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DrPH Degree in Community Health and Prevention

The DrPH program in Community Health and Prevention prepares candidates for leadership roles in education, research, and practice through theoretical and content study as well as practical experience. Upon graduation DrPH students in Community Health and Prevention are expected to attain five core competencies for understanding and solving public health problems. The core competencies for the DrPH program, shown below, integrate public health competencies developed by the Council on Linkages between Academia and Public Health Practice with the unique characteristics of the Department faculty and the practice community.

  1. Understand the mission, goals, and strategies of community health and prevention;
  2. Understand and assess community health status and needs;
  3. Understand and assess individual and environmental determinants of health;
  4. Design, implement, and evaluate public health programs and policies;
  5. Translate findings into policy recommendations and advocate for change.

Admission Requirements

Students will be admitted on a competitive basis, and those with a demonstrated ability to integrate public health competencies and skills into public health practice will be preferred.

Application Requirements includes:

  • MPH or master’s degree in a related field
  • Document evidence of applied research skills (masters thesis, masters research paper or publication)
  • Official signed and sealed undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • Recommendations from three individuals who are familiar with the academic and/or professional performance of the applicant including one from a public health practitioner
  • Written statement of career and educational goals
  • Satisfactory GRE results
  • Professional experience in the field of public health
  • Area of interest for dissertation
  • Interview with the DrPH committee. This may be in person or by telephone. An interview is required of all finalists.
  • A current CV or resume

Admissions Deadlines

All doctoral applicants must submit a complete application for the Fall by January 15.

Degree Requirements

Completion of the DrPH in Community Health will require:
  1. a minimum of 60 quarter credit hours of course work beyond the master's degree as prescribed by the program's curriculum;
  2. a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.3;
  3. passing the doctoral comprehensive/candidacy examination;
  4. completing a practicum;
  5. passing the preliminary oral examination;
  6. completing a dissertation of publishable quality; and
  7. passing the final defense.

Advising Practices

Students entering the DrPH Program will come from different disciplines and be at varying developmental stages with respect to their career plans. Academic advising and planning will play a critical role in sustaining the interdisciplinary focus of the program, the diversity of students, and responding to the evolutionary nature of public health. Faculty members will be assigned as academic advisors to incoming doctoral students by the Program Director. Each student will develop a plan of study describing how career goals will be achieved through his/her learning experience in the program, in concert with the Faculty Advisor. Students will be encouraged to use multiple methods for achieving objectives, including coursework, research activities, and other professional activities. Students will update their plans of study annually, and faculty advisors will use the academic plans to report on progress of all doctoral students at the end of each academic year.

For Further Information

If you would like further information about the DrPH Program at Dornsife School of Public Health, or would like to discuss the program in relation to your professional and career interests, please contact:

Patience Ajoff-Foster, M.S.
Senior Academic Coordinator