Top Online PhD (DrPH) Degrees in Public Health

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For those already holding an MPH or similar degree and wish to explore the option of teaching, researching or providing consulting services in the field, earning a Doctorate in Public Health, known in abbreviated form as a DrPH, may be a wise decision. Make no mistake, the process is lengthy and involved, typically requiring between four and six years, but the potential payoffs are substantial. The Association of Schools of Public Health suggest that the demand for professionals in the field of public health has never been higher.

Choosing on online Public Health Ph.D. program can help lessen the time commitment and financial expense that a conventional campus-centered program would require, but that is not to say that the program itself will be easier. At this time, only a limited number of online programs within the field of public health exist. The information that follows below provides an overview of the five programs that provide the most value and boast the best academic reputations.

Walden University

downloadLaunched in 1970, Walden University has built a reputation as a leading online force in higher education. With a distinguished, diverse faculty roster and an international student body numbering over 46,000 strong, Walden University has been recognized as one of the most prolific producers of minority holders of advanced degrees. 2010 saw Walden’s public health graduate program hailed by U.S. News and World Report as the world’s largest such program.

Students with an interest in tackling current public health problems and having an impact on far-reaching policy decisions can take advantage of Walden University’s online Public Health Ph.D. program. Students already possessing a master’s degree in the field of public health are able to select Track I, while those with a bachelor’s degree or other credential in an area besides public health can select Track II. Each of these tracks is focused on Epidemiology and Community Health Education.

Walden University enjoys accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Capella University

capellaA leader in the world of online higher education, Capella University has been an essential part of countless students’ professional success stories since its founding in 1993. Numerous honors have been bestowed upon the university for its ability to deliver higher educational programming to a wide range of industry sectors. Capella University is considered to be on of the top online universities serving students who go on to excel in their chosen fields.

The university offers a public health doctoral degree program that allows for specialization in Epidemiology as well as Health Advocacy and Leadership. Students in the Epidemiology specialization track will be exposed to rigorous exploration of community public health issues, biogenetics and career roles. The Health Advocacy and Leadership specialization offers study of national legislative issues and program implementation and development. In order to be awarded the Doctorate in Public Health, students must successfully complete 80 credit hours.

Capella University enjoys full accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

unc-sealA world-class research university, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is ensconced in one of the most stunning and popular college towns in the country. Consistently ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the best public university for the study of public health, the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill boasts an impressive faculty and unrivaled student body.

UNC at Chapel Hill offers an online program for Ph.D. students aimed at training public health professionals for executive leadership roles. All program participants enroll in a core group of courses focusing on health leadership. The three-year course of study starts with two years centered around leadership topics, followed by a third year consumed with examinations, dissertation topic selection and completion of the dissertation.

UNC at Chapel Hill is accredited regionally by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, while the Gillings School of Public Health is fully accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health.

University of Illinois at Chicago

UIC_logoThe University of Illinois at Chicago was founded in 1982 as the second campus within the University of Illinois system. The 2013 U.S. News and World Report rankings pegged the school 147th best national university in the country. Its School of Public Health has dedicated itself to providing students with a vast array of coursework and research opportunities, and is the only fully accredited public health school in all of Illinois.

The University’s online Public Health doctoral program is engineered to suit mid-career professionals in the field who wish to obtain career advancement through the acquisition of enhanced leadership skills and in-depth knowledge. The program is intended to foster expertise in communication and leadership, applied research, public health theory and an additional specialization niche.

Regional accreditation of the University of Illinois at Chicago comes from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, while the online program has received its accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health.

Loma Linda University

Loma_linda_university_logoFounded in 1905 in California, Loma Linda University’s offerings include more than 55 degree-granting programs, many of which can be pursued online. With students hailing from 80 different countries, Loma Linda University has a student body that is as diverse as it is driven.

Loma Linda University offers an online Doctor of Public Health program with specialties available in the areas of Health Education, Nutrition, Epidemiology, Preventative Care and Health Policy and Leadership. Students specializing in Nutrition focus on courses in behavioral science, anatomy, physiology, quantitative topics and advanced biochemistry. Epidemiology specialists will focus on gaining additional knowledge on a variety of disease topics. Health Education students will be prepared to assume leadership positions in program planning, research as well as higher education. Those concentrating in Health Policy and Leadership will foster the skills necessary to head public health organizations of varied descriptions, and Preventative Care concentrators will learn new ways to assist in health maintenance for large segments of the population. The online program for those seeking a Doctorate in Public Health takes between three and five years to complete.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges has given Loma Linda University its accreditation, while the School of Public Health received its accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health.