Doctor of Public Health in the Field of Health Policy

Program Director A. Markus


The doctor of public health (DrPH) health policy specialty field degree program focuses on understanding and learning to apply to complex and real world problems the policy framework of public health and health care. Particular emphasis is placed on areas affecting medically underserved and vulnerable populations. The specialty field allows candidates to work at the nexus of health policy, public health practice, and health services research.


The goal of the health policy specialty field is to create doctoral-level public health professionals who are uniquely equipped to provide real-world leadership at the national and state levels in all phases of public health, health care, and health policy development and implementation. The objectives of this specialty field are to:

  • Provide advanced training on cutting edge issues in health policy;
  • Equip candidates with the research and analytic methods to conduct the types of advanced analyses that can make a real difference in health care and public health.

Admissions Requirements

The Doctor of Public Health Program is designed for mid-career professionals seeking to become public health leaders. Applicants who have completed an MPH degree from a Council of Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredited program are strongly preferred for admission to the program. Alternatively, applicants with a master’s degree in another field may indicate their relevant training, research experience, or educational background comparable to the MPH. Doctoral applicants admitted without an MPH will be required to take additional course work at the graduate level that does not apply toward the minimum 48 credits required for the DrPH. Qualified applicants with degrees from institutions in foreign countries are also eligible for admission. All applicants must submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) taken within five years of the date of application. Because admission to this program is highly selective, successful applicants must have competitive academic credentials and substantial prior public health professional work experience related to the specialty field to which they are applying.

Program Policies and Procedures

For program policies and procedures, please refer to the Doctor of Public Health Handbook and other resources located on the program website

22 credits of required foundational and research methods courses
PUBH 8401Foundations in Public Health Leadership & Practice
PUBH 8402Leadership in Public Health Practice & Policy
PUBH 8403
PUBH 8416Study Design & Evaluation Methods
PUBH 8417Qualitative Research Methods and Analysis
PUBH 8418Applied Statistical Analysis
PUBH 8419Measurement in Public Health & Health Services
PUBH 8420Advanced Analysis & Dissemination
6 credits of required specialty field courses
PUBH 8404Advanced Topics: Health Systems and Health Policy Research
PUBH 8405Advanced Topics: Health Economics Research
7 to 10 credits of specialty field courses
PUBH 6330Health Services and Law
PUBH 6325Federal Policymaking and Policy Advocacy
PUBH 6335Public Health and Law
PUBH 6360AdvMaternal&ChildHealthPolicy
PUBH 6362Civil Rights Issue/Health Care
PUBH 6376Primary Health Care Policy
2 credits of professional leadership courses (minimum of 2 must be Instructional Leadership)
PUBH 8413Research Leadership
PUBH 8415Instructional Leadership
8 to 11 credits of dissertation preparation and dissertation
PUBH 8422Advanced Health Care and Public Health Research Design
PUBH 8423Dissertation Research

Graduation Requirements

  1. Graduate credit requirement: 48 graduate credits are required.
  2. Course requirements: successful completion of the foundational and research methods courses. The program-specific specialty field courses and the professional leadership credits are required.
  3. Comprehensive exam: Once the course of study is completed, students are required to pass the comprehensive exam to be officially admitted to the candidacy phase.
  4. Dissertation: PUBH 8422 Advanced Health Care and Public Health Research Design plus 6-9 dissertation research credits are required. Once the proposal has been successfully defended and dissertation research credits have been met, the oral defense may be scheduled.
  5. Grade point requirement: A 3.0 (B average) overall grade-point average is required.
  6. Time limit requirement: The degree must be completed within seven (7) years.
  7. No transfer credits are accepted.