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What is an Executive MPH (EMPH) Degree?

The Executive Master of Public Health (EMPH) degree is designed for a working professional committed to advancing their career in the public health field without taking time away from their current position.

This graduate program builds on each student's former education, work experience and skills, whether they are already working in public health or seeking a career change. The program offers a flexible plan of study with room for many electives in addition to core public health courses. Students can opt to focus in a particular area of interest or choose from a wide range of electives for a broad public health education.

The 21-month EMPH program combines online public health courses with two Friday in-person sessions per quarter. You will navigate the program with a cohort of other current and future public health practitioners.

What's The Difference Between an EMPH and MPH Degree?

The Executive MPH program has been specifically designed for working professionals. It offers a flexible, on-line curriculum with the added benefit of a residency component. This enables students to meet each other, engage with faculty and spend some time on Drexel’s campus while enjoying the flexibility of an online program.

The application requirements are a little different: The EMPH requires a minimum of three years of work experience before enrolling, while the application requirements for the MPH program do not include work experience.

The time to complete the program also varies: The EMPH program is 21 months long, while there are MPH programs that can be completed in as little as 12 months or as long as 33 months.

Regardless of the program, the degree is the same. All students in the EMPH and MPH programs receive a Master of Public Health degree upon successful completion of their program.

Why Pursue an EMPH Degree at Drexel Dornsife?

At Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health, Executive MPH students are exposed to a wide range of unique benefits that assist with career advancement:

  • Collaborative Cohort Model: Students progress through the core courses together, establishing new friendships, sharing experiences from their past and current education and employment, and creating robust professional networks that enhance their future public health careers. Students come from a range of sectors and employers, creating a diverse learning environment.
  • Hand-on Experience: After the first year, students enhance their classroom learning with an Applied Practical Experience. Students integrate their classroom learning with a hands-on public health experience that fits with their professional and academic responsibilities.
  • Mentoring: Students have an academic advisor and are assigned a faculty mentor when they begin the program. 
  • Professional Development: The program provides opportunities for networking, guest speakers, and professional development seminars.
  • Reputation: The EMPH is a CEPH-accredited program at the number one graduate school of public health in Philadelphia.

Drexel's Executive MPH program prepares students to:

  • Describe the importance of social capital and natural helpers when designing community-engaged public health strategies
  • Analyze organizational challenges facing public health practice organizations
  • Demonstrate critical, reflective thinking and writing skills that are needed to advance value-based public policies
  • Weigh the roles of policymakers, citizens, and interest groups in shaping public health policy
  • Translate and disseminate public health science for use by public health practitioners and policy makers

"DSPH’s Executive MPH program was the perfect fit since I was already working in the public health sector. Not only did the Executive MPH program allow me to continue with full-time employment and immediately apply my education in real time, but it also prepared me to obtain a higher-level employment position within the same institution...It was a win-win on many levels," said Clint Steib, MPH '15, program manager at the Dorothy Mann Center for Pediatric and Adolescent HIV Clinic at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.

To learn more about the Executive Master’s in Public Health program at Drexel Dornsife, request more information to speak with an academic advisor today.

Request More Information

Executive MPH students come from a range of sectors and employers, both within and outside of the public health field. These include health agencies, health systems, community organizations, and medicine.

Admissions Requirements for the EMPH Program

To be considered for the Executive MPH graduate program, applicants must meet the following admissions criteria:

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university, or an equivalent international institution
  • GPA of at least 3.0 preferred
  • Minimum 3 years of professional work experience

Executive MPH Application Requirements

For an application to be marked complete and undergo review, applicants to the EMPH program must submit the following forms of documentation:

  • A completed application
  • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
  • Two professional letters of recommendation
  • Resume/CV
  • Personal statement
  • Additional requirements for international students

GRE scores are NOT required as an application requirement for the Executive MPH program.

Note that the software used in many of the courses requires you to have access to a PC. Apple doesn’t currently support the software needed to complete this coursework.

Learn more about admission and application requirements

Executive MPH Program Curriculum

The 21-month Executive MPH program curriculum combines online coursework with on-campus residencies, all while covering disciplines of public health with a focus on public health practice.

The Executive MPH program curriculum covers the major disciplines of public health, including community health and prevention, environmental and occupational health, epidemiology and biostatistics, and health management and policy.

Students will follow a rigorous course of study that will build their skills and knowledge in the following areas:

  • Foundations and Systems in Public Health
  • Public Health Research Methods
  • Public Policy
  • Community Assessment

Executive MPH Course Requirements

Year Fall (Late Sept-Dec) Winter (Jan-March) Spring (April-June) Summer (Late June-Early Sept)

Foundations and Systems in Public Health I (online) 

Epidemiology (online)

EMPH Seminar (on campus)

Foundations and Systems in Public Health II (online)

Biostatistics (online)

EMPH Seminar (on campus)

Community Assessment (online) 

Elective Course (online or on campus)

EMPH Seminar (online or on campus)

Public Health Policy (online)

Qualitative Research Methods (online) 

Elective Course (online or on campus)

Applied Practical Experience/Service Learning Course (online)


Elective Course (online or on campus)

Elective Course (online or on campus)

EMPH Capstone (on campus)

Elective Course (online or on campus)

Elective Course (online or on campus)

EMPH Capstone (on campus) 

Elective Course (online or on campus)

Elective Course (online or on campus) 

EMPH Capstone (on campus)


Elective Options

In the second year, students choose electives from a wide range of online, evening, or daytime courses, which allows students to curate their public health interests in flexible ways.

Some of the most popular electives include:

  • Introduction to Urban Health
  • Overview of Issues in Global Health
  • Overview of Maternal and Child Health
  • LGBT Health Disparities
  • Infection Prevention and Control in Health
  • Design & Analysis of Epidemiological Studies

Hands-On Experiential Learning

In the second year, students enhance their classroom learning with an Applied Practical Experience, offering an opportunity to integrate classroom learning with hands-on public health experience. We work closely with students to identify an experience that fits with their professional and academic responsibilities.

Capstone Courses

Students work together in the second year in their capstone course, integrating their prior coursework and professional experience in analyzing current public health problems and developing effective solutions.

In order to receive an Executive MPH degree, students must complete a minimum of 56 quarter credit hours. 

To learn more about the Executive MPH curriculum and courses, please visit the Drexel University Online website:

Executive MPH Curriculum and Courses

Executive MPH Career Options

Many of our Executive MPH graduates continue with their current employer on an enhanced career trajectory, while others use the MPH to make a complete career change.

Graduates work in local, state and federal health agencies, health systems, health and social services, community organizations, education, clinical research, medicine, and pharmaceutical companies.

An Executive Master’s in Public Health can lead to a variety of unique career opportunities. Recent graduates of the program have reported working with employers including:

Non-Profit and Government Organizations

  • American Red Cross
  • New Jersey Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services
  • Philadelphia Department of Public Health
  • Public Health Management Corporation

Hospital/Healthcare, Research and For-Profit Organizations

  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • Janssen Pharmaceuticals/ Janssen Scientific Affairs
  • University of Pennsylvania Health System

Executive MPH graduates at Dornsife gain the experience, confidence, and skills that can launch their leadership role in the public health field.

EMPH Salary Scale

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many public health jobs are expected to grow faster than average in the coming years.

Learn more about public health job outlook and average salaries on the Public Health Industry Degree Guide on the Drexel University Online website.

Enhance your skill set and advance your career in the public health industry with an Executive MPH from Drexel Dornsife.

Start your application today


Jennifer Kolker, MPH
Director, EMPH Program
Clinical Professor, Health Management and Policy

David A. Wood, MBA, MS
Executive Director, Enrollment Management