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BA/MPH and BS/MPH Degree Programs

What is the 4 + 1 program?

The BA/MPH and BS/MPH combined degree program is modeled after similar programs at other accredited schools of public health (e.g., Boston University, Johns Hopkins University). These programs typically recruit talented undergraduate students near the end of their sophomore year. Those students who are admitted to the combined degree program take courses at the school of public health (SPH) that can be credited toward BA or BS degree requirements, depending upon articulation agreements between the programs. Upon graduating with their BA or BS degree, students typically finish their MPH in the next year (thus, many schools call these "4+1 programs").

What are the benefits of this type of program?

Students benefit from:

  • the opportunity to interact with graduate-level students and faculty in an area of significant interest while still undergraduates
  • the reduction in time and cost for obtaining these degrees when compared to pursuing the degrees one after the other
  • increased advising support specific to their interest in public health and health disparities-related careers
  • increased access to doctoral study in these areas

Undergraduate institutions gain:

  • a potentially powerful recruiting tool by advertising the availability of the combined degree program
  • a partnership with a SPH that can result in additional educational opportunities for students (e.g., guest lectures from public health faculty, shared courses, etc.)
  • and faculty research partnerships between the schools

Schools of public health also benefit in terms of:

  • student recruiting options
  • the early identification of talented masters' students who also may be well-qualified for doctoral study
  • and the enrichment of faculty research partnerships

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