Distance Learning Doctorate Degree Programs in Public Health

Get info about online doctoral degree programs in public health. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career options.

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Essential Information

The field of public health combines the science of protecting and improving the health of a community with research on injury and disease prevention. Those who have earned a doctorate in public health are responsible for educating communities through outreach and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. There are programs available entirely online and those offered in a hybrid format. Programs generally will require short residencies or internships and students should have a master's degree in public health or a related field to apply.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Community Health and Preventive Medicine
  • Environmental Health
  • Health Physics
  • Health Services Administration
  • International Health
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Medical Scientist
  • Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene
  • Public Health Education
  • Public Health Medicine, Treatment

Doctorate in Public Health

Doctoral students learn to develop policies, provide services and conduct research relating to public health. Students may earn terminal Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degrees in areas such as Community Health and Prevention or Health Policy and Social Justice.

Course Information and Requirements

Classes are taken online through both real-time and posted lectures. Students will participate in online discussions and conduct original research on their own. Some distance learning doctoral degree programs in public health require short residencies or internships.

Course Topics

The following subject matter is a sample of what may be offered to public health doctoral students:

  • Public health surveillance
  • Ethics of public health
  • Public health law fundamentals
  • Law and ethics in public health
  • Social and cultural influences on public health
  • Public health administration and management

Career Information

A career in the public health field has many opportunities because of the complexity of today's health issues. Individuals who have earned a doctorate in public health find themselves serving local, national and international communities as they work to protect public health both today and in the future. Possible fields in which public health professionals can work include:

  • Behavioral science
  • Health education
  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Maternal and child health
  • Primary care
  • Health services administration and/or management
  • Global or international health
  • Public nutrition
  • Food security
  • Social work

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2015 the median pay of medical and health services managers was $94,500. Healthcare social workers earned a median annual wage of $52,380 during the same year, also according to BLS.

Students who achieve a doctoral degree in public health, either online or in a hybrid format, are eligible to pursue multiple fields including epidemiology, social work, and public nutrition to only name a few.

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