DMD/MPH DMD and Master of Public Health


One of the primary goals of the American Dental Association (ADA) is to, "promote the oral health of the public." Dental public health is one of the nine recognized specialties of the ADA, and is defined as, "the art and science of preventing oral diseases and promoting oral health through organized community efforts". The DMD/MPH program seeks to impart knowledge and skills necessary to expand the practice of dentistry into the community in a proactive way that fosters positive oral health, and as a direct result, yields improved overall health of the populations involved. It is necessary to address populations to improve the health of individuals and to work with individuals to improve the health of populations. Thus, dentistry and public health are inter-dependent and reliant on each other in order to achieve their mutual goals.

Description of the Curriculum

The length of the DMD/MPH dual degree curriculum is five years, one of which is dedicated to MPH courses. This year can be completed:

  • before the 1st DMD year
  • between the 1st and 2nd DMD years
  • between the 2nd and 3rd DMD years

Other requests/options will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

DMD Curriculum: The DMD degree includes 141.5 credit hours of didactic, laboratory, and clinical work. The DMD curriculum will not entail/incur any change because of enrollment in this dual degree program. A total of 9 credits of the DMD curriculum (Epidemiology and the Sealant Cornerstone Experience) will be counted towards the MPH degree as MPH electives.

MPH Curriculum: The MPH degree requires 42 credit hours:

  • 18 hours of Core Courses
  • 15 hours of Electives, of which 9 are covered by DMD courses
  • 9 hours of Culminating Project (3 credit Practicum & 6 credit Capstone)
  • Participation in a seminar series

Students must successfully complete both the DMD curriculum and the MPH curriculum to complete the dual degree. Students must complete the Capstone project and are also expected to present their project at a national meeting, the School of Dental Medicine Professionals Day, and the CWRU MPH Population Health Innovations Conference.

The Culminating Experience is the centerpiece of the CWRU MPH Program. A Public Health field practicum and capstone project required of all MPH students, this two course sequence places students in health related settings to work on projects of mutual interest to the agency or organization and the student. The experience gives students the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired through their academic course work to a problem involving the health of the community. Students learn to communicate with target groups in an effective manner, to order priorities for major projects according to definable criteria, to use computers for specific applications relevant to public health, to identify ethical, social, and cultural issues relating to public health policies, research, and interventions, to identify the process by which decisions are made within the organization or agency, and to identify and coordinate the use of resources at the site.

Admissions to the Program

Students interested in the DMD/MPH program, please contact Dr. Sena Narendran, director of the program, by phone at 216.368.1311 or by email at

Sample Template for Course Schedule for DMD/MPH (with MPH-dedicated year prior to DMD Year 1)

Year 1, Fall (15 credits)
MPHP 406History and Philosophy of Public Health *3
MPHP 483Introduction to Epidemiology for Public Health Practice *3
MPHP 411Introduction to Health Behavior *3
MPHP 510Health Disparities3
MPHP 413Health Education, Communication, and Advocacy3
* denotes core courses
Year 1, Spring (15 credits)
MPHP 405Statistical Methods in Public Health *3
MPHP 429Introduction to Environmental Health *3
MPHP 439Public Health Management and Policy *3
MPHP 433Community Interventions and Program Evaluation3
Program Approved Elective3
* denotes core courses
Total Units30