DrPH Public Health Doctoral Programs
Are you seeking advanced leadership roles in public health and healthcare? If so, the two main doctoral degrees awarded are: the DrPH and PHD in Public Health. Do you have the Master of Public Health or its equivalent? Are you intending to pursue or advance a professional practice career in the field? Or. are you seeking to lead a team or initiative? If so, either the Doctor of Philosophy or the Doctor of Public Health degree (DrPH Programs) warrants consideration.
DrPH Programs and PhD Programs in Public Health: Basics
Applicants to both the DrPH and PhD in Public Health often aspire to work in top leadership positions, either locally or internationally. They frequently work in groups such as:
- Health ministry
- Government agency in public health
- Health-related corporation
- International organization[i]
Admission requirements vary between universities and programs. However, to be eligible to apply into a doctoral program, a prospective candidate usually needs a bachelor’s degree. Also they may need some type of public health and/or service experience. Often required is a master’s or doctoral degree (e.g. MD) in a relevant field plus experience. Universities may look for a candidate with an undergraduate or graduate degree background in the health sciences. Universities may also look for candidates with a background in other applicable fields (e.g. biology, medicine, psychology, economics, business, health care, epidemiology).
DID YOU KNOW? Some health educator positions require a doctoral degree. Graduate programs are commonly in community health education, school health education, public health education, or health promotion (BLS)[ii].
DrPH vs. PhD in Public Health: Which one is best for you?
In the field of public health, the highest scholarly awards include the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).[iii] Ascertaining which one is best for you comes down to identifying your goals as well as the differences between the two degrees. Essentially, the DrPH is regarded as a professional leadership degree. The Ph.D. as more of an academic degree[iv].
The Doctor of Public Health degree is designed for students who aspire to pursue or advance a professional practice career in public health. Are you interested in a high-level administration or a research and analytical position? If so, DrPH Programs may be a good fit. Examples of potential job titles could include:
- Chief Program Officer[v]
- International Health Director[vi]
- Policy Analyst[vii]
The usual requirement for entry into this program is a Master’s degree in Public Health (MPH). A DrPH program ideally develops in its graduates all the skill sets included in MPH programs. There is often an increased emphasis on high level skills in problem-solving. Also, there is a focus on the application of public health concepts to real-world issues. Students working towards a doctor of public health might take generalist classes across a range of topics that might include:
- Public Policy/advocacy
Additionally, there may be some applied case-based classes. Also there may be the ability to customize a curriculum based on particular ambitions or interests. DrPh programs typically involve a dissertation. The programs may be completed in 4 years(although this varies).
The PhD in Public Health
The Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health may be a good fit for you if your passion lies with public health research. Are you someone who is interested in contributing to the field as a scholar-practitioner? If so, PhD Public Health Programs call for students to make an impact via an original dissertation on the public health topic of their choosing.
As an academic degree, the PhD in Public Health is oriented to candidates with interests in the scientific basis of public health and preventive medicine. This may be the next step for someone who has earned a Master of Science in Public Health. It also may be the next step for an individual who aspires to pursue a potential career in research, university teaching, policy analysis and development, and other high-level public health positions. Examples of potential job titles could include:
- Communicable Disease Specialist[ix]
- Infection Control Practitioner[x]
- Environmental Analyst[xi]
Some of the topics that doctoral students might find in the core study topics could include:
- Public health theory
- Research design
- Statistical methods
- Public Health Educator[xii]
Doctorate Public Health Program Options
By the time you are ready to contemplate either PhD or a DrPh programs, likely you have a specific interest in mind. GradSchools.com site is structured so that you can search for a doctoral program by subject. This can help narrow your search down so that you have a focused set of programs to consider. You can browse our sponsored listings in:
- Health Education & Communication
- International Health
- Occupational Health & Safety
Online or On Campus?
Have you decided which doctorate in public health you’re seeking to earn? If so, begin a search for a program format that meets your needs. Many students enrolled in a doctorate in public health program find that an accredited online university provides the freedom they need to balance work and family commitments. And at the same time they discover they can still engage in rigorous academic coursework. However, because of the interactive nature of some public health programs, you may find more options for campus programs. Or, you may just feel drawn to the social learning environment of traditional study. If that is the case, you can look for accredited graduate schools by location. Choose the city, state or country and search results are generated. You can then request info from the university to see what is involved.
Some of the sponsored programs you might find could include:
- Doctor of Philosophy –Mental Health Policy and Practice
- PhD in Public Health
- Graduate Programs in Bioethics
Currently in the United States, the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredits schools of public health. The CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. They can accredit schools of public health and public health programs outside schools of public health.[xiii]
Take the Next Step
What is the emphasis on both the academic and professional doctoral degrees in public health? The emphasis is to reach for a high level of practitioner or scholarly knowledge and competency across a variety of areas. Are you seeking advanced education in public health? Are you seeking a mastery of skills in management, leadership, communications, and innovative thinking? Or, are you interested more in epidemiology, biostatistics and health services? With the rising interest in public health,[xiv] why not take the next step? Research DrPh Programs and PhD in Public Health programs to find the one that resonates with you!
sources: [i] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_health[ii] bls.gov/OOH/community-and-social-service/health-educators.htm |[iii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_health |[iv] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_health |[v] onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1094.00 |[vi] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3041.00 |[vii] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3041.00 |[viii] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-1041.00 |[ix] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-1041.00 |[x] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-1041.00 |[xi] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-2041.00 |[xii] bls.gov/OOH/community-and-social-service/health-educators.htm[xiii] http://ceph.org/[xiv] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/epidemiologists.htm
University of Washington