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.
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.
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
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
- 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.