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. 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 two credits of practical skills work 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 development of a comprehensive suite of patient health education or medication safety materials.

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.

Graduation 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.

Other information

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.

For M.P.H., apply online at Pharm.D. applicants follow instructions on the School of Pharmacy website.

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.

Curriculum requirements

M.P.H. courses

BIOS   543Statistical Methods I3
BIOS   544Statistical Methods II3
EPID   547Applied Data Analysis Lab I1.5
EPID   548Applied Data Analysis Lab II1.5
EPID   571Principles of Epidemiology3
EPID   580Public Health Ethics1
EPID   593MPH Practicum2
EPID   604Principles of Environmental Health3
EPID   694MPH Capstone Project3
HCPR   601Introduction to Health Policy3
SBHD   605Introduction to Social and Behavioral Health3
M.P.H. electives
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
Clinical Trials
Introduction to Public Health
Contemporary Issues and Controversies in Public Health
Public Health Policy and Politics
Cancer Epidemiology
Maternal and Child Health
Chronic Disease Epidemiology
Epidemiology of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders
Behavioral Epidemiology
Health Communication
Health Disparities and Social Justice
Community-based Participatory Research
Total Hours36

Pharm.D. courses

IPEC   501Foundations of Interprofessional Practice1
IPEC   502Interprofessional Quality Improvement and Patient Safety1
MEDC   527Basic Pharmaceutical Principles for the Practicing Pharmacist3
MEDC   533Pharmacognosy2
MEDC   542Biotechnology-derived Therapeutic Agents1
MEDC   543Clinical Chemistry for the Pharmacist2
MEDC   553Clinical Therapeutics Module: Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry1
PCEU   507Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics I3
PCEU   508Pharmacokinetics3
PCEU   509Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics II3
PCEU   615Applied Pharmacokinetics2.5
PHAR   509Evidence-Based Pharmacy I: Introduction to Pharmacy Information Skills2
PHAR   513Contemporary Pharmacy Practice2
PHAR   523Foundations I1.5
PHAR   524Foundations II1.5
PHAR   526Community Pharmacy Practice2
PHAR   529Clinical Therapeutics Module: Introduction to Special Populations2
PHAR   530Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience: Community Practice4
PHAR   532Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience: Hospital Practice3
PHAR   533Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience: Service-learning0.5
PHAR   534Foundations III1
PHAR   535Foundations IV1
PHAR   540Self-Care and Alternative and Complementary Treatments2.5
PHAR   541Patient Assessment in Pharmacy Practice2
PHAR   544Clinical Therapeutics Module: Cardiovascular4.5
PHAR   545The U.S. Health Care System2
PHAR   547Managing Professional Patient-centered Practice1.5
PHAR   549Pharmacogenetics1
PHAR   550Pharmacy Practice Research3
PHAR   555Clinical Therapeutics Module: Endocrinology2.5
PHAR   556Clinical Therapeutics Module: Neurology4
PHAR   565Evidence-based Pharmacy II: Research Methods and Statistics2.5
PHAR   566Evidence-based Pharmacy III: Drug Literature Evaluation2
PHAR   602Clinical Therapeutics Module: Psychiatry3
PHAR   603Clinical Therapeutics Module: Respiratory/Immunology3
PHAR   604Clinical Therapeutics Module: Infectious Diseases4.5
PHAR   605Clinical Therapeutics Module: Hematology/Oncology2.5
PHAR   606Clinical Therapeutics Module: Nephrology/Urology2
PHAR   607Clinical Therapeutics Module: Dermatology/EENT2
PHAR   618Clinical Therapeutics Module: Gastrointestinal/Nutrition2.5
PHAR   619Clinical Therapeutics Module: Women's Health/Bone2
PHAR   620Clinical Therapeutics Module: Critical Care/Toxicology2.5
PHAR   621Pharmacoeconomics2
PHAR   622Epidemiology and Pharmacy Practice2
PHAR   640Foundations V1
PHAR   645Foundations VI1
PHAR   652Health Promotion and Communication in Pharmacy Practice2.5
PHAR   660Community Pharmacy Practice Management II2
PHAR   661Institutional Pharmacy Management2
PHAR   724Pharmacy Law2.5
PHAR   760Acute Care Pharmacy Practice I5
PHAR   761Advanced Hospital Pharmacy Practice5
PHAR   762Geriatrics Pharmacy Practice5
PHAR   763Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Practice5
PHAR   765Elective I5
PHAR   766Elective II5
PHAR   768Advanced Community Pharmacy Practice5
PHAR   771Student Pharmacist Professionalism1
PHAR   773Acute Care Pharmacy Practice II5
PHTX   606Clinical Therapeutics Module: Introduction to Pharmacology (Pharmacy) (Pharmacy)1
Total Hours155.5

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
(804) 628-2509

Amy Pakyz, Pharm.D., Ph.D.
Associate professor, Department of Pharmacotheraphy and Outcomes Science
(804) 828-6027

Additional contact
Lisa S. Anderson
Director of educational programs, Division of Epidemiology, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health
(804) 628-2512

Program website: and