DVM/Master of Public Health Program

The DVM/Master of Public Health Program is designed to prepare veterinary students for a career in public health, or to better apply the principles of epidemiology and public health to more traditional forms of practice or research. With its emphasis on human and animal diseases, accuracy in research, and rigorous application of statistical methods, the combined DVM/Master of Public Health degree provides an excellent foundation for students wishing to pursue public health positions in government and positions in research, international health, private industry and academia.

The Master of Public Health degree complements students' clinical understanding of the individual with a population-based perspective. Upon completion of the program, students are better able to understand the roles of the biological sciences and health care services in improving the health of populations and linking to public health practice. The program helps graduates identify the public health implications of clinical work and research and communicates these to other clinicians and public health professionals. Graduates of the program are able to apply population-based methods and perspectives to the design and practice of clinical services, describe the diverse roles that physicians, veterinarians, and other clinicians and public health professionals play in public health practice and research, and demonstrate the ability to participate effectively in a public health team.


A complete course list can be found on the Tufts School of Medicine Public Health Degree Requirements page.

The DVM/MPH program consists of a combination of classroom and public health coursework. In the first two years, students take public health core courses on Tuesday afternoons in place of the weekly, pre-clinical field or research selectives pursued by other veterinary students. The MPH curriculum reflects competencies in the domains of Evidence-Based Approaches to Public Health, Public Health and Health Care Systems, Planning and Management to Promote Health, Policy in Public Health, Leadership, Communication, Interprofessional Practice, and Systems Thinking. The DVM/MPH program also has concentration-specific courses such as Global Population Health, Research Methods, Emerging and Exotic Diseases and Animals, and Legal Basis of Veterinary Public Health. During their first three years, students collectively participate in a monthly, small group seminar—Integration of Public Health—designed to help integrate what they are learning over time in the MPH curriculum with their pre-clinical training.

Students may also take public health electives designed specifically for them on the Grafton or Boston campus throughout their first, second, and third years. Special four-week blocks of time are reserved for elective courses in the spring of the third and fourth years.

In addition, students participate in an eight-week summer field experience during the summer between their first and second years, and an in-depth practicum in public health, Applied Learning Experience.

The DVM/Master of Public Health program is designed to prepare veterinary students for a career in public health, or to better apply the principles of epidemiology and public health to more traditional forms of practice or research.

Elective Courses

Several elective offerings are made available on the Cummings School campus specifically for DVM/MPH students. Elective courses are also available for third and fourth-year students during a four-week period in March and April. Individual elective courses are offered, at most, once every two years. Usually, six or seven electives are offered each spring, although course offerings in any given year may vary. With approval from the Program Director, students may take electives offered elsewhere in the MPH program, at Tufts University, or at other institutions. The following are examples of courses taught in recent years:

A list of MPH-approved electives is available on the School of Medicine website.

Field Experience

Students complete an eight-week field placement in a public, private or volunteer health organization during the summer of the first year of study. Each student works with a public health practitioner/mentor on a project which is beneficial to the host agency. The summer field experience is designed to provide students with an opportunity to integrate their knowledge and develop their skills in a practitioner's environment. Students present their project to faculty and students upon completion of their eight-week experience.

Applied Learning Experience

This advanced-level public health practicum provides students with an opportunity to integrate and apply their knowledge and skills to propose a solution to a genuine public health problem. To address the problem, students must draw upon all of the public health core disciplines and become more familiar with public health practice. A seminar provides faculty and peer support for students as they develop their projects. Interventions are evaluated by a panel of faculty.


The DVM/MPH program is a unique dual degree track providing students the basics for understanding and practicing public health. This combined degree program graduates professionals seeking public health positions in government, research, international health, private industry, and academia.

Interested applicants must apply separately to the DVM and MPH programs, meeting application requirements of both programs.

DVM applicants receive information and an application for the MPH program once they have been admitted to the DVM Program. The MPH application for admission must be submitted in early March to the Office of Admissions at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Applicants are notified of admission to the program by early April.

Approximately six to eight students are admitted each year to the DVM/MPH program. Selection is based on the following criteria:

  • MPH Application and Essays
  • DVM Application Materials

Tuition and fees for the year are payable according to Tufts University guidelines. An additional MPH tuition is charged each semester of the four-year program. This tuition is in addition to the DVM Program Tuition. All tuitions are subject to yearly increases. Please see current MPH tuition rates here.

Information on the cost of education as well as the Cummings School refund policy can be found on the Tuition and Fees page.

Financial Aid for the MPH program is not guaranteed. Therefore, it is important for students to be prepared to pay for their MPH tuition. Tuition assistance may be sought through traditional student loan venues. More information regarding financial aid can be found in the Financial Aid section.


DVM/MPH program faculty include full-time faculty from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and from Tufts University School of Medicine.


Meera Gatlin, DVM, MPH
Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the DVM/MPH program
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
(508) 887-4944

Patrick Vivier, M.D., PhD
Professor and Director of the Public Health Program
School of Medicine

Kate Beckett
Administrative Director, Graduate Programs

Rosemary Hilliard
Director of Admissions
Public Health and Professional Degree Programs