited to biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, health services administration, and social and behavioral health sciences) to public health policies and programs in rural and underserved populations

3) Conduct a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence related to a public health issue, concern, or intervention in rural and underserved populations

  1. Financial Planning and Management Skills

1) Develop a programmatic budget for rural and underserved populations

2) Evaluate program performance in rural and underserved populations

  1. Leadership and Systems Thinking Skills

1) Incorporate ethical standards of practice as the basis of all interactions with organizations, communities, and individuals in rural and underserved populations

2) Incorporate systems thinking into public health practice in rural and underserved populations

Admission Requirements

In order to apply for admission to the MPH Program, a Doctor of Pharmacy student must have completed a bachelor's degree or 120 hours of college credit. At 120 hours of college credit, the Doctor of Pharmacy student is considered to have the equivalent of a bachelor's degree in terms of a focused record of study.

Admission requirements for the PharmD follow those outlined on the COP Admissions website.  

Academic Advisement and Progression

Faculty in the College of Pharmacy and College of Health Professions provide academic advisement for students pursuing the PharmD/MPH Program. Students admitted into the PharmD/MPH Program are required to meet with the Chair of the Department of Public Health, or designee, to discuss the program requirements prior to enrollment in their first MPH course.

PharmD/MPH Program students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and maintain good academic standing in the PharmD Program throughout their enrollment in the MPH Program.

Program Requirements

Select MPH Program courses can be used to satisfy up to eight of the professional-level didactic elective hours required for the PharmD Program. This does not preclude students taking professional-level electives in the PharmD Program, and students are encouraged to take advantage of elective courses offered by the College of Pharmacy that will further develop their knowledge and skills in specific areas within the field of pharmacy.

Three of the two credit hour courses of the first professional year in the PharmD Program will satisfy six hours of electives in the MPH Program.

Both PharmD and MPH programs require students to complete service-learning hours as part of each program's curriculum. Service-learning is intended to improve patient care and public health and expand upon the students' existing patient caring and public health skills and knowledge. 

Tuition and Financial Aid

PharmD/MPH students pay tuition for both PharmD and MPH courses. More information about financial aid for the PharmD/MPH Program can be obtained from the Office of Student Financial Planning.