The online public health PhD program, which is research-based, provides a broad conceptual and research foundation with a chance to take on advanced study and research in a specific area of public health. It offers specializations in general program, community health, epidemiology as well as community health education and promotion. The highest professional degree for those targeting a career in public health practice is the Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) in Epidemiology.Read More
The focus of the general program is usually in finding solutions to relevant public health problems and applying newly-acquired knowledge and skills in research and practice. It also covers a variety of factors involved in community health like the medical, social, political, ethical and economic aspects that are vital in the total welfare of a public health system. On the other hand, the epidemiology specialization tackles the scientific basis of the causes, distribution, control and prevention of disease in populations.
Students in this program are trained to hold leadership positions in the field of professional public health practice, teaching and research. Graduates of this doctoral degree can pursue a career as a gerontology aid helping the elderly people or as an outreach worker in his community. Other career options include a life skills counselor, case manager or mental health aide.
In applying for this doctorate program, the most common requisite is a bachelor of science (honors) or master’s degree in public health (MPH) with normally seven years of study and experience in the field. Other schools would require a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology or an MPH degree in a health-related field from a school accredited in public health. This research course usually entails three years of full-time study. At least two-thirds of the course covers research while the rest includes coursework. Some schools require internships to provide opportunities for students to interact with various health care professionals and to apply their skills in a real-world setting. Students are required to complete most of the coursework and submit a thesis proposal to earn candidacy. Those without previous studies in research methods and statistical data analysis need to take relevant preparatory units.
You can earn your doctorate in public health in various online universities such as the Walden University. The A.T. Still University of Health Sciences offers a wholly online doctorate program for health care professionals with a comprehensive instruction on health management integrating the osteopathic principles of mind, body and spirit.
Meanwhile, the University of North Carolina reported the success of their entirely online doctoral program in health leadership (DrPH). Program director Dr. Edward Brooks claimed the response to their program has been astounding, exceeding their expectations. The positive response came from working healthcare professionals bent on pursuing higher education while maintaining their present jobs. The health and policy administration department of the UNC’s School of Public Health confirmed a growing demand for their online doctorate program. When the online program opened in 2005 with only nine slots available, 89 people actually applied. Dr. Brooks also sees the need to train the next generation of public health and healthcare leaders and welcomes the competition from other colleges and universities offering doctorate programs in public health. “Nothing would delight me more than seeing other colleges begin offering DrPH in Health Leadership programs online at their schools. That would be wonderful for society as a whole,” he stressed.