Milken Institute School of Public Health
Gillings School of Global Public Health
When you are looking to get a PhD in Public Health, an online degree might be a reasonable option for your educational needs. You can find information on the programs available, coursework, admission requirements, and career outlook so that you can make the right decision about your education and your career future. There are many options to choose from, which is why having the facts can make such a difference in your success.
Online PhD Programs for Public Health
In an online program for the PhD in Public Health, students will get the same education that they would get in the classroom, but in an accelerated and/or self-study format. The goal is to provide mid-career students with a chance to get their degree with ease. These programs offer courses that lead to a PhD or a DrPH (Doctor of Public Health), with a focus on areas like management, leadership, ethics, epidemiology, and other areas of study. Students will learn how to become leaders in their field so that they can advance their career in academics, healthcare, or research. Some students interested in this area of study will also look at related online PhDs, including those in public policy and public administration.
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Program Information and Requirements
A lot of online programs for a PhD in Public Health will allow students to complete all or most of the coursework online. Some of the programs may require students to attend campus to complete the program, but this requirement is typically minimal. Dissertation presentation is an example of where students might be required to appear in person. Many programs require an exam, dissertation, or other doctoral research project in order to earn a degree. Every program is a little different, but the general coursework is similar.
List of Common Online Courses
Online programs at the PhD level don’t have a lot of general education requirements because students at this level are already well along the career path. They will typically have to conduct research and learn courses at advanced levels, in areas like:
Epidemiology- This area of study focuses on disease patterns throughout communities. Students will typically use computer research and analysis to investigate and study this area. There are some programs that offer specialized courses with an emphasis on certain populations or diseases while some courses are more general.
Leadership and Management- Students will be taught a lot of advanced business elements in this area, including learning how to collaborate for the success of an organization. They will study change management, leadership roles, and more. In-person networking along with the use of social media and other technology will give students the training they need.
Law and Ethics- At the PhD level, the laws behind public health are a must. Students will learn about the U.S. legal system, international laws and ethics, and how those affect healthcare and public health. They will study ethics of patient management and care, as well as health insurance ethics and laws.
Career Information for PhD Graduates
Those who graduate from a PhD in Public Health program will find careers as managers and administrators throughout various healthcare organizations and environments. They may also choose careers as educators for other public health students and programs. The career opportunities are vast for those holding this degree. According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), health educators are seeing 18% growth through the next decade, while managers and administrators will see growth of around 16%. The average annual salary of health educators is around $50,000. Health and medical service managers earn an average salary of $93,000. With this degree, students can pursue postsecondary teaching careers, where health specialties educators earn an average of $103,000.
Many people who have a PhD in Public Health will seek out certification to help advance their professional career. The most common certification is the CHES, or Certified Health Education Specialist. This credential is provided by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC). Managers and administrators can earn certification as a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA), which is offered through the American Health Information Management Association.