Clinical Psychology PhD/MPh Dual Degree

May 04, 2019

A dual PhD in Psychology and a Master of Public Health degree program can provide students with a range of courses and experiences designed to enrich their development as a psychologist.

Those who wish to pursue careers as psychologists promoting mental health, developing community programming, or treating patients with behavioral concerns may wish to consider a dual Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Clinical Psychology and Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program. Here, prospective students can read more about what they would study in a dual PhD/MPH program and see the admission requirements for these programs.

PhD in Psychology/MPH Program Overview

Students completing a dual PhD/MPH are required to meet the degree requirements for each program, and they will work closely with advisors to develop a course of study to ensure completion of both degrees. A benefit to completing a dual degree is that some coursework in each program may be applied to the other, reducing the time to complete both degrees.

Additional components include public health internships and clinical psychology rotations, which can promote hands-on application of both public health and psychological techniques. Students also typically complete and defend a research dissertation as a component of their PhD program, which generally focuses on a research question that integrates the degrees. Graduation with is usually contingent on the completion of both programs.

Dual Degree Courses

Students interested in earning a dual degree in psychology and public health will find a range of innovative courses to promote their knowledge of these fields. Read on to find out more about some classes that may be encountered in a program of this nature.

Quantitative Research Design

A research course will be essential for students to be able to develop their own studies towards their dissertation. This course may provide an introduction to research design, psychological measurements, analyzing data, and reporting of findings. The importance of using scientific evidence in drawing conclusions could be presented.

Public Health Interventions

Those who are working at the intersection of psychology and public health are likely to be interested in designing interventions to promote mental wellness. This course may provide a background in the steps involved in a health promotion campaign as well as the evaluation of such programming. Students might be asked to review recent intervention findings or develop their own community intervention.

Health Psychology

This course may provide a background in the psychological factors that influence health. Specific considerations could be environmental factors to disease, stress, and health behaviors. Intervention both with individuals and the health system to promote adaptive behaviors might also be studied.

Public Health Policy and Management

This course could be a broad survey of policy issues and processes as well as the organization of health care within the United States. Specific topics might be financing of health care and services in the public health system. Students are likely to leave this course with an understanding of current policy issues in health care.

Cognitive Assessment

This course may provide an overview of cognitive assessment of children and adults. Students may learn to administer, score and interpret a range of psychological instruments, including the Wechsler Scales, Bayley Scales of Infant/Toddler Assessment, and Differential Ability Scales. Other tests, such as those designed to measure memory or attention, might be included as well. Those enrolled in this course could also be asked to write reports to focus on the communication and diagnostic interpretation of these tools.

Dual PhD in Psychology and a Master of Public Health Admissions

Candidates for dual degree programs typically must already have a bachelor's degree and meet the separate requirements for each program that is a component of their dual degree. They may apply concurrently or enter one program and then apply to the other during their first year of study. As PhD programs are typically smaller, candidates often are recommended to apply to those programs first.

To apply for a PhD program in psychology, applicants should plan to submit GRE scores, transcripts, a personal statement, and recommendations. Some universities may recommend identifying a faculty member with whom a student would like to conduct research. Undergraduate coursework in the core domains of psychology is required, and study of the life sciences and statistics is recommended. Research experience may be preferred. MPH applications may require students to provide transcripts, GRE scores, recommendations, a statement of purpose, and a resume.

Earning both a PhD in Psychology and an MPH can provide students with a solid foundation in assessing and treating those with mental health concerns, as well as designing preventative and community interventions surrounding these issues. Those who gain admission and enroll in such a program may encounter a wide range of courses, research experiences, and hands-on practice.

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