For those of you who already hold a Masters in Public Health but would like to continue to expand in the field, or go on to careers such as teaching, researching or providing consulting services in the field, earning a Doctorate in Public Health would be a great next step. This type of degree can take between four and six years to complete but, it can pay great dividends. The Association of Schools of Public Health suggests that the demand for professionals in the field of public health has never been higher, and earning a DrPH or PhD in Public Health is going to open many different career doors for you so you can rise up and meet that demand.
Choosing to pursue this doctorate level degree online in lieu of a face-to-face program can help you to complete your degree faster and more affordably without sacrificing the rigor and depth of your courses. At this time, only a limited number of online programs within the field of public health exist, only five at the doctoral level. In the following ranking, you can read about those programs that are out there in the order of which ones give you the best education and value. All the programs were ranked according to the following methodology:
1) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university and the flagship institution of the University of North Carolina System. It was originally founded in 1789 and took in students as early as 1795; however, it was a men’s only institution until 1877. UNC Chapel Hill is one of the oldest universities in the country and was the first public university to be chartered under the Constitution. It managed to stay open throughout the Civil War because many of its students were pardoned from the draft but it did close from 1870 to 1875. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Several of its professors are Nobel Prize winners and some of the 300,000 living alumni have gone on to be politicians, award-winning entertainers and authors, business leaders, and athletes.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a primarily-online Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership. The program is ideal for those who have already entered a career in the field but have their eyes on higher-level positions and hope to have a greater impact on their communities. The program is presented in a cohort model and takes a typical student three years to complete. Students have to visit campus three times in the first two years for a few days, but all of the coursework is available completely online and asynchronously. This self-paced delivery allows you to work around your schedule. You will take classes like Introduction to Law and Ethics in Health Administration; Foundations of Healthcare Financial Management; Community and Public Health Security–Disasters, Terrorism, and Emergency Management Systems and more throughout the first two years. The third year is reserved for your dissertation.
For more information, you can visit the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill program website.
2) Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University is a private research university that’s home to almost 24,000 students. The majority of its students live on campus in Baltimore, Maryland. For the year 2018, JHU has ranked as the 10th university in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. It was founded in 1876 and revolutionized education in the United States as one of the first institutions to integrate teaching and research in one curriculum; the university was one of the founding members of one of the most prestigious organizations in higher education, the Association of American Universities. Johns Hopkins is organized into 10 different academic divisions, one of which is the The Bloomberg School of Public Health. The Bloomberg School is the oldest school of public health in the world as well as the largest. Since its inception in 1916, it has been regarded as one of the leaders in the field.
The Doctor of Public Health offered at Johns Hopkins University comes from one of the best schools of public health in the world. It is offered mostly on a part-time basis and is almost completely online. Students will have to participate in summer and winter institutes for their first and second year. The time spent on campus in the summer is just one week and in the winter students will have to spend five days on campus. Students are admitted into cohorts during the summer semester, the program commences with the first institute. Outside of that, all of the coursework (even for concentration-specific classes) can be completed online. Those of you who wish to complete your degree faster can talk to the program director to arrange for you to complete it at a full-time pace instead.
For more information, you can visit the Johns Hopkins University program website.
3) Indiana University-Bloomington
Generally referred to as just IU Bloomington, Indiana University Bloomington is a public research university with its main campus in the city of Bloomington, Indiana. It is the flagship institution of its system, and also the largest by enrollment with just under 50,000 students. IU Bloomington is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is one of America’s Public Ivy institutions. It was founded in 1820 as the State Seminary and has since grown into one of the top schools in the country in a variety of fields. Students can earn degrees at the associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels; there are also several different types of certificate available. IU Bloomington is divided into the Jacobs School of Music; the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering; the Kelley School of Business; the School of Public Health; the School of Nursing; the School of Optometry; the School of Public and Environmental Affairs; the Maurer School of Law; the School of Education; the Media School and; the School of Global and International Studies.
Indiana University Bloomington offers a Doctor of Public Health with a concentration in Global Health Leadership. This program is a synchronous three-year program that you would take alongside a cohort and faculty from all around the world. Face-to-face meetings are required three times in the first and second year; the third year is dedicated to completing your dissertation. All students of any of the 115 online programs offered at IU have access to all of the same student services as traditional students, and the international faculty of this particular program is sure to provide students with the most well-rounded and globally informed education possible in this area of study. The broad scope of the program also means that as a graduate of the program, you have all the skills and tools that you need to apply what you’ve learned to your professional life from London to Los Angeles.
For more information, you can visit the Indiana University-Bloomington program website.
4) University of South Florida
The University of South Florida is a public space-grant research university in Tampa, Florida. It was founded in 1956, making it the first independent state university of the 20th century. Courses began several years later in 1960 and the school quickly gained its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges in 1965. Academically, USF grew at a fast pace as well. The first masters degrees were offered in 1964 and the first doctoral programs were added to the curriculum in the 1970’s. USF serves 42,861 students and has degrees available from the associates to doctoral levels. It has been ranked among the nation’s 5 best schools for graduate programs in Public Health, Library and Information Studies, Education, and Criminology by U.S. News & World Report, and it has been recognized by other smaller publications for its distance programs, research opportunities, and more.
The College of Public Health at the University of South Florida offers both a PhD in Public Health and a DrPH program. The DrPH program has a Concentration in Advanced Practice Leadership in Public Health. The emphasis of the program is to advance the knowledge of those of you who are already engaged in your careers and help you to build skills to develop, implement, and evaluate practices that are evidence-informed and create better outcomes. The majority of the coursework can be completed online; in this program, you’ll encounter classes that prepare you for leadership and management positions as well as strengthen your ability to solve public health problems and advocate for communities. Students complete the program in a cohort and have several start dates throughout the year.
For more information, you can visit the University of South Florida program website.
5) University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago is a public research university in Chicago, Illinois. It was established officially in 1965 but its history goes back much further than that. UIC’s roots go back to a number of private health colleges dating back to 1859. UIC does offer degrees in a variety of areas of study like business, education, engineering, and more but it has stayed true to its beginnings and now excels in the area of health education. The university operates the largest medical school in the nation. It is divided into several different colleges and schools through which it offers its 30,000 students the choice of 83 bachelors programs, 93 masters programs, and 64 doctoral programs. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has 16 programmatic accreditations. The Council on Education for Public Health has accredited all levels of programs in the field at UIC since the early 70’s.
The University of Illinois at Chicago offers a DrPH program that puts flexibility first; it was specifically designed for working professionals. Students of the program will have to complete a capstone project and will have to participate in summer institutes once every year. You have the option to transfer up to 32 credits if you already hold an MPH. Students are admitted once per year in the fall. One thing that makes this program stand out is the incredibly diverse history the school has in the field of health and the access to such diverse resources throughout your education, even from a distance. The program can take up to six years to complete when done so on a part-time basis, which allows you to work while in pursuit of your doctorate.
For more information, you can visit the University of Illinois at Chicago program website.