Doctor of Public Health: Degree Overview

Oct 15, 2019

A Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree teaches students to identify global health threats and analyze statistical data and health care policy. Learn more about the program, coursework and job opportunities.

Essential Information

Doctor of Public Health programs allow professionals already working in this field to advance their careers. Professionals must hold a master's degree and may need to have public health work experience. As with most doctoral programs, students need to complete a research dissertation, as well as pass a comprehensive oral and/or written examination and possibly a residency program.

Doctor of Public Health Degree

These 3- to 4-year programs may cover interdisciplinary course topics in business and education. Additionally, specializations may be offered in a particular discipline, such as occupational health, global health, health behavior, environmental epidemiology, environmental toxicology or health policy. Common public health coursework may include:

  • Data and statistical analysis
  • Pharmacoeconomics
  • Health psychology
  • Quantitative and qualitative research issues
  • Ecological toxicology
  • Epidemiology

Popular Career Options

A Doctor of Public Health is a terminal degree program. Graduates can seek careers as administrators, policy makers, researchers and educators. Possible employers can include:

  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Consulting firms
  • Health departments
  • Academic institutions

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

A common career for a doctorate holder is postsecondary instruction. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth among all types of professors was 11% from 2018 to 2028, which is considered above average. The average median wage for health specialties professors, including public health professors, was $97,370 in May 2018.

Doctor of Public Health programs give students the necessary background in business, education and health issues to work a variety of jobs that interact with the public. Graduates may work as professors, researchers, administrators and more.

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