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What Can You Do With a PhD in Public Health?

Graduates with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Health qualify for various jobs in research and postsecondary education. Job titles and duties vary depending upon a graduate's area of concentration.

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Career Options for Graduates with a Ph.D. in Public Health

A Ph.D. in Public Health prepares graduates for jobs in research, postsecondary teaching, policy development and analysis, public health program evaluation and management, community practice and healthcare administration. Jobs could include public health program evaluator, epidemiologist, vaccine researcher, behavioral scientist, policy developer, public health veterinarian, tropical disease specialist and professor. Possible employers include colleges and universities, research facilities and government agencies.

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  • Community Health and Preventive Medicine
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  • Medical Scientist
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  • Public Health Education
  • Public Health Medicine, Treatment

Degree Program Information

A Ph.D. in Public Health is an academic degree that prepares students to teach and conduct research at colleges, universities and other settings. Typical college courses in a public health Ph.D. program include environmental health, public health statistics, epidemiology, ethics, health promotion, infectious diseases, scientific writing, industrial hygiene, food safety and toxicology, pollution and environmental law. Students can choose to concentrate in areas such as international health, epidemiology, nutrition, social and environmental science, biostatistics and health management. Additional concentrations include child, maternal and global health and nutrition.

Admissions Requirements

Students need a Master of Public Health (MPH) in order to be accepted into a Ph.D. program. Students who do not meet this requirement generally must complete MPH courses after enrollment but prior to beginning the Ph.D. program.

Writing Requirements

Students enrolled in the public health Ph.D. program must also complete a dissertation. A dissertation is a written report outlining the findings of original, independent research conducted by the student. Dissertations may include topics such as family planning, HIV infection, mad cow disease, childhood obesity, cancer risk, air pollution and sexual behavior.

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