PhD in Public Health ( Human Services)

PhD in Public Health ( Community Health Promotion and Education)

PhD in Public Health ( Epidemiology)

PhD in Public Safety Leadership

PhD in Health Care Management and Leadership

PhD in Health Care Administration

PhD in Public Health Policy



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.

Education Pre-Requisites

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.

Program Coursework

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
  • Public health practice
  • Biostatistics
  • Community health
  • Epidemiology
  • Environmental health
  • Public 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:

  • Legislative public health policy advisor
  • Academic public health policy advisor
  • Epidemiologist
  • Pharmacoepidemiologist
  • Medical director
  • Public health researcher
  • Disease specialist
  • Public health lawyer

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