Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health
The main goal of a doctoral degree in public
health is to prepare students for careers in areas of academia and research in the public health sphere. PhD programs in the
subject focus on research methodologies and allow students to work with concrete public health data in an effort to advance
research in the field.
The purpose of the PhD program is to educate the next generation of prevention scientists
conducting public health research in academia, governmental public health, health care organizations and the private sector.
A graduate with the Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health will contribute to new knowledge, to a better understanding of health
disparities, to the amelioration of critical health problems, and to the development of new interventions to promote health.
Students with an educational background in health education, public health or community health might elect
to enroll in a doctoral program in public health in order to further research in the field. Most PhD programs in public health
require students to focus on one particular specialty of the field, such as behavioral science, biostatistics, health policy,
occupational health or epidemiology.
PhD programs in public health generally require great amounts of individual
research in addition to the completion of core courses, courses focused in one particular aspect of public health, and a dissertation.
The dissertation typically combines a proposal, followed by several hours worth of supporting research material and an oral
presentation. As with most doctoral programs, a PhD program in public health typically pairs students with professors or mentors
who will assist them in their dissertations and individual studies.
Acceptance into a PhD program in public health relies upon the completion of an
undergraduate, and sometimes also a graduate, degree program. The programs don't always have to be in the exact subject
of public health, but certain core courses in the subject should be completed before entering the doctoral level. Students
should have a strong understanding of social sciences and biological sciences before applying.
The core courses included in a doctoral program in public health tend to
focus on research methodologies, research design and general public health knowledge.
- Behavioral science
- Community health
- Environmental health
health and management
- Public health and leadership ethics
Popular Career Options
The most popular career choice available for holders of a PhD program
in public health is as professors at universities and colleges. This type of position is well-suited for individuals who wish
to achieve further research in the field of public health. However, some other likely career options include:
public health policy advisor
- Academic public health policy advisor
- Medical director
- Public health researcher
- Disease specialist
- Public health lawyer