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MD/MPH Program

The MD/MPH Program is a joint degree program in which a student interested in both medicine and public health can obtain both degrees in five years. Recognizing the impact that public health issues have on patient health and healthcare, this joint degree is designed to train medical students to be effective physicians using both patient-based medical education coupled with population-based public health training. All students in the MD/MPH program must meet the same graduation requirements as traditional MPH students.

Admissions Process

Students interested in applying for entrance to the MD/MPH Program at the Upstate Medical University will need to have completed all of the requirements for admission to the College of Medicine as outlined in the admissions package. Prospective applicants will submit their AMCAS application indicating the combined MD/MPH degree option and follow the regular AMCAS application process outlined on the College of Medicine admissions homepage.

Once selected for an interview, applicants will be asked to complete a supplemental application with an MPH essay and two additional letters of recommendations from people familiar with their public health interest.

Current Upstate MD students who wish to apply to the MD/MPH Program can do so during their second or third year of medical school and should follow these instructions:

  1. Go to MyUpstate
  2. Click on the Home tab
  3. Click on Apply for Another Upstate Program
  4. Click on Complete or Update Application
  5. Complete and Submit Application to the MPH Program

Please contact the CNYMPH Program Office for more details on the MD/MPH Program at (315) 464-1700.


Program Overview

The CNYMPH program is a CEPH accredited collaborative program established in 2008 between Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University. The academic program offered through this collaborative program includes the Master of Public Health (MPH) a professional degree and the sentinel credential for public health professionals. With a focus on Public Health Practice and Policy, this degree program is a 42 credit hour graduate program designed to prepare professionals to address the public health challenges of our times. Building on the strengths of each institution, the CNYMPH Program provides a unique experience for furthering the public health infrastructure both regionally and beyond.

Academic Advisement

Upon matriculation to the CNYMPH program, students have up to five years to complete the degree. Each student in the program will be assigned an academic advisor to ensure their progress towards degree completion. Students will work with their advisor each semester to: a) complete or update a plan of study, which outlines the sequence of required courses; b) register for the appropriate courses; and c) monitor their progress in the program. Any changes will be discussed and recorded in student's file.

Course Directors are required to communicate with a student's academic advisor – at appropriate course intervals – when and if the student is experiencing academic difficulty. The advisor will meet with the Program Director to discuss student issues and determine, with the student, what assistance is needed to improve the student's performance in the course(s).

Transfer of Credits into the Program

A maximum of six graduate credit hours can be transferred into the degree program. Acceptance of transfer credits is at the discretion of the program and is dependent on the following criteria. The transferred course(s) must:

  • Be classified as a graduate-level course;
  • Have been taken within seven years of application;
  • Be from a CEPH accredited program or school, for a core course;
  • Have received a grade of B or better;
  • Be equivalent to one of the required core courses, if meant to replace a core requirement; and
  • Be equivalent to an elective course that meets the program's degree requirements.

Please contact the Program Office for the complete Transfer of Credit policy and procedure for petitioning the Program.

Course Enrollment

A minimum of nine credits is required to be considered a full-time student and eligible for financial aid. Any student registering for less than nine credits a semester is considered a part-time student. Students can only register for a maximum of 12 credits per semester. All students in the CNYMPH program will need to enroll in courses during the open enrollment period. Students should contact their advisor for assistance in selecting appropriate courses for their program of study. The dates for all open enrollment periods are announced via email. Students may enroll in courses online using "MyUpstate", except for the following courses: MPHP697 - Independent Study; MPHP698 - Field Placement; and MPHP699 - Capstone Project. These courses require a formal proposal and prior approval from the program.

Adding/Dropping/Withdrawing from a Course


Subject to approval of the course instructor, a student may add a course within seven days of the start of the course by filing an Add/Drop form with the Registrar. The Add/Drop form may be obtained at the Registrar's Office and requires the signatures of the student, their advisor, as well as the course director for the course they wish to add.


Students must follow the CNYMPH academic calendar and schedule for dropping courses. Students must use an Add/Drop form from the Registrar's Office and obtain signatures from the course director for the course they would like to drop as well as their advisor. Non-attendance or notification to the course director of the intent to drop a course does not constitute dropping the course. Students must submit the signed Add/Drop form to the Registrar by the deadline in order to be dropped from the course. A student dropping a course shall incur tuition liability in accordance with the schedule set by the CNYMPH program.


Following the academic drop time period, a student may still withdraw from a course. Students must follow the same procedure for dropping a course outlined above. The symbol "W" (withdrew) will automatically be recorded on the transcript for a student who withdraws prior to the completion of the course. A student's failure to withdraw properly from a course does not preclude the instructor from submitting a grade for the student on the basis of the work previously submitted. Unsubmitted work counts as a zero in calculating a student’s grade in a course. Students who withdraw from a required course will have to retake the course at a later time.

Incomplete Work

A grade of Incomplete (I) may be assigned to a student when:

  1. A student has been unable to complete all of the requirements of a course due to reasons beyond the student's control (e.g., medically documented illness) or other unforeseeable and compelling circumstance;
  2. The student has informed the course director, in writing, of the circumstances; and
  3. The student has obtained the written permission of the course director to postpone completion of specific course requirements beyond the semester in which the course was taken.

The student and the course director must complete and submit a Request for a Grade of Incomplete form. A letter grade of "I" will be assigned to the student for the semester in which the incomplete was earned and will be removed upon earning a grade.

A grade of Incomplete (I) may be changed to a grade in one of two ways:

  1. If the student satisfactorily completes the outstanding course requirements specified on the Request for a Grade of Incomplete form by the date agreed upon with the course director (but cannot exceed more than one semester); or
  2. If the student fails to complete the course requirements in accordance with the terms of the Request for a Grade of Incomplete form to the satisfaction of the course director, the incomplete grade is (automatically) converted to a Fail (F) grade and recorded on the student's official transcript.

Auditing Courses

Students auditing a course must pay a $50.00 audit fee if they are not enrolled in any other courses at Upstate Medical University. Students must obtain permission of the instructor to audit a course. Students cannot audit if the course has reached capacity with students enrolled for credit; permission by the instructor is not granted; or the course is listed as 'no audit permitted'.

Leave of Absence: Requesting a Leave

Any student desiring a leave of absence must take the steps below:

  1. Meet with the Director or Assistant Director of the CNYMPH program.
  2. Request a leave (in writing using the appropriate form available at the Registrar's Office). The request should include:
    1. Length of time desired for the leave (up to one year);
    2. Reasons for the request; and
    3. To the extent possible, a description of activities that will make the leave meaningful and useful (develop a plan).
  3. The student should continue coursework (barring any emergency) until the leave of absence is approved.
  4. A student on a Leave of Absence may not register for new courses; complete courses previously registered for or do remedial work (such as take a re-examination for the course).

Note: Although a leave may be granted, a student’s work may be reviewed by the MPH Director to determine the student’s appropriate academic status. The Director may require remedial work, the repeating of coursework or the dismissal of a student.

Leave of Absence: Returning from a Leave

A student who desires to return from a leave of absence must:

  1. Notify the Office of the Registrar in writing at least one month before the expected return date.
  2. Meet with their academic advisor to schedule courses for the next academic year and update their Plan of Study.
  3. Notify Student Health and update health record, if necessary.

Failure to return from a leave of absence or formally extend the leave will result in an administrative withdrawal (terminal separation) from the CNYMPH program.

Academic Performance

To be considered in good academic standing, a graduate student in the CNYMPH program must maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.

  1. Each semester, a student's academic performance is monitored by the course director and the program administration to determine their ability to successfully complete the course and to continue in the program. When the student's academic performance does not meet these standards, the following actions may be taken:
    1. Required Course Early Warning Alert/Academic Deficiency - At midpoint each semester, students will be notified by the course director if their academic performance in a required course (core, program-specific, field placement, and culminating experience) falls below a grade of "B".

      The student and course director will meet to discuss a plan to improve the student's academic performance. Students may also be referred to Academic Support Services at Upstate Medical University or the Writing Center at Syracuse University for further assistance. At the end of the semester, if the student's academic performance in a specific required course does not improve to at least a grade of "B", the student will be reviewed by the program administration and notified, in writing that their academic standing is at risk. The student will receive a notice of Academic Deficiency.

    2. Academic Probation - Students will be placed on Academic Probation when:
      1. The student has received a notice of Academic Deficiency for two or more required courses, or
      2. The student's cumulative GPA falls below 3.0.
    3. Academic Dismissal - Students with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 for two consecutive semesters will be considered for dismissal from the program.
  2. Students placed on Academic Probation will be required to develop a remediation plan with their academic advisor in order to successfully continue in the program. The remediation plan may include retaking a course.
  3. Students who receive a grade of "F" in a core or program-specific or a grade of "U" for Field Placement or Culminating Experience will be required to repeat the course and they must officially register for the course. The initial grade will remain on the student's transcript and all courses (including the repeated course) will be used to calculate the student's cumulative GPA.
  4. Any graduate student, whether full-time or part-time who does not register for course work for two consecutive semesters (excluding summer session) and who fails to formally request a leave of absence for that period will be automatically withdrawn from the CNYMPH program at the end of the second semester.

Grading System for CNYMPH

Instructors assign a letter grade reflecting the performance of each student in the course. Grade points are assigned to each letter grade on a 4.0 system. Cumulative grade point averages are calculated each semester, according to the point system below.

Letter Grade Grade Points/Credits
A 4.0
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
C- 1.67
F 0
I (Incomplete) 0
W (Withdraw) 0
WF (Withdraw Failing) 0
S (Satisfactory) N/A
U (Unsatisfactory) N/A

Student Evaluation

Faculty is charged with evaluating student progress in both an objective and fair manner. Student performance is evaluated using multiple measures: course examinations, class participation, and field placement and capstone projects. Course instructors are obligated to inform students of the academic expectations and evaluation methods utilized in their course. This information must be provided in writing at the beginning of the course and be available and accessible to all students in electronic form. It is the responsibility of the course director to inform students of their progress and to report any student who is performing poorly and experiencing academic difficulty to their academic advisor. It is also the course director's responsibility to submit student grades in a timely fashion.


When students matriculate in the CNYMPH Program (herein the "Program"), they assume great responsibility associated with investigating and managing public health issues. It is absolutely imperative that students maintain the highest levels of professional and personal honor and integrity. Both the Upstate Medical University Student Code of Conduct and the Syracuse University Academic Integrity Policy encourage the personal and professional development of students and sets forth the minimum expectations for behavior. The Program views its academic integrity process as educational and intended to result in increased understanding of individual rights and responsibilities. All members of the CNYMPH community should regard academic integrity as paramount and members should communicate concerns about policy violations to the Instructor of Record and/or the Director of the CNYMPH program. Ultimately, the processes and procedures designed to maintain academic integrity facilitate the educational mission of the Program and its partner institutions.

CNYMPH Academic Integrity Policy

Academic integrity is violated by any dishonest act which is committed in an academic context including, but not restricted to: Use of Sources; Course Work and Research; Communications and Representations; Materials Misuse. See the Upstate Medical University Student Code of Conduct (http://www.upstate.edu/currentstudents/support/rights/conduct.php) and the Syracuse University Academic Integrity Policy (http://academicintegrity.syr.edu/academic-integrity-policy/) for detailed explanations of expectations, processes, and procedures. Students and faculty in the Program are required to review both policies. For questions about the Upstate Medical University policy, contact the Associate Dean of Student Affairs at huards@upstate.edu or at 315-464-8855. For questions about the Syracuse University policy, contact the SU Academic Integrity Office at aio@syr.edu or at 315-443-5412.

Process for Addressing Academic Integrity Violations

As Program partners, Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University share a strong commitment to professionalism and academic integrity. The policies and procedures of each institution, while structured and presented somewhat differently, reflect the following general process: The Instructor of Record will respond to a suspected violation by contacting the College Judicial Officer (Upstate Medical University courses) or the School/College Academic Integrity Coordinator (SU Courses). Upon receipt of the suspected violation report, the Officer or Coordinator will engage the process required by the institution of the faculty of record for the class.

Upstate Medical University Courses*: The Judicial Officer, upon investigation, will determine if the alleged offense is “non-egregious” or “egregious” and whether the student has had prior violations.

Depending on these factors, the case may be resolved via mediation by the Judicial Officer or will be referred to the University Academic Honesty Committee for resolution.

SU Courses**: The Academic Integrity Coordinator refers all academic dishonesty allegations involving graduate students to a hearing panel for resolution.

  • Students will be treated with fundamental fairness. Fundamental fairness means that students will be given notice of charges and an opportunity to be heard before any final determination is made.
  • The presumptive penalty for academic integrity violations by CNY MPH graduate students (full- or part-time) is suspension or expulsion from the Program. A decision to suspend or expel a student will be a recommendation to the Associate Provost for Academic Programs at SU and the Dean of Student Affairs at Upstate Medical University. Substantial deference shall be given by the Associate Provost and the Dean of Student Affairs to determinations made by properly constituted hearing panels and/or judicial officers. Recommended sanctions may not be reduced or increased unless determined to be “grossly disproportionate” to the offense. The Associate Provost and the Dean of Student Affairs will provide a written explanation for any decision not to accept a hearing panel and/or judicial officer recommendation. A decision by a hearing panel or judicial officer to impose a penalty less than suspension or expulsion for a graduate student requires a written explanation and is a final and conclusive determination not subject to appeal. NOTE: In cases of suspension, the MPH program will not accept, for credit, any courses taken at other institutions during the period of suspension.***
  • If the Associate Provost and the Dean of Student Affairs disagree on a hearing panel or judicial officer recommendation, the matter will be referred for final resolution to the chief academic officer of the institution in which the violation occurred.
  • Final decisions will be communicated to the Instructor of Record and the Director of the CNY MPH Program by the Associate Provost or Dean of Student Affairs.
  • Final decisions will be communicated to the student by the Director of the CNY MPH Program.
  • Records of established violations will be maintained by the Syracuse University Academic Integrity Office and Upstate Medical University’s Office of the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.

*Upstate Medical University Courses: Courses taught by a faculty member whose primary appointment is at Upstate Medical University.

**SU Courses: Courses taught by a faculty member whose primary appointment is at Syracuse University.

***Periods of Suspension:

  • If a student is suspended for the fall term, they will not be permitted to return to courses until the following spring term.
  • If a student is suspended for the spring term, they will not be permitted to return to courses until the following fall term.


Plagiarism is the misrepresentation of someone else's work as one's own. It may be intentional or unintentional. The intent or reason for plagiarism doesn't matter. It is the student's responsibility to understand and avoid it.

What can I do to avoid plagiarizing?

Two things:

  1. Document Specifically:
    1. If using someone else's words (either a key phrase or more than three consecutive words), enclose them in quotation marks, flag the words with a reference number, and use an endnote to give the reference.
      The endnote must include the exact page number, so someone who wants to find the full quote can go right to the exact page.
    2. If paraphrasing someone else's ideas, information, or data, still flag the information with a reference number and use an endnote to give the reference, with the exact page number.
  2. Ask. When in doubt, ask the course director or consult the Writing Center at SU.
    Most information about the University's policies for dealing with academic dishonesty and other unprofessional conduct can be found in the chapter on Student Code of Conduct and Related Policies. http:www.upstate.edu/currentstudents/document/12_student_code.pdf.


TurnItInR® compares submitted assignments against a set of academic papers in several different databases to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works. TurnItInR® is used to prevent plagiarism and to create opportunities to help students identify how to properly attribute sources.

Graduation Requirements

Students must meet all CNYMPH graduation requirements listed below before advancing to candidacy for the MPH degree:

  1. Be in good standing (not on academic or disciplinary probation at the time of graduation).
  2. Have registered for, and successfully completed all required course work in the MPH curriculum.
  3. Have registered for, and successfully completed the Field Placement and the Culminating Experience.
  4. Have completed a minimum of 42 credit hours by the time of graduation.
  5. Have satisfactorily remediated any academic deficiencies.
  6. Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale.
  7. Have no disciplinary charges in progress or pending.
  8. Have satisfied all financial obligations to Upstate Medical University.
  9. Have completed a financial aid exit interview (if applicable).
  10. Have completed all course and program evaluation forms, including the Graduate Exit Survey.

Degree Certification

Students who complete all MPH degree requirements will be certified for graduation and receive a diploma signed by both Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University.


The Commencement Ceremony for the MPH candidates will be held at Upstate Medical University and occurs only once a year in May. Commencement is the occasion for recognition of graduates by the College of Medicine and conferring of the degree. Graduating students will receive notification via email regarding the process for ordering regalia and other matters pertaining to the ceremony.