United States Online DrPH and PhD Public Health Programs

Online DrPH and PhD Public Health programs might be a great way for current industry professionals to receive advanced knowledge and refine competencies to prepare for a variety of potential leadership roles across both academic and professional orientations. Distance learning may be the flexible format you need in order to maintain a balance between work, family and study; if convenience is what you need in order to continue your education, an online doctor of public health or online doctor of philosophy in public health warrants consideration.

Online DrPH and PhD Public Health: Program Basics

Online DrPH and PhD Public Health degrees are considered the next academic step for students with either a Master of Public Health (MPH) or a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH). Admission requirements is likely to be the same as for a campus doctoral program, so you may need to check what type of academic undergraduate background or master’s degree is a prerequisite to the doctoral program you are interested in.

DID YOU KNOW? 23% of Research Epidemiologists hold a Doctorate Degree.(O’Net)[i]

Potential Features of Online PhD and DrPH Programs

For both PhD and DrPH online degrees, the learning delivery is via web-based technology. This does not mean that every online university is the same; formats, curriculum and software technology is likely to vary. However, it is easy to decipher what is involved when you know what to look for. Here are a few points to bear in mind:

  • Synchronous learning means that your courses or lectures are live-streaming and you need to be present, although online and not in-person
  • Asynchronous learning means that courses or lectures are prerecorded (e.g. video or MP3) and you can access them anytime
  • Most online graduate schools use a course management system, web portal or online learning environment; this may include online library and research tools, assignment submission methods etc.
  • 100% online means you do not have to visit your base campus.
  • Partially online means you have to visit your campus at designated times; maybe to meet your research supervisor, for a short summer intensive or for the courses that require human interaction or live demonstration.
  • Any online program is going to require some autonomy on your part, however this simultaneously gives you some freedom in terms of when you decide to study as opposed to being on campus at designated intervals.

Types of Public Health Doctorate Online Degrees

The two main doctoral degrees in public health are the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Health. What is the difference between the PhD and DrPH?

Primarily, it comes down to the orientation of the program. The DrPh is considered a professional degree that is geared to practice in public health settings, while the PhD is more of an academic degree and geared towards science and research.

That being said, there are concentration areas that GradSchools.com has listed in its directory such as:

  • Online Bioethics Doctorate Programs
  • Online Epidemiology Doctorate Programs
  • Online Health Education and Communication Doctorate Programs
  • Online Occupational Health and Safety Doctorate Programs

Online DrPH

For students with an MPH, the DrPH may be the next academic step. Apart from courses, a practice-based dissertation is usually required. An Online DrPH typically emphasizes advanced public health education and training that is designed to prepare individuals for leadership roles in practice-based settings. This might include setting such as health departments, non-profit organizations, health service, international agencies, and community-based organizations. Accordingly, the focus of the DrPH is placed on promoting advanced expertise in developing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-informed public health practice.

Online PhD Public Health

For students with an MSPH, the PhD in Public Health may be the next academic step. Apart from courses, a research-based dissertation is usually required. Online PhD in Public Health programs usually appeal to those whose interests lie with evidence-based scientific research, teaching at the university level, policy analysis or other high-level public health positions. 

Accreditation

Accreditation is as important for Online DrPH and PhD Public Health programs as it is for campus ones. Check for CEPH accreditation. The Council on Education for Public Health is an independent agency delegated by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and public health programs outside schools of public health.[ii]

Initiate a Search

It is easy to find Online DrPH and PhD Public Health Online Programs on GradSchools.com. Once you have decided what type of program to look into, browse sponsored listings in that subject. Request info using the green tabs and start to narrow down to find one that resonates. You might encounter options such as Online Graduate Program in Bioethics and Online Doctor of Philosophy – Mental Health Policy and Practice.

Take the Next Step

Public Health is a vast field. Whether you are interested in research and health science administration[iii], or leading a local initiative as a Chronic Disease Epidemiologist[iv] a doctoral degree in Public Health may be an appropriate next academic step. Why not combine the potential convenience of web-based learning with the rigors of higher education by looking into Online DrPH and PhD programs in Public Health today!


sources: [i] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-1041.00 |[ii] http://ceph.org/ |[iii] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3041.00 | [iv] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-1041.00

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