DVM-MPH Combined Degree

A variety of forces, such as the new focus on public health preparedness including areas of zoonotic diseases, food security and food borne/vector borne diseases; environmental health; and outbreaks of rabies and West Nile virus call for preparing professionals who possess knowledge and skills in both veterinary medicine and public health.

The purpose of the dual DVM-MPH is to provide formal training in public health in addition to formal training in veterinary medicine. This dual degree is a natural combination of preparation in two related and complimentary health care disciplines.

Graduate veterinarians who also possess the MPH degree will have employment opportunities in:

  1. Local and State health departments in epidemiology, zoonotic/vector borne diseases, food borne disease, bioterrorism, environmental health, emergency planning/response positions
  2. State Public Health Veterinarian positions (there are about 39 state public health veterinarians in the US)
  3. Scientific positions at CDC, ATSDR, EPA, USDA, and the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA.
  4. The Public Health Service Commissioned Corp.
  5. Military positions in public health
  6. State agricultural departments
  7. Universities doing teaching and research in the broad field of public health
  8. International public health


To be a candidate for this combined degree the applicant must be accepted into the DVM program as a condition of acceptance into the combined degree. This may occur concurrently but the condition of acceptance into the DVM must be made before final acceptance into the combined program. The admission committees of the two colleges will independently review the candidate for acceptance into the combined degree. For information about the DVM program at Iowa State University, please see http://vetmed.iastate.edu/.

MPH Core Courses (18 s.h.)

The following courses are required of students in the MPH program. Students are expected to earn ≥ B- (2.67) on each core course and must earn a ≥ B (3.0) cumulative grade point average on all core courses. When necessary, a student may repeat a course to achieve this standard.

Number Title Hours
CPH:5100 Intro to Public Health 3 s.h.
BIOS:4120 Intro to Biostatistics 3 s.h.
CBH:4105 Intro to Health Promotion and Disease Prevention 3 s.h.
EPID:4400 Epidemiology I: Principles 3 s.h.
HMP:4000 Intro to the US Healthcare System 3 s.h.
OEH:4240 Global Environmental Health 3 s.h.


Required Courses – ISU College of Veterinary Medicine

Transfer of 12 hours from the veterinary medicine course work includes
the following courses:

Number Title Hours
VMPM:378 Case Studies IV: Emerging and Exotic Diseases of Animals 1 s.h.
VMPM:388 Public Health and the Role of the Veterinary Profession 3 s.h.
VCS:445 Small Animal Internal Med 2 s.h.
VMPM:437 Infectious Diseases and Preventive Medicine 3 s.h.
BMS:443 Pharmacology and Therapeutics 3 s.h.


Students must choose at least 9 s.h. from these on-campus and distance education courses.

Number Title Hours
CPH:6700 Public Health Preparedness* 3 s.h.
EPID:5200 Principles of Public Health Informatics* 3 s.h.
EPID:5300 Food Safety
(summer institute in Ames)
3 s.h.
EPID:5470 Applied Veterinary Epidemiology/Biostats
summer institute in Ames)
3 s.h.
EPID:5550 Diagnostic Microbiology for Epidemiologists* 3 s.h.
EPID:5570 Zoonotic Diseases
(summer institute course in Iowa City)
3 s.h.
EPID:6550 Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases* 3 s.h.
OEH:4510 Injury Violence and Prevention* 3 s.h.
OEH:5520 Research Methods in Disaster Studies* 3 s.h.
OEH:6110 Rural Health and Agricultural Medicine*
(summer institute in Iowa City)
3 s.h.

*Courses are available as distance education courses

For students who started the MPH Program prior to Fall 2018:
Practicum Requirement (3 s.h.)

The experience from this course, including a final written report and a poster presentation, constitutes the final examination for the MPH.

Number Title Hours
CPH:7000 MPH Practicum Experience 3 s.h.

Pre-Requisite to MPH Practicum

Students must complete all of their MPH core courses and the majority of other MPH coursework prior to registering for the Practicum.

For students who started the MPH Program in Fall 2018 and beyond:
Applied Practice Experience and Capstone Experience Requirements (3 s.h.)

Number Title Hours
CPH:7500 MPH Applied Practice Experience 2 s.h.
CPH:7200 MPH Capstone Experience 1 s.h.

Pre-Requisites to the Applied Practice Experience and the Capstone Experience

Students must complete all core courses prior to beginning the Applied Practice Experience, and they must take the Capstone Experience course in their final semester.

Summary of Requirements for students who started the MPH Program prior to Fall 2018:

MPH core courses 18 s.h.
Practicum 3 s.h.
MPH courses 9 s.h.
DVM transfer courses 12 s.h.
Total 42 s.h.

Summary of Requirements for students who started the MPH Program in Fall 2018 and beyond:

MPH core courses 18 s.h.
Practice Experience 2 s.h.
Capstone Experience 1 s.h.
MPH courses 9 s.h.
DVM transfer courses 12 s.h.
Total 42 s.h.


The following table identifies competencies for the DVM/MPH:

Describe the role that the veterinary profession plays in public health
Recognize the importance of veterinarians in preventing, detecting and responding to issues related to the health of the public, such as foodborne illnesses and infectious diseases of animals
Examine the intersection of animal and human disease, including the identification of common zoonoses, their reservoirs, routes of transmission, public health significance, and how to prevent and control them


Questions or comments? Contact Lexie Just. This page was last reviewed on September 17, 2018.