MPH/MPA Dual Degree Program

The School of Public Health and the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs offer a dual degree Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Public Affairs (MPA) program. Emphasizing a learning-by-doing approach, this rigorous program will offer highly-qualified applicants the opportunity to gain training in public health and public policy to prepare them to address critical health policy issues in the United States and throughout the world. 

The dual degree program starts in summer and includes 20 courses (14 full courses and 6 half courses) as well as an internship and a master's thesis. Students will benefit from the rich academic resources at the School of Public Health and the Watson Institute. The program can be completed in two years, though students can extend the program over a longer period of time. All degree requirements must be met within a five-year period.

Applicants to the MPH/MPA dual degree program should apply via SOPHAS, a centralized application service used by the Brown University School of Public Health. Students from a variety of backgrounds and fields of study are welcome to apply; applications will be reviewed by both the MPH Program Admissions Committee and by the MPA Admissions Committee. Please visit the MPH admissions website for application deadlines and additional admissions information.  

The dual-degree degree program includes 20 courses (14 full and 6 half courses). The core courses include the 8 full and 6 half courses below​

8 Required Full Courses (1 credit each):

  • MPA 2055 The Politics of Policymaking in Comparative Perspective
  • MPA 2160  Management and Implementation in Public and Non-Profit Organizations
  • MPA 2445 Policy Analysis and Problem Solving
  • MPA 2475 Policy Problems of the 21st Century
  • PHP 2120 or 2150 Epidemiology
  • PHP 2507 Biostats & Applied Data Analysis I or PHP 2510 Principles of Biostatistics & Data Analysis*
  • PHP 2508 Biostats & Applied Data Analysis II or PHP 2511 Applied Regression Analysis*
  • PHP 2355 Designing and Evaluating Public Health Interventions

*Biostats courses must be taken as a sequence (2507/2508 or 2510/2511)

6 Required Half Courses (.5 credit each)

  • MPA 2040 Statistics for Program Evaluation
  • MPA 2455 Statistics for Public Policy
  • MPA 2450 Economics of Government Intervention
  • MPA 2460 Economics for Public Policy
  • PHP  2071 Applied Public Health: Systems and Practice
  • PHP  2072 Applied Public Health: Policy, Leadership and Communication

Students in the MPH/MPA dual degree must select the MPH Generalist Concentration. This includes:

  • working with an advisor to develop an individual path focusing on the intersection of public health and policymaking;
  • developing an individualized educational plan to gain the competencies required for this path;
  • identifying 5 courses that are appropriate for their individualized plan.

Learn more about the MPH Generalist Concentration here.

 

Students in the dual-degree program will complete one elective from the currently-approved elective list.:

  • BIOL1820, Environmental Health and Disease
  • DEVL1802S, Human Security and Humanitarian Response
  • PHP1070, The Burden of Disease in Developing Countries
  • PHP1100, Comparative Health Care Systems (If not taken to fulfill core requirement)
  • ECON 1360, Health Economics
  • PHP1600, Obesity in the 21st Century: Causes, Consequences and Countermeasures (Every other Spring)
  • PHP1610, Tobacco, Disease and the Industry: cigs, e-cigs and more
  • PHP 1680I, Pathology to Power: Disability, Health and Community
  • PHP1690, Technology and Health Behavior Change
  • PHP1700, Current Topics in Environmental Health
  • PHP1820, Designing Education for Better Prisoner and Community Health
  • PHP1854, The Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Disease
  • PHP1920, Social Determinants of Health
  • PHP1964, Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention (Every other Fall)
  • PHP2018, Epidemiology of Cardio-Metabolic Health (Every other Spring)
  • PHP2030, Clinical Trials Methodology
  • PHP2060, Qualitative Methods in Health Research
  • PHP2200, Advanced Methods in Epidemiologic Research
  • PHP2220B, Nutritional Epidemiology (Every other Fall)
  • PHP2220F, Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology
  • PHP2220E, Topics in Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
  • PHP2223, Statistical Genetics
  • PHP2250, Advanced Quantitative Methods in Epidemiologic Research
  • PHP2330, Behavioral and Social Approaches to HIV Prevention
  • PHP2360, Developing + Testing Theory-Driven, Evidence Based Psychosocial and Behavioral Health Interventions
  • PHP2365, Public Health Issues in LGBT Populations
  • PHP2300, Research Methods in Behavioral Science
  • PHP2325, Place Matters: Exploring Community-Level Contexts on Health Behaviors, Outcomes and Disparities (Every other Fall)
  • PHP 2340, Behavioral and Social Science Theory for Health Promotion
  • PHP 2370, Etiology of Substance Use Disorders
  • PHP2400, The U.S. Health Care System: Case Studies in Financing, Delivery, Regulation and Public Health 
  • PHP2410E, Medicare: A Data Based Policy Examination
  • PHP2425, Doing Public Health: Getting It Done in the Real World
  • PHP2450, Quality Measurement and Improvement in Health Care
  • PHP2550, Practical Data Analysis
  • PHP2980, Graduate Independent Study and Thesis Research (Full Credit)
  • PHP2985, MPH Independent Study for Thesis Preparation and Research (Half Credit)
  • PLCY1700K, Health Policy Challenges
  • PLCY1701D Aging and Public Policy
  • PLCY2710, GIS and Public Policy
  • SOC2612, Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis for the Social Sciences

Students may take an elective outside of the approved list with the approval of the Program Directors. Students should provide a copy of the syllabus for review and make the request prior to the start of the course. As future changes are made in the elective options of individual degree programs, they will be assessed for suitability for the dual-degree program.

All MPH students are required to complete a thesis.

Learn more about the thesis

MPH/MPA Sample Schedule 2020/21

Summer Sequence 1

  • MPA 2460 Economics for Public Policy (.5)
  • MPA 2455 Statistics for Public Policy (.5)

Total = 1

Summer Sequence 2

  • MPA 2450 Economics of Government Intervention (.5)
  • MPA 2040 Statistics for Program Evaluation (.5)

Total = 1

Fall 1

  • PHP 2120 or 2150 Epidemiology (1)
  • PHP 2507 Biostats & Applied Data Analysis I or PHP 2510 Principles of Biostats and Data Analysis (1)
  • MPA 2055 The Politics of Policymaking in Comparative Perspective (1)
  • MPA 2445 Policy Analysis and Problem Solving (1)

Total = 4

Spring 1

  • PHP 2508 Biostats & Applied Data Analysis II or PHP 2511 Applied Regression Analysis (1)
  • PHP 2355 Designing and Evaluating Public Health Interventions (1)
  • PHP 2071 Applied Public Health: Systems and Practice (.5)
  • PHP Concentration Course (1)

Total = 3.5

Summer 2

  • MPH Internship/Field Experience/MPA Consultancy (local Providence, Boston, or DC; required, no credit)

Fall 2

  • PHP 2072 Applied Public Health: Policy, Leadership and Communication (.5)
  • PHP Concentration Course (1)
  • PHP Concentration Course (1)
  • PHP Concentration Course (1)

Total = 3.5

Spring 2

  • MPA 2475 Policy Problems of the 21st Century (1)
  • MPA 2160 Management and Implementation in Public and Non-Profit Organizations(1)
  • Concentration Course (1)
  • MPH/MPA Elective  (1)

Total = 4

Program Contacts    
Annie Gjelsvik, PhD Director, Master of Public Health Program annie_gjelsvik@brown.edu
Shankar Prasad, PhD Interim Director, Master of Public Affairs Program [email protected]
Olivia Whalen, ALM Associate Director, Master of Public Affairs [email protected]
Elizabeth Jackvony, MPH Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Education Programs [email protected]