The School of Pharmacy and the Division of Epidemiology in the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health in VCU’s School of Medicine offer a dual-degree program through which students earn both Pharm.D. and M.P.H. degrees. This dual-degree program offers students the opportunity to achieve a Doctor of Pharmacy while also learning about research and the importance of population health. This five-year program requires students to spend the fourth year of the Pharm.D. program pursuing the M.P.H. degree, after which they transition back to pharmacy for advanced practice experiences.
Students are required to take 36 of the 45 credits required for the M.P.H. This includes 24 credit hours of core and required courses, a minimum of nine credit hours of elective courses, and a minimum of three credit hours of a capstone project that examines a relevant public health topic. Note that some elective courses may not be available in certain years or may require instructor permission for registration. The M.P.H. field study (internship) requirement will be satisfied by Pharm.D. special advanced practice experiences in community health during the fifth year of the program.
Students complete either two credits of practical skills work or one three-credit course during the P3 year, followed by full immersion in the M.P.H. curriculum in the P4 year. The required M.P.H. capstone project will be completed in a community setting during the P5 year; it will involve a comprehensive project that serves the needs of a professional public health organization and typically involves the development of one or more deliverables. Examples include a disease surveillance project, a needs assessment or program evaluation, or analysis of survey data.
VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs
The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.
It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.
Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.
Degree candidacy requirements
A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.
Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.
Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.
As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.
Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.
Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on graduation requirements.
School of Medicine graduate program policies
The School of Medicine provides policies applicable to all programs administratively housed in the school. Information on master’s programs is available elsewhere in this chapter of the Graduate Bulletin.
Please review the admission requirements for each stand-alone degree (Master of Public Health and Doctor of Pharmacy) in the VCU Graduate and Professional Bulletins to learn the specific application requirements for each program.
|BIOS 543||Graduate Research Methods I||3|
|BIOS 544||Graduate Research Methods II||3|
|EPID 547||Applied Data Analysis Lab I||1.5|
|EPID 548||Applied Data Analysis Lab II||1.5|
|EPID 571||Principles of Epidemiology||3|
|EPID 580||Public Health Ethics||1|
|EPID 593||MPH Practicum I||2|
|EPID 604||Principles of Environmental Health||3|
|EPID 694||MPH Capstone Project||3|
|HCPR 601||Introduction to Health Policy||3|
|SBHD 605||Introduction to Social and Behavioral Health||3|
|Select a minimum of nine credit hours of elective course work selected according to an area(s) of interest in public health. These may include the following:||9|
|Design Implications in Clinical Trials|
|Introduction to Public Health|
|Contemporary Issues and Controversies in Public Health|
|Public Health Policy and Politics|
|Maternal and Child Health|
|Chronic Disease Epidemiology|
|Epidemiology of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders|
|Introduction to Grant Writing|
|Problems, Issues and Trends in Gerontology|
|Contemporary Issues in Health|
|Nutrition for Health and Physical Activity|
|Exercise, Nutrition and Weight Management|
|Psychology of Physical Activity|
|Psychosocial Aspects of Sport and Physical Activity|
|Introduction to Human Genetics|
|Advanced Human Genetics|
|Principles of Human Behavioral Genetics|
|Emergency Management: Response Planning and Incident Command|
|Public Health Preparedness|
|Theoretical Foundations of Social and Behavioral Health|
|Health Disparities and Social Justice|
|Community-based Participatory Research|
|Domestic and Sexual Violence in Social Context|
|Aging and the Minority Community|
|Seminar in Population Studies|
|Seminar in Racial and Ethnic Relations in America|
|Studies in the Community|
|Seminar in Criminology|
|Community and Community Services for the Elderly|
|Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence: Medical Practice and Policy|
|Application of the Policy Process to Issues of Violence|
|Social Contexts of Childhood and Violence|
|Theorizing Gender Violence|
|The Sociology of Health and Illness|
|Introduction to Geographic Information Systems|
|Introduction to Geographic Information Systems|
|Community Socioeconomic Analysis Using GIS|
|Spatial Database Management and GIS Modeling|
|IPEC 501||Foundations of Interprofessional Practice||1|
|IPEC 502||Interprofessional Quality Improvement and Patient Safety||1|
|MEDC 527||Basic Pharmaceutical Principles for the Practicing Pharmacist||3|
|MEDC 542||Biotechnology-derived Therapeutic Agents||1|
|MEDC 543||Clinical Chemistry for the Pharmacist||2|
|MEDC 553||Clinical Therapeutics Module: Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry||1|
|PCEU 507||Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics I||3|
|PCEU 509||Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics II||3|
|PCEU 615||Applied Pharmacokinetics||2.5|
|PHAR 509||Evidence-Based Pharmacy I: Introduction to Pharmacy Information Skills||2|
|PHAR 513||Contemporary Pharmacy Practice||2|
|PHAR 523||Foundations I||1.5|
|PHAR 524||Foundations II||1.5|
|PHAR 526||Community Pharmacy Practice||2|
|PHAR 529||Clinical Therapeutics Module: Introduction to Special Populations||2|
|PHAR 530||Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience: Community Practice||4|
|PHAR 532||Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience: Hospital Practice||3|
|PHAR 533||Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience: Patient Care||0.5|
|PHAR 534||Foundations III||1|
|PHAR 535||Foundations IV||1|
|PHAR 540||Self-Care and Alternative and Complementary Treatments||2.5|
|PHAR 541||Patient Assessment in Pharmacy Practice||2|
|PHAR 544||Clinical Therapeutics Module: Cardiovascular||4.5|
|PHAR 545||The U.S. Health Care System||2|
|PHAR 547||Managing Professional Patient-centered Practice||1.5|
|PHAR 549||Personalized Medicine||1|
|PHAR 550||Pharmacy Practice Research||3|
|PHAR 555||Clinical Therapeutics Module: Endocrinology||2.5|
|PHAR 556||Clinical Therapeutics Module: Neurology||4|
|PHAR 565||Evidence-based Pharmacy II: Research Methods and Statistics||2.5|
|PHAR 566||Evidence-based Pharmacy III: Drug Literature Evaluation||2|
|PHAR 602||Clinical Therapeutics Module: Psychiatry||3|
|PHAR 603||Clinical Therapeutics Module: Respiratory/Immunology||3|
|PHAR 604||Clinical Therapeutics Module: Infectious Diseases||4.5|
|PHAR 605||Clinical Therapeutics Module: Hematology/Oncology||2.5|
|PHAR 606||Clinical Therapeutics Module: Nephrology/Urology||2|
|PHAR 607||Clinical Therapeutics Module: Dermatology/EENT and Joint||2|
|PHAR 618||Clinical Therapeutics Module: Gastrointestinal/Nutrition||2.5|
|PHAR 619||Clinical Therapeutics Module: Women's Health/Bone||2|
|PHAR 620||Clinical Therapeutics Module: Critical Care/Toxicology and Complex Patients||2.5|
|PHAR 622||Epidemiology and Pharmacy Practice||2|
|PHAR 640||Foundations V||1|
|PHAR 645||Foundations VI||1|
|PHAR 652||Health Promotion and Communication in Pharmacy Practice||2.5|
|PHAR 660||Community Pharmacy Practice Management II||2|
|PHAR 661||Institutional Pharmacy Management||2|
|PHAR 724||Pharmacy Law||2.5|
|PHAR 760||Acute Care Pharmacy Practice I||5|
|PHAR 761||Advanced Hospital Pharmacy Practice||5|
|PHAR 762||Geriatrics Pharmacy Practice||5|
|PHAR 763||Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Practice||5|
|PHAR 765||Elective I||5|
|PHAR 766||Elective II||5|
|PHAR 768||Advanced Community Pharmacy Practice||5|
|PHAR 771||Student Pharmacist Professionalism||1|
|PHAR 773||Acute Care Pharmacy Practice II||5|
|PHTX 606||Introduction to Pharmacology of Therapeutic Agents (Pharmacy)||1|
Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 191
Typical plan of study
Many students often end up taking more than the minimum number of hours required for a degree program. The total number of hours may vary depending upon the program, nature of research being conducted by a study or in the enrollment or funding status of the student. Students should refer to their program websites and talk with their graduate program directors or advisers for information about typical plans of study and registration requirements.
Graduate program directors
Saba Masho, M.D., Dr.P.H.
Associate professor, Division of Epidemiology, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health
Amy Pakyz, Pharm.D., Ph.D.
Associate professor, Department of Pharmacotheraphy and Outcomes Science
Lisa S. Anderson
Director of educational programs, Division of Epidemiology, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health
Program website: pharmacy.vcu.edu and familymedicine.vcu.edu/education/graduate/dual-degrees