The doctoral program in Public Health (DrPH) offers advanced training in the fundamental skills and knowledge central to each of the five core areas of public health—social and behavioral health, epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, and health systems, with a leadership and management concentration. The DrPH program provides students with opportunities to achieve public health competencies in the full range of academic or professional roles within community practice, research and teaching.
Applications are accepted for fall and spring semesters. Applicants must possess the minimum of an MPH or related U.S. equivalent master’s degree(s) or terminal clinical/doctoral degree from a regionally accredited college or university to be considered for admission. Candidates must have completed at least one graduate-level course in each of the following five (5) areas: (a) Biostatistics, (b) Epidemiology, (c) Health Behavior/Health Education, (d) Health Services/Policy/Management, and (e) Environmental and Occupational Health. These courses must have been completed with a grade of “B” or better. If these courses were not from a Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredited institution, the candidate must submit syllabi to the DrPH program director for determination of pre-requisite fulfillment. Applicants who have not completed these courses but whose applications show exceptional potential for success in the program may be admitted conditionally to the DrPH program; however, they will be required to complete the remaining courses (as presented in the core course requirements for the MPH degree) with a grade of “B” or better before taking other required courses in the program.
Applicants are admitted on the basis of letters of recommendation, a personal statement, test scores (i.e., GRE, GMAT or MCAT), a resumes and transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
Coursework. The program requires 72 units, consisting of 19 courses. Students complete 52 units of core courses, 12 units of elective coursework that constitute a minor, 4 units of one transdisciplinary course, and an advanced practicum (0 units).
Minor. Students must successfully complete 12 units (three courses) in one minor field of study. Students may select from courses in the School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation (Advanced Evaluation, Policy, or Economics), Drucker School of Management (Leadership & Management), Center for Information Sciences & Technology (GIS or Health Informatics) or Arts & Humanities (Applied Women Studies).
Research Tools. In lieu of a specific language requirement, demonstrated proficiency in one research tool is required. A research tool in public health must be completed with a grade of a B or better in CGH 402, Advanced Research Methods.
Advanced Practicum. All DrPH students are required to complete an advanced practicum experience in public health. The advanced integrative practicum in public health is comprised of three incremental practice experiences which engage students in health system leadership and management and complement the DrPH didactic curriculum. The integrative practicum begins with an introduction to the health system, continues with interactive instruction from experts in public health, and culminates in a high-level practice-based project. The advanced practicum is intended to provide DrPH students an opportunity to synthesize, integrate and apply the skills, knowledge and training acquired through courses of study; to gain professional experience in a public health work environment; and to work on advanced public health practice projects that are of particular interest. The advanced practicum is part of the culminating experience for the degree. A waiver out of the integrative practicum and into a standard practicum is based on years and level of professional experience.
Qualifying Examination. Oral and written examinations center on didactic coursework and the dissertation proposal and are intended to assess the depth and breadth of a student’s knowledge and aptitude in approaching and solving fundamental research issues in public health. Successful completion of the qualifying exam is required for advancement to candidacy.
Dissertation. Each candidate must submit acceptable dissertation project conducted with the approval of an advisory committee. An oral examination is scheduled upon submission of the dissertation.
University Policies. University policies detailed in the Student Information section of the Bulletin apply, including the Transdisciplinary Course and other University requirements disclosed in the Doctoral Degrees section.
Transfer Credit. The University’s policy on transfer credit applies. The DrPH program permits the transfer of up to 24 semester units from prior graduate work completed outside of CGU with advisor approval.