Kansas City University and the University of Nebraska Medical Center Collaborate to Offer DO/MPH Dual Degree Opportunity

(Kansas City, MO) – Kansas City University (KCU) and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) responded to the current public health crisis by partnering to offer medical students earn a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and a Master of Public Health simultaneously.

This dual degree, DO/MPH, arose, in part, because of the ongoing public health crisis due to COVID-19 as well as the need to train physicians who are focused on public and population health so they may address the increasingly complex healthcare needs of society.

As new obstacles in public health continue to adversely impact  communities and health-care systems, KCU is dedicated to preparing students in every way possible to fulfill its mission of improving the well-being of the communities we serve.

“Now, more than ever, the modern health-care system needs physicians who think beyond caring for each patient by also understanding the social/political influencers of health,” said Rex Archer, MD, MPH, director of Population and Public Health and professor in the Department of Curriculum & Integrated Learning for KCU. “To that end, medical schools are increasingly incorporating instruction centered on components that determine a person’s health status into their curriculum. Additionally, health insurance reimbursement oftentimes focuses not only on a physician’s individual encounters with his or her patients, but how well he or she keeps their patient population as a whole. This program will better prepare future physicians for these challenges and opportunities.”

The public health curriculum will be offered online and delivered over a four-year period for a total of 42 credit hours. Upon successful completion of five MPH Foundational Core courses over a two-year period, students will earn a Certificate in Public Health from UNMC. If a student chooses to pursue the full MPH degree, the remaining UNMC College of Public Health curriculum will be completed over an additional two years.

“UNMC is excited to partner with one of the nation’s founding colleges of osteopathic medicine. The College of Public Health will welcome Kansas City University medical students as our own for a radical joint medicine-public health program that will train expert clinicians with a comprehensive, holistic approach to health promotion, protection, and prevention,” said Ali S. Khan, MD, MPH, MBA, dean for UNMC College of Public Health.

The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Master of Public Health (DO/MPH) is one of three dual-degree programs offered through the KCU College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) on both campuses in Kansas City and Joplin. Dual degrees offer KCU-COM students an advantage to stay competitive when applying for residency placement after graduation. KCU and UNMC are proud to collaborate and bring this opportunity to our students so they may serve their future communities with public health leadership and expertise.

About Kansas City University:

Kansas City University, founded in 1916, is a fully accredited, private not-for-profit health sciences university, with a College of Biosciences and a College of Osteopathic Medicine. The College of Osteopathic Medicine Is the eighth largest medical school in the nation, the tenth most affordable of private medical colleges, and the leading producer of physicians for the State of Missouri. The College of Osteopathic Medicine has two campuses strategically located in Kansas City and Joplin, Missouri to address the growing needs of rural and urban populations. The University offers multiple graduate degrees in addition to doctor of osteopathic medicine, including a doctoral program in clinical psychology, a master of arts in bioethics and a master of science in biomedical sciences. The new College of Dental Medicine in Joplin, Missouri is scheduled to seat its first class in August of 2023.

About UNMC:

We are Nebraska Medicine and UNMC. Our mission is to lead the world in transforming lives to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities through premier educational programs, innovative research and extraordinary patient care.


Haley Reardon, Manager of Marketing & Communications
Kansas City University

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