A DrPH is similar to a PhD in public health, except that it is focused more on a public career than a teaching or research position. Finding a program is a little more difficult because it is such a rare choice, but it can be done. There are some online programs, although they are rare, as well as some traditional classroom programs.
Online DrPH Programs
Although some of the top schools are now offering online DrPH courses, there aren’t any reputable programs that are designed to actually give you a complete degree online. You can find many PhD programs and some DrPH courses, but usually the physical presence will be required.
Featured Online School Offerings
Here are 10 of the most well known DrPH programs in the U.S., some of which offer online courses and some of which don’t:
- Columbia University
- Harvard University
- Johns Hopkins University
- University at Albany
- University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
- University of Illinois at Chicago
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
- University of South Carolina
- Yale University
This list is not ranked in order or by quality. It is simply a list of 10 schools that do offer the DrPH program to their students. Many schools like University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins are ranked highly in the nation for their public health degree programs. They offer innovative education in healthcare, public policy, sociology, epidemiology, and other areas of study that are relevant to the field.
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Program Information and Requirements
Every program is a little bit different, but they typically have basic similarities. For example, you cannot enroll in a doctorate program without a master’s degree from a related field. Additionally, you will need to make sure that you meet standardized testing requirements and other admissions criteria. In the program itself, students will learn about things like research methodology, theory and application, epidemiology and disease prevention and control, law and ethics, and leadership and management as most positions will lead to leadership roles for students. Sample courses include:
- Public Policy
- Healthcare Management
- Law and Ethics
Career Information for DrPH Graduates
Graduates holding a DrPH degree can find careers as educators, researchers, and managers and administrators within the public health sector. The Doctor of Public Health is more directed toward positions beyond research and teaching, but those are still options. Public health careers are projected to see growth between 14% and 18% through 2018, giving you plenty of future opportunities with this degree. Health educators can earn an average of $50,000 annually unless they teach at the postsecondary level with specialty courses, where they can earn $104,000 on average. Health and medical service managers can earn an average salary of around $93,000. Most of the positions available with this degree will be close to or over the 6-figure mark.
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Some positions in public health will require refresher courses and continuing education. In addition, some will also require or offer certification, such as the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) for educators that have a PhD in public health. These are all things that you need to look into once you choose your career within the public health industry to learn more.